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Surviving Abroad When Travel Goes Wrong

With the average cost of a medical travel claim reaching £900 and accounting for 56% of all travel insurance claims, according to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI)[1], insurance aggregators are suggesting how travellers can best deal with any problems abroad.

Providers of the specialist travel insurance comparison site for people with pre-existing conditions, and the over 65s, Medical Travel Compared reassures travellers that their holiday is likely to be trouble free but, preparing for the unexpected before leaving the UK will help reduce stress levels if things go wrong.

Vicki Moses, travel insurance expert and Head of Marketing for, commented: “We all want our holiday to be as trouble-free as possible and it’s important not to panic because it will only compound the issue.

“When things go wrong abroad, the more travel advice you have taken and the more prepared you are, the quicker you can deal with the situation and then continue enjoying your holiday, so try to read as much travel advice as possible before you go.

“Seek out trusted sources of guidance such as Gov.UK or the ABI, or take a look at the series of online Travel Insurance Guides on our website or short videos on our YouTube channel,, so that you are well prepared for any eventuality and know what steps to take to make a travel insurance claim when you return home.” was launched to tackle the difficulties associated with securing appropriate travel insurance for these travellers and offers access to a large choice of specialist insurers to get the best-value travel insurance cover under a range of circumstances.
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Here’s Medical Travel Compared’s Top Ten Tips to help travellers consider what else to do to prepare for a trip or what to do when things go wrong abroad:

1. Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The EHIC is free and it gives you access to state provided healthcare in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

2. Buy Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can cover the cost of medical treatment, repatriation, lost luggage, travel delay and more. It should be bought in addition to an EHIC, as the EHIC doesn't provide enough cover on its own e.g. for repatriation costs.

3. Take the Telephone Number for Emergency Assistance

Your travel insurance provider should offer an emergency assistance phone number so that you can contact them if an emergency arises whilst you are abroad. It's a good idea to put this number into your mobile phone.

4. Sign up to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office LOCATE service

LOCATE holds details of your travel arrangements so that you can be located more easily if there is an emergency. You can easily update your travel arrangements using their simple online system.

5. Take the Telephone Number for Consular Assistance

Consular Assistance can provide help if you lose your passport or you need legal advice whilst you are on holiday. They can be reached on: 020 7008 1500 (+44 20 7008 1500 from abroad).

6. Take Copies of Your Passport and Travel Documents

You can refer to the copies if the originals are lost or stolen.

7. Proof of travel dates

Keep your flight ticket as proof of your travel dates if you need to make a claim on your travel insurance. Check your policy wording for information about what documentation you will need to send, as it may differ between providers.

8. Theft

If you are the victim of a theft, obtain a police report within 24 hours of the incident occurring. You will need to send this to you travel insurance provider as proof of the incident.

9. Lost, Stolen or Damaged Baggage

If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged at the airport, obtain a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) from your airline. You will need to provide this to your travel insurance company in order to make a claim.

10. Illness or Accident

If you fall ill or you have an accident, keep receipts for any medical treatment or medication you receive to send to your travel insurance provider.

Vicki concluded: “A few simple steps to prepare before you go can save you a lot of time and stress should things go wrong so that you can start to relax again and enjoy the rest of your holiday.”

To use the company’s comparison service, visit or telephone their medical screening support line on 0844 998 9147 to speak to a trained Customer Service Assistant.


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How Medical Travel Compared works

We’re a specialist comparison website that provides people with pre-existing medical conditions an easy way to find suitable travel insurance. You’ll find a range of guides, articles and tips across our site. Whilst we always aim to provide the most accurate information and guidance, we can’t always guarantee that the information contained in the pages of our website is correct. Because of this, we can’t accept liability if things go wrong and you use the information at your own risk.

  • This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. You should always consult a medical professional to ensure you are healthy and fit enough to travel.
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