This is a true story from a friend of ours. We think it speaks for itself.
“There is a saying that it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. In my experience, this was absolutely the case when I made the decision to buy a dedicated travel insurance policy for a family holiday.
“On the last night of a trip my family and I took to Italy in 2014 (with a stopover in Dubai), my son started to complain of a sore neck. The next morning as we left Tuscany, we took him to a small regional hospital, were given the all clear, and flew out.
“On the trip from Rome to Dubai our son went downhill very fast. On arrival in Dubai we took him to the local hospital where they performed countless blood tests and CT scans, asking us to report back at 8am the next morning for the results. Early the next morning we received a phone call from the hospital asking us to urgently come in as our son was very ill.
“The results of the tests revealed that our son had a major blood infection and abscess located in his throat, 2mm from his carotid artery and spinal cord, which required a course of intense intravenous antibiotics for 10 days and a stay in intensive care for 4 days.
“After 10 days we were advised that we could not be given clearance to fly home: the specialists treating our son advised us that they needed to remove his tonsils and adenoids (as the infection could return). The only place he could be operated on was over 100 kilometres away in a city called Al Ain (10 kilometres from the Omani border).
“Four days later my son underwent his operation and, soon afterwards, was given a clean bill of health. We were delighted to be able to return home to Australia with a healthy son.
“I have travelled many times and heard similar stories of people getting sick overseas but I never thought it could happen to us! Luckily we had purchased a suitable travel insurance policy prior to travelling.
“There are a different options available when it comes to international travel insurance. Some policies may be automatically available to you (for example, linked to your credit card), and others are available for purchase from a travel insurance provider.
“In my experience I have noticed some issues, which I’d describe as pitfalls, which may be relevant if you are relying on a travel insurance policy linked to your credit card.
“Be aware of the following:
1. Some or all of your travel arrangements need to be purchased using your credit card before it is available
2. Check if your whole family is included under the policy
3. Hospitals overseas may not recognise a credit card-based travel insurance policy. If this occurs, you are likely to have to pay medical bills arising directly, while you are overseas, and then make a claim when you return to Australia
“I was made aware of these issues during our time in Dubai: each of the three hospitals to which our son was admitted refused credit card insurance.
“During our time in Dubai our total Medical costs were A$26,000 for our son’s treatment.
“We had access to 24/7 medical support from our dedicated travel insurance provider, full coverage for all medical costs without any out of pocket expenses, plus the care, support and updates we needed while we were on the other side of the world.
“The policy we bought definitely outweighed the risk of relying on the travel insurance that was provided by our credit card!”
If you would like to know more about the travel insurance policies we offer, please visit our dedicated website.