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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

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Old 7 May 2017
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Before I fork out big dollars to an insurer ...,

One thing I have always done beforehand is to find out exactly where their emergency hotline operators are located.

That may be some 3rd party call answering service in India who cannot contact the main office (on another continent) until the next day . Perhaps they also don't have the permission to make executive decisions , or the person who does is sick/ on holidays / day off / out to lunch etc,

..., or perhaps they only have one telephone line / or staff member working that night - where you are put on hold for ever as you try and call from overseas - which chews through all your cash before getting your call answered.

After finding out where the call centre is actually located .., I work out a time that corresponds to being "in the middle of the night" for that offices location - and I make a 'test' phone call to that office simulating an emergency just to see how promptly someone answers the phone, then see what authority they actually have.

These insurance companies all promise to provide prompt action , but from my little call tests over the years, I know that is not always true - far from it actually.

With an insurer .., I expect nothing less than a quick telephone answer - 24 hours around the clock 365 days a year - with full emergency response permission granted instantly for everything covered in the policy without any delays whatsoever.

I know for a fact , and have seen people die in third world where a hospital does not want to lift a finger to save a life - ie; before they can ensure 100% that the bill is going to get paid up front or without official confirmation from an insurer.

Any delay in conformation from an insurer for example can see you bleed out internally in the waiting room.

..., and always read your fine print (twice) , and if there is a 'what if' in the fine print that sounds like it could be a grey area , or is vaguely worded, then email the company (ie;dont call) and get the clarification in writing or consider yourself not covered. You can bet that grey area will not be interpreted in your favour when it comes to the crunch.
Insurance companies go to lots of effort to word their policies vaguely for that exact reason so they can interpret it how they see fit to avoid any payouts.

Never trust or rely on what a company representative tells you over the phone either regarding the 'what if's' to the questions you may ask .

Do not believe their verbal interpretation of the policy when it is not clearly defined in the fine print. Only trust confirmed written replies as this will be the only leg you have to stand on if things go pear shaped .
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