We all know that visitor insurance is essential for international travel in order to protect us if we fall ill or are injured while on a vacation or business trip. But fewer of us know what the procedure is if we do need to use our international travel insurance. The fact is that most trips pass off without incident and our insurance is often untouched. But there are occasions when you will need to visit a medical facility or have treatment – what is the procedure for billing?
The answer depends on your insurance provider and the best general advice we have is to look at the small print before you travel so you know exactly what the procedure is. Usually when you visit a doctor or hospital abroad you will pay in cash for any treatment you receive and the medical cost will not be billed directly to your insurer.
You will probably need to pay medical fees yourself but you must keep all receipts and documentation so you can claim the money back from your insurer. Many people wait until they return home in order to claim but for others that may be impossible. In this case, use the international telephone number to call and ask for an explanation of the claims procedure so you can complete it from abroad.
In cases where you are seriously injured and need expensive medical treatment you must contact your insurer, or have someone do it for you. Surgery, emergency medical evacuation and other complex procedures should be completed with the knowledge of your insurer. Make sure you carry the contact details of your insurer at all times so you can easily get in touch. For other insurance terminology advice, take a look at blog posts such as “What are sub-limits?” to set your mind at rest.