Travel insurance seems like a tunnel of confusion. There are some main points you need to think of when looking to find which travel insurance you need. Do not think of travel insurance just as a safety-net if you get sick. It is vital for a whole bunch of different reasons. It covers you if the airline loses your luggage or if prized possessions like your phone or camera get broken or stolen. It can give you an allowance if you need to get home suddenly or if your flight is cancelled. My travel insurance provider is WORLD NOMADS. With all the points I cover below, they deliver every single time!
I 150% recommend getting travel insurance. Here are some key points you need to make sure are covered. There have been many nightmare stories where the provider hasn’t paid a medical bill because the client simply did not read the fine print. It goes something like this ..”Here’s 1 million dollars for your medical bill, but to get this you must be from Mars, have 5 feet and know how to speak 10 languages”.
Make sure you have a large medical allowance. I know 1 million dollars can seem like a lot, but if you got really sick and needed a number of operations, this could add up quite easily so make sure that number is a high one! Anything over $100,000 is a good amount. You can’t put a price on your health and staying alive!
How much are you prepared to pay in excess? If all you care about, is if your luggage goes missing, then what’s the point in having a $150 excess to access money to pay for your new luggage? You need to think how much money you are prepared to pay, to get the money in the first place!
Make sure that the countries you are going to, are covered. Sometimes policies can say, includes all of Asia (except Thailand). Double check with your provider every single country you are going to is covered in your plan. The worst thing you could do is pay for an invalid insurance policy!
Your electronics should be covered! With this day and age, most people will at least have a camera and a phone. If you’re a hard techno then you will want to double check that part of the policy, which brings me to my next point…
If you have got an insurance policy to cover your phone make it sure it covers the TYPE of phone you have. Many insurance policies will cover every other phone, except for the iPhone. So when this goes missing you get suddenly told ‘no your policy didn’t cover it so we are not paying up’. Usually you will have to pay a little more to cover iPhones.
Make sure your plan covers emergency evacuations. This can be important if you have a medical issue. This will determine how you can get to the hospital or to some sort of help in an emergency. For example If your up Mt Everest, this needs to cover the price of a helicopter ride to evacuate you from the scene.
Your plan should cover any legal expenses such as if you are stuck in a legal battle and need an expensive lawyer to help you fight your case.
Make sure the company has a 24 hour service. This is where some people can get caught out. If you are in an emergency you won’t have time to wait until the company opens again on Monday. You want to be paid out and you want it now!
Personal liability is so so important. This covers your
arse if you damage someone else’s property or belongings. For example, if you accidentally burned down someone’s house, then this will cover you for the cost of the damage.
Have all the details of your insurance policy and the contact phone number in a hard form, not just on your cell phone. Have a couple of ways to keep the number you will need to ring in an emergency. Don’t just put it in your phone or just in your wallet. Put it in both and a copy in your luggage as well. Write it on your forehead if you have to! It is also a great idea to leave a copy with a family member.
Make sure you shop around and when you find a travel insurance policy, check with someone else to make sure everything is covered. Prices can vary quite a lot so don’t be afraid to ask around! I know it’s boring but read the fine print! You will regret it later if you don’t. I have one company I use again and again and can personally recommend, below..
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If you are looking for cheap flights read my post on ‘How to get a cheap flight’. Check out Skyscanner and Agoda, they are amazing and have very useful websites for plane tickets and accommodation! As you already know, Lonely planet is my go-to for travel guides.