Does insurance cover accidents abroad?

Travel insurance is vital, whatever the purpose of your trip. Our experts explain what your insurance should cover if you have an accident abroad.

11 August 2023

Traveling is an incredible experience. It allows us time to recharge, explore new places and create lifelong memories. However, unexpected situations can arise, such as accidents or illnesses, which is why having comprehensive travel insurance is crucial to protecting yourself and your loved ones during your travels.

Travel insurance is incredibly important as it offers several layers of protection should things go wrong when you’re away. Citizens advice say your travel insurance protects you against a variety of things such as:

  • Having to cancel or cut your trip short for reasons beyond your control
  • Missed transport or a delayed departure for reasons beyond your control
  • Medical emergencies
  • Lost, stolen or damaged items
  • Accidental damage or injury caused by you

As travel insurance covers so much, it’s important to choose the right one with the best coverage, so you can enjoy your holiday stress-free. When choosing your travel insurance, it’s essential to consider your travel needs. The best travel insurance should always include:

A high medical coverage: Ensure it includes sufficient medical coverage, keeping in mind if you have any pre-existing health conditions and make sure it’s reflected in the amount you’ll have to access. If you intend to participate in high-risk activities or hire a motorcycle, check your policy covers these.

Trip cancellation: The cancellation policy should align with your needs and protect you from any potential losses.

Lost or delayed baggage: Look for coverage that reimburses for lost, stolen, or delayed luggage, and pay attention to any limits or exclusions.

Look at any additional benefits: Benefits such as travel delays, missed connections, or even winter sports protection. These can enhance your overall travel experience.

When should you inform your travel insurance provider when you’ve had an accident?

It is important to inform your travel insurance provider about an accident as soon as possible as it allows for a smoother claims process and ensures you receive the necessary assistance and coverage according to your policy.

When you need medical attention, if possible, it’s best to inform your travel insurance provider and get them to approve the treatment as some medical establishments may not be covered under the policy such as private hospitals.

Some countries have agreements with the UK to give free emergency treatment. For more information on the healthcare rules, you can check the specific country you're travelling to here.

Make sure to have the contact information for your travel insurance provider readily available. This can include their emergency helpline number, policy details, and any other relevant information you may need to provide when reporting the accident.

Travel insurance policies usually specify a time where you must report an accident. Typically, the earlier you report the incident, the better.

Why should you still consider pursuing a claim?

Even if your insurance covers or reimburses you for all your medical expenses when you’ve had an accident or illness abroad, you can still pursue a claim as you may be entitled to compensation. If your accident or injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can pursue a claim against that party. A solicitor can take your claim and advocate for your rights.

There are certain things your travel insurance policy might not cover, such as the emotional toll an accident or illness abroad could take on your wellbeing. Pursuing a travel claim allows you to hold someone accountable for any suffering you have experienced.

Surprisingly, you may still be able to claim compensation when no one is at fault. Many compensation claims arise from incidents and injuries occurring on aeroplanes. When you are injured on an aeroplane, the Montreal Convention 1999 applies, which allows you to pursue a claim from your home country and makes airlines 'strictly liable' for injuries you sustain in an accident.

When should you speak to a travel litigation specialist?

If you’ve been involved in a significant travel accident or suffered injuries during your trip, it is advisable to speak with a travel litigation specialist. They can assess the circumstances surrounding the incident, help you understand your rights, and guide you through the legal process to seek compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

One of our clients was awarded with a six-figure settlement after we helped him pursue an accident abroad claim.

There are a variety of injuries that you could potentially make a claim for including:

The UK law generally sets a time limit of three years from the date of an accident in which to start a claim, however this may be extended when claiming on behalf of a child or someone who lacks mental capacity.

However, the laws vary in other countries, and some compensation claims need to be made in a matter of months, so it is usually advisable to talk to a travel litigator about starting a claim as soon as possible. For more information on how to pursue a travel claim, our step-by-step guide will help you.

Why should you choose Slater and Gordon for your travel claim?

At Slater and Gordon, our team are made up of specialist legal minds who have worked within the travel sector for several years. Members of our travel litigation team have previously worked for some of the largest tour operators in the UK within their in-house legal departments, which provides us with the expert knowledge and experience needed to achieve the best settlements for our clients. When you've suffered an accident on holiday, you need experts you can talk to and trust. Contact our solicitors and we’ll provide you with a sympathetic ear and help you with the legal process. For information, contact us online or give us a call on 0330 041 5869.

Search our website
Sorry, we have no results to show
Please try a different search term.
Oops, something went wrong
Please try typing in your search again.
Back to top