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How to approach a medical mishap while traveling

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Many people decide to forgo travel insurance when planning their trips, thinking it to be an unnecessary luxury. However, this can turn out to be a huge mistake; medical emergencies are chaotic enough – insurance can bring order to an unfortunate situation.

You never want to think about what could go wrong when you’re traveling around the world - but you should. Life can be dangerous, and the last thing in the world that you want to deal with while you’re relaxing on a beautiful secluded beach is an unexpected medical emergency. But to simply brush the thought off and decide that it will never happen to you can be disastrous – not only for your body but your bank account as well.

Many people decide to forgo travel insurance when planning their trips, thinking it to be an unnecessary luxury. However, this can turn out to be a huge mistake; medical emergencies are chaotic enough – insurance can bring order to an unfortunate situation.

When it comes to medical mishaps, the best defense is preparation. Medical insurance is a valuable commodity no matter where you are in the world. Here’s how you should approach medical mishaps while traveling:

Prepare for the worst, expect the best
It is absolutely critical that you get insurance before heading out on an international trip. Not only will it bring you peace of mind, but will save a huge chunk of money if the worst ends up happening.

Consider it as important as packing the right type of clothing – just as you wouldn’t want to be left in a snowstorm without a heavy jacket, similarly you don’t want to be unprotected if disaster hits. 

But how do you pick the correct insurance? The sad fact of the matter is that many insurance companies will overcharge you or attempt to put useless additions in the package to boost the overall price. Do some research on any insurance company before you hand them your money. Find out what precautions you need to take in whichever region you decide to go to and make sure to cut out superfluous spending. 

Another critical part of the preparation stage is to make sure your emergency contact numbers are correct and up-to-date. It’s important that first responders are able to quickly gain contact with your loved ones and give them status updates along the way. Your friends and family will appreciate not being left in the dark if disaster strikes.

Saving your wallet
Furthermore, the bills resulting from medical crises can end up costing you thousands of dollars, crippling your wallet when you least expect it. A helicopter evacuation combined with further transport back to your home country can cost more than $500,000. The more remote you are from home, the more expensive the private jet medical evac will be. And that’s not even including any medical treatment along the way – think of at least $100,000 in overseas medical insurance for your trip. 

If you’re not going to get insurance for your body, at least do it for your wallet. If not, you’ll have to start thinking about which assets you want to sell in order to pay the bill.

Don’t panic and let the professionals do their work
It sounds easy to say in a vacuum, but in the case of a medical emergency, make sure that you stay calm and let the professionals take care of you. 

Sometimes cultural differences or the inability to communicate using the same language can cause misunderstandings – even in the best of times. Make sure that you put your trust in the emergency service workers in order to get the best treatment. 

Travel insurance makes things a lot easier here. Without insurance, you will have to coordinate everything by yourself a-la-carte. This is the last thing you want to do when you are seriously hurt. With insurance, you will gain peace of mind that a global 911 service is caring for you when you need it most.

You did remember to get insurance right? Good. While a medical mishap likely signals a disastrous trip, the silver lining is seeing your insurance company do its magic, saving your wallet and letting you recover in peace. Focus on your own recovery and let them coordinate your trip back home.

Hopefully, you never have to test the limits of a medical mishap. But you never know when life will deal you a bad hand. Insurance gives you the ability to counter whatever life throws at you, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your trip knowing that your physical health is in good hands.

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