Try visiting a hospital in Hawaii with a simple jellyfish sting and no travel insurance? Nothing could be done for our feverish friend until we produced a credit card. That done he got some urgently needed treatment for the sting that had started to poison his system. $1500 USD later he is starting to feel better. We did have insurance and we were very pleased we did.
Buying travel insurance should be a part of your planning. Don’t leave home without it … we certainly don’t. So as soon as you book that flight the next booking should be your travel insurance.
In buying travel insurance, you’re not only buying something that can assist greatly should you find yourself in need, you’re also buying some peace of mind — both for you, while you travel, but also for your family and friends back home.
So what does Travel Insurance Cover
Aside from medical care, travel insurance can protect you in the case of lost or stolen luggage and personal effects, trip cancellation, personal liability, funeral expenses (without wanting to sound morbid, dying overseas can be very very expensive), emergency dental treatment and evacuation back to your country of residence.
There’s all manner of add-ons covering matters like expensive camera gear and gizmos like laptops and iPods, more adventure some pursuits and even some special needs, but for many travellers a general travel insurance policy should provide a good starting point.
However – READ THE POLICY WORDING CAREFULLY. Let’s repeat that again: Take your time. Have a cup of tea. Sit down quietly and read the policy fine print before you go. Especially the exclusions.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
While you’re battling your way through the small print, keep in mind the following potential pitfalls such as:
Dangerous activities: Many insurers consider motor cycling, diving, parachuting, hot-air ballooning and many other largely safe activities as hugely dangerous pursuits. Falling off your motorbike, breaking your arm and spending a few days in hospital will only be more painful if your insurer tells you the bill is all yours.
Country exclusions: No point in having travel insurance for your trip to Laos if it doesn’t cover Laos.
Working exclusions: Will you be working during your trip? If so, check that pouring those drinks in a bar on Ko Phi Phi won’t void your travel insurance.
Maximum amount per item: You don’t want your $1,500 camera stolen only to find out your insurer has a maximum payout per item of $250.
Excessive excess: The excess is the amount you have to pay to lodge a travel insurance claim. If the stolen goods part of your policy has an excess of $100 and you have a camera worth $120 stolen, you must pay the first $100. Some travel policies have excesses so high it is hardly ever worth claiming. At the end of the day, buying travel insurance is a personal decision. The vast majority of travellers will have trouble-free trips. However, accidents do happen, and while having insurance won’t just make the problems go away, it does make them easier to deal with — often for as little as a couple of dollars a day.
We suggest World Nomads, their policies are designed with independent travellers in mind and we believe the coverage they offer is a good deal for the price. As an added bonus, being an entirely web-based undertaking, it’s easy to buy insurance, make a claim and even extend a policy online — great news if you’re having such a terrific trip you’ve decided to extend your trip.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WORLD NOMADS
How do I make a claim? With World Nomads travel insurance you can claim online, even if you are still travelling. And if you don’t entirely trust insurance companies, have a look at how World Nomads have helped some of their travellers.
Extend your cover Had a change of travel plans? Unlike other policies, World Nomads allows you to extend your policy indefinitely. Because it’s online, you can do it 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
If you purchase a policy from World Nomads through a link on this site, we may be paid a commission on that sale.