Travel insurance is essential for any tourist. Even though we hope we never need to use it, it is important to be covered in the event of an emergency on holiday. Nobody wants to think about what might go wrong when travelling but it is always the best policy to be prepared. Insurance will cover for any cancellations, losses or theft etc. The EHIC works great in conjunction with it and will cover any public medical treatment required due to accident or illness. But not everybody is sure about when to apply for an EHIC or take out insurance.
Applying for you EHIC
The European Health Insurance Card is the replacement for the old E111 form and is really easy to apply for online. Each person travelling will need his or her own valid EHIC to be able to access public medical care throughout Europe on the same basis as a resident of the country they’re visiting. Any UK resident aged over 16 can apply for their own card. However, a parent or guardian will need to apply on behalf of any children under the age of 16. To apply you will be required to give basic personal details such as name and address as well as the NHS numbers for each member of the family. NHS numbers can be given to you by your doctor. Even though the application process is easy, it is important to apply well in advance of travelling. It is estimated on the EHIC website to take 7 working days for the application to go through and a card be sent out. However, during peak periods this could be longer. Remember that EHICs are valid for 5 years and will need to be renewed after this period, again, do this well in advance of travelling.
Commencement Date of Policy
The EHIC should not be used as a substitute for private travel insurance, so make sure to take out additional insurance to cover you on holiday. But when should your policy start from? Many tourists when taking out travel insurance policies choose the date they travel as the date they want their cover to start. However, this is taking a slight risk, as not every scenario will be covered. One of the most common reasons for claiming on travel insurance is for holiday changes or cancellations due to illness of either the policyholder or a member of the family. This can cause huge problems if the coverage doesn’t start until the day you’re supposed to leave for your holiday, as you won’t be able to claim under these circumstances. It is best to select the day you book up your holiday for the policy coverage to start to ensure you get the best benefit.
Exclusions and Non-Standard Cases
Of course, applying for any travel insurance should be done well in advance of the holiday but this is especially important for anyone who may need specialist travel insurance. This could be for reasons such as having certain medical needs or those going on an extreme sports holiday. You will need to do some shopping around to find the best deal and coverage for you, which will take time. By getting sorted early you can enjoy some great peace of mind.