A Real Life Travel Insurance Story
I was travelling with an old school mate through Vietnam on a 21 day trip and we had planned a 3 day stay Hoi An. I love Hoi An and had been there on many occasions and was looking forward to showing my friend around the Old City, the beach, Cham Island and the My Son ruins.
On our first night I took a phone call from my friend in the next room. It was 3am and he had been vomiting and was complaining of stomach pain. I assumed he had picked up a bit Gastro and would be ok with a couple of Imodium tablets. Maybe he would have to stay around the hotel for a day or two. I have spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia. I know.
By 9am he was no better, infact he was looking worse and at 11am I called a doctor. The doctor quickly diagnosed him with acute appendicitis and recommended we get him into Danang General Hospital as soon as possible. We arranged for the Hotel minibus to take us to Danang and in minutes we were loading my friend into the bus in a delirious state.
We got to Danang General Hospital in good time and were taken through to X-ray and Ultrasound. The ultrasound proved the Hoi An doctor’s diagnosis to be correct and the hospital doctors advised the they should operate immediately initially using keyhole surgery but perhaps reverting to open surgery depending on what they found.
As it happened he was very lucky and his appendix had not burst. The operation was successful apart from a post operative infection that flared up on day 2 of his hospital stay. He was given more anti biotics and stayed in Danang General Hospital for a total of 10 days.
If there is an upside to this unfortunate incident it is the fact that my friend had in his wallet a Travel Insurance card with emergency phone number and policy number.
I have had very little experience with insurance claims and i was very surprised at how easily this went. In fact the hospital account was settled on the day he checked out and apart from losing 10 days out of our 21 day trip we were back on the road.
In the past I bought Travel Insurance from a travel agent but now I shop online with World Nomads Travel Insurance. I use World Nomads for many reasons including convenience and flexability. You can buy, extend and claim online even after you’ve left home. Recommended by Lonely Planet, World Nomads Travel Insurance is available to people from over 150 countries and is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
Why do we recommend travel insurance?
The following 4 paragraphs are taken from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website www.smartraveller.gov.au It is well worth taking a moment to read:
While most Australians travel safely overseas, some find themselves in trouble. Each year we handle over 20,000cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas. This includes over 1,400 hospitalisations, 1000 deaths and 30 evacuations of Australian to another location for medical purposes.
In the cases where the victims are not covered by travel insurance, such personal tragedies can be further compounded by a long term financial burden. Hospitalisation, medical evacuations, or even the return of the deceased’s remains to Australia, can be very expensive.
Daily hospitalisation costs in Southeast Asia regularly exceed $800; return of remains from Europe in excess of $10,000. The cost of medical evacuations from the United States regularly range from $75,000 to $95,000 and sometimes up to $300,000. The Department has handled medical evacuations from Bali in which costs have exceeded $60,000.
Unfortunately, not all of these cases involved travelers covered by travel insurance. Travelers who are not covered by insurance are personally liable for covering the incurred medical and associated costs. As a result, families have been forced to sell off assets including their superannuation or family homes, to afford to bring loved ones back to Australia for treatment.
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