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?”
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.
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
Travel Insurance Guide – How to Choose a Good Plan?
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:
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 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.