The Importance of Travel Insurance

Typical Opinion From Insurance Company Doctor

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is often the last thing travellers think about – either they believe they wont need it or its an expense that they would rather avoid. But almost any serious traveler will tell you – things can, and do wrong, when you least expect it so its better to prepared for the unforeseen occurrences.

Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with travel insurance. After getting my camera snatched out of my bag in Tokyo and having my  ipod stolen while on an overnight bus trip in Indonesia, these casualties have almost always been covered by my travel insurance.

Travel insurance can be broken down into three categories: medical, cancellation and baggage travel insurance.

Medical Travel Insurance

If you are only going to pick one type of insurance I would definitely opt for medical coverage. While it may be a bummer that you missed your flight and now have to pay another $1000 for an extra flight, it’s a whole other story when you need to be airlifted from a mountain and given emergency medical services totaling anywhere from $20,000 to 1,000,000 plus. I was recently trekking in Nepal, 2 days into our trip a girl was suffering from such altitude sickness that she had to be evacuated by helicopter to a major city. Not only did her medical coverage enable her to forgo the $25,000 price tag but it also let her pick the hospital/city she would be transported to.

Furthermore, while most hospitals in developing countires will admit you immediately, they wont let you leave unless you pay. So it’s a good idea to have insurance in place to take care of these charges.

Cancellation Travel Insurance

This form of coverage is the most common and is definitely recommended. It can protect you if: your flight is cancelled; you need to cancel your trip due to illness, a close family member dies and you are forced to cancel your trip, your cruise, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt and you want to recoup your non- refundable ticket; or terrorist incident occurs in your destination city and you wish to cancel your trip. Any traveler should weigh the cost benefit of purchasing cancellation insurance. If your flight only costs $100 but the insurance costs $25, it may not be worth it. But if you are going on an extended 6 month trip valued at $10,000 it’s definitely a worthwhile investment to purchase cancellation insurance. Travelers should be aware that insurers will not cover you if your illness was a result of a pre-existing condition or if your injury is related to war or terror.

Baggage Travel Insurance

This type of insurance reimburses travellers for lost, stolen damaged or delayed baggage. Getting reimbursed for this type of loss is slightly more difficult as the insured must demonstrate proof of ownership (i.e. photos or receiepts), produce either a police report or report from the airline and there are a ton of items which aren’t covered. Sadly, I learned that sunglasses of any kind fall outside the coverage. This type of coverage tends to be more hassle than its worth but it is often already incorporated into your insurance plan.

Tips to save money on travel insurance:

Credit Cards

May credit card companies offer insurance coverage (including medical baggage and cancellation) outside your home country included in your benefit plan. But make sure you read the fine print as some cards impose limits of age eligibility requirements.  Its always a good idea to check out other insurance policies and compare it to the one offered by your credit card to fill in any gaps. For instance, if your credit card only offers coverage for up to 30 days and you are going on a 3 day trip, you will need to supplement your pre existing coverage.

Cashback Site

Whatever type of insurance you choose to purchase, you can save money by buying it online via a cash back site such as which will credit back to you a portion of its referral commission. Different companies offer different cash backs so do your research to maximize the percentage you save.

Multi trips

Are you planning on going on two separate 1 month trips this year? If you are planning on taking multiple trips in a single year it may be cheaper to lump all your trips together by purchasing annual trip insurance. This also lessens the administrative tasks associated with signing up for insurance.

Shop Around

Multiple insurers offer a variety of packages at competitive prices. Always check with student travel agencies as they offer reasonable prices for low budget travel.

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7 things you should know about World Nomads travel insurance

  1. Trusted reliable is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
  2. Value for money with the cover you provides cover for what’s important for travellers from over 150 countries. By focussing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
  3. Flexibility when you need it mostHad a change of plans? You can extend your policy indefinitely or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
  4. Cover for a range of adventure activitiesFrom skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
  5. World Nomads keeps you travelling safelyAll members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.
  6. More than just great value travel insuranceAll members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
  7. Commitment to exceptional customer serviceWe want to make sure you get the most from You can find out more about what is covered and the 5 key parts of a World Nomads’ travel insurance policy. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact directly.


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