Things You Can Do If You Fall Sick Abroad and How Travel Medical Insurance Helps

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 02/11/2021

Being sick is not a great state of being. And, this feeling is magnified if you fall sick when travelling, especially on a foreign trip. Whether it is the weather change, travel exhaustion, time zone alterations, jet lag or new food, falling ill is the last thing you want on your trip abroad.

You are in a different country amidst people who speak a new language, and you do not have much knowledge about the healthcare system in the country. The situation becomes even more worrisome if you fall sick alone in a foreign country. You would have to find a doctor on your own and also take care of yourself.

In worst cases, if you are injured or in an immovable state, getting medical help is even more challenging. Falling sick not only spoils your vacation fun but also increases your expenses considerably because you would be spending for medical care in a foreign currency.

You can avoid all these situations only by being careful and planning well before your foreign trip. If you take some precautionary measures, you can handle the situation with more ease. Just like you book your tickets, reserve your hotels and pack your bags sincerely, you can easily plan on how to face a medical emergency when abroad. This involves buying a comprehensive travel insurance plan, understanding the travel medical coverage, being well informed about the medical facilities abroad, carrying medication, keeping copies of any medical reports, if any. These steps can help you ensure that even if you fall sick in an unknown land, you can get the required medical assistance timely.

Things to do When You Fall Sick on Your Trip Abroad

Here are important steps to follow when you fall sick or get injured on your trip abroad:

1. Contact the Indian Embassy : When sick or injured, call the Indian Embassy in the country. They might not directly assist you but will give you a list of local health providers and medical facilities. If you have a serious illness, the Indian Embassy can help you contact your family or friends back home. The Embassy can also help transfer funds from your family to help you pay the hospital bills.

2. Inform your travel insurance company : If you were wise enough to buy travel insurance online, you contact your insurer when you fall sick or get injured abroad. The insurer will guide you on how to access appropriate medical care in the new country. Further, they might recommend you to go to any of their network healthcare providers to get due medical care.

If you require someone to accompany you while you recover, the travel insurance plan can arrange for flight tickets for a family member. In an unfortunate event, the travel medical coverage provides medical evacuation and accidental death compensation and repatriation.

Things to do Before You Leave for Your Trip

Here are some precautions and things you must do before heading off for your trip abroad:

1. Get a travel insurance cover: The first thing to do when travelling abroad is to buy travel insurance online. Whether travelling with family, going solo for leisure, heading for a business trip or continuing education overseas, every situation requires a travel insurance plan to ensure your trip is hassle-free.

If you fall sick abroad, your travel insurance cover will provide you with financial and medical security in the new country. Comprehensive travel insurance plans provide extensive medical coverage against health emergencies and help you deal with all financial implications if you fall sick or meet an accident in a foreign country. Good travel medical coverage also offers medical evacuation and accidental death and repatriation.

If you need someone to help you in the hospital, sound travel insurance covers also pay for the tickets for a family member to come and take care of you. Some travel insurance plans also go on to the extent of compensating your lost tuition fee if you fall sick when studying abroad.

Apart from offering medical assistance, flight travel insurance plans provide protection against trip cancellation, baggage delay or loss, passport loss, travelling assistance, personal liability, hijack help, delayed flights, and more. However, each travel insurance plan differs from another. Hence, when you buy travel insurance online, check travel medical coverage and understand all the terms, inclusions and exclusions. The cost of a travel insurance plan is insignificant compared to the problems you can potentially face and the money you will spend if you fall sick in another land.

2. Check travel insurance coverage of existing plan: If you already have a travel insurance cover, check your policy documents or call the insurer to know the medical care coverage offered by the company. If you are travelling for business purposes, ensure you have separate business travel insurance. However, if your existing travel insurance plan does not cover you abroad, you can buy travel insurance online that offers the required medical protection. Be sure to carry along your insurance identification card and a claim form with you at all times during travel.

3. Be well informed: Once you know the country you are visiting, research about the country and understand its climate, culture, time zone differences, etc. This helps you prepare psychologically. Further, read about the healthcare systems of the particular country and if they have any specific requirements for providing medical care to foreigners.

Check if your travel insurance cover offers medical cover in the country of your travel. Understand who to approach for help in case of a medical emergency and how to use the travel insurance plan. It is also advisable to learn a few words of the language of the country you are visiting.

4. Carry your medical records : If you have a pre-existing illness or a specific medical condition like a heart problem, asthma, allergy, kidney ailment, etc., it is wiser to carry a copy of your medical records with you when vacationing abroad. Keep a report of your past surgeries, blood type, etc. Even if you have business travel insurance, carry your medical records.

5. Take some medicines along: Anticipate some common or serious health issues that could occur during travel, and stack up some medicines in advance. You could keep medicines for cold, flu, headache, fever, stomach, first aid kit, etc.

If you have a pre-existing illness, carry the medications prescribed by your doctor. However, clearly label all medicines and get a letter from your doctor describing the nature of your medical condition and the medications you take. Some countries have restrictions on medications you can carry along. Hence, be careful.

A sound travel insurance plan is a requisite for a safe and hassle-free trip abroad. Tata AIG travel insurance policy offers extensive travel medical coverage for health emergencies, including COVID-19. You also get medical evacuation, accidental death and repatriation. If you are a student studying abroad, you can avail of compassionate visits and student interruption benefits with our Student Travel Insurance plans.

In addition to medical care with travel insurance, the TATA AIG travel insurance plan covers passport loss, travelling assistance, delayed flights, trip curtailment or cancellation, personal liability and delayed or lost baggage. We help you travel safely even during a pandemic!

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