EHIC alone does not make life a beach for those without travel cover
Assumption by UK holidaymakers that healthcare abroad works like the NHS at home is badly misguided.
That’s the warning from travel tech specialist, Aquarium Software, who says the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a must for European travel, is no substitute for comprehensive travel insurance.
EHIC alone will not cover things like repatriation, which can cost up to £100,000.
Aquarium voiced its concerns following talks with other industry insiders at a Travel Insurance conference in Bristol (ITIC) recently, where Dr Beven of Healix Risk Rating, spoke of the huge risks of withholding health information from insurers.
The Foreign Office is currently running a campaign to make clear that government does not pay hospital bills for Brits abroad or organise medical evacuation.
Yet consumers still seem to think travel in Europe with EHIC makes insurance unnecessary. That could prove a potentially fatal error.
“The view EHIC affords the same level of medical protection in Europe as Brits enjoy at home is a dangerous assumption, when in fact, it does not,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese.
“Even with EHIC (and who knows, post-Brexit) if you should need an air ambulance, you will in all likelihood need to find upwards of £60,000 from somewhere, unless you have comprehensive travel insurance.”
The latest travel apps and software are making it easier for consumers and policy providers, by putting the information that matters at people’s fingertips, but alone, this is not enough if consumers refuse to act on it.
With so many insuring online, it is now easy to pass key information direct to smartphones but Colonnese argues that dire warnings must march in tandem with affordable premiums to have any hope of success.
“At ITIC, we demonstrated how integration with online medical screening and emergency services can on the one hand make is as frictionless as possible for consumers to get affordable cover and on the other be able to provide critical information when there’s an emergency,” said Mark.
“These are exciting times for travel insurance, and coupled with the smart leverage of technology can mean that consumers who are properly educated about the risks of travelling without cover can get cover quickly and easily from the palm of their hand,” Colonnese concluded.