TV money-saving expert Martin Lewis has urged people booking their summer holidays this January to get travel insurance now and avoid a common pitfall.
In his latest Money Saving Expert subscriber newsletter, the personal finance guru stressed the importance of sorting out your insurance early on and not putting it off until the last minute or allowing it to be neglected altogether.
“Every spring someone asks me a heartbreaking question,” he told his readers. “Usually they’ve been diagnosed with cancer or some other serious condition that requires long-term treatment and they can’t go on summer vacation.
“Yet the airline won’t refund them – within their rights as the ticket is not faulty.
“I say, ‘That’s what travel insurance is for.’ However, sometimes they tell me that they haven’t managed to get it yet.
“My heart sinks when I have to tell them there is no recourse. Half the purpose of the cover is to protect you when things happen that stop you, so buy it ASAB – As Soon As You Book.”
He also advised his fans to make sure they were in possession of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or its replacement, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) before leaving, as these entitle the holder to receive medical treatment in state hospitals and GP practices across the country Europe for the same price as a local.
The GHIC was a last-minute element of the Brexit trade deal to continue mutual health care between the UK and the EU.
The agreement includes medically necessary treatments such as kidney dialysis, oxygen therapy and chemotherapy, allowing people with chronic conditions to continue to travel.
Rather than continue membership in the Ehic scheme, the UK’s voted exit from the European Union means British travelers will only be able to access free or discounted medical treatment in the EU27 – not in the associated countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
A separate agreement has been reached with Norway.
Holders of a valid Ehic do not need to apply for the new card as the European document remains in force until its expiry date. Both cards offer equivalent protection for emergency and medically necessary healthcare during temporary stays in the EU, including holiday, study and business trips.
The card is available free of charge by telephone (0300 330 1350) or at nhs.uk/Ghic.
After a Christmas break after topping the festive charts with a charity single he recorded with LadBaby, Martin Lewis is getting back to his usual media blitz, recently advising audiences on various platforms on how to save money on cinema tickets, broadband and water bills.