Travel Insurance – why do you need it?
Because accidents and mishaps happen when you are least expecting them to. And most of them are out of our control. That’s why having travel insurance that covers you for the length of your travels is very important.
Now we aren’t saying that you will lose your luggage or sustain injuries from a fall off a motorbike or have your flight cancelled or break your camera or have something stolen or need to return home because a family member died, but you just never know! So ensuring you have all-purpose emergency travel insurance coverage that will cover you for a wide variety of accidents and mishaps is of great benefit. I would definitely suggest you don’t leave home without it as I’ve seen it help many and I’ve also seen many others regret being cheap and not purchasing it.
I used it a number of times, when I had luggage stolen in Holland, had a flight cancelled in Mexico, got sick while travelling Europe and needed a doctor and when my father died and I returned to Australia unexpectedly. Each time I was able to make a claim and be reimbursed. I’ve seen it help friends in similar situations. I’ve also seen friends who have not taken out travel insurance and lost or had stolen big ticket items, such as a girlfriend who had her computer stolen and she had to pay out of her own pocket for a new one.
What to look for in a plan
Travel insurance can be complex and is often very confusing. It is wise to ask your travel agent to explain it to you or if buying from the Internet ensure you read it and understand what you are covered for. I know that is easier said than done. Redding the fine print can be laborious. But you should understand what you are covered for and for how much and for what you aren’t covered for. Your travel insurance should cover you for:
Cancellation fees and lost deposits incurred by unforeseen circumstances which require you to cancel your trip;
Overseas medical, dental and emergency expenses – suggest at least a minimum of $100,000 coverage. Very important if you get sick or injured and are in need of serious medical attention;
Emergency flight home if required – this should mean to your home country. Be careful when taking out insurance in a country other than your own because the emergency flight home might only be within that country and not your home country;
Hijack and kidnap;
Loss, theft or damage to your luggage;
Loss of income;
Working holidays – some travel insurance policies don’t cover you if you start to work, therefore ensure your policy does.
Know what you aren’t covered for
Most policies do not cover accidents sustained while participating in extreme adventure activities such as bungee jumping, paragliding, etc. So if you are wanting to do these activities take out adequate insurance.
You won’t be covered for pre-existing medical conditions. The medical portion of travel insurance is more about emergency care.
There are many insurance companies offering policies. One I recommend is World Nomads. I’ve used them a number of times.
Be smart and get appropriate travel insurance coverage. I never leave home without travel insurance. I have purchased a World Nomads policy a number of times.