More than one-in-five respondents to the survey admitted that they wouldn’t take out travel insurance for a one or two-week holiday in Europe. For a European weekend getaway, the figure rises to an astonishing 41 per cent.
New research commissioned by the Nationwide Building Society has revealed shocking figures regarding the number of British holidaymakers who are willing to travel to Europe without insurance.
Alarmingly, more than one-in-five respondents to the survey admitted that they wouldn’t take out travel insurance for a one or two-week holiday in Europe. For a European weekend getaway, the figure rises to an astonishing 41 per cent.
A probable explanation for this complacency is the fact that Britons visiting European Union countries without travel insurance are still entitled to free or reduced cost medical treatment if they are in possession of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
However, the EHIC will not cover private medical expenses or the cost of being repatriated to the UK in the event of an emergency. It also offers no protection against the theft or loss of property, or the cost of a delayed return home. Tourists are taking a huge risk by not travelling with both an EHIC and valid travel insurance for the duration of their holiday.
Leading providers of EHIC application services, Europe EHIC Services, has expressed its horror at the survey’s findings and stressed that being in possession of an EHIC while on holiday in Europe is no substitute for having valid travel insurance.
A spokesman for the company said: “These figures are truly shocking and indicate the scale of misinformation that still exists regarding the EHIC.
“It is undoubtedly an essential item for any holiday within the EU because it entitles the owner to free or reduced cost medical treatment, but under no circumstances does this mean that tourists should think they no longer need travel insurance.
“The cost of things like mountain rescue and repatriation to the UK in the event of a medical emergency can run into thousands and thousands of pounds and the EHIC offers no cover for this. It is also similarly ineffective at providing protection against the loss or theft of property and the cost of delayed return home, for example, so this is why a comprehensive travel insurance policy remains of paramount importance for anyone going on holiday to Europe, or anywhere else for that matter,” he added.
Europe EHIC Services Limited helps people travelling to Europe with attaining a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), freely available from the NHS. European EHIC Services Limited assists in completing your application for an EHIC, ensuring that there are no errors or missing elements within the application. The card can only be used within the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.