A medical emergency in Cambodia: Travel Insurance recommendation

This is genuinely not a paid for section. I just had an absolutely brilliant experience with an particular company – InsureandGo – and always recommend them.

My friend and I both took out multi country insurance policies with InsureandGo before we headed off on our round the world trip. They have a great flexibility where instead of insuring you for all extreme sports all the time (which was what other companies offered and was much more expensive), you could add activities as and when you decided to do them. For example, I insured myself for a skydive specifically for the day I was doing it for just a few pounds.

Our trip was going great. We had been in India and Thailand and were having an amazing time. My friend then became really sick in Cambodia. We thought it could be indigestion, very bad hangover, or even severe period pain. Unfortunately for her, it turned out to be appendicitis.

We found an international clinic in Cambodia and the doctor there performed an ultrasound, held her overnight and prescribed painkillers and other medication. I stayed overnight too.

I call the insurance company as soon as we have the diagnosis who informed me that their local agents would come to the clinic and collect our passports and make visa/flight arrangements, as it was far safer to have the surgery to remove her appendix in Thailand than in Cambodia.

Sure enough they turned up late at night to take our passports. Given that we had always said to each other that no matter what happens we need to keep our phones, passports and credit cards, handing them over was pretty scary. The insurance company assured us it was fine, and staff in the clinic told us they knew the local agents. We were told they would come and collect us in the morning.

The next day I pay the bill for overnight stay on my credit card – over US$1000. However when the agents arrive to pick us up, they refunded that money back to my card and paid the bill themselves. They took us in an ambulance to the airport where we bypassed security, passport control – actually the entire terminal building – and drove straight to the runway where a small medical plane was waiting for us.

The plane, which had a nurse on board, flew us straight to Bangkok. We landed on the runway and were immediately met by an ambulance. Our passports, with all the correct stamps and visas, were given back to us and we were taken to the hospital.

My friend had keyhole surgery, amazing care, and the nicest room that we stayed in over the entire six months away! A representative from the insurance company came to see us to check all was OK, and also offered to organise a room for me in a nearby hotel. As the hospital room was so nice and actually had a sofa bed, I decided to stay there.

All we had to do was sign a form confirming the treatment received and travel organised (totally nearly £15,000 if I remember correctly) and speak to the agent who came to see us in the hospital, and the claim was sorted. As we had paid a small charge when we took out the policy to waive the excess we didn’t pay a penny and, after a bit of recovery time, headed on to the next few months of our round the world adventure.

A different insurance company might have made things more difficult, made us pay up front, or done any number of things that could have resulted in cutting our trip – which we had planned since we were 13 – short, and returning home.

We will both be forever grateful to InsureandGo for being so helpful and efficient and ensuring our adventure could continue!

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