What do I do if I’m in a vehicle accident on vacation?

05.02.24 by Travelex Insurance
Image credit: Getty Images
From riding public transportation in Portugal to driving a rental car through Canada, there are lots of ways to explore your destination. But, with the excitement of travel can also come vehicle accidents — which can happen when you least expect them. So, if you’re traveling with one of our Travelex plans, let’s explore what to do in a vehicle accident.

Planning to get to Buckingham Palace via the London Tube or ride a bicycle around Tokyo? When you picture visiting all the sights on your itinerary, you expect to enjoy yourself to the fullest. But what happens if the unexpected happens during your trip — like getting in a vehicle accident? Would you know what to do or who to call?

If you’re wondering what to do in a vehicle accident — whether it’s a bus, boat, bicycle, or car — you’ll be happy to know our emergency assistance team is here to help 24/7. Yes, if your trip is protected with our Travelex travel insurance, we can support you in more ways than one.

If you have an urgent medical concern that needs immediate treatment and is too severe to be treated at a doctor’s office or clinic, you’ll find yourself looking for the nearest emergency room so you can go to a hospital at your vacation destination — and fast.

“Getting in a vehicle accident while traveling can feel super stressful, especially if you get injured. But don't worry, we've got your back! Our amazing team of travel assistance experts is here 24/7 to help you get the care and support you need.

“From finding a nearby hospital to get checked or where to find a police station to get a police report, our team of medical and security specialists to help make a likely messy situation a little smoother so you can get back to your vacation.”

Dr. Joel Lockwood MD, FRCPC, Regional Chief Medical Officer at World Travel Protection, our 24/7 assistance provider.

In this guide, we’ll fill you in on what to do if you’re in a collision, from reaching our emergency assistance team to filing a claim for unforeseen expenses. This way, we can take some pain out of navigating the post-accident process if you ever find yourself in one on vacation.

Need travel assistance right now?

Our 24/7 emergency assistance team can help support you. Here’s how you can contact us:

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5 steps to take if you’re in a vehicle accident on vacation:

1. Get in touch with local authorities and our 24/7 emergency assistance team.

2. Document the incident and save all records.

3. Use our emergency assistance team to make a telehealth appointment or find a nearby medical facility.

4. Hold onto all medical documentation, including reports, records, and receipts.

5. Submit a travel insurance claim for any unexpected costs.

Here’s what to do if you’re involved in a vehicle accident during your trip

Step 1: Get in touch with local authorities and our 24/7 emergency assistance team.

The first step is to play it safe and reach out to professionals who can help:

1. Call local police and emergency medical services after your vehicle accident. (If you have our Travel On app, you’ll find the numbers for the local authorities in there.)

2. Call our emergency assistance team as soon as you’re able. As a Travelex traveler, you’re not alone if you’re dealing with a stressful situation away from home — our World Travel Protection assistance team is here to help at any time.

If you get injured in an accident, when you call our emergency assistance team you can speak with experienced paramedics and nurses who can help you get the right medical care based on what happened and how you’re feeling after the accident.

Need a refresher on how to reach our travel assistance team? Here are four ways:

Step 2: Get an official document of the incident and save all records.

If you feel well enough to do so, take detailed photos of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicle and surrounding area or other vehicles. Note the time, date, and location of your vehicle accident, along with the names and contact information of any witnesses.

As local authorities assess and assist with your vehicle accident at your vacation destination, retrieve as much paperwork from them as possible. It’ll help document your travel insurance claim when you’re ready to file.

Step 3: Use our emergency assistance team to make a telehealth appointment or find a nearby medical facility.

Even if you feel fine after the accident, you could still have injuries you’re not aware of. So, it’s important to talk with medical specialists on our 24/7 emergency assistance line. When you do, we can arrange telehealth care or help you find reliable medical facilities nearby to visit in person.

Our World Travel Protection assistance team has a thoroughly vetted directory of trusted medical facilities worldwide who are ready to help our travelers. Wherever your vehicle accident occurs, we're equipped to swiftly guide you to the nearest and most dependable healthcare providers — because you deserve the right care whenever you need it.

Did you know?

Our care doesn’t stop when we help you find the nearest medical facility. We can also help while you’re getting treated after you’re injured in an accident. From hospital transfers and emergency medical evacuations to prescription assistance and transferring your medical records, our emergency assistance team can offer support.

Step 4: Hold onto all medical documentation, including reports, records, and receipts.

Just like saving records of your vehicle accident, remember to keep any paperwork you receive from any medical facility you visit to receive care.

Why? We’ll want as much documentation as possible to support your travel insurance claim when you file it — including your treatment details and medical costs.

Have more questions about documentation you should hold onto? Ask our emergency assistance team when they’re helping coordinate your care. For example, if you schedule a telehealth appointment via our assistance team, your confirmation and receipts should arrive in your email inbox for safe keeping.

Step 5: Submit a travel insurance claim for any unexpected costs.

If you want to try to get reimbursement for unexpected expenses that came up from your vehicle accident, you can file a Travelex claim. Remember to complete your claim within one year of returning home from your trip.

Before filing a claim, check your travel insurance benefits and exclusions and make sure you’re covered for the payments you had to make after your vehicle accident.

If you have questions about your coverage, you can call our claims team:

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company

Useful claim information for vehicle accidents:

  • Has your rental car been damaged in the accident?

    You’ll need our car rental collision upgrade included in your policy for coverage to apply. You can include this upgrade in your policy if you’re traveling with our Travel Select, Travel Basic, or Travel Med plans.

  • Were you injured in the accident and want to file a claim for your medical bills?

    If you have a Travelex policy and need medical care because of your accident, we might be able to reimburse your costs. Also, if the doctor prescribes medication or tells you to buy some, make sure you save your receipts and file a claim with us because we might be able to reimburse those costs, too.

Have all your paperwork together and ready to submit a claim? You can file your claim online or reach our claims team at 1-855-205-6054.

Important: Chances are that your health insurance from back home won’t help with bills that come up if you need medical care while you're abroad. That’s where our travel insurance comes into play: it can help take some of the pressure off when it comes to emergency medical and dental expenses. At Travelex, we have a team ready to review your claims for unplanned doctor visits, hospital stays, x-rays, and other unexpected medical expenses, so you can focus on enjoying your trip (not worrying about financial strain).

Ready to learn more from our travel assistance team?

Our travel specialists are always available to help with both emergency and non-emergency issues — and we’ve put together some guides to help you feel more prepared for the unexpected.

Set up your policy in our Travel On app now!

Easily access your coverage in your pocket — along with 24/7 tap-to-call travel assistance, instant safety notifications, and destination information — when you download our Travel On app.

Know your benefits and make the most of your travel insurance

We’re here to help protect more than your unexpected medical costs.

Don’t depart without our trip protection

Check out our plans and get a quick quote for coverage that suits your vacation.


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