A traveler should have both travel insurance and an EHIC card, as they both complement each other and performs various functions. It's not mandatory of course, but highly recommended to have both, because if during the trip something happens to your health, you will receive both medical assistance and financial support for the expenses incurred.
In it's full name the EHIC is the European Health Insurance Card. This card only works in the European Union Member States. It is an information document certifying that that you are a citizen of the European Union (the same does you passport of course) and are entitled to the same amount and quality of emergency medical care and healthcare as the nationals. EHIC will not cover your expenses, it will guarantee the receipt of the service.
Travel insurance, on the other hand, will help you financially. Once you have returned home and collected all the checks for medical expenses abroad, travel insurance will cover them.
Let's give one extreme example of the interaction between these two insurance instruments.
You have a wonderfull holiday on the French Apls skiing or snowboarding. One small mash, your legs slip, skis get out of control, no brakes possible and followed by a long fall. The next thing you see is smiling doctors in the hospital. While you were unconscious, with a movie worthy rescue mission you are taken of the mountain in a helicopter you are quickly taken to the nearest hospital, where you received an emergency medical care. Doctors prevented life threatening injuries, performed examinations, manipulations and now with a plastered leg, and a fixed neck you sit on the couch with gerat view of the mountain you just recently were on. The costs of the services received are significant. Helicopter ride alone at least several thousand euros and other services received in the hospital around at least few hundred more. The EHIC card guaranteed you, as an EU citizen, that you would receive the same amount of assistance as a French citizen, while The insurance will cover the costs of the services received at the medical institution.
Travel insurance policy risk coverage is very important. If you go on a short trip by land with your car, then you can buy the policy in a narrower coverage, without airline coverage, which makes the policy cheaper. If the journey is longer and with a flight or multiple flights, luggage or sports equipment with you, it is important to choose the appropriate coverage in order to get your money back for unexpected expenses.
A travel insurance policy is divided into several risks which compensate:
If you plan to engage in sports activities during the trip, you must notify your insurance specialist, as your specific sport may not be included in the chosen insurance program and needs to be upgarded.
Insurers usually have several options for travel insurance programs. They differ in the coverage of risks, ie what exactly the insurance policy will cover and to what extent. The higher the limits, the higher the reward (of course, no more than you actually spent).
You can read more about travel insurance and its usefulness in the following article 5 Reason to Buy Travel Insurance. Have a safe trip!