Best Travel Insurance for Travelling Abroad and Why You Need It

by | Last updated Apr 7, 2023 | Safe Travel, Trip Planning

Best Travel Insurance for Traveling Abroad


Travel Insurance just might become your best friend when you travel abroad. Why? Because you never know when you might need it. Now you might have heard that before, but believe me on a number of occasions during my travels I was so thankful I purchased travel insurance for my holiday. It helped me when I had my bags. Then again when I fell over on a cobbled street and hurt myself and needed medical treatment. And it came to the party when my father died and I needed to get on a flight home quickly. So I’m now a bit of a pro when it comes to travel insurance. In this post I’m here to help you navigate the tricky waters of travel insurance, but by the end of this article, you should be a travel insurance pro and be able to choose the best travel insurance for travelling abroad.

Note: I am not a travel insurance expert, insurance broker or insurance salesperson. For specific questions about travel insurance policies, please speak to someone at the company you’re buying the plan from. 


Why You Need Travel Insurance


Why do you need travel insurance? 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 is very important. It is just one of a number of things to think about before going on a trip abroad. Even though checking visa requirements, booking accommodation, planning your trip and working out what to pack are all important, you shouldn’t forget to get yourself a travel insurance policy. And not any policy, but a policy that suits your trip and will cover you.

Now I’m not saying that you will lose your luggage. Sustain injuries from a fall off a motorbike. Have your flight cancelled. Loose your camera. Have something stolen. Need to change your plans because of a world pandemic. Or need to return home because a family member died, but you just never know! 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. I’ve seen it help many and I’ve also seen many others regret 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. When my father died and I returned to Australia unexpectedly. Each time I was able to make a claim and be reimbursed (I didn’t always get everything back, but most of the time). 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.


4 Reasons Why Travel Insurance is Important


There are many reasons to purchase travel insurance but these 4 reasons I think are the most important.


1. Some Countries Require It


That’s right, some countries require you have travel insurance. They won’t let you in without it. Imagine you have just landed in your dream destination, you are standing at the immigration country and the staff denies you entry because you don’t have travel insurance. You are prohibited from entering the country and put on a plane to where you came from. So check before you travel abroad whether travel insurance is mandatory or not. Lucky, that travel insurance companies like World Nomads and SafetyWing allow you to purchase travel insurance while you are travelling! Check out this useful list of countries requiring travel insurance.

2. Emergency Medical Benefits


My second reason why travel insurance is important is that it covers medical emergencies. As mentioned before, I got sick while travelling around Europe and I needed a doctor. I needed to pay upfront for the services and then purchase medication. However, a phone call to my insurer and I was reimbursed. I can’t tell you how reassuring I felt to have that expenditure reimbursed so I could continue my travels without worrying about money. I was lucky it was only a few hundred dollars, some people if sick or injured can be facing bills of thousands of dollars. So yes, having travel insurance covering medical emergencies is a must. As you just never know what might happen.

3. Reimbursement of Various Trip Costs

I always look for a travel insurance policy that will reimburse me for various trip costs. All those that I have prepaid like my flight, accommodation or organised tour that are non-refundable due to unforeseen circumstances. Like if I need to cancel my trip at the last moment because a relative died or I became seriously ill or injured and couldn’t travel. Other things too could cause me to cancel my trip like a natural disaster such as a tsunami or earthquake at my destination. Knowing my travel insurance will reimburse me for some or all of my trip is a good feeling.


4. It Makes Me Feel Safer


Maybe I’m a worry wart or maybe practical but having travel insurance makes me feel a lot safer as I travel abroad. That fact of knowing that unforeseen events, medical and injury issues and lost luggage and trip cancellation are covered, is just a safe feeling.


What to Look for in a Travel Insurance Plan



Male Person Wearing Hawaiian Shirt, drinking from a coconut who has travel insurance.

Choosing the right holiday insurance will see you enjoy your holiday


Travel insurance can be complex and is often very confusing. It is wise to ask your travel agent to explain it to you. If buying from the Internet ensure you read it and understand what you are covered for. I know that is easier said than done. Reading the fine print can be laborious. But you should understand what you are covered for and for how much. Also, you should understand what you aren’t covered for.


Most Important Things your Travel Insurance Should Cover You For

To determine which insurance is best for you, consider factors like the policy’s total cost, your deductible, the coverage you need, your medical benefits, etc. Here are the most important things 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;
  • Emergency flight home if required – this should mean to your home country;
  • Missed connections;
  • Hijack and kidnap;
  • Loss, theft or damage to your luggage;
  • Travel delay;
  • Accidental death;
  • Loss of income;
  • Personal liability;
  • Legal costs;
  • Electronic goods;
  • Working holidays;
  • Covid;
  • Extreme sports – if you intend to participate in them.


Should You Buy Travel Insurance Before you Leave on Your Trip?

Definitely buy travel insurance before you leave on your trip. From the moment you head to the airport, train or bus station to leave on your trip, things can happen. You might have an accident. Your transport is delayed. Lots of things can happen. So have travel insurance to cover you from the start. If you don’t, you can purchase it along the way such as with SafetyWing, but you don’t want to wait until something happens before you get travel insurance cover.


What is the Best Travel Insurance for Travelling Abroad


🏆 I only recommend two companies to purchase travel insurance from:

  • World Nomads – for general travellers and adventure seekers
  • SafetyWing – for digital nomads and long-term travellers


While there are countless other companies to purchase your travel insurance from, the two I recommend will work for the vast majority of travellers.

Best Travel Insurance for:
General Travel – World Nomads.
Working Holiday Makers – SafetyWing.
Over 70s – World Nomads.
Digital Nomads and Long Term Travellers – SafetyWing.
Adventure Seekers – World Nomads.
Car Rental – Where you rent the vehicle from will offer car insurance to cover the car. I usually go with that. Some credit cards cover car insurance.

Bonus travel insurance suggestions. I call these bonus suggestions which I discovered during my research for my own travels.

  • Credit Card – this is a bonus suggestion. Many credit cards provide travel insurance. Check this out before you travel.
  • Reciprocal country medical insurance. Some countries have reciprocal emergency medical agreements. For instance, the European Union (EU) has reciprocal arrangements with EU countries. Australia also has a reciprocal emergency medical agreement with the UK and vice versa. See if you country has any reciprocal medical agreements available to cover you.


How to Make a Travel Insurance Claim when Travelling


Before purchasing your travel insurance for your travels check how to make a travel insurance claim when travelling. Is there a hotline number to call or must you register your claim online. Find these details out and keep them handy.


Final Thoughts: Best Travel Insurance for Travelling Abroad


After my years of travelling the world, I always recommend and take out travel insurance. As I said, I’ve needed to make a few claims over the years, and the instances I needed to, I am so glad I had travel insurance to fall back on. I’d love to hear your travel insurance stories in the comments following.


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Travel Insurance Application PIN.

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Just so you know: some of the links in this post might be affiliate links, which earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. No pressure to use my links, but I REALLY appreciate when you do! Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

My favourite tools to Travel Live and Work Abroad


🏠 Where Will You Be Sleeping Tonight? – Get a bed in a hostel dorm through HostelWorld or for a hotel room check out Get free accommodation house and pet sitting through Trusted Housesitters – this has saved me thousands on accommodation, no joke!

✈️ Need a cheap and flexible airfare – head to Skyscanner.

 🚙 Car Rental – search and compare vehicles at DiscoverCars.

 🚆 Train Travel: I love riding the rails. For a rail pass in Europe head to Raileurope. And Japan has a great one too – JapanRail Pass.

🚌 Travelling by bus is often the cheapest way to travel. Compare and get a ticket or a pass at Busbud.

🏃🏻‍♀️ Jump-the-queue entrance tickets and day tours: I book these through GetYourGuide.

 🌏 How to pick a country to live and work abroad in? Check out my Working Holiday Visa Country Guides and Digital Nomad Visa Country Guides to see where you can live work play travel abroad.

 🚑 Should you buy travel insurance? Absolutely Yes! SafetyWing is great digital nomads and long-term travellers and World Normads has policies for general and adventure travel.


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Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to get the live work play travel lifestyle with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.


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