It is only when someone is unfortunate to fall ill or suffer an accident whilst travelling abroad that they come to realise just how cushioned and protected we are with our National Health System.
In the UK we do not have to pay for any treatment, and although we may moan about patient waiting lists, we do not have to worry about finding the money to pay for our operation, x-rays or blood tests.
This is not the case in many other parts of the World, and this is why the most important section of any travel insurance cover is Emergency Medical and Repatriation Expenses.
Falling ill unexpectedly, or suffering an accident is never a pleasant experience, but if you then find that you cannot make yourself understood by the medical team, or understand what they are saying to you, the experience becomes so much more traumatic. That is why Holidaysafe provides a doctor managed English speaking 24 hour emergency assistance helpline, which will liaise with the treating doctor, and explain what is happening to you in simple terms.
Of course there is then the stress of realising that you have to pay for your treatment, this can range from a few pounds to hundreds of thousands depending on your location and the treatment needed. Holiday medical and repatriation travel insurance will generally provide guarantees to the local hospitals and doctors for treatment that they have agreed is medically necessary, so relieving you of the worry of large medical bills.
In most cases travellers who require treatment whilst on holiday are treated as out patients, or require just a few days in hospital, and they are able to continue with their travel arrangements. However, occasionally, someone may require a longer stay in hospital which causes them to miss their return flight home. Once again holiday medical and repatriation insurance will cover the cost of getting them home once they are fit to travel.
These policies also cover the travel and ‘bed and breakfasts’ costs for one person to travel to, or remain with, and return home with someone who is hospitalised during their trip.
Finally in the event that a traveller is so ill, or seriously injured that they require immediate repatriation to the UK, the policy would cover the costs involved. An air ambulance from Greece or Spain would cost in the region of £25,000!
Not all travel insurance policies are the same, so it is important that you take time to read the small print so that you know what is, and what isn’t covered by the policy you are thinking of buying.
Some policies provide separate sums insured for medical expenses and repatriation costs, so you need to check that the combined sum insured to ensure that you have adequate protection.
Here are some pointers to look out for when considering buying a holiday medical and repatriation insurance policy.
- Does the policy include a minimum of £2m to cover emergency medical expenses and repatriation?
- Does the policy cover pre-existing medical conditions?
If you are thinking of taking part in an adventurous activity such as skiing, mountain climbing, safaris etc, check that the policy covers the cost of search and rescue
Once you have purchased your policy you will have 14 days in which to read it through and check that it covers your particular needs – however you should also ask yourself the following:
- Have I declared any medical conditions?
- Have I told the insurer about any hazardous (risky) activities that I am thinking of doing?
Holidaysafe has a range of cover options so that you can choose the level of cover you require to suit your budget.To find out more, and to check out our great prices, simply click on our Get a Quote button and then choose the type of policy you are looking for.