In a developed and dynamic world, it’s easy to forget our vulnerability to natural disasters. The recent major earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are a key example of this. With the death toll exceeding 5,000 and significant numbers of casualties in areas which have already been ravaged by civil war, there is increasing concern and risk of a humanitarian crisis.
The full extent of damage won’t be known for sometime and similar to many people and organisations we are striving to understand how best to help.
One resource advo can provide, is our expertise in relation to expatriate insurance, in particularly international medical and travel insurance. Turkey is renowned as a popular holiday destination, particularly for “winter sun”. As well as tourism, the business environment in Turkey is fast moving and the need for talent has resulted in resourcing from outside the country. Turkey has stringent regulations in an attempt to encourage and develop local talent however the number of expatriates working in Turkey continues to rise.
“According to official statistics obtained by Nordic Monitor, there were a total of 1,300,220 foreigners with residence permits in Turkey in 2021, compared to 886,652 in 2020. The most common type of residence permit was a short-term residence permit granted to 954,812 people”
Why does this matter now?
With such high numbers of tourists and expatriates there is likely to be non-Turkish nationals affected by the recent disaster. This may be due to a number of reasons including; cancelled flights, relocation to alternative accommodation, injury and sadly loss of life.
How can advo help?
In a time of such turmoil and emotion we are here to provide practical support and advice. If you, your family, a colleague or an employee have been affected and need urgent advice a good place to start is understanding what insurance is in place.
Whilst cover is dependent on your chosen level of insurance, policy and individual exclusions, areas commonly covered by both travel and international medical insurance include; emergency medical cover, evacuation and repatriation.
Emergency Medical Cover
Most travel or international medical insurance policies include some aspect of emergency medical cover. Emergency medical cover refers to an illness or injury which requires emergency medical treatment. Whether this be as an outpatient, day patient or inpatient, most policies include some aspect of cover in these areas.
Whilst abroad and experiencing a medical emergency, an additional concern may be the level of care you have access to in your location. For a variety of reasons, the quality of medical care varies greatly across the world and within individual countries. If the medical treatment at your current location does not meet the requirements of your treatment, Evacuation provides cover toward the travel and expenses associated with being moved to a different medical facility. In some cases, the evacuation cover may also extend to the medical expenses of associated with evacuating you to your home country for emergency treatment. This cover is very dependent on individual circumstances in terms of both severity or illness/injury and individual location.
Once you have recovered or are medically stable and authorised to travel, some insurers also include cover for repatriation. This essentially means taking you back to your country of nationality.
In the event of loss of life, this also often includes the repatriation of mortal remains. Whilst an emotive topic to cover, it provides additional reassurance for loved ones and allows a third party (the insurer) to organise and manage the process.
Understandably, in the event of needing emergency medical treatment or loss of a loved one, insurance is unlikely to be forefront of your thoughts. However, once feasible to do so, it’s important for you or an authorised contact to reach out to your insurer as soon as possible. This will both ensure your treatment is covered however will also allow the insurer to discuss how they can help. With disasters of this scale, it’s likely the insurer will already have some resources and plans in place.
At such a time of need, advo want to ensure we are doing our bit to help. Our Employee Benefits team have a wealth of experience and are here to provide free non obligation advice should you need it.
Our thoughts are with all of those affected.