YES. If you just want to know where to get insurance and not read the spiel then we recommend that you check out World Nomads. If you want the info then read on..
When Things Go Wrong
Flying across the bonnet of a car and proceeding to smash into the windscreen. Bouncing off the car and landing on concrete. No helmet. Open head wounds. Visible arm bone. 8 snapped fingers. Countless cuts.
Mountain biking down the infamous ‘Death Road’ and catching the front wheel on a piece of wood. Flipping over the bars. Possible broken pelvis. Dosed up on drugs and strapped to a stretcher for a 3.5 hour bumpy bus ride to the nearest hospital. Emergency plastic surgery in an area nobody wants it. 4 days in a private hospital. $5000 bill.
Standing at the bottom of a ski run. Minding their own business. A young teenage boy is trying to be cool by racing down a closed slalom run. High speed collision. Severely damaged collarbone. Skidoo rescue and treatment in an alpine resort. Holiday over on day one!
Sounds Painful Hay?
Those are three entirely true stories experienced by people I know directly, no hear say and no exaggeration.
The first person was forced to fly themselves half way across the world whilst still nursing serious and open wounds, just to get medical treatment. During the second leg of the journey a member of the airline staff noticed they were not doing well and gave them more space to rest. That’s one way to get an upgrade! As soon as they landed in their home country, their brother and friend collected them with a wheelchair and took them straight to hospital. The damage was worse than they ever knew and flying could have ended in serious blood or brain problems. They did not have travel insurance.
Thankfully, the latter two stories are from people who had purchased travel insurance and both had their costs fully reimbursed following the event. When a situation arises that is scary and painful the last thing you want to have on your mind is how much each piece of treatment is going to cost and whether you can afford it. Furthering that, you really don’t want to risk flying 16 hours with major injuries just to get medical treatment.
Already convinced? Click here for a quote!
The Importance Of Being Covered
Travel insurance is an absolutely vital part of any trip. It should be simply be considered as another ‘must have’ along with your tickets, passport and foreign currency. It is a sad but very real fact that bad things happen to good people! When you’re off travelling the world you are going to want to try new things, whether that’s getting your PADI and exploring the ocean floor or paragliding through the hills of Venezuela. Extreme sports come with risks but so does sleeping in a bunk bed with no railing, after too many beers, 7 feet above the ground!
To really bring home the importance of travel insurance, here are some examples of how much a situation can cost you:
- Need airlifting off of the Dolomites after a snowboarding crash?
- That’ll be $100 per minute!
- Emergency surgery and 4 days in a private hospital in La Paz, Bolivia?
- Missing your flight and having to buy another one?
- Depending on your destination that could be $100 – $3000!
- Losing your baggage?
- Depends how lightly you travel..
- The worst case scenario, you die on holiday in Australia and your parents need to repatriate your body back to the UK?
- $3500 – $15000
- Hospital treatment in the USA?
- Around $10,000 per day!
- World Nomads have experienced emergency evacuation scenarios that cost over $100,000!!
What Am I Covered For?
As with any insurance it is imperative that you know what you are paying for and what cover you are receiving. Having insurance is all well and good but if it doesn’t cover winter sports and you’re off skiing then you are going to be in for a shock should you need to use it. There are a few major points you should consider when comparing policies:
Medical Emergency Cover & Evacuation
This is the primary reason for purchasing travel insurance. The higher the number the better! Bare in mind that hospital costs and evacuation costs can be extremely high and cumulate rapidly. Although $1,000,000 might sound like a lot, consider this. If an evacuation can cost $100,000 and the hospital in the USA charges $10,000 a day, you get 90 days (around 3 months) in hospital before your budget is up. A severe injury or illness could feasibly bed bind you for 3 months fairly easily. Remember, you are covering yourself for the worst of eventualities!
A policy with this included will cover you in the event that the holiday must be cancelled. This could be down to you falling ill or maybe a death in the family. You will have all or some of your pre-booked items reimbursed if you are unable to attend. In order for this term to be effective you must have purchased your insurance in advance, so don’t leave it till the day before you go!
Baggage & Personal Items
Much less important than the medical cover but still helpful in the event of lost or stolen items. As stressful as it may be at the time, your belongings can be replaced and data can be restored from back ups but you cannot. Nevertheless, many policies will include some baggage cover in case something happens to your belongings. Be aware, companies may not cover for items simply being lost or stolen in any scenario and you are expected to take care of your things to prevent being denied your claim.
Hot Tip: for valuable items such as computers and cameras some policies may allow (or require) you to state them individually to receive full cover.
This covers you for legal fees and costs if you are involved in an accident or scenario for which you can be held accountable. PL cover can vary largely between policies and insurers. This will almost never include accidents whilst driving car!
When To Buy It
Commonly, and I’ve been guilty of this in the past, people will plan to purchase travel insurance nearer the holiday. This is actually not the best decision at all! Once you have bought your tickets, you are immediately at risk of losing the money that you spent on those tickets. Anybody with any experience at all with airlines will know that you don’t get your money back, ever. So in the unfortunate event that you become ill or a close family member dies and your holiday has to be cancelled, you won’t be getting your flights refunded. Unless, you covered yourself by buying travel insurance at the same time that you got the tickets! In this case you may be able to claim for some or all of the costs and be reimbursed. Not every policy will cover for this situation but some will and this could prevent you losing thousands of dollars!
As morbid as this is, it is something that should be considered when buying travel insurance. Repatriation cover will help towards getting your body back home in the heartbreaking event that you die whilst you are away. Although this may not be a vital consideration for you, it could make a huge difference to your friends and family back home.
I Still Don’t Think I Need It
Still not convinced? You are about to travel the world and push yourself to do things you thought you might never be able to do. You will delve deeply into the unknown from cultural differences to extreme sports and these things come with a risk. For some of you, this may quite literally be a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip and we want you to have the BEST time you can possibly have! If this is your first trip then check out our How To Be A Solo Traveler guide for all the advice you need.
Ok, I Accept. Where Do I Get It?
We win! Seriously, we’re glad that this article has convinced you to grab yourself some good quality travel insurance and we promise you will be more relaxed on your trip because of it. Put your details into the box below or click the link to get policy options and prices.
Do that cliff jump at Sydney’s northern beaches, send it off of that intermediate snowpark kicker and throw the biggest swallow dive of your life into Luang Prabang’s Kuang Si Falls! Money comes and goes but good memories will stay forever!
N & G