Travel News > August 2010 > Don't Take The Risk, Take Travel Insurance

Don't Take The Risk, Take Travel Insurance

01/08/2010 warns travellers not to make assumptions about the cover provided by the EHIC

The tragic news of a new bride lying paralysed in a Greek hospital after falling from her hotel balcony has tugged firmly at the UK's heartstrings. Donations have come from far and wide to help repatriate Carrie Dudbridge (nee Freeland) by air ambulance at an estimated cost of £16,000. Leading independent travel insurance specialist,, believes this serves as a sobering warning to other holidaymakers about the limitations of the EHIC.

The newlyweds, like many Brits heading abroad, wrongly believed their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was enough to cover them for anything going wrong on their trip. As the Foreign and Commonwealth office states on its website, the EHIC should be used with, not instead of, full travel insurance.

"The EHIC allows Brits access to medical treatment at the same cost as a resident in the country," explained Sarah Findlay, Online Marketing Manager at "This does not mean it will be free as not everywhere has a national health service like ours in the UK. Many countries will even charge if you need an ambulance. And repatriation to the UK is one thing the EHIC will never cover. As demonstrated in this case, repatriation is generally pretty expensive.

"In the case of the Dudbridge's, generous donations from the public are helping them to get home, but not everyone might be as lucky. This is certainly where travel insurance - which could cost as little as £16.95 for a couple travelling to Spain for a week in August - can really make life easier. Not only will the cost of any medical treatment, etc be covered, but all repatriation arrangements too where necessary, giving holidaymakers peace of mind that help is at hand every step of the way."

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