EHIC essential for European travel insurance

It isn’t only footballers who need European travel insurance when they play away from home; all too often travelling fans need medical help too.

According to a survey conducted for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, just 73% of fans travelling to France to watch the European Football Championships planned to take out travel insurance. That puts more than one in four fans in danger of facing expensive medical bills if the have an accident or fall ill.

The insurance industry is urging the thousands of football supporters expected to travel to France in June to follow England, Wales or Northern Ireland in the European Football Championships to make sure that they go with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) AND take out independent travel insurance.

Insurance brokers such as Asprey Harris offer cost effective, comprehensive European travel insurance which will cover fans while they are away.  Click here for more details.

European travel insurance checklist

The Association of British Insurers has issued a six point checklist for travelling fans:

Get your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC enables you to get state provided healthcare in France at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover medical treatment (including pre existing conditions) until you return to the UK. You can apply for, or renew, an EHIC using the official EHIC online application form. This is free of charge. Beware of unofficial websites which may charge if you apply through them.

Travel insurance is essential. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance as it will not cover the cost of all treatments or emergency medical repatriation back to the UK. So make sure you arrange travel insurance before you travel. If you have any pre existing medical conditions tell your insurer or insurance broker beforehand. In addition to emergency medical treatment, travel insurance will cover your possessions, including money, if lost or stolen, up to specified limits.

Read your travel policy before you go so that you understand what you are covered for. Be aware of any limits on the value of possessions covered and any alcohol-related exclusions. Make sure that you take with you emergency contact details of your travel insurer.

Think security. Consider if you need to take valuables. Be vigilant for pick pockets who thrive in crowded places, and don’t leave your possessions unattended, especially in bars and restaurants. Make use of any hotel safe deposit boxes. And be aware of extra security precautions that will be in place.

If you are taking your car, contact your motor insurer to check that the scope of your UK cover will apply in France. While driving within the EU your UK motor policy will automatically cover you for the minimum legal requirement of the country you are driving in at no extra cost. This may not necessarily reflect the scope of your UK cover. Some insurers may automatically extend your comprehensive cover while abroad at no extra cost, while others may require an extra premium while you are driving abroad.

Check your home insurance if you will be away for all of the championships, as policies will often restrict the cover if your home is left unoccupied for more than a specified period, such as 30 days. If you have made arrangements for someone to regularly check your home, tell your insurer.