Many people decide to buy insurance when they travel overseas. However, when they travel to Europe, they may be less inclined to spend money on a policy, even if they always buy one when they go to another continent.
European travel insurance, provided by specialists such as Bengo Travel, can often be a very useful purchase. It is always your decision whether you want to take out insurance or not, and there is no legal requirement to have it. However, there are some good reasons why it may be useful for you.
The EHIC question
The big point of confusion often surrounds the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). Firstly, it is important to remember that the EHIC is a very good thing to take with you. It covers you for state healthcare to the same standard as that received by other citizens of the country, and is certainly worth packing seeing as it is free.
So what’s the problem?
The level of care may fall below what you expect. You will only receive the same level of care provided by the state to its own citizens, and this may be lower than you are used to.
In addition, medical repatriation is not covered, as explained on the Gov.uk website. This means if you end up bedridden in a hospital abroad, you may be stuck in the hospital without any way to get home. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the government will help you get home because they will not cover the cost.
Take an EHIC by all means because it is certainly worth having. You may even be able to enjoy certain benefits if you take one. For example, if you use it for part of your treatment, your insurer may remove the excess when you make a claim. However, do not assume that it is the same as a dedicated insurance policy.
Can medical care really cost that much?
In a word, yes. Medical care in some countries can be very expensive, especially when it comes to private healthcare. A broken arm or leg can cost thousands of pounds, and an operation could cost a lot more. If you need to be medically repatriated, the costs could reach tens of thousands of pounds.
Quite simply, many people simply do not have the funds to cover their own healthcare while they are in another country.
What’s the worst that can happen?
If you only go abroad for a day or a weekend, perhaps crossing the Channel to do some shopping, you may ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. But the truth is that it does not matter how long you are away for because accidents can happen any time.
If you are involved in a car accident, for example, you could end up in a coma or requiring an operation. It does not matter how long you go away for, the costs of your medical bills could still be huge. You could still end up stuck in a hospital and unable to go home even if you only went away for a short weekend break.
Do you want to risk it?
It is completely up to you whether you buy travel insurance or not. However, it is important to make sure you are aware of the risks. Don’t assume that nothing will go wrong on your trip. Find out whether it could be a good purchase for you, and then make a decision based on whether you want to take the risk or not.
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