Travelling abroad? You took a wise decision by purchasing travel insurance to take care of expenses relating to unseen medical emergencies. An unseen health problem can have serious implications on your finances, especially when you are travelling abroad.
But did you check the policy details? Have you kept handy the phone number which you need to call in case of a medical emergency? Are you carrying your past medical records with you, especially details of allergies and surgeries?
Most travellers would not have gone through these simple steps before boarding the flight. Not being prepared with the details could cause hassles for you or your family member in case of possible hospitalisation overseas. “Travellers should take necessary precautions in advance to minimise financial costs and the inevitable stress that comes with a medical emergency abroad,” says Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
FeMoney spoke to some leading travel insurance providers in the country to find out what a person needs to be prepared with, and immediate steps to be taken in case of hospitalisation while travelling abroad.
Here are a set of advice each one of them have for the overseas travellers.
Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance
-The traveller should keep the insurers’ international toll free number with them. It should be ideally saved on the phone since they will have to call for assistance.
-Note down the policy number, reference and code number
-In case of a medical emergency, call and intimate the insurer and provide the details of the policy
Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance
-Get a medical checkup done before traveling especially if the travel includes strenuous physical activities such as hiking or skiing.
-Keep details of your travel insurance policy handy, as it contains details of your service provider who would be required in case of an emergency.
-Carrying your past records of any treatment helps immensely. Despite being well aware of the allergies you must carry your background information like medications or previous surgeries. These could be crucial to a doctor giving you emergency treatment.
-Seeking medical assistance on travel can be a hassle. Hence, you should carry local emergency telephone numbers of the place you travel to.
Anuj Gulati, MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance
-Keep policy details including policy number, cashless card, Assistance Service Provider details and toll-free numbers within reach
-In case of an emergency, the customer, their dependent or hospital representative should contact Company’s 24X7 helpline number.
-Insurance companies extend two types of claim settlement namely, Cashless Facility and Reimbursement Facility. The claimant should have a clear understanding of these facilities.
For Cashless claims:
-Customer/hospital representative can contact the 24×7 emergency helpline number mentioned on the travel insurance policy certificate and register the claim.
-Assistance Service Provider of the Insurance Company will validate the policy.
-If claim is payable, due authorisation will be provided to the hospital. Assistance Service Provider settles bills directly with the hospital as a part of Claim settlement.
For Reimbursement claims:
-Customer/Nominee can contact the 24×7 emergency helpline number mentioned on the travel insurance policy certificate and register their claim on date of incident.
-Assistance Service of the insurance company will validate the policy and acknowledge such claims and provide the claims registration number.
-Customer can submit all the claim supporting documents in original to the insurance company within specified timelines.
-In case of any further query, company informs the insured/nominee. In case of approved claim, claim amount will be paid by insurance company to customer/nominee.
Mukesh Kumar, Executive Director, HDFC ERGO General Insurance
-Contact toll-free number of the insurer
-Provide policy details to the Claims Service Representative
-Complete the claim form relevant to the nature of loss
-Send in your claims documents to insurer within 30 days of date of loss.