Traffic accidents threat to expats

Road accidents are one of the major risks for expats abroad and significantly impact on general expat health, being one of the top five causes of medical evacuations. According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study, 1.24 million people were killed on the world’s roads in 2010 writes

The Global status report on road safety 2013 presents information on road safety in 182 countries, accounting for 99% of the world’s population. Road accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 globally.

Middle-income countries have been hardest hit by rising road traffic accidents, these are emerging nations such as the BRICs and several Asian countries.

In these developing countries rapid access to healthcare can be a challenge. Something expats need to consider when choosing an international health insurance policy is whether they have medical evacuation included.

The study found only 28 countries, equating to 7 percent of the global population, have laws on five key risk factors: drink-driving, speeding, use of crash helmets, seatbelts and child restraints. However, enforcement of these rules, even in countries with existing legislation, is inadequate.

Health insurance for expatriates is a complicated industry, one which is constantly shifting. In Europe the impact of the economic crisis on health services has meant several countries have restricted access to expats and business travellers.

This comes at a time when business travel is increasing, despite persistent financial woes across much of the developed world. According to data from Euromonitor International, business travel has been steadily increasing to 212 million international arrivals in 2012.

With this increase in business travel, the constantly changing landscape of international health insurance and many countries tightening healthcare rules for expats, companies need to ensure they provide emergency evacuation coverage as part of their employee medical insurance package.

Reproduced with kind permission of