Traveling alone can lead to illness and accidents

What should your travel insurance include?

Independent travelers can’t depend on holiday agents to assist you in a medical emergency. It’s important to have your own medical insurance. Medical emergencies abroad can be costly and could cost you thousands of pounds without insurance. At least PS2,000,000 of medical coverage is required for the most comprehensive travel insurance policies. This coverage usually covers the cost of an ambulance to transport you home if necessary. This type of coverage is essential when you purchase travel insurance.

Do you need a European Health Insurance Card?

You can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare in the EU until it expires if you are a UK resident.

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You can apply online for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), even if you don’t already have one or your expiring EHIC. A GHIC can be used to obtain healthcare in EU countries at a lower cost, or even free. To get the medically required healthcare in Norway, you can use your UK passport.

You may be eligible for free or reduced healthcare when you travel outside of the EU. This is possible if your country has an agreement with the UK. The NHS Choices website has information about the rules applicable to different countries.

In an emergency, who should you call?

You should contact your travel insurance company in case of an emergency. You should have received an international number from your insurance company that you can use for contact with your insurers. An assistance company will normally take your call to arrange for the required medical treatment.

For assistance, you can also contact the British Consul. Consular staff can provide practical advice and help with finding a doctor in your area.

What are your options for paying for medical treatment?

Travel insurance is a must.

You will usually be required to pay minor claims if you have travel insurance.

You might be asked to pay a PS50 bill by your local doctor for a consultation. Then you can claim the money back once you return home. Keep receipts of any money spent. In most cases, your insurer will pay for medical bills if you are admitted to hospital.

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You have an EHIC

An EHIC can help you pay for your treatment, and then you can claim some or all the money back. The NHS Choices website will show you the details of the rules in each country. You can claim the money back if you are required to pay for treatment while you are abroad. Keep all receipts and paperwork. You can call 0191 2181999 to get a claim form from the Department of Work and Pensions if you are unable to get a refund abroad.

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What should you do if your hotel or lodging is causing your illness?

You might consider a personal injury case if you believe your illness or accident was caused or exacerbated by your hotel or accommodations. Personal injury claims can be complicated and costly for independent travelers. It is unlikely that you will be able make a claim in the UK. You will need to file a claim in your country of residence if you were injured or become ill. You should seek legal advice if you’re considering filing a claim for an accident that you sustained while on holiday.