Travel Rescuer insurance brings family home after crisis
As Jim Paschen awoke that morning in early January, he reflected on all that happened since he and his wife, Evelyn, showed up at the front door of their Florida condominium. On the day they arrived a week earlier, Evelyn tripped and broke her elbow. What followed was a whirlwind of doctor visits, medication adjustments, and a surgery to repair the damage.
With the start of a new week, Jim thought things would settle down and that he and Evelyn could finally start enjoying their winter retreat away from the bitter cold of Wisconsin. He saw that Evelyn was already out of bed and heard her rustling in the bathroom, so he made his way to see how she was doing.
There, his hopes of a new start were met with gripping fear. One look and he knew. Evelyn had a stroke.
Jim called 9-1-1 and she was rushed to the hospital. The minor surgical procedure on her elbow that took place a few days earlier required that Evelyn stop taking her blood-thinning medication. The result was a blood clot that caused the now life-threatening stroke.
Getting the help she needed
Far from home, Jim called his son and daughter who made travel arrangements to meet him in Florida and offer support. Jim knew he needed to get Evelyn back to Wisconsin to her own doctors and familiar surroundings. His daughter coincidentally is a nurse who specializes in strokes and confirmed the importance of getting Evelyn home for a full recovery.
But the doctors required that Evelyn travel via special medical air transport and not a regular commercial flight. At a cost of more than $20,000, the task seemed insurmountable.
“Then I recalled a pamphlet I received with the policy renewal for my home and auto insurance from SECURA Insurance – something about a service called Travel Rescuer,” he said. “I wasn’t really sure what it was or if it could help, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask.”
Jim contacted his independent insurance agent, Dawn Hoffmann from Schueller/Harrington Agency in Milwaukee, Wis. She immediately provided all the necessary information and gave Jim the toll-free phone number for the service.
“We made the call. From there, the wheels started turning,” he said.
Jim came to fully realize that he automatically received Travel RescuerSM when Dawn sold him his MILE-STONE Gold policy from SECURA a few years earlier. It provides 24/7 emergency and non-emergency travel, medical, and security assistance to policyholders who travel 100 or more miles from home, for no additional cost.
“To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to it before,” Jim shared. “For all I knew, the service covered a flat tire or would send help if I was stranded on the side of the road. [Roadside RescuerTM – another service on Jim’s policy] I could never have imagined what happened next.”
Above and beyond
While Jim and his children consulted with doctors and attended to Evelyn, SECURA’s travel assistance provider worked diligently to make arrangements. “The next thing I knew, they told us to check our email for our travel itinerary,” he said.
They arranged for Jim’s wife and daughter to be picked up the next morning by ambulance, taken to the airport, transferred to a medical transport plane, and flown to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee where there was another ambulance waiting – all at no cost to their family. “They attended to her with such care,” he said. “I was so impressed.”
Within days of making the call, Evelyn was home in Wisconsin and being cared for by her own doctors and specialists at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
Dawn, Jim’s agent, was equally impressed with the service. “From a human perspective, this is what insurance should be about,” she said. “It’s not just about repairing a damaged vehicle or home; it’s about people’s lives.”
Spreading the word
People don’t always talk about good service, but Jim can’t stop telling everyone he knows about his story and how SECURA came to the rescue. He’s referred numerous customers and generated several opportunities for Dawn to write new business.
Dawn notes that a key selling point for Travel Rescuer is that it’s a free added value. It is automatically included with SECURA’s MILE-STONE Gold policy for home and auto, as well as their Farm policy with Agri-Protector Plus. In addition to bringing peace of mind to policyholders, Dawn likes that when one of her customers uses the service, it isn’t counted as a claim on their policy.
Meanwhile, Jim put the condo in Florida up for sale and decided to stay closer to family and the familiar. Evelyn was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. “Things are returning to normal – minus a thousand throw rugs that she could have tripped on,” said Jim with a chuckle.
He is hopeful as he describes her strong-willed spirit. “She’s an amazing person who’s overcome a lot of obstacles – breast cancer, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and more,” he said. “We’ll tackle this one together, too.”
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