Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 13:32

Donna Murphy
(29 August 2016 at 11:16pm)

I would like to tell you a story (that’s still ongoing) about the importance of identification. This is not an advertisement for any business. I live in Bali and work in the travel industry. Part of my job is to take care of our guests who become ill, are involved in accidents, lose passports, or run into any other difficulty that can easily happen in Bali.

Last Thursday I received a call to say that two of our guests had been involved in a serious head on car accident. (The guests were traveling in the vehicle of a particular activity that they were heading to). Head on crash. Driver and 4 passengers in the vehicle.

My two guests are in their 70's. A lovely couple.

The call came in at 3.30pm and I had no idea who their travel insurance provider were. The husband, who had arranged the trip, was in an ambulance on his way to Sanglah and was not able to communicate.

I took a punt and called a couple of insurance companies that I thought they may have used, but no luck.

I insisted that the guests be taken to Siloam. I did. It want them in Sanglah at all. Some people may dispute this, but it's my call at the end of the day and I made the call. It wasn't until around 6pm that the guests finally arrived to Siloam. I arrived 2 minutes after (one of the ambulances overtook me on the way through).

I had to find numbers for family, travel insurance (when I finally found out who they were with), put down a deposit for the hospital, authorize treatment, make sure they were informed of what was going on at all times, liaise with admin, doctors etc. And in addition deal with scared patients.

Very traumatic and draining.

I left the hospital at around midnight for some much needed sleep.

The wife has a broken leg, 2 broken bones in the hand and had a suspected neck injury. The husband has 3 broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken knee and broken hip.

The wife was operated on yesterday and was looking a lot better today. The husband is due for his hip operation tomorrow morning.

The bill for this case, at the moment, is sitting at around AUD40,000. There is talk of a med evac, which will possibly add a further AUD100,000 if it happens.

My reason for this post is to give you some tips that will help you in the event of an accident.

  1. 1Always have a copy of your passport, flight itinerary and travel insurance info on you. ALWAYS. Don't keep it in your phone only. What if you don't have your phone on you when you have an accident? And what if your phone IS on you but it is locked. Who can access it?
  2. Have contact information for someone to contact in case of accident. This is so important. It is my job to call relatives to break the news to them, so if I have the information soon, we can make decisions faster.
  3. Understand that you will usually have to pay a deposit to the hospital that will be held until the insurance kicks in. If you have a credit card with AUD1000 on it, you will be ok. (This is refunded to you when insurance takes over).
  4. Insurance takes time. Often 48 hours before your claim is approved. Sure, sometimes it is faster, but it is RARELY instant.
  5. BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE WITH A WELL KNOWN COMPANY. I have most experience with Covermore and they have only ever declined one of my guests and this was due to a pre existing condition that was contributing to the issue she was having in Bali.
  6. Have your local doctor in Australia's details on you. They will usually be contacted by the insurance company. Name, phone number and email address if possible.
  7. Some insurance companies ask to see your Medicare card (for Australians). Have a copy of it with you.

All of this will see you treated faster. It could save your life.

Seems like a lot to carry, doesn't it??

This is the reason why IDTracker is such a brilliant idea. I have one myself and wear it daily. I have a copy of my passport, health insurance (I live in Bali, so not travel insurance), next of kin, blood type, allergies ... EVERYTHING. Instead of caring wads of paper, load it all up onto your IDTracker profile and it is immediately accessible by hospital staff.