Tripped Up: A Traveler Says Her Insurance Wouldn’t Pay Up

A 68-year-old solo traveler, severely injured, anticipated her insurance company to manage her care, offer translation services, and facilitate her return to Florida, raising questions about the extent of insurance coverage.

Tripped Up: A Traveler Says Her  Insurance Wouldn’t Pay Up

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I am a 68-year-old individual traveler who was touring Sicily in June 2022. During the tour, I had a fall while alighting from a bus, resulting in multiple fractures in my ribs, vertebrae, and a pelvic bone. I had previously bought the RoundTrip Choice plan from Seven Corners Travel Insurance, and I reached out to them, hoping they would assist in coordinating my medical care with doctors who spoke Italian. However, they advised me to seek help independently, keep the receipts, and submit a claim upon my return home. Our tour guide was a godsend, organizing transportation for my hospital visits and even serving as an interpreter during phone calls with the doctors. A few days later, I managed to get a doctor to complete a form (which I had to translate using Google Translate) stating that I was fit to travel home, provided I was in a reclining position. My family contributed to purchasing a business-class seat for my return journey, which was a day and night trip from Palermo to Munich to New York to Jacksonville. Seven Corners eventually paid $5,772 towards my medical expenses and the part of the trip I missed, but they declined to reimburse the majority of my business-class fare. What's worse, I feel they didn't deliver the support they pledged, essentially leaving me to manage on my own and struggle with communication with the hospital staff. I have lodged complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the state insurance agencies of Florida and Indiana (where Seven Corners is headquartered), but to no avail. Can you assist? Helaine, St. Augustine, Fla.

What a horrifying experience. It also serves as a crucial caution to solo travelers that while exploring the world alone can be thrilling, it can also be fraught with danger. If you fall sick or get injured in a place where you don't speak the language (or are unfamiliar with the healthcare system), who will be there to assist you?

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