Travel Insurance

posted in: Practicalities, Preparations | 0

In this day of age, I can’t really understand why anybody would go about traveling without contracting proper travel insurance. I remember this travel horror story of a poor girl who had an accident the day before heading home. She was at a party and the handrail of the second floor balcony gave out. She fell and broke her neck. Due to the critical nature of her injuries, she had to be evacuated by air ambulance to the nearest country that could offer her proper care. She didn’t have insurance. She had to pay for all the fees attached to her evacuation and her treatment, which quickly raised up to tens of thousands of dollars.

When I was younger I did not always contract insurance. I didn’t think the cost was justified. Now, my position has quite radically changed. I couldn’t possibly think of going away without it. Insurance is not that expensive when you weigh it against costs that could result from an accident or a sickness oversea. Granted, it remains an added cost to traveling, which isn’t cheap to start with. Yet, in my opinion, it’s an essential protection.

For me, it came as a no brainer to get insurance for the coming trip. In fact, it’s one of the first details I set in my preparations. I tried to research the subject on the internet, but there really wasn’t much information for my specifics. I needed insurance for a multidestination year long trip, for which the destinations were not set in advance. No matter how hard I looked I didn’t find anything. Actually, I did find one site which required you to enter all your destinations and dates. For obvious reasons, it wouldn’t do for me. It could be that I didn’t use the right keywords, but still.

At the advice of a fellow traveler, I ended up calling my credit card provider. They have an insurance branch, so they set me up with the medical insurance I wanted. Normally, I might have wanted to obtain and compare quotes, but without information readily available on the Internet, it wasn’t very convenient. Furthermore, I was satisfied with the quote I got from my credit card company, which came to roughly $1200 for the full year. I didn’t take baggage insurance, but I am now reconsidering it and might add it to the contract.

Here are the main considerations that were on my mind for insurance coverage :

  • Not needing to have preset destinations and time, basically open insurance for up to a year
  • Having a coverage of minimum a million dollar (the one I got in the end covers up to 5 millions)
  • Having the option of med evac in case no proper care is available on site
  • Life insurance
  • Coverage for the repatriation of the body in case of death

My question to you, do you automatically contract insurance when you travel. If so, what do you need to have covered by your insurance to feel protected?

Edit : When I realized just how much money I spent on equipment before leaving, I decided to get covered for luggage after all. The first representative of Visa told me they couldn’t add luggage covering for this long. I knew it was possible, so I pushed the issue and had them check again. Turns out it was possible when combined to the medical insurance. This is a good example of why it’s important to know when to accept a no and when to push an issue. 

So adding the coverage for the luggage also tripled my coverage in other areas and in the end only about $200 was added to my original bill.

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