Brexit has cast huge doubt on the validity of travel insurance policies and Britons’ potential to access free healthcare abroad. Should a no deal Brexit play out, a situation which is becoming a little less likely after a motion tabled by the Labour Party to take control of parliamentary procedures, a host of protections UK residents are entitled to abroad would be scrapped. This includes the EHIC card, available free of charge to al Britons heading to the Eurozone. Currently EHIC, which is of credit card size and blue in colour, is issued free of charge and allows residents of the UK to receive medical treatment in another member state free or at a reduced cost.
Yet new research has revealed many travellers are not taking the most simple of insurance protections with the EHIC card when they venture overseas.
A study by Columbus Direct shared with Express.co.uk shows three quarters of UK holidaymakers don’t even know if their EHIC is valid.
Around 50 per cent of travellers are confused about whether EHIC will be valid when Britain leaves the EU.
In the most shocking finding, two million people have allowed their EHIC to expire ahead of the Brexit departure date, of October 31.
This diary date could still be subject to change, with Labour attempting to take control of parliamentary matters, yet prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would favour being found “dead in a ditch” than asking the EU for an extension.
Stuart Lloyd, Travel Insurance Expert at Columbus Direct, said: “Political uncertainty has understandably left consumers confused about what protection they’ll have when travelling to the EU in the coming months. “The confusion will continue until we have clarity around the UK’s exit from the EU.
“To protect yourself, make sure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place, as well as an up to date EHIC.
“Having both means you will be covered in almost all situations and will protect you from the costs that the EHIC wouldn’t cover such as flight cancellations or baggage losses.
“And, renewing your EHIC is free, so giving yourself a safety net on top of insurance is a no-brainer.
“Your EHIC could well be valid beyond 31st October given the current political situation.”
Those travelling post October 31, when the UK is set to leave the EU, are currently in the dark as to what medical costs will await.
Yet there is still time for those travelling in the coming weeks to renew their EHIC card.
Columbus Direct has insisted the process is “free and easy to do online”.
It has stated Brits should check the expiry date at the right hand corner of their card as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile the Brexit political turmoil has seen the pound surge to its highest levels in six weeks, in happier new for holidaymakers.
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