Travel Insurance Guide: Travel With A Peace Of Mind

Travel Insurance Guide

As a budget traveler, I used to frown at the idea of buying travel insurance. I used to be very naive to think that the world is generally safe to travel, as long as I don’t go to war torn countries like Pakistan or Afghanistan. I also believed I was rather lucky as I had been to many trips before and was able to come back unscratched. So I thought to myself: “Why waste time reading a travel insurance guide and waste money buying a travel insurance?”

Everything has changed when my boyfriend got into an accident in US, on the day he was supposed to fly back home. It was just an usual day when he and his friends went to take a quick breakfast. They parked the rented car less than 20 meters away from the restaurant. They returned within 20 minutes and what they saw was horrifying.

Someone smashed their car window and took away whatever valuables they could get their hands on. My boyfriend lost his laptop, wallets, and most importantly, passport! His friend’s backpack was stolen too with iPad and camera inside. That was really disastrous for both of them. In the end, my boyfriend missed his flight as he couldn’t get a temporary passport in time. And he was literally stranded in US for another two days.

Travel Insurance Guide car theft
From this incident, I reflected about my past trips to Taiwan, India, Philippine… When I was in Taiwan in 2015, my rented car got scratched very badly and I had to pay $1000 to the rental company as compensation. When I was in India back in 2011, I got food poisoning and became very sick. But I didn’t go to the hospital as I was afraid of a giant hospital bill. When I last visited Boracay (Philippine), sea water damaged my camera… I was lucky enough to be able to return home safely, but I would be better off if I had purchased travel insurance during those trips.


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Travel Insurance Guide – The Wake Up Call

All these incidents became a wake up call for me. I came to understand the importance of getting a travel insurance, because no one will ever know what’s going to happen. Travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It will cover you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, lose a bag, or something is stolen. It’s all-purpose emergency coverage and is the single most important thing you should get but hope to never have to use. But should anything happen, it will really help to relieve a lot of you and your family’s burden.

Travel Insurance Guide – How to Choose a Good Plan?

Travel Insurance Guide planning
When looking for a plan, first make sure they have a high coverage limit on your medical expenses. A plan that offers coverage of $100,000 is a good benchmark, although more expensive policies will cover you for higher amounts. High coverage limits are important because if you get sick, injured, or need to seek professional care, you want to make sure your high hospital bills are covered. Trust me, you really wouldn’t want to go too cheap on insurance and get a policy with only a $20,000 coverage limit. If you accidentally break an arm or leg, that’s it. The limit will be easily reached and they are done taking care of you. Get minimum coverage of $100,000.

Secondly, you want to make sure your policy also covers emergency evacuation and care, in addition to your medical coverage. If you are doing mountain trekking and you break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital. If a natural disaster strikes, your plan should cover the evacuation costs as well. This protection should cover an expense of up to $300,000 USD.

Travel Insurance Guide – Salient Points that Make a Great Policy:

1. Cover the destination you are going
2. Cover injury and sudden illnesses
3. Cover lost, damaged or stolen possessions like jewelry, baggage, travel documents, cameras, etc.
4. Cover cancellations such as hotel bookings, flight, and other transportation bookings if you have a sudden illness, death in the family, or some other emergency.
5. Provide personal accident coverage
6. 24-hour emergency services and help
7. Cover vehicle excess if you are renting a car

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Travel Insurance Guide – Take Note of What’s NOT Covered

Travel Insurance Guide skydiving
Travel insurance policy doesn’t cover everything. That’s why it’s important for you to take note of it to avoid disappointment. For example, most policies do not cover accidents sustained while participating in extreme adventure activities or sports such as hang gliding, paragliding, scuba diving, bungee jumping unless you pay extra. So please read the conditions carefully before you sign up. If you really find it necessary to include those extreme sports in your policy, find a company such as World Nomads that provides it.

Travel Insurance Guide – Where to Choose a Great Plan?

Since the nasty accident my boyfriend encountered in US, I have grown to be more prudent on travel insurance. One day as I was planning my trip to Australia, (we were going to Darwin and wanted to camp and trek at nearby national parks) I stumbled upon World Nomads. I found the policies they offer rather amazing as they cover all the salient points I mentioned earlier. And most importantly, it was at a very good price. For my 2 weeks trip to Australia, my plan cost only $5 per day.
Considering my local health plan wasn’t going to cover me while overseas, it was a small price to pay for knowing that if I got into an accident when I was hiking, or attacked by a crocodile or bitten by a snake in the woods, I was protected. I would rather be safe than sorry and not be stuck with a giant hospital bill.

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In short, I like World Nomads for the following reasons:

1. Highly user friendly. I can purchase and renew my insurance policy online in a matter of minutes
2. Friendly and responsive staff who answer questions and help solve problems via social media
3. They have great customer feedback
4. Most importantly, they provide great coverage at a good price

In life, it’s always wise to have a backup plan. Travel insurance is your plan B when you are on the road. Although there’s a high chance that you will never need to use the policy you bought, life is full of “surprises”. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are thousands of miles from home. You don’t want to find yourself feeling lost, broke and constantly worry about costs incurred due to those accidents. Most importantly, with an adequate insurance policy, you can be assured to travel with a peace of mind and fully enjoy your trip. 🙂

Get yourself insured and start traveling smart today!
  • Cat Lin

    Thanks for reminding us to buy travel insurance, which is so often overlooked! I will need to look into World Nomads!

  • Great advice and information. We often ignore to get the insurance only to regret when we run into issues. Will look into it for our next trip.

  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    Well, the jinx always apply: Bad. unlucky things always happen when you are least prepared; and even for packing – usually I need something when I forgot to pack them, which I usually pack them but then I didn’t need… @ knycx.journeying

  • Efthimis Kragaris

    You had so many unfortunate incidents in the past! I haven’t got any but it is true that you must always be prepared for the worse especially when you are far away from home. Great wake up call for your readers!

    • Yes I was unfornate yet fortunate in the way that I’m safe after all 🙂

  • Passports & Pigtails

    Great info. Travelers often skip insurance because of the cost…only to incur an ever larger one! We think we’ll never need it, and one can hope, but there are many travelers who find themselves facing hospital or rental insurance bills. I’ll have to look into World Nomads on my next trip!

    • Great that you’ll find the article useful. Now I will always get insurance whenever I travel!

  • I am considering insurance plans for my 2017 travels. Thank you for the helpful guidelines.

    • Glad that it helps! I learnt my mistake in a hard way. It’s wise to avoid it. 🙂