Travel insurance is not a topic that many want to talk about. Most think it’s expensive and just another cost for a trip that you may or may not already be on a tight budget for.
Travel is not all fun and games though, and serious things can happen while abroad, and that’s why it’s a good idea to have travel insurance.
It keeps you covered with a security blanket while you get to travel and have the time of your life. Travel insurance can be friendly to budget backpackers, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult topic. Here I break it down for you.
What to Consider When Looking at Travel Insurance Plans
Medical costs can cover you for both sudden illness or injury. Whether you’ve broken a bone, or find yourself running to the bathroom far too often with a severe case of food poisoning, you want to make sure you’re covered for hospital, clinic, and/or medicine costs. $100,000 can be offered by good companies, with the price of insurance often going up as the coverage increases. Going for a cheaper option could leave you in the middle of a treatment and suddenly having to fork money out of your own pocket because you’ve surpassed your coverage limit.
Transporting you to the nearest appropriate facility, or getting you out of a country because of a natural disaster, purchasing a plan that covers emergency evacuation can be a good idea. This can also cover a friend or family to accompany you while in medical care, including their transportation and accommodation. Check the fine print to see if it also includes getting you home safely!
You don’t want to cancel your trip anymore than the next person does, but unfortunately things can arise. You can fall ill, a family member can pass away, or there could be a natural disaster where you are headed. It is a good idea to consider being covered if this happens before the trip that you can cancel your already booked expenses.
If it happens during a trip, you want to make sure you can get home without the hefty price tag looming over your head amongst other things to deal with.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t travel without electronics? No? Neither do I. Pick a plan that will cover your digital gear because we all know that replacing these kinds of items are more on the pricey end.
What Else to Look for in a Travel Insurance Plan
- 24/7 emergency service (can you imagine being in a hospital and not being able to read your insurance company for help?)
- Covers most countries in the world (including where you are from)
- Cover lost, stolen, or damaged items (some companies will have this at a set coverage, some will let you add on additional)
- Booking while abroad (if you ever consider extending your trip, a company that will extend your coverage for you while you’re on the road is beneficial)
- Adventure travel (if you plan on skiing/boarding, trekking, scuba diving or more, consider a company that covers these activities)
Other Travel Insurance Tips
- Don’t be stupid. No travel insurance company will cover you for everything, especially if it involves drugs or alcohol.
- Travel insurance is not for people living abroad. It will not cover your basic medical costs and checkups.
- Do not expect the money from your claim instantly, it can take time.
- There are often limits for your gear coverage. Your expensive new laptop could only be covered for $300.
- Not all adventure activities are covered, some policies don’t even cover scooters in Asia.
Keep in mind that these are all ideas of what to look for and simple a way to help you choose the best travel insurance for you. Read all of the fine print to know exactly what you’re getting!
When You’re Ready to Buy Travel Insurance
I like and personally use two different companies for insurance when I’m abroad. I am sharing both with you so that you can make an informed decision as to which works best for you and your travels.
For long or short term travel where I am doing more adventurous activities, I opt for World Nomads. World Nomads is designed for adventure travel and offers coverage on a wide range of activities that not all travel insurance typically covers. Over 250 activities are covered which include scuba diving, bungy jumping, camel riding, au pairing and much more.
I have personally filed for medical coverage while abroad in Australia and the Philippines and was quite satisfied with the service I received.
What’s great about World Nomads is how they give back to communities and you can extend your insurance coverage while you’re abroad, just in case you decide travelling for longer is the right idea!
As a digital nomad, long term traveller and someone who spends the majority of my time abroad but not always travelling I often opt to get coverage through SafetyWing. SafetyWing is the first travel medical insurance designed by nomads for nomads.
What’s so great about SafetyWing is its affordability. Compared to competitors for similar coverage over 4 weeks, SafetyWing offers a price that is a third of its competitors.
It can be purchased before you travel or while you’re abroad. You can opt for coverage for a specific amount of time if you know your set dates or your coverage extends every 28 days, like a subscription until you stop it. This way, you’re never caught without travel medical insurance.
SafetyWing also provides 30 days of coverage in your home country (15 in the US) for every 90 days abroad.
Be smart, travel safe, and start doing some research now.