If you’ve purchased Safe Journey, or any other International Travel and Healthcare travel insurance policy, you’ll have noticed a 24-hour emergency number on your policy wording.
Make sure it is programmed into your mobile phone immediately (do it now or you’ll forget!) and also add your policy number to the details you save. In a panic, finding pieces of paper is one less stress you can do without, and you are more likely to have your phone with you.
You can also snap a picture of your Policy Schedule and refer to this from your mobile if you need to.
We hope you don’t ever have to call that number, but it’s good to know the best help is immediately available in your time of need!
From the first call…
All emergency calls go through a UK-based emergency response specialist company, with whom ITHC has worked for many years. Their multi-lingual operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you really can call anytime.
It’s important to keep your Policy Documents with you when you travel. If anything goes wrong you’ll have the emergency contact number handy, and you (or someone calling for you) will be able to provide your policy number and other details. This enables the emergency team to step in and assist as soon as possible, and prevents delays while hospitals search for information or wait for treatment to be authorised.
If you need to get away from a dangerous situation, or if you need to be transferred to emergency temporary accommodation, that first call will also set emergency evacuation and extraction procedures in motion so we can get you out as soon as possible.
Getting you the best care
If you’re injured, the emergency team will help to get you the right treatment, wherever you may be.
- They’ll ensure that you’re taken to a suitable hospital and make sure it has the facilities you need. While cuts and broken bones can be fixed almost anywhere, a head trauma needs a hospital with a good neurological unit. They’ll also check that the hospital is equipped to handle any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have.
- They’ll move you to a more suitable hospital if they feel it’s necessary, and if moving you won’t cause health complications.
- Some countries have different treatment plans to the UK for certain conditions, so our team will liaise with the doctors and medics treating you to ensure that the treatment plan is suitable for you.
- They’ll also speak to your GP and get any necessary medical records.
- A guarantee of payment will be provided to all treatment facilities so and your family don’t have to worry about paying up front before you receive care.
The emergency team’s focus will be on making sure you receive the right treatment as quickly as possible, and then getting you home safely. The sooner you call them, the more they can help you.
Those important details
Emergency assistance personnel will keep your family updated on your condition so they know how you’re doing, They’ll also ensure that other people travelling with you are looked after with accommodation, visa extensions, and insurance extensions. If your fellow travellers are on your travel insurance policy, they will of course also receive emergency care if required.
If you’re travelling alone, transport and accommodation can be arranged for a friend or family member to join you so you aren’t alone.
The team will even check in on your pets and ensure that a friend or neighbour can take care of them, or extend a kennel/cattery stay!
Getting you back home
All travel arrangements will be taken care of to send you back to your home or to a UK hospital, including ground transport and air ambulances if required. This includes:
- Ticketing and embassy liaison.
- Ensuring that your passport and all other travel documents are in order.
- Organising oxygen, flatbeds, and seating reconfigurations with commercial airlines for your repatriation, so that a stretcher and accompanying medics can be accommodated correctly.
- Arranging airport clearance for take-off and landing of air ambulance flights.
An aero-med team will be provided for medical repatriation flights:
- They’re always medical professionals with UK certified aero-med qualifications
- This team would travel to your location to assist with the repatriation and accompany you home.
- They would be equipped with everything they need to ensure that you’re well cared for during your repatriation. All eventualities are identified and catered for based on your medical history and current injuries or illness, and the air ambulance is stocked to ensure everything you may need (excluding the G+T trolley!) is on board.
Once your flight lands back in the UK, the aero-med team would take you to the arranged hospital or to your home for your recuperation. They’re with you every step of the way!
Believe it or not, these are just some of the things the Emergency Assistance team can do for you. It’s a highly specialised field requiring extensive resources and skills, and we work with the best. If you’re faced with an emergency, we feel confident that this is the team you want in your corner.
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