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Travel Insurance if I ignore FCO advice


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Provided my annual motor insurance and breakdown/recovery policies are still valid, and that my household contents policy still covers my belongings up to £3000 while I am away - and I must check all those .  What risks am I running if I go to France if I now cannot get  travel insurance and rely on an EHIC card for medical costs ?  

I can think of a few things - that EHIC does not cover full French medical costs, and that I might have to pay my own way back to UK in an emergency, but what else am I forgetting?  

Is tne absence of travel insurance a deal breaker ?

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If you were to have an accident and needed long term rehabilitation, you would be responsible for paying for your transport back to the UK and that could be costly if you needed to be accompanied by a medical team or needed special transport. 

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31 minutes ago, wortley said:

Provided my annual motor insurance and breakdown/recovery policies are still valid, and that my household contents policy still covers my belongings up to £3000 while I am away - and I must check all those .  What risks am I running if I go to France if I now cannot get  travel insurance and rely on an EHIC card for medical costs ?  

I can think of a few things - that EHIC does not cover full French medical costs, and that I might have to pay my own way back to UK in an emergency, but what else am I forgetting?  Is tne absence of travel insurance a deal breaker ?

The UK government has not yet advised against travel just that you must isolate when you get home.

The risk you run going into hospital in France is getting better treatment, better food and wine with your meals. You also get to learn some new French words for things like bedpan, painkiller, wheelchair etc.

 

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29 minutes ago, wortley said:

Is tne absence of travel insurance a deal breaker ?

Personal decision, I have just come back from Normandy and was happy to rely on EHIC.

I booked the crossing in May when the advice was not to travel. Generally to be insured both the time of booking and time of departure must be free of advice. I would not do it next year which is why I booked a couple of trips for next year when the advice was ok, however all insurances are different.

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5 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

The UK government has not yet advised against travel just that you must isolate when you get home.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to France (including Corsica). This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

Edited by David Williams
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2 minutes ago, David Williams said:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to France (including Corsica). This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Sorry, I should have said that essential travel is still allowed which means that the EHIC card is still valid. The UK government must have some way of allowing people to get back from Italy for instance.

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Personal decision, I have just come back from Normandy and was happy to rely on EHIC.

The EHIC only gives you basic cover. It wouldn't cover repatriation shouild you need it.

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16 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

The EHIC only gives you basic cover. It wouldn't cover repatriation shouild you need it.

Personal Decision, it also won't cover all costs, however it does cover most of them.

We should all judge the risks and consequences of everything we do & make up our own mind. 

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2 hours ago, BobCrox said:

Sorry, I should have said that essential travel is still allowed which means that the EHIC card is still valid. The UK government must have some way of allowing people to get back from Italy for instance.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridor

Private vehicles

You don’t need to self-isolate if you travel through a non-exempt country and you don’t stop in the country.

If you do make a stop, you don’t need to self-isolate if:

  • no new people get into the vehicle
  • no-one in the vehicle gets out, mixes with other people, and gets in again

You do need to self-isolate if you make a stop and:

  • new people get into the vehicle, or
  • someone gets out of the vehicle, mixes with other people and gets in again
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Personal Decision, it also won't cover all costs, however it does cover most of them.

We should all judge the risks and consequences of everything we do & make up our own mind. 

Forgive me if I say that from personal experience that sounds a little glib.It is easy to come unstuck big time through no fault of your own

Some years ago we were visiting the French Alps on a BF holiday in a lease car provided by my employers. Foreign travel was permitted as long as I took out RAC cover and we had travel insurance.

Whilst turning onto a country road near our Gite we were broadsided by a motorbike which came around a nearby bend at excessive speed and wrecked the nearside of the car. Fortunately none of my family were injured but the biker sustained a broken shoulder and other injuries. However, the biker's friends who appeared a minute or so later claimed to have witnessed the collision and said it was our fault although this was not in fact the case. The local Gendarmerie were inclined to believe their compatriots despite our statements to the contrary but after some difficult discussions and checking of documents, including driving licence and insurance, allowed us to leave. We were all pretty traumatised although thankfully physically OK but the subsequent arrival of the biker's family at our Gite in a rather vengeful mood didn't help things.

The RAC were magnificent. They arranged a hire car for the remainder of our stay (which was pretty much ruined) and we were able to use it to drive 800 miles  back to Ouistreham with as much stuff as we could salvage from our own car which had to be repatriated on a trailer. BF were great in arranging for us to return as foot passengers with our extra gear and at Portsmouth there was a Vauxhall Astra waiting for us to drive home although as it was rather smaller than the other cars it was a bit difficult to cram everything in. We've never been so glad to step aboard Normandie.

My employers handled the insurance claim from the biker as apparently we were automatically responsible under French law despite the collision being his fault. I never found out what the actual cost of the claim was but my employer's insurance guy told me it was a very large settlement. Our car when it arrived in the UK was repaired but never really the same again. Fortunately it wasn't mine.

The whole business was a pretty awful experience and if any of our party had been injured would have been an order of magnitude worse. As it was, the various insurances left us financially unscathed. Without them we would probably have been bankrupted.

So, ever since, we have made it mandatory to protect ourselves as much as possible when we travel abroad. I shudder when I read of the casual attitude of so many other travellers. If things go wrong when you are out of the UK then the consequences can be very expensive indeed and I really don't think people understand all the ramifications.

Here endeth today's lesson!

 

 

Edited by cvabishop
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In May last year I was in the Lot from 18th May until 26th. Fit as a fiddle climbing up to the Dolmans the works. Within a fortnight I was unable walk down the road without stopping for a rest and within a few days I was in dock with all sorts of talk about prognosis followed by an operation. Could have happened while I was in France? I asked. It could have happened at any time in the last two months was the reply. I wouldn't have fancied paying any of the costs that weren't covered by the EHIC - Mrs M worked in private health and knows what they would have been. (The cost of repatriation can be huge.) And underlying all other considerations is the old truth that if an insurer can find any way to repudiate a claim - they will. 

Edited by Millsy
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21 minutes ago, shar^k said:

Insurance is one of those things you think you don’t need, until the day comes that you do....

Insurance is about deciding what risks you are prepared to accept yourself.

I have annual worldwide travel insurance, however in these specific conditions I am prepared for it not to be valid, normal cover is :-

Cancellation or changes, not a problem as BF flexi ticket is flexible & I own the accommodation

Loss of luggage, it is either in my car or flat and both are insured.

Medical, this year I have an EHIC, next year is a worry.

Repatriation, as it is Normandy I am prepared to accept that risk
 

Re the  car, I have comprehensive insurance with green card, my bank account gives me decent European breakdown cover.
 

The key thing is to understand what is and is  not insured & make an appropriate decision, for some other UK insurances I choose a lower premium with a high excess, I am prepared for that risk.

However all this is an individual decision

 

 

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One of the reasons we aren’t travelling at the end of the month is due to the insurance not being valid , it’s turned out that buying the insurance was the only non refundable (in one way or another) expense of the holiday but still £25 well spent .

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Repatriation, as it is Normandy I am prepared to accept that risk

Proximity to the UK doesn't necessarily reduce repatriationcosts significantly either for an air ambulance  or transporting the car.

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16 minutes ago, wortley said:

Thanks to all for replies - it really does seem to repatriation in an emergency which is the main concern. 

I think that is covered under most situations as well, you would need to check your Insurance web site for your individual circumstances. 

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Things to consider....

When my wife fell down the stairs in France breaking her wrist and knee among other things and spent a week in hospital we discovered that the cost was £450 per week. Our local hospital costs £1200 per DAY!

For the ten days recovering at our French cottage we got a wheelchair on the claimable prescription.

Brittany Ferries were wonderful with a wheelchair to use to get to and from our cabin. Arriving at Plymouth and home there was no sodding help at all despite phoning ahead and asking for help. The NHS does not loan wheelchairs.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, BobCrox said:

Things to consider....

When my wife fell down the stairs in France breaking her wrist and knee among other things and spent a week in hospital we discovered that the cost was £450 per week. Our local hospital costs £1200 per DAY!

For the ten days recovering at our French cottage we got a wheelchair on the claimable prescription.

Brittany Ferries were wonderful with a wheelchair to use to get to and from our cabin. Arriving at Plymouth and home there was no sodding help at all despite phoning ahead and asking for help. The NHS does not loan wheelchairs.

 

 

 

The NHS arrange wheelchair loan through local welfare - they delivered to my home within 48hrs of my being discharged from hospital.  It possibly depends on the efficacy of the Care Trust where you live.

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Iam reading a lot about the ehic card,which I have used in the past,but will it stop after December this year because I have read nothing stating it will stop after December.or are some people surmising it will come to the end?i know some people will say if there is no agreement it will stop but will it?what is the official view of the uk on this? Or are we all,left in the dark yet again over this very important agreement.stay safe

Edited by nodwad
Wrong word
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4 minutes ago, nodwad said:

Iam reading a lot about the ehic card,which I have used in the past,but will it stop after December this year because I have read nothing stating it will stop after December.or are some people surmising it will come to the end?i know some people will say if there is no agreement it will stop but will it?what is the official view of the uk on this? Or are we all,left in the dark yet again overbthis very important agreement.stay safe

Half way down https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

 

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The EHIC card currently applies to non EU countries such as Sweden and Norway so it should be quite possible to carry on with it unless HMG choose to do something otherwise which is unfortunately entirely well within the realms of possibility given present levels of ministerial incompetence.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

The EHIC card currently applies to non EU countries such as Sweden and Norway so it should be quite possible to carry on with it unless HMG choose to do something otherwise which is unfortunately entirely well within the realms of possibility given present levels of ministerial incompetence.

Sweden is in the EU. Norway has a developed arrangement with the EU which isn't great but gets them the important things in return but we don't appear to want even that and the EHIC appears to be on the bonfire with everything else.

I have to say that list of things that will change on the gov.uk website is thorougly depressing.

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