Understanding the Evacuation Provision in your Travel Insurance Policy

When considering suitable travel insurance policies for your vacation or business travel, you will need to think of medical cover, and what that could mean in a foreign land. If you or a family member were to be struck down with a dangerous local illness which needs hospitalization, or suffer an accident, what cover would you need?

It is almost certain that the health care insurance you have at home won’t cover the kind of emergencies you may face abroad, so it is essential to ensure you have good coverage. A standard travel insurance policy may well cover emergency medical expenses but it is not to be seen as a private medical insurance policy, with the private facilities you may expect at home.

Costs associated with being repatriated from a foreign country for emergency treatment can be astronomical, so it is worth considering why the additional expense of purchasing evacuation provision is so important. It is usually sold separately from your standard travel insurance policy, but it is vital provision to have if anything should happen in way of a medical emergency.

Evacuation provision is recommended by the State Department for anyone travelling abroad. It gives twenty four hour emergency help for anyone who is injured or becomes seriously ill whilst travelling, and generally it does not exclude pre-existing conditions. What evacuation provision provides is the cost of transport to an adequate medical facility for you to receive treatment. You could be airlifted from a cruise liner or a mountain.  

If, in the first instance. there are inadequate facilities to deal with your needs you will be moved to somewhere more suitable. It could be that you are not in a medical position to be transported oversees to home right away, and may have to be stabilized first. Evacuation coverage will organise the transfer of your medical records, and a 24 hour emergency line, plus support to your relatives.

The aim of the evacuation cover is to treat you, stabilize you and then arrange for you to be flown home. Your flight will be onboard a medically equipped plane with medical staff.  Some policies fly you to a hospital of the insurance companies’ choice whilst others allow you or your family to make that choice. It covers whatever treatment you need. The cover will also arrange to return your family home and allow you one relative to accompany you on the medical flight.

Each of these things are hugely expensive and could leave you with horrendous debt or the necessity of selling your home to cover them. Repatriation expenses depend on the distance involved but an average cost would be $75,000. It really is worth spending that little bit more to include repatriation cover on your travel insurance so that these expenses are not on your mind whilst you or a loved one needs emergency medical help.