Would you ever buy a car and not get car insurance? Would you purchase your home and not have an insurance plan in place? So why would you go traveling and not buy insurance? Travel insurance is one of the most important things you’ll need for your trip and you shouldn’t leave without it!
Why? Because for only a few measly dollars a day, travel insurance can save you a ton of money when something goes wrong. If you get sick they will cover your medical bills. If your camera breaks they will cover the cost of a new one. They will reimburse you if your flight is cancelled, bags stolen and even if you have to be evacuated because of a natural disaster. This is why buying travel insurance is a no brainer and the one thing I would advise you never leave home without!
I have only had to use it twice. Once when my laptop broke and secondly when I had to get emergency dental work. You can read about that here. Both times my insurance company covered the costs and I was not out of pocket. Every time I go traveling I use World Nomads.
Since travel insurance can be confusing I am going to break it down to make it simple for you and let you know what to look out for.
What to look for in a plan?
When looking for a plan, first make sure they have a high coverage limit on your medical expenses. A good company will provide up to $100,000 in coverage care, though more expensive policies will cover you for higher amounts. The maximum coverage limit you can find is around $1,000,000 USD, though I’m not sure why you would ever need a limit that large. High coverage limits are important because if you get sick, injured, or need serious attention and have to seek professional care, you want to make sure your high hospital bills are covered. The worst thing you can do is go cheap and get a policy with a $20,000 coverage limit, break a leg, and reach that limit before they are done taking care of you. Don’t be cheap with your health. Get minimum coverage of $100,000.
Second, you want to make sure your policy also covers emergency evacuation and care that is separate from your medical coverage. If you are hiking in the woods and you break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital. If a natural disaster occurs and you need to be evacuated to somewhere else, your plan should cover that as well. This protection should cover an expense of up to $300,000 USD. Additionally evacuation should cover the expense of getting you from hospital, back to your home country.
Good policies will cover the following:
- Cover most countries in the world
- Some coverage for your electronics (and have the option for a higher coverage limit)
- Cover injury and sudden illnesses
- Twenty-four hour emergency services and help (you don’t want to call to be told to call back later)
- Cover lost, damaged or stolen possessions like jewelry, baggage, documents, cameras, enc.
- Cover cancellations such as hotel bookings, flight, and other transportation bookings if you have a sudden illness, death in the family, or some other emergency
- Cover emergencies, strife in the country visited, enc., that cause you to head home early
It’s worth noting that most companies that cover electronics only cover up to a certain amount. So if like me you travel with a DSLR camera, laptop and some other gear it is worth it to get a supplemental insurance on those items. It is totally worth it and could save you thousands.
What’s not covered in you plan is almost as important as what is.
The majority of travel insurance wont cover you for any extreme sports i.e snowboarding, scuba diving, skydiving, bungee jumping. So if you plan on doing any of these activities make sure that you are covered. Policies do not normally cover alcohol- or drug-related incidents.
Pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered either. Which means if like me you have asthma and need to buy more inhalers you have to pay for this yourself. Another example would be if you have diabetes and have to get more insulin. You need to pay for this yourself.
Who do I Recommend?
I personally recommend World Nomads. Every time I travel I get my insurance with them. They will always have your back. The thing I like about World Nomads is that even if you are traveling you can purchase or renew on line and their rates are more than fair. They are also endorsed by Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Nomadic Matt, which tells you how good they are!
Hopefully you never need to use you travel insurance but as they say it’s better to have and not need it, than to not have it at all. So travel smart and get covered.
For an instant quote you can use the widget below.