Travel Insurance: Is it Worth it?

Travel Insurance: Is It For You and Is It Really Worth It?

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I used to be like everyone else who thought travel insurance isn’t necessary and do not fully understand its benefits especially when you are young and stupid and have somehow convinced yourself nothing is ever going to happen to you while you’re roaming the globe, miles away from everything that’s familiar to you.

Now, all that has changed. My number one tip for a stress-free vacation: TAKE OUT A TRAVEL INSURANCE. PLEASE.



I was a backpacker with a very limited budget for everything I wanted to see and do. I felt that taking out travel insurance would only be an additional expense so I left it out when I was planning for my first solo South East Asian trip. I actually considered it several times, but in the end, I chose to be without it. Big mistake.

Two weeks into my trip of a lifetime, I found myself trying to survive through one of a backpacker’s classic rites of passage: food poisoning (in Thailand). I knew that it was a meal I ordered at the hostel I was staying at because that’s the only thing I had that day. I instantly felt horribly sick and I really thought I was going to collapse and die in the middle of Khaosan Road in broad daylight. I couldn’t even cross the street to get some sort of a cure at the pharmacy across the hostel. Luckily a guy at the hostel came to my rescue and gave me painkillers, crackers and lots of fluid that kept me from feeling like death for a while. I did everything I could to get myself back to a functioning human as I didn’t want to go to the doctor if possible or waste more days being sick in bed. Every night, Leo’s words from the movie The Beach would echo in my head: “No – I will not die today!” Plus, I couldn’t miss that train to Laos!

In the span of 45 days, I’ve done quite a few dangerous stunts that could have seriously injured me so I still considered myself super lucky. But after that epic solo adventure, I started looking into getting myself travel insurance while planning my next one. If life didn’t scare me half to death with that food poisoning experience in a foreign country, I would probably be skeptical up until now. Or maybe not.

Oh, let’s not forget about that time our longtail boat crashed into one, which got so badly wrecked in that incident and sank in seconds deep into the blue. Imagine if I was on that other boat with my cameras and other gadgets with me? Worse, what if… you know, the unthinkable happened? After everything else that happened to me while on the road in and outside my country following that year, I would not think of NOT having a travel insurance with me EVER AGAIN.




Is travel insurance worth it?

 

Hell, yes. I never needed to file for a claim – thank God – but having the peace of mind that in the event that something terrible actually happens, your family won’t be in a crippling debt just to get you out of the hospital or fly you back home. That, for me, is really a show of responsibility and being considerate of others. My parents have greatly encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and see the world as I please in spite the fact that they are always fearful of my safety. So the least that I can do to calm those fears is to show them I got this.

Whenever friends ask me if they should get travel insurance for themselves and family members I always say YES without batting an eyelash. Whether or not they get insured through my recommendations or not, the important thing is that they purchase it for their own good.

You will never know how important something is until you need it. Don’t risk going without it and regret it in the end.

Still not a good enough reason to get travel insurance? Well, I got more for you.

Every time you fly, there’s always a possibility of missed connections, delayed or canceled flights, stolen or lost baggage or even you canceling or cutting your trip short due to emergency reasons – an illness, death of a loved one (touch wood), etc. Ever thought of those things? Yes, you need coverage for that. With a travel insurance, one can also claim for emergency expatriation, dismemberment, and accidental death. You have to realize that some things are out of our control and sometimes; it hits us hard.

Maybe it’s better to ask – what is your health, protection, and peace of mind worth to you?

 

Is travel insurance the same as health insurance?

 

Also, although travel insurance and health insurance provide similar benefits, a lot of people seem to be unaware that these are NOT the same thing. What’s the difference between the two? Travel insurance as mentioned above offers protection from travel risks and pays for emergency inpatient check-ups or medical treatments while you’re on a holiday. They charge a one-time fee that is calculated based on your age, the duration of your trip and countries you’ll be visiting. On the other hand, health insurance covers continuous medical treatments, medicine, and other costs related to your accident or illness, which you may need in the country you reside (though some plans extend coverage internationally) – as long as you pay your monthly or yearly premiums.

 

So, who should get a travel insurance?

 

  • Anyone who is planning to travel internationally should get one before the start their trip
  • Anyone who loves to participate in high-risk or extreme sports such as snowboarding, skydiving, mountain climbing, etc.
  • Anyone who is always bringing valuable, rather expensive, gears or gadgets with them
  • Anyone who wants to have the time of their life while traveling




What’s the best one out there?

 

Well, I’ve always used World Nomads ever since – except when I’m with the husband as I’m automatically covered by his plan if we travel together and when I travel with the company I work for because we have a group coverage.  I also find the cost affordable for short-term travel. If you are living in the Philippines and you need domestic and international annual travel coverage plan, I would also recommend Pacific Cross . That said I ALWAYS have travel insurance in any case.

 

I certainly cannot say World Nomads is the best because I have thankfully never made a claim, but based on the stated scope of coverage and my experience with them so far – I believe they are. I’ve also been told by a lot of travelers I know who’ve been in accidents that World Nomads handle matters professionally, very responsive and got fully reimbursed quite quickly. My radar has also picked up a few with good reviews from travelers such as Allianz, Squaremouth, Insuremytrip , and Travelex .

 

Here are a few reasons why I’d choose them over and over again:

 

  • Their Adventure Travel Insurance is perfect for me because I sometimes like to engage in activities a little more on the adventurous side.
  • The flexibility. I can easily buy, modify my trip duration or extend your coverage online just in case I may need more time away from home.
  • Whenever I have to apply for a visa somewhere, some countries would require a high level of medical and evacuation cover from your travel insurance and World Nomads tops my list when I compare their rates with other companies for the coverage that they offer. That made me see clearly why they are a little pricier than some.
  • Lastly, excellent customer support and assistance available 24/7! Got to make sure I can easily and quickly reach them if I ever need their help badly. Well, they’re speedy to reply to my very minor inquiries in the past; surely they’ll attend to the ones in an emergency situation as fast – if not faster! Right?
  • I love supporting humanitarian causes and this is probably the only travel insurance that enables travelers to give back to communities they SHOULD care about.

Can I cancel my travel insurance policy for any reason and get a full refund?

Say your travel plans fell through or just decided you’d rather just stay home, would it be possible to cancel and get a refund? Sure, why not? As long as you don’t do it at the last minute! I had to do this once before when my visa application got denied, which meant I wouldn’t be able to make that trip – the sole reason why I bought that travel insurance. It was easy peasy. I got my money back in no time.

Use this travel insurance cost calculator and see if the coverage is right for your needs

Now it’s your turn. Any travels that have gone horribly wrong and necessitated you to pay out of pocket for costs you have incurred or did you have travel insurance with you? Did you get fully reimbursed and how soon? Which travel insurance companies can you recommend and why?

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

8 comments

willsavefortravel

100% agree! We always get travel insurance. We have been lucky enough not to use it too, but it really gives peace of mind!

I’m one of the hold outs. I see all the reasons why it is so good, but still can’t get myself to spend the money. I’m sure one day I’ll regret it, but for now I’m still holding out. I think maybe I’ll have to have an experience like you where it affects me personally.

Oh no, don’t ask for it! It’s great that nothing has ever happened to you yet…and hopefully nothing ever will! Being ill or meeting an accident in another country is a lot worse than having it at home. 🙁

We’ve had need of it twice. Once for me, in Bilbao, with tonsilitis and bleeding from my ears. Once for my partner, whose palpitations needed a blue light dash in Chicago – fortunately it turned out to be way too much caffeine. Even for peace of mind and your own comfort, it been worth it for me.

Totally agree! When we get older, we think more and more about our mortality. So yes, even just for peace of mind, I’ll definitely get it.

I recently fell very ill on a trip which required staying in LA a few extra days, a doctors visit, hospital visit, extra days in a hotel, extra day with a rental car and change of flights. ever since then Ive been more considering travel insurance!

Did your health insurance cover it at least?

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