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Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

Florida, New York...
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10 posts
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Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

My mother fell in Rome while on Perillo tour. She had severe injuries and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. I called Perillo the next morning for help and information on my mother's accident. I was called back and told that Perillo could be of no assistance and to contact the travel insurance company. My mother needed surgery and no assistance was sent to her. She needed an interpreter and someone to make arrangements for her. No one from Perillo helped and they have an office in Italy. I had to fly to Italy to provide assistance for my mother. She is still recuperating and has suffered extreme anguish. She insisted on using Perillo tours for her trip to Italy and is appalled at the lack of help and support.

QQ2
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

I have never traveled with Perillo, but I think in general one of the reasons tour providers recommend that people buy travel insurance is for just this type of situation I think if you and your mother read the fine print in your Perillo documents, you will see they do not accept responsibility for handling peoples' medical emergencies, other than perhaps getting emergency assistance like an ambulance. When you buy travel insurance your package generally includes, in addition to reimbursement for certain losses, access to medical emergency assistance, which is generally farmed out by the insurer to a company that specializes in providing typical emergency services -- getting translators, recommending doctors and hospitals, making arrangements. Travel insurance also generally covers the cost of transportation when a family member, like you, has to travel to be with the sick/injured person.

Did your mother have travel insurance? If she did, she probably should have given you the emergency assistance phone number that would have been provided with her insurance documents, and you could have contacted them while still in the US. I have penciled into my passport the emergency assistance phone number under a permanent emergency assistance/evacuation policy I have through a group I belong to. If I buy any additional coverage for a particular trip, I also pencil that number in as well (and erase it when the coverage ends).

Absent travel or other insurance covering emergencies like this, the only thing I could recommend would be to contact the nearest American consulate. They could probably recommend doctors and hospitals -- maybe translators as well, but you would still have to pay for those services.

NY
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2. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

Medical Insurance is considered a must by most, especially for those of us getting on a little in years.

Am a little surprised she needed an interpreter, the medical facilities in Rome I think would be able to converse in English at least for the important decisions re the treatment. But can understand this can be a frustrating and scary situation without an "ombudsman" and perhaps the tour company fell down a bit there for apparently a more mature, lone traveler.

Florida, New York...
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3. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

My mother did have travel insurance and it did not cover my $2,400 ticket to Italy.

We called the appropriate insurance number the day after accident to begin claim. The point is that until I could get there (3 days after her accident) she had no one with her from the travel company to assist with communication and making necessary arrangements. Perillo Tours has since reviewed the case and apologized for not providing the assistance my mother needed until I arrived. It still does not erase the terrible ordeal my mother had before I arrived. The time I was there was spent on the phone constantly between the insurance and hospital trying to get the assistance we needed. Not a fun experience!

Florida, New York...
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4. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

The doctors were able to communicate most things in English however, the nurses and hospital administration did not. I literally had to be on the phone with the insurance company while they faxed the forms so that I could obtain them from the hospital and have them completed. The hospital charged my mother's credit card $8,300 the first day she arrived and wanted another $14,000 upon her discharge. I refused and they came to terms with the insurance company. Needless, to say my mother does not wish to travel outside of the U.S. again. No one plans to wind up in the hospital on vacation but God forbid it happens in another country!

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

The tour company had the obligation to provide someone with her in hospital? That sounds surprising.

So sorry this happened. Knowing your travel insurance details is really crucial so you know how it works. They do not all operate the same way. Did you mom's US insurance not cover anything at all? Many do.

Glad she is home safe and sound.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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6. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

I'm sorry this happened to you but I don't think Perillo was under any obligation to stay with your Mother while she was in the hospital. I know you would have liked them to do that but they are not responsible for her once she is taken to the hospital nor are they responsible for any cost you incurred while trying to get to her. It's an unfortunate situation but Perillo is in no way at fault and didn't do anything wrong.

Donna

FF
Milan, Italy
Destination Expert
for Milan, Genoa, Valle d'Aosta
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7. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

Travel insurance policies do not all provide the same level of service. Depending on companies, and of course with higher premiums, many will provide an interpreter (if not in person on the spot, at least via telephone), and some will also arrange for someone to be with the patient. Of course, one should read the fine print before buying...

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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30,810 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

I agree with FF. Those services are provided by the insurance companies if you have a policy designed that way. They are not provided by the tour agency.

Donna

Florida, New York...
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9. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

I did not mean to imply that someone from Perillo needed to stay with her 24/7. However, she could have used assistance with the whole hospital process and discharge arrangements especially since Perillo has an office in Rome and could have easily came to her hospital. Instead of her being alone for three days with almost no one speaking English.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Perillo Tours Medical Disaster

And, there are travel insurance policies that will also cover the airfare costs such as you incurred. I know this does not help you now but for the future and for others.

Some offer very rich comprehensive coverage and the devil is in the details. I always call with a list of questions to ask when considering a policy. The language online is often very unclear which is generally intended.