When you decide to go on a trip and see what's going on elsewhere, there are still two, three little things to think about. We do not leave on a whim, there is a little administrative to plan upstream.
You can't see it on social media photos, it's not necessarily glamorous, but it's part of the game…
Joana's father working in insurance (classic, not at all traveling, huh! ...), you could be sure that this part would not be hidden! We often forget, thanks to or because of our French health system which allows us to access all care almost free of charge, that this is not the case in countries of the rest of the world.
It is quite simply an insurance which will cover:
- Medical expenses abroad during a trip or a WHV
- Assistance and repatriation costs in the event of a more serious problem.
- The loss or theft of luggage is also included, as is civil liability.
- etc ...
So of course, we don't wish it on anyone, but Prevention is better than cure and here the proverb takes on its full meaning. It's not because we go on vacation / travel that we don't risk anything, an accident quickly occurred. And by definition an accident happens when you least expect it.
On vacation, one relaxes, one relaxes, one leaves one's comfort zone and it is often there unfortunately that it happens…
We want to tell you about it for several reasons:
On the one hand because thewe have read and heard too many stories of people injured more or less seriously while traveling and for whom the note was saluted when they had no insurance.
We have in mind the accident of a friend who had an open fracture of the little finger in the USA during a simple hike. Amount of the operation: 25,000 €. It is expensive the little finger, we agree?!…
And we tell ourselves that it only happens to others, but when, last year, Joana had a bad fall on the steps of a Mayan temple lost in the middle of the jungle, in Belize, we were very happy to be insured!
We reassure you right away, more fear than harm for Joana. It could have been much worse, but still ... We were therefore able to test our travel insurance in concrete terms, a.k.a "Chapka Insurance" (we would have done well in this case anyway! Poor Joana…).
Come on, we tell you that "quickly" ...
We were far from any civilization, in the middle of the jungle, at the Temple of Caracol, in Belize near the border with Guatemala (look at the satellite view on Google Map, you will understand better!…). It was pouring rain, the many steps of the temple were slippery and in a fraction of a second, Joana found herself on the ground and heard a huge crack in the vertebrae. She could no longer breathe (luckily it didn't last), nor move. This archaeological site being protected by the army because of its proximity to the border, I (Eric) could find soldiers who patrolled 500m from there. No doctor, just a stretcher "Spring Roll" style.
There, they told us that there were two solutions (all in Spanish):
- Either get the network on the main road at 4h track to call an ambulance, wait for the ambulance (5h), and leave for the hospital by ambulance (5h). Total: 14 hours in a stretcher for Joana… Not cool…
- Or transform the van into a makeshift ambulance #Vanlife #AmbulanceLife by installing Joana as comfortably as possible in the stretcher and making the 5h drive directly to the hospital.
Okay, you understand, the second option was the quickest and Joana claimed the van.
We pass you the crazy storm on the end of the muddy track and the arrival in town with floods everywhere (well yes! As much to do, as much to do it well until the end ...).
Once I got to the hospital and Joana with the doctors, I was able to call assistance number Chapka.
Very quickly, we were taken care of for follow-up and our correspondent called us every hour to get news.
But to continue with the little adventures, hospital x-ray broken down we had to change facilities for a nearby clinic.
An ambulance transfer later so here we are at the clinic. When you arrive, the first thing you are asked is: "Can you pay for your care?" Yes, so here is the initial quote, but it can be more expensive with the drugs. ”
Ok, we are very far from what we know in France. You have to pay in advance for the doctor's consultation, the x-rays and the radio interpretation before you even see the doctor and be examined. In short, we pay. And after several hours, the famous radios and stings, Joana is finally allowed to sit and leave with a few more drugs and injections for the coming days and weeks. She walks like a little old woman of course, but we are reassured : nothing serious, "just" vertebrae well packed by the shock.
In the meantime we had several insurance calls, to find out how Joana was doing. Our correspondent explained the process to us in the case of a visit to the hospital, without hospitalization: you must advance the costs and then send the supporting documents directly online. What we did and Joana was fully reimbursed only 48 hours later!
In the case of hospitalization lasting several days, the costs would have been paid directly by the insurance. Isn't that beautiful ?!
In short, unfortunately we were able to really test the services of our travel insurance and we thank them again!
What we like about our insurer, apart from their kindness, their good advice and that they like maple syrup as much as we do, is precisely clarity and simplicity of the site and explanations. Everything is very clear, we know why and where we are covered. And if you have a question or a doubt, a message or a call is enough to raise it.
So obviously, for daredevils, if you are going to carry out a particular activity, be sure to check if it is covered by your contract.
For example, for scuba diving, according to insurance, you will not be insured (and I won't even tell you the price that a passage in a hyperbaric chamber costs with the helicopter shuttle that goes with it). In Chapka, no problem, you will be insured up to 40m deep, it is one of their exclusivity.
Another example: mountaineering. If mountain hiking is covered, mountaineering will not be…
In short, you will understand, who says particular, extreme, extraordinary activity, also says, maybe for you, particular insurance in addition for the given activity. But we are talking about very specific cases here and generally you will then have a guide and therefore insurance included. Inquire!
Apart from activities, the destination can count and make a little difference on the price. Yes, that's normal, depending on the countries visited, the local health system is more or less expensive. In North America, the slightest intervention, even mild, or just a simple consultation, can cost several hundred dollars (when we told you that we forget how lucky we are in France for that ...). It is therefore necessary to subscribe to a contract adapted to the destination.
In our case, we have an “Cap Aventure” contract Worldwide including USA / Canada.
So whether you leave for two weeks, two months or two years, consider taking out insurance. Contracts can be for short or long durations and are suitable for all cases and ages from 1 to 79 years old.
For us, it really wasn't an option to go without, so we took out insurance from the start of our road trip in 2015. It's like everything else, we tell ourselves that we will not need it, that there is no reason, and then the day we need it, we are very happy to have it! We still hope you never have to use it!
There are several companies specializing in travel insurance, it's up to you to find the one that suits you. We, in any case and you will understand, we trust Chapka Insurance, all the more since the episode "Joana's fall in Belize".
Have a nice trip friends and go covered!