Travel Insurance for the Unexpected Medical Emergency

Planning a trip doesn’t usually include planning for things to go awry.  Most people envision picturesque views, adventurous excursions, and relaxing by the pool, but an unexpected medical situation is an example of how travel insurance helps during an emergency.

This type of situation was the case for a family traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands.  As Sara Ganim wrote for CNN today, the family was allegedly sickened by a pesticide at a resort.Medical Helicopter Landing

“Steve Esmond, his teenage sons and the teens’ mother fell ill more than two weeks ago in St. John, where they were renting a villa at the Sirenusa resort.

The family was airlifted to hospitals in the United States. The boys, 16 and 14, were in critical condition at a Philadelphia hospital on Saturday, the family’s lawyer, James Maron of Delaware, said.”

Nobody plans to become ill during their trip, but when such a situation arises, travel insurance can provide relief in several ways.

During a medical emergency, other than contacting the local equivalent of 9-1-1, travelers should contact the travel insurance emergency assistance number as soon as possible.  This is a free call from anywhere in the world and calls are answered 24 hours a day.  Emergency assistance can help coordinate medical transportation and treatment, as well as provide other travel related services.

The cost of emergency medical transportation can be covered by the Medical Evacuation benefit.  This is important as many traditional health insurance plans may not include this coverage, particularly when traveling abroad.  A medical evacuation bill could potentially bankrupt a traveler who hadn’t planned for such an expense.

The medical treatment received can be covered by the Emergency Medical benefit.  When comparing travel insurance, it is wise to consider what other coverage may already be in place.  If your health insurance covers you during the trip, it may be a better value to select a policy with lower coverage.  Conversely, if you know that no other insurance covers you during the trip, it is recommended you select a policy with higher limits for Emergency Medical coverage.

Travel insurance can go a step further during a medical situation.  If a vacation is cut short in this type of scenario, Trip Interruption coverage can help recoup the losses.  The unused portions of the trip that aren’t refunded, as well as last minute commercial transportation home can be reimbursed under Trip Interruption.

Of course, travel insurance only helps travelers that purchase a policy before the trip, and before the incident in question has happened.  Learn more about when to purchase travel insurance on our blog. is happy to answer questions 24/7.  Please contact us to help you select the best travel insurance policy for your needs, at a savings of over 40% compared to other major plans!

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