TV money-saving expert Martin Lewis has urged people booking their summer holidays this January to act now on travel insurance and avoid a common pitfall.
Writing in his latest Money Saving Expert subscriber newsletter, the personal finance guru stressed the importance of sorting your insurance early and not leaving it to the last minute or allowing it to become neglected altogether.
“Each spring without fail, someone asks me a heartbreaking question,” he told his readers. “Usually they’ve been diagnosed with cancer or another serious condition that needs long-term treatment, and they won’t be able to go on their summer holiday.
“Yet the airline won’t refund them – within its rights as the ticket is not faulty.
“I say, ‘That’s what travel insurance is for’. Sometimes though, they tell me they haven’t got round to getting it yet.
“My heart sinks as I have to tell them there’s no recourse. Half the point of the cover is to protect you if things happen that stop you going, so get it ASAB – As Soon As You Book.”
He also advised his fans to ensure they have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or its replacement, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), before they depart, as these permits entitle you to medical treatment in state-run hospitals and GPs practises across Europe for the same price as a local.
The GHIC was a last-minute element of the Brexit trade agreement to continue reciprocal healthcare between the UK and the EU.
The deal includes medically necessary treatment such as kidney dialysis, oxygen therapy and chemotherapy – allowing people with chronic conditions to continue to travel.
But rather than continuing with membership of the Ehic scheme, the UK’s chosen departure from the European Union means British travellers will have access to free or reduced-rate medical treatment only in the EU27 – not the associated countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
A separate agreement has been reached with Norway.
Anyone who has a valid Ehic need not apply for the new card, as the European document will continue in effect until its expiry date. Both cards will offer equivalent protection for emergency and medically necessary health care when in the EU on a temporary stay, which includes holiday, study and business travel.
The card is available free of charge by phone (0300 330 1350) or from nhs.uk/Ghic.
Following a Christmas break after topping the festive charts with a charity single he recorded with LadBaby, Martin Lewis is back on his customary media blitz, recently advising his audiences across various platforms on how to save money on cinema tickets, broadband and water bills.