Buying a timeshare resale can be an exciting prospect, especially if you got a great deal. If you are travelling in Europe make sure that you take out adequate insurance and apply for an EHIC card before you travel.

What is an EHIC card?

A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) ensures you have access to reduced-cost or free state medical treatment in European member countries. It is not a replacement for taking out travel insurance, and does not cover all of the same aspects that an insurance policy would, but it is still an invaluable card to have on your travels, especially if you own timeshare and travel regularly. The EHIC card replaces the old E111 card.

What does it cover?

The card will cover you for the costs of state medical treatment as a result of an accident or illness, and also covers pre-existing medical conditions. If you do have to pay for some medical expenses, it may be possible to claim a refund on your return from Europe.

It will not cover you for any private treatment that you have overseas, and it will not necessarily cover you for everything that would normally be free on the NHS. The EHIC card will also not cover you for repatriation back home if you suffer a serious accident or illness. It also does not cover you for a variety of other unforeseen events that may occur on holiday, such as theft or damage to your property, cancellation or delays. That is why it is still crucial to make sure you take out an adequate travel insurance policy on top of having the EHIC card.

Which countries accept the EHIC card?

The EHIC card is valid in the European Economic Area. This covers countries within the European Union, but also includes Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechenstein. Some countries not covered by the card may still have reciprocal medical arrangements with the UK, where you can get reduced-cost medical treatment, such as Australia, New Zealand and Croatia.

How much does it cost?

It is free to apply for an EHIC card if you use the official government website. There are some companies that can supply the card but will charge you for arranging this. Once you have got your card, it is valid for five years. If your card is about to expire, make sure to renew it before your next timeshare holiday.

Can anyone apply?

You have to be over the age of 16 to apply for an EHIC card, and you need to be residing in the UK. Each person will need to apply – you can not have family members on the same card. Parents or guardians of a child under the age of 19 can apply for them, which can normally be done on the same application form, although each recipient will get their own card.