Why You Need Insurance While Traveling the World

There is a lot of uncertainty in world travel, and you never know when something bad might happen. You could get sick and need medical care. If you are into adventure sports, you may find yourself needing an emergency evacuation from a remote area. All of your possessions might get stolen from your hotel room or hostel. These things do happen and for a long-term trip, especially, you have a higher chance for a mishap. Even small trips should be considered for travel insurance as it is better to be safe than stuck with a bill that is out of your means to pay.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Do not touch poisonous dart frogs! They can kill you with all the poison stored in their tiny bodies. If you accidentally encounter one and touch them, insurance can help with your treatment and save your life if you are lucky. (Cute = Death)

Travel insurance is there to reimburse you when these horrible things happen; it might be one of the most important things to take with you on your trip. Most standard health plans provide very limited or no coverage while you are abroad. That is why it is important to find the right coverage based on your travel requirements.

What types of coverage do you need? 

This really depends on what type of traveler you are and the risks you might be taking. Here are some types of coverage that can be found in a policy.

Coverage for:

  • Injury and illness
  • Electronic equipment
  • Lost, stolen or damaged items
  • Emergencies (ex: typhoon hits and you need to get out)
  • Cancellations of flights, hotel bookings, etc., due to illness, a death in the family, or other emergency
  • Emergency evacuation from adventure activities
  • Car rental damage

Important Things to Consider:

  • For medical expenses, get a plan that has at least $100,000 in coverage. If you have a serious injury, you will not want to be stuck with the bill.
  • Make sure when you add emergency evacuation coverage that it will get you from the hospital to your home country for care. This should be a separate charge from your medical expenses care listed above.
  • If you have expensive camera equipment or a laptop, buy electronics coverage and get some supplemental insurance to cover anything above what their policy limit is, which is usually around five hundred dollars.
  • Always read the fine print. They may bury some provisions that undermine the coverage you think you are getting.
  • Make sure it covers most countries in the world, or at least the ones you plan to visit.
© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
If you fall out of the boat on an adventure activity and get bit by one of these, your insurance is there to help. Intentionally putting yourself in harm’s way would likely be a provision that would prevent coverage, so be careful.
(Pictured is a trained professional, do not do this at home)

 Travel Insurance Companies

  • Clements – Best pick for expensive electronics coverage
  • STA Travel – Cheap limited coverage plan for student travelers
  • Insure My Trip – Provides good coverage and includes plans for those 65 years or older who will not be insured elsewhere
  • IM Global – Acts like the health insurance you have through your company and is the most expensive option while abroad
  • World Nomads – Good overall coverage

Since we already have coverage for our electronics with our valuable property insurance at our bank, we will likely consider World Nomads.  Here are some reasons why this is our choice based on our needs.

  • They have all the coverage options we mentioned above.
  • The website is very detailed and easy to use and understand.
  • World Nomads is endorsed by many travel sites (Lonely Planet, Nomadic Matt, etc.), and it was started by a world traveler who can best understand a traveller’s needs.
  • Prices are very reasonable and much lower than some of the prime plans.
  • They have flexible terms based on our needs, and we can pick the coverage and length of time.
    • Tip: If you are going on a yearlong trip, do not buy a year’s worth of insurance. It is cheaper to buy it in two six-month increments. Who knows why they do this, but the shorter coverage period is far less expensive. (e.g. $816 for two 6-month policies or $1,274 for one year) 
  • They donate a portion of their profits to charities in local communities around the world.

Our choice may not be the best for you, so please take a look at all of these options and any others you find. Read the fine print, look at reviews, both positive and negative, and then make an educated choice for your price and coverage needs.

Do you have any suggestions or experiences you want to share regarding travel insurance?  We would love to hear them before we go, so please leave them in the comments.

Disclaimer: We are not paid by any insurance company for writing this post, and the information provided is based on our own research online. The above is provided merely as a reference, and you are encouraged to research your options to find the coverage that best fits your individual needs.

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