Overseas Medical Emergencies: Are Your Clients Prepared?

By Dan Drennen, Director, Travel

  • Originally published March 18, 2013 , last updated April 27, 2016
Overseas Medical Emergencies: Are Your Clients Prepared?

In a medical emergency at home I think most of us know what to do. Call 911, go to the hospital, receive a diagnosis, get treatment, possible visits from family and friends, go home and wait for your insurance coverage explanation of benefits to arrive.

But if your clients were overseas and a medical emergency occurred how confident would they be in that scenario? I think they could do fairly well in a relatively sophisticated city but what if they were on a tour in a rural or remote area, say Machu Picchu, what would they do then? This is where having a travel insurance policy can really pay off.

One call to their travel insurance worldwide collect emergency assistance phone number will get the ball rolling in their favor. Wouldn’t it be nice to travel knowing that someone “has their back” from the time they leave home until the time they return? Someone who will bridge language barriers, arrange for medical transportation, reassure medical facilities that they have insurance, contact family members, and if necessary, arrange a medical air ambulance to bring them to a facility near their residence.

At the United States Travel Insurance Association (USTIA) meeting last year in Phoenix several assistance providers flew in their emergency medical aircraft for the association members to tour. The USTIA has posted a new 3 ½ minute video this week called Medical Evacuation: An Insider’s View. Check it out.