Whether it’s for leisure or work, travel can improve your mental and physical well-being. It’s an opportunity to relax, learn about new places and cultures, and even gain a fresh perspective on your life.
However, many people find traveling stressful and complicated. Flights can be delayed, baggage can be lost, medical emergencies can occur, and so on. That’s no reason to not travel, but it is a reminder to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected.
Many travel insurance companies offer 24/7 assistance services to help address issues you encounter on your trip and ensure they are solved as quickly and smoothly as possible. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these assistance services and review everything you need to know about them when booking travel insurance.
What Are 24/7 Assistance Services?
Travel insurance policies often include 24/7 assistance services for travelers who need help before or during their trip. While these services can assist with problems both large and small, they are especially useful in case of emergencies.
For example, travelers can contact 24/7 assistance services to help them locate and obtain medical care, refill prescription medications, make emergency travel arrangements, access legal assistance, and replace lost or stolen travel documents.
Insurers typically list a dedicated phone number or email address for their 24/7 assistance services on their websites and in the text of their insurance policies. As the name suggests, these teams are available all day, every day to get you the help you need.
Example of 24/7 Assistance Services
Imagine you are in France on a ski vacation and injure your leg during a bad fall. Although you are able to make it down the mountain, you know you need to see a doctor to evaluate it. Fortunately, you have a travel insurance policy with 24/7 assistance services.
You call the number listed on your insurance provider’s website and quickly reach a specialist who refers you to a local medical clinic with an orthopedic doctor. You don’t speak French, but the 24/7 assistance team is able to communicate directly with the doctor to share information about your injury and monitor your treatment.
After your initial appointment at the medical clinic, the assistance service then helps you find a local pharmacy where you can pick up a prescription and arranges a follow-up visit with the orthopedic doctor before you fly home.
If you had a more serious injury, you could also have turned to the 24/7 help line to book transportation to a nearby hospital and even arrange a medical evacuation if necessary (depending on your travel insurance policy).
As this example highlights, 24/7 assistance services are especially useful when traveling outside of the country. As a foreigner, you may not be fluent in the local language or confident navigating the medical system. 24/7 assistance removes the guesswork. You can speak to a person who will steer you through an otherwise confusing and complex process.
Do All Travel Insurance Plans Come with 24/7 Assistance Services?
Not all travel insurance plans come with 24/7 assistance services. Some policies offer limited or no assistance services, while others offer comprehensive support. It’s important to read the fine print before purchasing a policy in order to understand both the benefits and exclusions.
Once you purchase a travel insurance policy, you can call the 24/7 assistance number to learn more about your coverage and ask questions about your upcoming trip. These services aren’t only for emergencies! They’re there for anything you need help with, big or small.
How Else 24/7 Assistance Can Help
While emergency assistance is a highlight of 24/7 assistance services, these services can also help policyholders with a wide range of non-emergency issues as well, such as trip planning, lost documents, and other unexpected issues that may arise.
Let’s take a look at how else travel assistance services can help you on your trip:
- Providing pre-trip information and guidance on vaccination requirements, local currencies, weather, and travel advisories.
- Assisting with trip planning and booking, like making reservations for accommodations, transportation, and activities.
- Helping with lost or stolen documents, like replacing a missing passport or providing a temporary replacement for a stolen credit card.
- Providing translation services for policyholders who are traveling in a foreign country and need assistance communicating with local providers.
- Advancing cash or guaranteeing payment to a medical provider (up to the limit in your policy) if payment is required prior to treatment or discharge.
Find a Travel Insurance Plan
Now that you know about the peace of mind that comes with 24/7 assistance services, it’s time to find the right travel insurance plan for your trip!
There are several ways to find travel insurance policies:
Comparison sites: Websites like TraveIInsurance.com allow you to compare plans from different providers and purchase coverage, all in one spot. You can tailor coverage to suit your needs and budget, with options like trip cancellation, emergency medical, travel delay, and more. This can save you time and money in the long run.
Travel agents: Travel agencies can often help you find and purchase travel insurance plans. They may not be able to offer you plans from multiple providers and help you compare the coverage and costs.
Insurance brokers: Insurance brokers can help you find travel insurance plans from different providers, compare the coverage options, and make recommendations based on your specific needs.
Credit card companies: Many credit card companies offer travel insurance as a benefit to their cardholders. It’s worth checking with your credit card company to see if they offer any coverage that could be helpful for your trip. Just make sure you understand the limitations and exclusions that come with it. If their coverage is not sufficient, you can always supplement it with additional insurance coverage.
In short, consider comparing different travel insurance plans and providers to find the one that best meets your needs and budget. Make sure to read the fine print, understand the coverage and exclusions, and check that the policy has 24/7 assistance services.
We get it, travel is expensive. The last thing you want is to add more costs to your trip. But without a comprehensive travel insurance plan, you could be on the hook for an even bigger bill if you or someone in your travel party has an emergency.
By choosing an insurance policy with 24/7 assistance services, you can rest assured that there is a resource on hand to help you prepare for your trip and react quickly if something goes awry. From identifying local physicians to providing foreign language interpretation, this travel insurance benefit can save you time, money, and stress when you need it most.
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