How to make an insurance claim if you have an accident abroad

photo car broken

No matter how prepared we are, accidents happen and having an accident abroad can be scary. Being protected through good travel insurance and assistance ensures you're not left alone and vulnerable in your hour of need and it provides peace of mind that you won't have to pick up a hefty bill.

If you're the unfortunate victim of an accident abroad, here are some tips to ensure your insurance claim runs smoothly and you receive the support you need. With Europ Assistance, not only will you have fantastic insurance, but you'll also have access to roadside assistance to get you back on your way. 

Finding the right insurance 

Before embarking on a trip, it's essential to do some homework on both the country you're visiting and the type of insurance that will best fit your needs. There are so many different types of policies available and it's important to choose one that matches your specific requirements, rather than being tempted by the cheapest! Browsing Europ Assistance's travel insurance options is a great place to start. 

Start by writing a list. Consider the climate, politics and medical care of the region you're travelling to. For example, what is the safety record of local hospitals and are there any vaccinations you need to get in advance? Failure to have the right vaccinations can nullify an insurance claim if you get sick. 

Look at the modes of transport you'll be taking, the belongings you plan to carry with you and the types of activity you'll be doing when you arrive. Taking part in hazardous sports such as skiing or jet skiing often requires additional cover, so don't forget to add this to your policy! 

Finally, always tell an insurer about existing health problems before you take out insurance, or you may not be covered, and make sure you can easily access your documents when you're away. What to do after an accident

In the immediate aftermath of an incident, it can be hard to think clearly about what to do next, but a few simple measures will make an insurance claim much easier to handle.

Firstly, be sure to gather evidence by taking videos and photos and by speaking to any witnesses. Take witness details too, as your insurer may need to speak to them directly. Keep receipts and records of everything you need to buy. 

Lost or stolen belongings and other crimes should be reported to the police within 24 hours and if this isn't possible, tell someone in charge. While the police may not be able to recover the goods, your insurer will almost certainly ask for a police report or crime reference number to process the claim. 

If medical treatment is needed, where possible, it's important to speak to your insurer before going ahead. Different policies have varying degrees of cover, so it's worth checking what's included and gaining authorisation before proceeding.

Finally, with roadside assistance, Europ Assistance will help you then and there so you can continue with your holiday. 

Filing your claim

As soon as you can, give your insurance helpline a call to check what they need for a successful claim and to verify that you're covered for the incident. You often have a certain number of days to contact your insurer before they can refuse cover, so it's important to reach out as swiftly as possible. 

Once you've spoken to your insurer, you will need to provide details of the incident and you will be sent a claim form to complete. Here, the insurer will want some evidence of the accident, so this is where you can send over any police reports, visual evidence or receipts.

Checking the small print

Before filing an insurance claim, it's worth double checking the policy small print so you don't encounter any unexpected surprises! Read-through the policy exclusions, as certain incidents may either not be covered or only partially covered, such as travel delays, belongings up to a certain value, or injuries through extreme sports

Double check the excess, which is the amount you have to pay towards each claim. You should refer to this before making a claim, as it might be worth footing the bill yourself if the incident is minor. Sometimes you have to pay for any costs incurred upfront, before receiving the claim back, so make sure you're fully aware of this before proceeding!

Insurance and assistance are there to help you when you've suffered an unexpected mishap abroad, so as long as you do your homework and invest in a policy that fits your needs, we are there to support and protect you.