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The Importance of Travel Insurance

Have you ever gone on a trip overseas and forgotten to buy travel insurance? Or, as in many cases, have you ever gone on a trip overseas and failed to buy travel insurance on purpose just so you could save a few pennies? Read on to learn all about the importance of travel insurance for your next holiday or backpacking trip!

Have you any idea the risk you are taking, the possible burden you are putting on your family and how a small accident could ruin your entire trip, your future plans and any financial stability you might have had?! Not having travel insurance could literally ruin your life.


The Importance Of Travel Insurance – To Keep The Parents Happy!

Personally, thanks to my Dad drilling in the impotance of travel and health insurance from a very young age, I have never left my home country without insurance. Sure, sometimes I’ve left it to the day I’m traveling which has lead to near-on panic attacks , and once I even ran around Seoul Incheon airport in a panic looking for the Travel Insurance booth to insure I would be covered on a short weekend trip to Japan. I was fairly confident that looking around temples and stalking geishas was hardly going to land me in trouble but as cliched as it sounds…better safe than sorry!

If you add up the amount of money I have spent on travel insurance over the last decade, the figure might scare you. It certainly scares me and sometimes it can be hard not to look at it as ‘money down the drain’.

Horror Stories

Whenever I feel unsure about forking out money for travel insurance, I stop myself from thinking in this way and recall all the horror stories recounted to me by family members, close friends and fellow backpackers. Tales that would make your blood curl. Stories about near death experiences in Colombia, mororbike accidents in Vietnam, food poisoning in remote Nepal and leg injuries encountered in the Canadian Rockies. Storied of months spent in hospitals in Kathmandu and Bogota, being airlifted off mountains or even being transported by flat bed in an air ambulance from one country to another.

air ambulance

As awful as all of these experiences must have been, the people who had travel insurance had a lucky escape with some travel insurance companies having to foot a bill of almost a quarter of a million dollars. Other people were not so lucky. Lack of insurance can mean poor treatment in ill-equipped hospitals in developing countries or can mean footing a bill personally fo 20,000 dollars for that time you needed to be airlifted off a mountain in Switzerland just because you slipped on ice and broke your leg while hiking or having to foot a month long hospital bill in Cambodia after you contracted Malaria or a severe case of Typhoid on a 3 week backpacking trip of South East Asia.

Failing to buy travel insurance, means failing to prepare for the worst. While I understand nodoby wants to prepare for the worst, and nobody really wants to consider that they may end up in a hospital, or they may miss their connecting flight or that the airline might lose all their cherished possesions en route to their first vacation in 5 years… but these are all things you NEED to consider. Failing to do so, and should Murphy’s Law come into action as it usually does, your holiday, your bank balance and even your entire life as you know it can be ruined in seconds.

So, what are the benefits of forking out a few extra dollars for travel insurance before heading off on your next trip? Well there are many, which include but are not limited to, coverage for the following;

-Trip Cancellation
-Trip Interruption
-Lost Luggage
-Repeating University exams
-Emergency Medical Assistance
-Medical Evacuation
-Lost or Stolen personal items
-Missed Flights
-Personal Accident or Injury
-A Family Bereavement

When purchasing insurance make sure you read the small print so you know what is included and what isn’t. Many companies will charge a higher premium if you plan to do certain adventure sports such as snowboarding, rafting, mountain climbing etc. Make sure you pick the right package for your particular trip.

One last tip I would give is that if you think you will be making many small trips within the year, you are better off paying a larger lump sum and getting a 1 year package from a company in your home country than paying regular, small installments to some online travel insurance broker. It works out cheaper in the long run and is a lot less hassle.

If you have any questions or any advice on best companies to use, please leave a comment.

Happy Travels! :-)


marian brennan (mario)

Monday 8th of February 2016

going to canada for paddy's day 2016,visiting my sister with my daughter Christina (14) thanks for usefull tips,all the best


Saturday 11th of July 2015

I decided to go with BUPA for health/medical insurance. It doesn't cover non-health and accident issues, but most credit cards, banks and travel agents cover that cheaply. For me, driving around on motorbikes on roads I am not used to is my main concern...oh, and infections, dengue etc. etc. It just makes sense for me as it is for a whole year.

Backpacking Budget For South East Asia – The Lowdown | WRITE FOR VIETNAM

Tuesday 27th of January 2015

[…] but not least, and something you ABSOLUTELY need is travel insurance! I always go with World Nomads as they have a good backpacker policy that covers motorbike accidents […]

Backpacking Budget For South East Asia – The Lowdown | Journalist on the run

Monday 5th of January 2015

[…] but not least, and something you ABSOLUTELY need is travel insurance! I always go with World Nomads as they have a good backpacker policy that covers motorbike accidents […]

Andreas Moser

Wednesday 18th of June 2014

I've never had any of this insurance. Come to think of it, I don't have any right now.

In my experience, if something really bad happens, hospitals will treat you. (My worst thing so far was a kidney problem in Lithuania and I got excellent treatment without paying. They said they will send a bill, but it never showed up. Or maybe I had simply moved on by then.) If something minor happens, you'll find a pharmacy.

I will change my mind when I will bleed to death outside a hospital that ain't treat me.

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