An accident abroad can be life changing

In Industry Comment, Industry News On

Most holidaymakers don’t claim on travel insurance, but what risk are you taking if you travel without it? According to data from trade body the Association of British Insurers, the average travel insurance medical claim between 2011 and 2016 was £1,300, but this number can easily run far higher.

Many countries have vastly more expensive healthcare systems than Britain’s, and injuries or illnesses that require significant time in hospital or repatriation via air ambulance can ramp up costs quickly.

Suffering an accident or illness at any time is stressful enough, but if an incident occurs while you are in a foreign country, the negative impact on your life and your family is likely to be heightened.

This was the case for Tim and his family. Tim was on holiday in Cyprus when he was in a serious accident, he was found unconscious and required repatriation to the UK. Unfortunately, Tim had no travel insurance and was therefore stuck in Cyprus. In order for Tim’s family to bring him home, Tim’s mum started a ‘Go Fund Me’ page and raised £21000 for the costs of repatriation back to the UK. The funding would cover the costs of a dedicated air ambulance which would safely transport Tim to Brighton for further care and recovery. Throughout the process of repatriation Tim remained unconscious with minimal responsivity.

The repatriation team required payment upfront, despite the funds being raised they were not quickly accessible from the ‘Go Fund Me’ page. The Electrical Industries Charity were contacted by Tim’s employer, an Electrical Wholesaler, for support. The EIC immediately intervened and provided the £25000 which was required to cover the cost of repatriation. Once the funds raised from the ‘Go Fund Me’ page were released the family returned the £21000 to the charity.

Whether it’s a summer break, romantic city trip away, winter ski retreat, or an escape to the country, the last thing you think will happen is to fall victim to an injury or illness whilst on holiday.

Unfortunately, every year holidaymakers risk accident, injury or illness while abroad, and many find that they have not considered the risks before they travel. An accident or injury on holiday can end up costing you a fortune – not to mention ruining your trip.

EIC is on hand to help during tough times in order to make it that little bit easier. Through its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which is funded by powerLottery, the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) provides people within the electrical sector with a wide range of support services, which offer legal and debt advice, practical assistance, financial grants and other help to support both the person directly affected and their family members.

The EIC support team has continued to stay in regular contact with Tim’s mum to provide support. Tim is making very slow progress and has recently moved to a rehabilitation clinic in Putney, he is still unconscious, his eyes are open, but he cannot communicate, and we are not sure if he is even aware of what is going on around him. He has zero control of any part of his body.

It is not certain if or when he will wake up, but if Tim does regain consciousness, he will require long term rehabilitation.  The charity supported Tim’s mum with informing the relevant service providers that Tim is ill and unable to maintain his finances, in most cases the accounts have been frozen. The charity has also paid for the travel costs for her to visit Tim 7 days a week at the hospital. We have initiated a solicitor to submit a Deputyship application to the Court of Protection and this will allow Tim’s mum to make decisions on his behalf in relation to his finances and welfare.

The EIC will continue to support Tim and his mum during his expected long-term rehabilitation and recovery, we hope that in time Tim will regain functioning and be able to return to work in a supported capacity.

Thanks to support from the industry, every year the Electrical Industries Charity is able to offer hundreds of our industry colleagues both practical and emotional support during their time of need.

If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with a traumatic event and requires support, please contact the EIC support team: support@electricalcharity.org or 0800 652 1618.

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