Does your gap year checklist include an EHIC card?
Believe it or not, staying safe is just as important as having fun. If you plan on spending your summer or gap year travelling throughout the continent with friends, sailing the Croatian seas or hiking the mountains of France, you will want to know you are safe to do so, in order to relax and enjoy your trip.
What’s the big deal?
You’ve no doubt heard the horror stories. Someone has a motorbike, car or water sports accident while travelling with friends and they have to club together to fork out an extortionate amount for medical treatment. Well, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a document that entitles you to free or reduced cost medical assistance whilst you are abroad.
Without it, you may have to pay for emergency treatment, or, in worst case scenarios, be sent home to take up treatment in the United Kingdom. An EHIC card will prevent your trip from being costly, complicated – or, worse still – cut short.
How does it work?
Every single member of your party needs to have a valid EHIC card in their possession. If your friend has a fall while exploring Iceland, Cyprus or anywhere else within Europe, they will not be supported by your cover and will, therefore, need to pay for their medical treatment themselves.
Do I really need an EHIC?
Please do not underestimate the trauma having accidents abroad can have on a trip. Not only are they emotionally draining and worrying for all involved, but they raise financial concerns, too, so protect yourself, just in case. It is worth noting that once you have registered with us, your card is valid for up to five years and can be used to redeem medical attention as required on any trips you might have before it is up for renewal.
For complete peace of mind, in addition to your usual dose of travel insurance, ensure you apply for or renew your EHIC card when planning your big adventure. With an EHIC card, you are free to indulge in Pastel de Nata on a rooftop in Porto or a Bratwurst on the back of a bike in Berlin while resting peacefully in the knowledge you are safe and covered to do so.