Traveling in a foreign place can be overwhelming when things don’t go according to plan.While most people think of travel insurance in terms of financial relief, there are many other ways it can help in a tough situation.
If something goes wrong during your trip, travel insurance providers can offer valuable support through their 24-hour emergency assistance services. Despite the name, you don’t need to be in an emergency situation to receive assistance.
In fact, you may be surprised at the number of ways, both big and small, that emergency assistance professionals can help. The following are a few things you probably never realized travel insurance could do for you.
Minimize your delay
Travel insurance might be able to help you get home faster, as Squaremouth Vice President Bill Dismore discovered when a volcanic eruption in Iceland shut down air traffic in Western Europe, stranding him in Scotland.
“I couldn’t get through to my airline, so I called emergency assistance and they were able to book me a new flight,” he said. “That workaround was really helpful to get me out faster than other people.”
Track your lost luggage
There’s no worse start to a trip than arriving at your destination to discover your luggage didn’t make it.
Travel insurance can save you from spending half your vacation haggling with your airline.
Emergency assistance professionals can get in touch with your airline to help track your bag. With one phone call, these modern oracles can often help replace important items, like prescription medication, that have been lost with your luggage.
Once your bag finally does arrive, they can work on your behalf to make sure it is delivered to you, wherever you may be,
Watch out for your pets
Many of us leave our pets at home when we travel. If you find yourself delayed on your way home, travel insurance can help make sure your pet isn’t left unattended.
If a friend or family member is petsitting, emergency assistance may contact them to let them know you won’t be back to care for your pet due to an emergency. In addition, emergency assistance from a travel insurance policy may be able to contact your kennel to let them know you’ll be late picking your pet up. Some travel insurance policies will even cover the cost of additional boarding fees if you’re delayed and your dog or cat has to stay another night or two in a kennel.
Translate an important conversation
While language dictionaries and translation apps can be helpful in getting around a foreign destination, there are certain scenarios where it can be necessary to have a real person translate for you. This is one of the most understated benefits of a travel insurance plan.
Whether you’re trying to explain a medical situation to a doctor or pharmacist, or report a theft to a police officer, most emergency assistance services can provide you with a real-time translator to make sure there are no miscommunications during an important conversation.
For more complex situations, they can even help you track down a local translator to assist in a pinch.
Monitor your medical care
Facing a medical emergency in a foreign country can be a scary thing, but you don’t need to handle it alone. If you become sick or injured, travel insurance can be there for you every step of the way. Once you have contacted emergency assistance, most providers have a medical department that will maintain contact with your treating physician to make sure you’re in good hands at an adequate medical facility.
Dedicated medical professionals will monitor your care to ensure the correct measures are being taken to treat your condition. If necessary, emergency assistance can also notify your family back home and keep them informed about your situation.
A little support can go a long way when you’re facing a difficult situation in a place far from home.
If you find yourself in a predicament on your next trip, travel insurance may be able to offer a crucial helping hand in your time of need.
About the author: Rachael Taft is the Content Manager at Squaremouth, an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.
Ed. Note: The author is an invited guest to write about travel insurance topics by the editor. No compensation nor incentive was given to mention or link to any product or service in this article. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.