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Britons travel to Spain more than any other country but, without travel insurance, they could be in real financial difficulty if they need medical treatment and just rely on their European Health Insurance Card warns American Express Insurance Services. 
 
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK residents to free or reduced cost healthcare depending on the country they are visiting, but unlike a travel insurance policy the EHIC will never cover holiday cancellation, curtailment or repatriation.
 
American Express Insurance Services reminds Britons that whilst carrying the EHIC in France  - Britons’ second most popular holiday destination - anyone needing medical attention will save on average over 80% on the cost of their medical bills, however, in Spain it is usually only 10-20%. The deficit is the personal responsibility of any traveller not covered by adequate travel insurance.
American Express Insurance Services recently polled 10,000 customers about their holidays.  The EHIC has been in existence since January 2006 yet 16% of respondents had never heard of it and only one in five knew which countries were covered by EHIC scheme.
 
The EHIC offers free or reduced cost healthcare depending on which country visited in Europe. Holidaymakers need to ensure they are adequately insured before travelling.   In France recently, an American Express insurance customer fell fracturing her leg. 
 
Although the European Health Insurance Card provided cover for 80% of the medical bill, there was still £700 of charges outstanding which were fortunately covered by the customer’s American Express travel insurance policy. A similar accident in Spain travelling with an EHIC but without travel insurance could cost in excess of £1,500.
 
Joanne Field, Marketing Manager, American Express Insurance Services “The most comprehensive protection on holiday is a good insurance policy that covers you for delay, theft, loss and medical emergencies.  We would encourage everyone to carry the EHIC but recognise it is not a substitute for comprehensive, quality travel insurance – especially in Spain despite it being the most popularly visited destination by Brits.”

Countries covered by European Health Insurance Card.

 
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus (but not Northern Cyprus)
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta 
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Travel Health insurance: News update: 09/11/2007