I've got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and only plan to travel around the EU for the foreseeable future. I read another answer that quite nicely covered the details of what the EHIC covers, but I'd like to know if there's any reason to pay for additional travel insurance. If the EHIC gives me equal medical care as I would get in England, what's the point of paying more? Does travel insurance usually provide extra cover that an EHIC won't?
It depends on the terms of your travel insurance. Usually these insurances include some extras that are not covered by EHIC. Here is a non-exhaustive list of services they can offer, and that are not offered by the basic insurance:
If all these services are covered or if there are other elements covered, and to what extent the are covered, depends on the precise terms and conditions. Just read them or talk to your insurance broker. Or get into contact with a consumers' association if you want a more neutral point of view. Insurance regulations can differ from one country to another, even in the EU.
I have already called upon the services of such an insurance and I was happy to have it. When shit happens, the meter is running fast!
Often travel insurance is not just medical travel insurance but will cover general travel costs. Eg your flight is delayed and you want to book another relight / need to stay in a hotel, your hotel cancels your booking at the last minute and you need to book another hotel to stay in, your bags get lost in transit and you need to buy some new clothes etc. These are sort of things that an EHIC will not cover.
Additionally, travel medical insurance will probably allow you to see a private medical professional. The EHIC is just proof that you are entitled to the country 's public health system. This is not always the same as private medical cover. Eg if you have a major accident (break your arm) you might be able to go to a private hospital / clinic and be seen quicker, rather than waiting for hours in A&E, the travel medical might cover it. Travel medical insurance might cover repatriation, ie if you die, it will pay for the costs of sending your body back to your home country. I don't know if a EHIC will pay for that.