(NC) When planning your dream vacation, do you ever stop to consider what to do if an accident happens during your time in a foreign country?
Every year, millions of Canadians enjoy international vacations. We eagerly book flights, accommodations and in-country adventures like bungee jumping and hiking. We prepare packing lists, research restaurants and inform our social networks of our upcoming trip. But in all that excitement, don’t forget to prepare for an emergency.
Here are some things to consider before, during and after your trip.
Before you go. Plan ahead, and find travel insurance that will cover your needs and a variety of possible scenarios, like car accidents, illnesses and last-minute cancellations. Review your policy thoroughly and discuss any concerns with your insurance broker or travel agent before you leave. If planning adventurous activities, double check to confirm they are not excluded from your policy. In most cases, the right travel insurance will be able to reimburse you for unexpected cancellations and medical expenses related to your trip.
Be sure to carry all necessary emergency contact information, your policy number and government health insurance card. To decrease the likelihood of getting sick while travelling, visit a travel clinic and obtain the appropriate vaccinations in advance.
During your trip. In case of accident or illness, if possible call your insurance provider before seeking medical attention. Insurance companies will refer you to the closest medical facility and contact them on your behalf to provide information and arrange direct billing. If it is not possible for you to contact your insurance company directly, have a friend, family member or hospital staff contact them for you.
While travelling internationally, keep your information easily accessible and ensure your travelling companion and family also have it on hand in case they need to contact your provider on your behalf.
Some insurance companies have mobile apps that provide instant access to helpful information, like emergency service phone numbers and travel alerts from the Government of Canada. Allianz Global Assistance’s app, TravelMedic, even has a drug dictionary that identifies the international name for the consumer brand medications we know. For example, did you know that Tylenol is Paracetamolum?
Once you get home. If you had a medical emergency during your travels, you are required to submit your claims with all supporting documents, including receipts and hospital bills. Be sure to keep original copies of all bills should you need to seek treatment.
Find more information online at www.allianz-assistance.ca.