Of all the things you’ll find on my various packing lists and to do lists before setting off on another epic adventure, one thing you’ll find again and again is travel insurance. It’s something I never leave home without, and have written about many times before, to emphasise how important it is when leaving your home country and setting off on your travels.
One thing I would highlight first and foremost is that travel insurance is for the big things. Sure, small travel fails will happen, such as small accidents, missing your flight or losing your luggage. I would argue, however, that these are not the events that cause us to buy travel insurance.
Why You Need Travel Insurance
It’s is the major calamities – when all your money, camera equipment and possessions get robbed on a bus in Ecuador. When you get hit by a bike in Southeast Asia and end up in hospital for a few months. That one time when you need to be airlifted off a mountain while skiing and are landed with a bill for $20,000. It’s situations like my Koh Tao nightmare.
There are also the even more serious occasions, one’s where you no longer be in charge of your own situation and recovery and your friends, parents and loved ones will be left with the stress and the bill. These are the situations I worry about the most. It’s not about YOU – it’s about having a back-up plan that will help others deal with a disastrous situation.
Many people seem to be put off by the price of travel insurance, but these days there are so many companies, so many great deals, that there really is a different type of policy to suit all budgets. I’ve been using Ucompare.ie, an Irish company that compares many travel insurance providers and finds the best deal for you.
Ucompare.ie offers an easy-to-use comparison tool that quickly searches for the best travel insurance policy available. Ucompare.ie allows you to choose exactly which type of cover you need, whether it is single-trip, multi-trip or backpacker travel insurance. You can also tailor your policy to suit the needs of your trip, for example a Winter Sports add-on if you are going on a ski or snowboarding trip. Ucompare.ie saves you a lot of time and hassle trying to find the best travel insurance policy on the market.
Things to remember when picking that travel insurance policy, besides price:
- Will all your possessions be covered in the case of a robbery? Many policy have a very low limit, maybe of just €1,000, so if you’re travelling with an iPhone, laptop, drone and camera equipment like me, you’ll want a much higher limit and bigger pay-out.
- Is dentistry work covered? When I broke my tooth in Thailand a few years ago I learned the hard way that not all policies include dental, or if they do it might only be up to €200 or around that.
- Are there any exclusion zones? Certain regions and countries around the world are often excluded from travel insurance policies – be it North Korea or Afghanistan. Be sure the places you’re going are not on an exclusion list and be sure to detail everywhere you plan on travelling to before purchasing your insurance.
- Are high risk activities included? If you plan on riding a bike around Bali, sky-diving in Australia or snowboarding in Canada – be sure to read up and make sure these high-risk activities are detailed in your policy and that you will be sufficiently covered.