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What would a No Deal Brexit mean for my travel insurance?

Patrick Christys
Mar 12, 2019

Brexit. We can't move for Brexit. Everywhere you go it's Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. The B-word.

But if you're going on holiday it's actually a very important word, because Brexit might seriously affect your travel insurance.

Studies show that around one in four Brits would consider going abroad without insurance, which is never advisable, but it could cost you even more if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which ensured British citizens receive healthcare while travelling Europe, could potentially no longer be valid in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

But, no matter whether there's a deal or not, it's important to know that some medical issues are covered and some aren't on the continent, which is why it's not a good substitute for travel insurance. 

In some cases, the cost of medical care could surge tenfold.

For example, in France, the cost of having your appendix out could increase from £400 to £4,000, based on someone who currently has an EHIC but no travel insurance.

Admiral Insurance also looked into some other cases, and revealed that potential costs for medical escorted repatriation to the UK could be £5,000, an ambulance call-out could be £300, while a simple painkiller prescription could reach £150 under a no-deal scenario.

Treatment for food poisoning, for example, which is currently free for uninsured travellers from the UK with a valid EHIC card in many EU countries, could end up costing £2,000.

Cosmin Sarbu, head of travel at Admiral, said: 'It's possible that if the UK is faced with a no-deal scenario we could see the cost of medical treatment go up considerably for those without insurance.'

He said that having travel insurance in place could potentially save travellers 'a huge amount of money'. 

Malcolm Tarling, a spokesman for the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said people should shop around for the best travel insurance deal to suit their needs.

He said: 'Deal or no-deal Brexit, it remains vital to have travel insurance.

'Needing emergency overseas medical treatment can already mean eye-watering medical bills, and any loss of the European Health Insurance Card could push medical costs up even more.

'This will make travel insurance even more important to have than it already is, so shop around for the best deal for your needs.' 

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