Survey reveals Brits in the dark about the end of the European Health Insurance card

According to a recent study by travel insurance provider battleface, over a third (35%) of Brits admitted they were not aware that European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will become invalid from the 31st December when the UK ends the Brexit transition period.  This increases to 40% amongst those aged 18-34.  Adding to this, a staggering 50% are not aware what an EHIC card provides.

The EHIC currently entitles British citizens to state-provided medical treatment if they become ill or have an accident while in an EU country. UK-issued EHICs will no longer be valid after 1 January 2021. The UK government has said people must buy travel insurance with healthcare cover instead, before travelling to the EU.

The study of 2,000 UK adults between 24th and 25th November exploring future trends in travel insurance by Opinium Research also looked into the reasons behind booking travel insurance.

Respondents were asked to select their top three priorities when booking travel insurance.  The findings revealed:

  • The top priority is cover for general medical expenses (56%)
  • Other priorities include:
    • Cover for trip cancellations (48%)
    • Being returned home in the event of an emergency (42%)
    • Cover for Covid-19 medical expenses (42%)
    • Loss of luggage (28%)

Hugh King, Director of Business Development, UK & Europe battleface comments, “For anyone travelling to the EU beyond January 1st, 2021, we would encourage them to have the necessary emergency medical cover before embarking on a trip. One of the principal reasons for purchasing travel insurance is to ensure protection against significant overseas costs incurred in the event of a medical emergency. This is going to become even more important post Brexit.”