Travel insurance – essential holiday planning

by on 11th August, 2016

Travel insurance – essential holiday planning

Andean Trails’ Alan has just returned from Chile where his trip did not quite go as planned.

An unfortunate accident on his first day gave a timely reminder of how necessary travel insurance – a condition of booking with Andean Trails – can be.


He writes:

“I was full of excitement on my first day in Chile. Checked in to my hotel and out and about taking photos of Santiago, on a grey but pleasant day.

Little did I know that later on that night I would be in hospital after having been hit by a car, which sped off.

I was later found by the police and taken to the local public hospital emergency department. I was in and out of consciousness being taken into X-rays, scans, being stitched up…


Travel insurance kicks in

It was only in the morning when I came to in A&E that I could start to make sense of what happened and then the need to let the world know where I was and get my travel insurance to kick in.

I was able to get a friend a list of people to contact including my local tour operator and where my insurance papers were kept in order to get the ball rolling.

It did take several calls to the insurance company and a lot of checking through friends to get me moved to a private clinic, and one which was approved by the insurance provider and for which they would cover the costs.


My hospital bill was GBP 8,000 (around USD 11,000).

My flights home were GBP 3,500 (around USD 5,000).

I’d paid GBP 18 for my insurance (around USD 23).


Lovely treatment

I finally made it to the Clinic and this was another world. I was in intermediate care for a couple of nights and then in normal care for another three. In both cases private rooms, wifi, top notch medical care and assistance.

However, there was still a lot of follow up with the insurance and they needed a police report. Luckily I had friends who helped tie up the loose ends and there were several calls made to the emergency number.

On leaving hospital I went to as friend’s house to recuperate for 10 days and the insurance organized my return trip home in business class due to the nature of my injuries.

My policy did have a deductible (GBP 200) but the main things such as the hospital bill and flight changes were taken care of – eventually.


Keep the policy close at hand

Without my insurance I would have been lost. Keep a copy of your policy handy in order to activate it and name a contact to chase up on the insurance for you on your behalf.

Travel insurance needs for residents of different countries will vary as however you should ensure that you at least have coverage when travelling abroad for:


a) The cost of your holiday in case of cancellation.  Your policy will determine what reasons are covered.

b) Medical expenses and repatriation.


Do make sure you have travel insurance. Hope you never need to use it. Make sure it covers all medical expenses and repatriation costs.

This advice is straight from the horse’s mouth.

“It is a lifesaver.”

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