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  2. Age Limits and Age Group Definitions
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  5. General Cover
  6. Health
  7. Payment
  8. Product Information
  9. Sports and Activities
  10. Wintersports/Ski

What is an EHIC or GHIC?

EHIC stands for European Health Insurance Card, and GHIC stands for Global Health Insurance Card. Both are free and you should only use the official NHS website to apply -

The EHIC or GHIC entitles you to free or discounted state-provided, medically necessary healthcare as if you were a resident in the country you’re visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care. In some cases, if you use your EHIC/GHIC, certain insurers might waive the excess on your travel insurance policy.

At present, you can use the card in any country in the EEA and Switzerland, although the GHIC may become valid in more countries in the future - please check the NHS website before you travel.

More information can be found under our FAQ ‘Do I need to take my EHIC or GHIC card on holiday?’.

Where do I get one?

You can apply online at, or if you prefer you can call the NHS on 0300 330 1350. Each person will need their own card, including members of the same family. Please note that EHIC/GHICs are only valid for 5 years, so it’s worth checking whether it’s in date before you travel.

Do I still need travel insurance?

It is still worth considering travel insurance, as the EHIC/GHIC does not provide an alternative to it. There is no protection with one of these cards for repatriation, mountain rescue in ski resorts, or lost/stolen property. The EHIC/GHIC is also not valid if you are going on a cruise.

For all the latest travel advice please visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Travel Aware website, which provides more helpful hints and tips for travelling safely abroad -

Related FAQs

  1. How do I make a claim in the event of poor weather?
  2. Am I covered for disruption due to natural disasters?
  3. Am I covered for travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash incident?
  4. Am I covered to drive abroad?
  5. Can I cancel my policy if it does not meet my needs?
  6. Can I extend an individual trip policy from abroad?
  7. Can I increase the personal possessions limit?
  8. Can my family travel independently on an annual policy?
  9. Can we be insured as a couple on the same annual policy?
  10. Do you cover cruises?
  11. Do you provide cover for Scheduled Airline Failure?
  12. How do I get adequate liability cover for driving in USA?
  13. How do you define UK resident?
  14. How many days can I be abroad on an annual policy?
  15. How much are my golf clubs insured for?
  16. Is it possible to extend the trip limit on the annual policies?
  17. Is the cover per person or per policy?
  18. Is there an excess?
  19. Should I contact you each time I travel on my annual policy?
  20. What is the EHIC?
  21. Should I take an EHIC card?
  22. What does a single or individual trip mean?
  23. What if my Travel Agent is forcing me to take their insurance?
  24. What if my travel plans are affected by extreme weather conditions?
  25. What if the staff from the airline I am travelling with go on strike or threaten industrial action?
  26. What is the single article limit?
  27. Can I cover my gadgets whilst abroad?
  28. When is travel insurance necessary?
  29. When does travel insurance need to be purchased?
  30. Am I covered if there were to be a terror related attack?

Need help?

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UK Emergency Assistance

Direct Travel (Allianz) - 01444 465 553 

AllSafe (Allianz) - 01444 465 553

Fit2Travel (Arch) - 01243 621 501

Freespirit (Canopius) - 0203 819 7170

Goodtogo (Red Sands) - 01444 465 573

Available 24 hours a day, every day.