Dealing with an Emergency Abroad: The FCO and travel insurance
If you experience an emergency abroad, your travel insurance and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are there to help.
We've put together some common scenarios and detailed where you may be able to find help and assistance.
Here's the important thing to remember; the FCO can provide valuable help and support if you run into trouble abroad, but they don't foot the bill - this is where travel insurance comes in.
What if I lose my passport or it gets stolen?
The FCO can issue you with emergency travel documents if your passport is lost or stolen, however they will charge for doing this. You will need to attend the nearest consular office.
You may be able to make a claim for reimbursement of this cost from your travel insurance, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. NB. You will need to have obtained a police report and keep receipts for all costs.
Insurewithease.com includes cover for lost and stolen passports on our Silver, Gold, and Platinum policies; please see your policy wording for full terms and conditions.
My bag has been stolen and I don't have any money
The FCO can't replace your money, but they can help you contact family and friends and provide information about how you can safely transfer money from the UK.
When you return home you may be able to make a claim under the Personal Property section of your travel insurance, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
Please note: In order to make a successful claim on your travel insurance you will need to have obtained a police report confirming the theft.
Insurewithease.com provides cover for Personal Money on our Silver, Gold, and Platinum policies; please see your policy wording for full terms and conditions.
I was admitted to hospital: Who pays the bill?
If you're sick or injured abroad, the FCO cannot pay for your medical treatment or provide treatment themselves, this is why they strongly advise you to make sure you have travel insurance every time you travel abroad, regardless of whether your trip is for a couple of days or a couple of months.
The most important reason to have travel insurance is to cover the cost of unexpected emergency medical treatment whilst you are away, which can easily amount to £1000's of pounds.
If you become ill or have an accident abroad you should contact the emergency support line provided by your travel insurance company, they will be able to assist you in getting the medical treatment you need quickly.
Insurewithease.com provides cover for Medical and Repatriation expenses up to £10 million on our Silver, Gold and Platinum policies. Our medical emergency assistance team are available by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from anywhere in the world.
I've been beaten up and robbed. Who can help me?
If you're a victim of crime, the FCO can help you get medical attention if you need it, contact your family and friends to let them know what has happened, help you get money safely transferred and provide you with a list of local lawyers and interpreters.
If you do need medical treatment as a result of being mugged or robbed, contact the 24 hour emergency support line provided by your travel insurance company, they will be able to assist you in getting the medical treatment you need quickly.
If your money or possessions have been stolen, make sure that you get a police report. You will need it in order to make a claim under the personal property section of your travel insurance when you return home.
Take these numbers every time you travel
When you are away it's important to keep the Consular Assistance telephone number and your travel insurance providers 24 hour emergency support number with you at all times - you never know when you might need to use them.
Consular Assistance team on: 020 7008 1500 (+44 20 7008 1500 if calling from overseas).
When you buy a travel insurance policy from Insurewithease.com you will find our emergency medical contact number on your documentation, our team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.