The last thing you want is for something to go wrong while you’re on holiday. But if it does, it’s important to know what to do in order for things to be taken care of as smoothly as possible.
What To Do In An Emergency
Make sure that you take your Travel Insurance Documents with you. We would say that wouldn’t we, but they’ll be invaluable if you need to contact anyone in an emergency or provide proof of insurance.
Make sure that if you are visiting one of the countries that accept the European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) that this is available and that you seek treatment within the local state system. This will provide Emergency Medical Treatment but does not replace travel insurance which provides other benefits such as medical repatriation or evacuation.
Urgent Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing a true medical emergency abroad, seek local help immediately. Many people forget that 999 (or 911) is not a global phone number, and that even the 112 mobile emergency number doesn’t cover every country even though it is in widespread use in Europe. Before you reach your destination, be sure to memorize the local emergency phone number and know how to seek emergency help.
Non-Urgent medical treatment
If your situation isn’t urgent, but still needs medical attention, you can take a few moments to find a referral to a local provider. If you have a travel insurance policy, you have a phone number to call for these instances. Available 24/7, our assistance provider can help you find quality local medical care. If you do not have such a resource available to you, check with a hotel concierge or other knowledgeable local. Not all hospitals, clinics and physicians are the same, and it’s important to find the best one for your condition.
It’s also important to understand your insurance coverage.
In some cases, medical treatment may not be as expensive as it is in your home country. But in others, an unexpected emergency can cost thousands of pounds that may need to be paid out-of-pocket. (A cardiac case in the USA? About the cost of an average house in the UK)
A hospital may refuse treatment or hold you for discharge unless they receive payment upfront. Understanding how your travel insurance works can ease a lot of concerns when coping with a medical emergency.
Finally, if you have travel insurance, be aware of the benefits before you leave on your trip. If you’re hospitalised, you may be able to have a family member come visit you. If you need to be moved to a different hospital for better quality of care, this may be covered as well. If you need a translator to speak with the medical staff, you may be able to access one. There are many benefits that are included in a travel insurance policy that you may not be aware of prior to needing them.