Sickness and accidents

If you have an accident or you fall ill while abroad, the security authorities and hospitals in the host country usually provide helpful support. However, it is highly recommended that you are properly prepared beforehand by bringing your “e-card”, the back side of which is the European Health Insurance Card, or by taking out insurance with a private insurer, credit card company, automobile club or an air ambulance service provider.

If support cannot be accessed by other means (e.g. support from an Austrian organisation – such as automobile clubs or air ambulances), you can consult the local Austrian representation, which will assist you in finding a doctor and being hospitalised as well as with informing your relatives and friends, etc.

Travellers are urgently advised to take out additional insurance to ensure cover in the event of sickness or the need to be repatriated, especially when overseas. This is particularly true for air ambulance services, which are offered by various Austrian companies and organisations. The costs for such transfers usually amount to several thousand euros. Please be aware that in the case of certain pre-existing conditions, some insurers do not assume liability. Often insurance policies only cover journeys lasting less than 90 days. Please consult your insurer for full details. 

In case of emergency, staff on-call at the emergency service desk can be reached on +43 1 90115-4411 around the clock. For general inquiries you can reach the Citizens’ Desk on the same number during office hours on work days between 8.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.

In case of traffic accidents and other kinds of accidents, the Austrian representations abroad can also assist you in terms of asserting legal rights such as obtaining evidence (accident protocols, descriptions and outlines of accidents). If necessary, local lawyers can also be recommended. The police have to secure evidence for accidents and to submit a copy of the protocol to the persons involved. It is also important to gather all data available on the other party involved in an accident. The European Accident Statement available at any motor vehicle insurer and the green insurance card prove very useful, even in countries which do not oblige you to carry either one of them. It is also highly recommended that you take pictures of the vehicle(s) and the location of the accident. Before embarking on a journey, it is advisable to note the contact details of your insurance company’s local branch office or partner institute.

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The ÖAMTC-Schutzbrief and the ARBÖ-Sicherheitspass (available from these automotive clubs) as well as the “safety certificates” offered by insurers provide protection and assistance in emergency situations in Europe and sometimes in the Mediterranean region outside of Europe (patient transfers, legal protection, traffic controllers and repatriation services).