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Reuter highlights importance of adequate travel insurance

Filed under: Air Ambulance Use Stories — Posted by: Richard on February 6, 2012

An interesting article on the Reuters website has highlighted the importance of having adequate travel insurance.

The story focuses on the plight of an American called Brad Catania who was on a work retreat in the Mexican resort of Cancun in April 2010. Looking forward to a week long mix of business and surfing, his thoughts didn’t include travel insurance; it was a decision which would cost him dear.

Having enjoyed a meal in a local restaurant on the Sunday, Mr Catania suddenly felt faint and collapsed to the ground. As he fell he struck his head on the ground, fracturing his skull and suffering a brain bleed.

He was rushed to hospital, though no surgery was performed immediately as it was the weekend. It was not until the following Monday morning that he finally underwent an operation on his brain.

When she learned of the accident his wife, Erin, herself a cardiac nurse, arranged for air ambulance repatriation. With no cover though, meeting the $72,000 (£45,500, E54,700) bill meant Erin had to contact a US emergency insurance group to help.

The bill, which covered both the cost of the air ambulance and the hospital charges, was eventually met but it was touch and go. Fortunately, Mr Catania made it back home and successfully recovered, whilst both he and his wife have returned to Mexico since, sufficiently covered with a $300 (£190, E230) travel insurance policy.

Though from the US, the story serves as a timely reminder to Brits travelling abroad without cover, where it is also important to check repatriation to the UK is covered under the terms of the policy.

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