Travel insurance can literally save you

07 December 2011
Max, a German engineer, travelled to India on business – a trip, which almost proved fatal. Luckily, his Finnish employer had taken out worldwide If Business Travel insurance for all staff travelling on business.

One night, Max began to feel ill. His colleagues became worried and took Max to the local hospital. It soon became clear that Max would have to stay in hospital for treatment.

Help from SOS International

Max was carrying an If travel insurance card with the contact information of If’s partner, SOS International. The hospital called SOS, whose emergency centre contacted If’s weekend-duty team expert and checked the validity of Max’s insurance coverage.

Specialist physician in SOS contacted the doctor treating Max in India and heard that Max had suffered a mild heart attack. He would urgently need balloon dilation (angioplasty), or possibly heart bypass surgery.

Business Travel insurance compensates for medical expenses incurred during business trip. It also reimburses the costs of transferring the insured to his or her home country or the nearest possible location for further treatment, whenever a medical assessment concludes that treatment at the travel destination is not possible. Travel expenses for a return journey by one close relative, to and from the insured, can also be covered if the insured’s life is considered to be in danger.

Flight home

SOS analysed the quality of the local hospital and possible locations in which the operation might be performed. Being unconvinced about the standards of the local hospital, and because transport from India could be arranged as early as Sunday morning, SOS concluded that, under the circumstances, Max should be transferred to his native Germany. Treatment and recovery would also be easier in Max’s home country, with his family on hand and matters being handled in his own language.

The estimated cost of the flight came to 35 000 euros. Upon being contacted, the hospital in Max’s home town confirmed that he could be admitted for further treatment upon his arrival in Germany.

On Sunday, the stricken engineer was transferred to Germany on an ambulance flight organised by SOS. An angioplasty was performed the next day, following which he made a full recovery from the operation and became fit for work within four months. This is how If’s Business Travel insurance works.

Tuukka Pulkkinen