Prepare for the worst when traveling: Why you need travel insurance.

travel insurance

Do I need travel insurance?


Travel is a beautiful experience.  I love exploring new places and drinking in new cultures. Despite how enriching it is, less than desirable events can occur.  I should know.


Over the years I’ve had many very positive experiences.  But I’ve had a few sour ones. Namely, I broke my ankle while in South Korea.  And my phone was stolen in Cambodia. I’ve also had flights delayed and some baggage mishaps.


Half of these events, more than likely, could have been avoiding by not drinking to be honest.  But hey, that’s something we will never know. Jokes aside, life happens and it sucks. You can’t always avoid the bad events, but you can prepare yourself so that if they do happen, you limit your loss.

Here are a few tips to stay safe and keep money in your wallet when shit hits the fan overseas!


Why you need travel insurance


No matter whether you are leaving the province, state, or country. Get travel insurance.  Surgery in South Korea cost me over $1,500 CAD even despite having coverage from my employer in South Korea.  I also had a place to live and people to look after me through my recovery, I’ve met people who weren’t as lucky in Southeast Asia.  Hospital bills add up in any country.


Travel insurance is for more than just medical bills.  Did you know that travel insurance usually covers lost or stolen property.  And can refund or cover missed flights and other miscellaneous surprises while abroad.

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I bought a new iPhone a few months prior to leaving to Thailand to capture great pictures.  A few months later that same phone was stolen and more than likely fed the drug habit of some raunchy ladyboy in Cambodia.  


Luckily I smartened up after South Korea and got covered by World Nomads while in Southeast Asia.


Keep records of your travels and belongings for your travel insurance


Insurance companies are businesses.  You pay them pennies so that if something unfavorable happens they pay you mad dollars to cover it.  Anyone with a brain knows the insurance companies don’t just hand over those coverage dollars. They make you work for it.


Make your life simple and don’t add to their bottom line by keeping receipt and proof of purchase for everything valuable that you own and will travel with.


For my phone.  I’m going to be getting a minimum reimbursement because I didn’t keep my original receipt of purchase for my phone, and I forgot to get a copy of the police report.


I was also asked to provide:


  • Proof of flights
  • Proof of accomodation at hostels
  • Credit card statements showing cash spent in Cambodia
  • Police report
  • Report/statement from the Hostel I stayed at, or reliable witness.
  • Original purchase receipt of phone.


Read the Terms and Conditions in your travel insurance


You may just think you throw $100 at the insurance company and anything that goes wrong you’re looking at a windfall reimbursement.  But that’s not the case. Again, those insurance companies set strict guidelines for your contract with them. Make sure everything you think you’ll be doing is covered.  Or pay extra to get coverage.


Riding scooters, scuba diving, and other fun things are usually not covered by the basic coverage.  Be smart, do your due diligence. Spending a few extra pennies to get those dollars in the event of a tragedy is well worth it.


Get multiple quotes on travel insurance


Many people go with a local company where they are from.  The smart people and seasoned travelers go with World Nomads.  I looked at a local insurance place from my city in Canada. It was going to cost me $1,000 because I was going to China after Southeast Asia and had to have coverage until I returned to Canada.


With World Nomads they gave me a contract for as long or as short as I needed.  I should have gotten it a bit longer because I had a hospital visit in China before my employer coverage in China kicked in.  


But I saved like 70% going with World Nomads.


You can’t skip on travel insurance, if you are traveling.  That includes a weekend snowboarding trip to another province or state too.  Always be covered. You never know when you’ll need it. It’s usually only an extra $1-200 for months of insurance.  Come to think of it, almost every trip I’ve been on I could have, or did end up using my travel insurance.


Readers; do you have any crazy travel stories where travel insurance saved your ass or you wish you would have purchased some travel insurance?  Let me know in the comments!


Please share this article on your social media or send it to someone who needs travel insurance!

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Author: Charles

Currently located in China, teaching English and working towards Financial Freedom. I write about money, travel, personal development and more!

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