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Do you need travel insurance if you're a resident of EU

The advent of the European Union has made travel throughout the region much easier and more enjoyable. An EU resident can feel safe and secure no matter where they wish to travel within the bounds of the Union.

However, many travellers, who are residents of European Union, wrongly assume that the EHIC Card is sufficient medical cover when travelling within the European Union. This is not the case. Although the card is designed to give travellers within the EU the same level of care as local residents - it does not cover any other costs. It would therefore not cover repatriation costs, or any additional accommodation and travel costs of your spouse or traveling companion.

Medical Necessity

Getting sick or injured in while on holiday is a real possibility because conditions in many regions are not the same as they are at home. According to the British Behaviour Abroad report 2013, Spain, Turkey and Greece are the three countries, in which the largest number of cases were reported due to its popularity among young people for their busy nightlife. Spain was also reported to be a country with a high number of road traffic incidents affecting tourists. Here are a few examples: €300 nose bleed in Greece, €1,200 broken arm in Italy.

Therefore, travel insurance will ensure the bearer has the means to withstand the financial difficulties inherent when faced with medical issues. Many EU residents believe that travelling with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will cover their need for Europe. However, available treatments can vary widely from country to country: EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare; some hospitals may 'block' holidaymakers from using their EHIC; the card may not be used in some regions, as there may be no state provided healthcare available.

Lost Items

The second most prominent reason that individuals need travel insurance is that theft is real and loss can occur no matter where in the world you are. There is always a worry that one will lose money and identification while on the trip and need some means of getting back home. Be extremely careful when driving your car in another country, or using a hired vehicle. Within the last years there have been quite a number of claims from people who have been robbed by organised gangs. Also, look out for distraction crime, particularly in crowded markets and tourist areas. There will always be opportunistic pickpockets and thieves in these areas, so be aware and be safe. Barcelona, Rome, Prague, Amsterdam, and Athens are in top of cities where you should attentively keep you eye on your wallet and passport. Also, be warned, EHIC will not cover lost or stolen property.

So, if you would like to cover electronic devices or valuables you take on a trip, you need to take out travel insurance. This can also cover the money that an individual takes with them on a trip also. Since losing money is one of the most common occurrences while travelling abroad, all people travelling outside of their home country need to insure the money they wish to bring.


What an EHIC certainly won't do is provide emergency repatriation if you're injured or taken ill. Getting back home in the event of an emergency isn't cheap without insurance and often far exceed the cost of the medical treatment. For example, it will cost £12 - 18,000 for an air ambulance from the Greek Islands to Great Britain.

Extra Covers Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is available to travellers to cover any problem that may arise. For example, if you are embarked on a cruise, there is coverage if the vacationer misses some portion of the cruise through no fault of their own. Golfers can add coverage for prepaid greens fees, golf equipment and even insure against weather events. Adventure activities extensions will cover you if you are going to participate in any hazardous pursuits, activity sports, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, sky diving, skiing, snowboarding, etc.

We always think "it will never happen to me" and the last thing you want to think about is what can go wrong? A good piece if advice is to get acquainted yourself with the different laws and customs of the countries you will be visiting and to take precautions.

If you're travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland make sure you get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which may entitle you to some but not all emergency care - but you will still need travel insurance to pay for costs not covered by the EHIC, additional travel costs and repatriation.

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