Travelling to Europe for a holiday or weekend city break? The old E111 form was phased out in 2005 so you'll need to make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles UK residents to free medical care in EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland for the duration of your trip.
Its one of the easiest mistakes to make but the EHIC will not effectively cover all your medical expenses while away. Yes, it does entitle holders to free medical treatment, but only state-provided emergency treatment is covered and you will receive treatment on the same terms as nationals of the country you are visiting.
The problem is that when accidents happen, it’s often a case of getting to the nearest healthcare unit, as fast as you can. If that place is private, you will have to pay up.
The EHIC won't cover you if getting medical care is the main reason for your trip or for repatriation (getting the patient back home to the UK). If you've had a bad accident or are seriously ill, these costs could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Compare that with the cost of Direct Line travel insurance. Our single trip and annual travel policies cover medical expenses abroad up to the value of £10 million, plus full repatriation costs, 24-hour Medical Emergency Assistance, optional sports and activities cover, with extra discounts for families. It's worth having travel insurance for peace of mind while you're away.
The quickest way to get a new EHIC is to apply online at Eurpean health card with delivery of your card within seven days by calling the EHIC Applications line on 0300 330 1350, it will take up to 10 days; while filling in a pack at the Post Office and writing off can take 21 days.
4 ways to know before you go…
You'll find more details of Direct Line travel insurance policies on this website including single trip, annual travel cover and our Discoverer policy for longer trips. Buy our travel insurance online, and you'll receive an extra discount.