Travel Team | Oct 7, 2022
No one wants to think about the potential for a medical emergency while on vacation. However, having a plan so you know what to do if you do get sick or hurt during your trip could save you in more ways than one.
When Seven Corners customers Darryl and Nancy traveled to China, they bought trip insurance as part of a travel protection plan. That decision ended up being better than they anticipated. This is their story.
On the very first day of their 10-day trip, Darryl and Nancy were exploring Beijing’s Temple of Heaven as part of a guided tour group.
"We had just gotten in and were moving from the Hindu section to the Buddhist section, so I was in a crowd,” said Darryl. “The team leader was way ahead of us waving her little flag. I'm digging around for my passport, and the crowd pushed me through this doorway. I didn't see this threshold in front of me. It was about a foot high and made of cement. The crowd pushed and all of a sudden, I went forward. When I hit the ground, my foot went this way, and my leg was all twisted, and the people kept going.”
The tour guide called an ambulance to take Darryl to the hospital. As he was being wheeled into the facility, hospital staff asked how they planned to pay for treatment. It’s not unusual for international hospitals to require payment upfront. For someone like Darryl, who was obviously seriously injured, that immediate payment wasn’t going to be minor.
Darryl was able to tell hospital staff that they had travel insurance. "Once they learned who it was that we were insured by and there was somebody to work with, it all just flowed from there,” he said.
Darryl was fortunate he had international travel insurance, but unfortunately, his injury was even more severe than he thought. “It wasn't a broken femur; it was a shattered femur. There were way too many pieces floating around in there to fly me home.
“I thought I was going to die. I really did. I called my daughter, and my daughter said, ‘Dad I've talked to the people at Seven Corners. They're smart, they do this every day, and they're going to get you home.’"
Darryl wasn’t on his way home just yet, though. First, he faced more than six hours of surgery to repair his fractured hip. He then had to recover for a few more weeks in China before he could fly home to the United States.
"It was a tough time. But all that time that was going on, it was comforting to know that people back here (in the U.S.) were putting the plan in motion to get me home.
“After about two weeks, they certified me to get home and to travel,” Darryl recalled. “Seven Corners really did almost everything. It was very difficult given the time differences and language differences for us to make a lot of those plans, so they arranged, they talked directly to doctors, they talked directly to Nancy.”
All that coordination, from working with hospital staff to arranging for transportation and a nurse escort who monitored Darryl’s health during the flight home, was part of Seven Corners’ non-insurance assistance services. Travel assistance services provided by Seven Corners can include various types of aid such as translation assistance, help finding appropriate medical care, and emergency medical evacuation services.
Those non-insurance benefits went beyond the immediate medical care that Darryl required. They were also a comfort to his wife, providing support throughout the ordeal.
"Seven Corners did a wonderful job,” said Nancy. “They just took a tremendous load off of me because I didn't have to figure out all these things. We will never again travel without travel insurance anywhere outside of the U.S.”
Now fully recovered from his surgery, Darryl and Nancy have already begun traveling again. And they will never question whether they need travel insurance for their upcoming trips.
"For such a small amount of investment, you cover what could be a huge loss,” said Darryl. “After this experience, I wouldn't think of traveling without travel insurance.”
If you’ve never experienced an emergency overseas, it can be easy to dismiss the need for travel insurance. As we see from this customer success story, however, leaving home prepared can go a long way toward protecting yourself and your trip.
Finding the best travel insurance for you is as simple as a phone call or online chat. Contact our licensed travel insurance agents when planning your next trip.
Toll free 1-800-335-0611
Darryl and Nancy's travel protection plan contained travel insurance benefits underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, as well as noninsurance assistance services provided by Seven Corners.