What happens when holidays go wrong

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What happens when holidays go wrong

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While the holiday season is in full swing it’s worth taking the time to put down the passport and sunscreen and have a think about what happens when things go wrong abroad.

Not to put a downer on your plans, but the unthinkable does happen and disaster can strike. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Brits take an estimated 70 million trips abroad a year – and 1,300 travellers a day are helped by their insurer when things go wrong.

In 2016 there were 480,000 travel claims totalling £370 million (or around £1 million a day). Figures from the ABI show that this is the highest amount paid out since 2010 when the Icelandic ash cloud disrupted people’s travel plans.

And, of course, dealing with illness, accidents, lost baggage and emergencies are made all the more difficult when you are not at home and have to tackle language barriers and bureaucratic procedures you’re not familiar with. Which is where the services of a good, experienced translation company are invaluable.

Everyday holiday accident and sickness claims are one thing – walking through a plate glass window, falling down stone stairs, contracting food poisoning and road accidents, for example – but sometimes we are contracted to work on high-profile incidents abroad by global insurance companies and law firms.

We have helped victims and loved ones of those sadly involved with acts of terrorism abroad, handled the litigation linked to ships sinking and worked with law firms contracted to work on major air incidents, often involving passengers and crew hailing from all over the world. In fact we are only of two translation companies accepted as first-tier experts by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), no doubt thanks to the fact that we’re experienced, professional and only ever use language specialists who are experts in their field (trained doctors for medical cases and qualified legal professionals for situations involving litigation, for example).

In short, we have over 20 years’ experience in working on a huge range of overseas claims, both big and small. So when it comes to complicated overseas situations that involve both knowledge of legal systems, medical terms, local bureaucracy and the intricacies and nuances of language, we can draw on our experience and database of over 5,000 native language translators (covering over 200 languages and dialects) to help.

Without our years of experience in handling complex cases, using interpreters and translators who are experts in their field and communicating in their mother tongue, we would not be able to provide the high-quality service that we do. And this could make the difference between a client winning or losing a case if it comes to litigation

So what does this tell us? Well, apart from ensuring that you’re fully covered by your travel insurance policy when you go overseas, organisations should use a translation company with the right experience for any kind of job, be it a case of food poisoning or a serious incident involving loss of life or life-changing injury.

Some translations companies try to undercut competitors by using substandard translators to increase their profit margin. But we always remember that it’s real people we’re dealing with; people who are often on foreign soil in stricken circumstances. And when it comes to people’s holidays, well being, safety and in some cases, lives, we feel that quality assistance and professional, tried and tested services are worth paying for.

Robert Manik is Managing Director of the full-service translation and interpretation agency, Language Link UK Ltd. Got a question about the range of translation services Language Link UK offers both here and abroad? Drop him a line