Travel Insurance: Do I Even Really Need It?

This week we’re going to be discussing travel insurance here on the old blog. Now, as a disclaimer, I’ve never purchased travel insurance myself, so everything I’m saying in this post is what I’m inferring from other, better researched sources.

Travel insurance can cover you while traveling in a variety of ways. As this blog post from Nomadic Matt states:

“It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is cancelled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or if something is stolen. It is the single most important thing you should get but never hope to plan to use.”

When I first read Matt’s post, my initial thoughts were: Well, this sounds great, but how much can this possibly cost me? The answer: it depends on where you’re traveling, but usually not much.

There are a lot of companies specializing in travel insurance out there. Most of them are good. A few are not. Here are some tips for knowing if a plan is right for you:

  1. Make sure there is a high coverage limit on your medical expenses (up to $100,000 is common).
  2. Make sure your policy also covers emergency evacuation and care that is separate from your medical coverage.
  3. Check to see how your policy defines evacuation: it should be to your home country.
  4. Your policy should cover most countries in the world.
  5. Your policy should include some (it varies substantially) coverage of electronic items.
  6. Your policy should cover injury and sudden illnesses.
  7. Your policy should offer 24-hour emergency services.

In his post, Matt says that a company called World Nomads is his favorite travel insurance provider. Let me tell you, I totally get it. This website is incredibly,and I’ll be discussing it more in my post next week.


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