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What to do if you have an injury whilst on holiday?

Nobody expects to have an accident or injury when on holiday but unfortunately these things can happen. Many different types of accidents can occur, such as food poisoning, slips and falls, injuries on public transport and injuries sustained during excursions. In addition, visiting a place like the DRC can be vastly different than seeking care in a country like Germany.

person holding world globe facing mountain

There will likely be lots of people to deal with in the initial stages, which can be particularly stressful when in a different country and if you don’t speak the language. We’ve come up with our guide on what you should do if you become injured on holiday – hopefully, you won’t need to use it!

How can I get the relevant help?

Any serious accident or injury will require you to get medical attention. You shouldn’t hesitate to seek help even if you’re in a country with an unfamiliar medical system.

The majority of mobile phones will now have pre-programmed emergency numbers for you to dial, such as 999, 911 and 112. Even if a country has their own specific number, often operators will divert these emergency calls. It’s good practice however to figure out the local emergency number beforehand.

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If you have taken out a travel insurance policy, you should also get in touch with the provider. They should have provided you with an international number to assist with the arrangement of medical treatment, so long as you are eligible.

What do I need to do next?

After receiving medical attention and being given the all-clear, it’s important to figure out what actually happened.

Try to write down all of the details relating to the incident, including evidence you may have. Include contact details, witness names and addresses that could help. Ask for copies of your medical records and take pictures of the injuries sustained.

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be able to make a personal injury claim once you’re back in the UK. For example, if you had organised a package holiday, it may be the holiday tour operator who is responsible. That means you’ll need to prove that their negligence caused your accident, such as health and safety standards were compromised.

As an independent traveller, you may need to make the claim in the country in which you became ill, which can be a complicated process. Any road accidents abroad must be reported to the local police.

Travel Insurance Plans are essential

The best travel insurance plans to get depend on your individual needs and circumstances. However, here are some factors to consider when selecting a travel insurance plan:

  1. Coverage: Look for a plan that offers comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, and baggage loss or delay.
  2. Pre-existing conditions: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure that the travel insurance plan covers them.
  3. Trip length: Make sure that the travel insurance plan covers the entire length of your trip, from departure to return.
  4. Destination: If you are traveling to a country with high medical costs or political instability, you may want to consider a plan that offers additional coverage for these risks.
  5. Price: Compare prices of different plans to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.

Some of the best travel insurance plans recommended by experts include:

  1. Allianz Global Assistance: Offers a wide range of plans with comprehensive coverage and competitive prices.
  2. World Nomads: Specializes in coverage for adventure travelers, with options for extreme sports and activities.
  3. Travelex: Offers a variety of plans with customizable coverage options and 24/7 customer service.
  4. InsureMyTrip: A comparison website that allows you to compare plans from multiple providers to find the best coverage and price.
  5. Seven Corners: Offers plans for both international and domestic travel, with customizable coverage options and competitive prices.

It’s important to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of any travel insurance plan before purchasing to ensure that it meets your specific needs and provides adequate coverage.

Will I need to pay for healthcare?

When on holiday in the European Union (EU), it’s important that you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

With this card, you’ll receive the same treatment as if you were a national in that country. This doesn’t mean you should expect to be treated the same as the UK and may need to pay for at least some of your treatment.

This is why taking out a robust travel insurance policy is also advised, especially since an EHIC won’t cover the cost of bringing you home. Typically, you’ll cover the initial cost and then claim it back later, which is why it is so important to be aware of what is covered in your insurance.