November 25, 2019

What to do in the event of an emergency abroad

Need medical care while traveling? Here is everything you need to know to make sure things go smoothly.

Before you leave

Make a list of all the contact information you might need in case of an emergency and put them in one document.

Add the number of your insurance company’s assistance service. No need  to include the number of your insurance representative as they will only redirect you to your insurer’s assistance service.

You’ll find this number on your:

  • Insurance contract
  • Insurance card

Remember to also pack your health insurance card.

When the unexpected happens

You must contact your travel insurance assistance service.  

Make the contact before you receive treatment, or even better, before you pay for it.

If you’re unable to, ask someone else to do it for you.  

Information to provide

In order to correctly identify you and help you, the assistance service agent will ask you for the following:

  • Number of your insurance policy or certificate
  • Your first and last name
  • Your location
  • Summary of the incident and the symptoms you’re experiencing

If you’re covered by travel insurance associated with your credit card, you will need to provide the number of that credit card.   

Travel dates

When speaking to assistance services, you will need to specify your travel dates.

These dates are used to check your eligibility to claim healthcare expenses abroad.

Insurance contracts are specific when it comes to the maximum number of days you can be covered. Over and above this number of days, you are no longer covered by your travel insurance.  

Health insurance card

If you should ever need to be repatriated, providing the number of your health insurance card may be of help.

However, the assistance service will be able to process your request even if you don’t have your card number.

Follow instructions

The assistance service will direct you to the healthcare facility or professional who will treat you.

To facilitate your medical follow-up and claim, follow the instructions provided by the assistance service. In other words, go to the healthcare provider suggested by the assistance service and nowhere else.

In most cases, you will have to pay for the healthcare you receive. Then you will contact the insurer for reimbursement of the expenses you paid.

The assistance service will explain the process for submitting a claim. They will send you a form to fill out and return.

Sometimes the insurance company takes care of all the expenses and you have nothing to pay.  However, you still need to complete a claim form. 

In any case, it’s up to the insurance company to determine the procedure for filing a claim.