Not all travel insurance plans are the same!
Lee Phillips finally decided to take the vacation of his dreams - a solo trip to the Alaskan Wilderness. It may have been the last trip of his life if he hadn’t had the foresight to purchase Sportsman’s Travel Insurance.
"On a trip like this, you have to plan for every contingency," Phillips said. "Things can, and obviously do go wrong. I decided to purchase a Sportsman’s Travel Insurance policy in case I needed emergency assistance. It turned out to be the best $104 investment I ever made."
Phillips set out on his 400-mile excursion in unfamiliar territory and alone. Only five miles into the journey, Phillips lost his only kayak paddle. Due to the swirling waters, he was twice submerged in freezing water. As the day wore on, his situation became more desperate as hypothermia set in and advanced to the final stages.
After dragging his boat for over 10 hours in shallow, freezing waters, Phillips finally made camp and contacted his wife on satellite phone to update her on the situation. "I was concerned for my health and my life, quite frankly. I was losing consciousness and didn’t know how much longer I could last," Phillips said. He instructed his wife to contact Travel Guard to determine what, if any assistance they could provide.
AIG Travel Guard’s medical assistance coordinators contacted the Alaskan State Troopers and Ft. Wainwright to dispatch an emergency medical evacuation helicopter. Thanks to Phillips’ satellite phone, AIG Travel Guard was able to provide his exact coordinates to the rescue team. Within an hour, the helicopter located Phillips, landed nearby, and flew him to the Fairbanks Hospital for immediate medical attention.
"As I was lifted from my location on the helicopter, we saw a forest fire start about six miles south of where I was. Had I not been rescued, I could have been right in the path of the fire," said Phillips.
Within a few days, Phillips returned to health in the comfort and care of the staff at Fairbanks Hospital. While he was recovering, AIG Travel Guard worked with his outfitter and managed to recover the gear and personal possessions that he had left behind in the wilderness. AIG Travel Guard’s emergency travel services then rebooked him on an earlier flight home, and his Sportsman’s Travel Insurance policy covered the additional cost of the ticket change fee. In all, Phillips’ insurance policy covered more than $10,140 for his medical evacuation, emergency medical hospital expenses, expenses associated with retrieving his gear and additional travel expenses.