Post-Brexit Holidays: UK holidaymakers could face huge medical bills when travelling to Europe
logo

Do you need travel insurance for your upcoming holiday? Take a look at our comparison table >

EHIC cards give UK residents that are holidaying in the EU access to healthcare at the same costs as local residents, this generally means that healthcare is free. But with EHIC cards becoming a thing of the past, UK nationals that don’t have travel insurance will be left to foot the bill for any treatment they receive whilst in the EU.

As of January 1 2021, it will be more paramount than ever before to ensure you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy before going on holiday. According to Compare by Review data from January 2020, a staggering 16% of people don’t purchase travel insurance when they go abroad. And whilst many people would have had some security in knowing that they could rely on their EHIC card if the worst were to happen, this will no longer be an option.

The EU is the most popular destination for UK holidaymakers with over 66 million trips taken in 2019. So, just how much will it cost you to get treatment for an accident in Europe? Admiral has created an eye-opening tool to show you the true cost of getting treatment without an EHIC card and the figures are enough to shock anyone into buying travel insurance post-Brexit. According to their data, treatment for a heart attack or heart bypass in any European country will cost you a minimum of £25,000 rising to £32,000. The majority of people don’t have this amount of money saved away ready to pay out in one lump sum unexpectedly. Even treatment for food poisoning, one of the most common illnesses that Brits suffer abroad will cost you at least £1,500 without an EHIC card.

The government’s latest campaign “UK’s new start, let’s get going” will be advising businesses and individuals on how to prepare for the departure from the single market customs union on the 31st of December 2020. The tagline, ‘Check, Change, Go’ will drive people to a new government online checker tool to direct them to what steps to take before they travel to the EU.

So what does this mean for the future of travel insurance after Brexit? This campaign will educate and highlight the importance of well-bought travel insurance and not purely relying on the EU EHIC card. Not only will this reduce the number of people travelling with no cover at all, but it will also reduce the number of claims that are dismissed due to the policyholder not being clear on the details of the policy they purchased. Compare by Review has always championed providers who offer exceptional customer service and this campaign strengthens this message. The public will rely far more on reviews of suppliers and policies, with service and quality being a high factor during the decision-making journey. Our opinion is that costs will rise and prices of policies will increase but in return for these price hikes, insurers will have to provide a far stronger and customer-focused approach. When it comes to insurance, we think the service on offer will outweigh the price of a policy when it comes to making a final decision. In light of recent uncertainty, there’s pressure on us all to buy right. Buy cheap, buy twice, and in these current times many of us would agree that quality over-rules price.

As well as comprehensive insurance being a must, the government is also advising that your passport should be valid for six months and that you should check your mobile phone roaming costs with your provider. Pets are also being highlighted in this new campaign with owners being advised that all pets being taken on a trip should be checked by a vet four months prior to your destination for them to make the necessary steps. These new rules may also influence your pet insurance so it’s wise to check your policy before you travel and to make sure your animal is covered abroad.

This new guidance is a welcomed one within the industry. By highlighting the importance of exceptional cover, we hope it will weed out travel insurance policies that are lacking in detail, clarity and honesty.

 

Comparing travel insurance providers

We champion great service, that’s why we rank insurance providers based on customer experience and product quality, rather than price. We believe that cheap travel insurance isn’t necessarily the best travel insurance, you need a policy from an insurer that will be there for you should you need to make a claim. Here are our top three travel insurance providers:

1st

Review Score

9.7

based on 414 reviews

Single trip quote

£13.09

Annual trip quote

£61.20

Medical cover limit

£10m

Cancellation cover limit

£5k

World First offers single trip policies for anyone aged up to 100 and they can provide you with cover for trips up to 12 months away.

2nd

Review Score

9.6

based on 258 reviews

Single trip quote

£14.03

Annual trip quote

£105.29

Medical cover limit

£10m

Cancellation cover limit

£5k

Insurancewith cover over 5,000 pre-existing conditions and there's no upper age limit for single trip policies.

3rd

Review Score

9.4

based on 4526 reviews

Single trip quote

£9.98

Annual trip quote

£60.50

Medical cover limit

No limit

Cancellation cover limit

£7.5k

Avanti Travel Insurance offers 15 months for the price of 12 when you purchase an annual travel insurance policy.