Accident or illness abroad – what now?


Holidays at last – and then this: you have an accident or are suddenly taken very ill. Read on to find out what's important to remember in an emergency abroad and which types of insurance it's helpful to have.

During the trip: medical emergency or accident

Always call the European emergency number immediately if you have a medical emergency or accident abroad.

  • European emergency number: 112
  • CSS emergency number: +41 (0)58 277 77 77

In an emergency abroad, these documents are key to getting your money faster. Our tip: Send them electronically via the myCSS app.

Before the trip: important preparations

The list of things you need to pack in your suitcase will vary depending on the country, mode of transport and your plans. But you should generally always take the following items with you when travelling to another country from Switzerland:

Your health insurer's insurance card

It's important to take an insurance card for every member of your family with you. It also serves as a European Health Insurance Card and is recognised in the EU zone and all EFTA countries.

Medication and dressings

What medication you'll need to take with you will depend on your holiday destination, who is travelling with you and what you have planned. Let your pharmacist or (tropical) doctor help you put together a suitable travel medicine kit.


Check that your passport and ID card are still valid. Don't leave it too late.

European Accident Statement

If travelling in Europe in your own car, as well as a warning triangle, high-visibility vest and first aid kit, you mustn't forget to carry a European Accident Statement with you. This standard form helps document the facts about the accident and the details of everyone involved.

Time to go abroad: the right insurance cover

In many places, the cost of dealing with an emergency can be very high. That's why it's worth considering what insurance is important. Because accidents and illness can happen anywhere.

Travel insurance

No matter what your destination, it's worth taking out travel insurance. That way, you can enjoy your holidays without any worries and get assistance by phone at any time, anywhere in the world, thanks to the 24-hr emergency hotline.

Basic insurance

What basic insurance pays for emergency medical treatment.

  • EU/EFTA states: most of the costs are covered in line with bilateral agreements.
  • Other countries: up to a maximum of twice the amount it would cost in Switzerland.

There are gaps – especially in countries where healthcare is expensive, such as Japan or the US. If you only have basic insurance, you could end up facing a large bill. Because you'll have to pay any retention fees directly at the time.

Our tip: The myCSS app lets you photograph the original supporting documents and receipts and send them to us online for reimbursement.

Supplementary insurance

If you have the right supplementary or travel insurance, your expenses will usually be reimbursed. myFlex Outpatient Insurance from CSS offers worldwide cover for emergencies plus legal protection for patients and while abroad in European countries.

Accident or illness abroad

This doesn't just apply at home. A claim must be reported straight away. Regardless of whether or not a vehicle was involved, and the police were present at the scene. That way, your insurance company can make the necessary arrangements to support you.

What to do after a car accident

  1. Stop the vehicles involved and secure the accident site with a warning triangle.
  2. Wear a high-visibility vest and keep calm.
  3. Check the vehicle at the accident scene for damage.
  4. If anyone is injured: stop the vehicle and give first aid.
  5. If necessary, alert the local ambulance or police service (112).
  6. Fill out the Accident Statement form; if you can't reach agreement with the other party, call the police.
  7. Report the accident to your insurance company.

Health insurance premiums at a glance

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