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Real travellers know the importance of packing all the right things. Real travellers know to buy travel insurance. Real travellers always… Hang on what’s up with the wanky term “real travellers”?

Ok, let’s take a step back. The traveller vs tourist things is a crock of shit. We’ve previously discussed this in Are You A Tourist or Traveller in case you want to revisit and weigh in on this all important debate. Which is about as important as Donald Trump’s hair dresser. Here at Traveling Honeybird we believe that we are all tourists in travellers shoes.

TLDR: Just buy your travel insurance. Simple.

We are all tourist in travellers shoes Traveling Honeybird

Today we’re not talking about if you are a tourist or a traveller. If you’ve decided to put on your pants to brave the big bad world outside your lounge-room then yes, you my friend are a real traveller. And you do need travel insurance.

Just in case you are wondering – Do I Really Need Travel Insurance here’s an infograph to educate you.

Do I Need to Buy Travel Insurance : Traveling Honeybird

Why Do Travellers Buy Travel Insurance?

Anyone who travels buys travel insurance for a myriad of reasons. These are really personal reasons and when we asked our friends and family we got some very different answers. It was almost as if I had asked what under wear people like to wear.

Here’s why we buy travel insurance.

I’m a responsible adult even in death.

I don’t want our families to have to worry about us when we are off travelling. Now I know that we can’t stop them from worrying. The one thing I really don’t want my family (and friends) to go through is the ordeal of bringing my body home. It’s morbid as fuck I know. But whether I’m dead or alive I don’t want my or James family to have to scrounge up the $20,000+ that it may cost to bring one or both of us home to Australia.

Then there is also the legal paperwork of repatriating a body home. It’s a complex maze of legalities, embassy contacts and general high level heart attack giving stress. I’d prefer if there was someone there to help legally and financially. It’s my body, my choice to travel so in all honesty it only seems fair that I have a contingency plan to bring myself home.

We also ensure that our travel insurance has coverage to bring us home due to death or medical emergency.

Medical emergency

Life happens. Wonderful glorious adventure seeking life. Which inevitably leads to medical services needed. Somewhere along the line of your life you will need medical assistance. Hopefully not when you are on the road.This was my biggest fear when I was in New York City nearly ten years ago. I was petrified of falling over, breaking an arm and walking out with a million billion dollar American hospital medical bill. Now I did have full comprehensive travel insurance so I would have walked out with a broken arm and a my dignity in the drain.

So often we see different crowd sourcing campaigns pop up in Facebook Groups and even emailed to me. These are concerned friends and family begging on the behalf of their beloved for cash donations to help pay for medical care over seas. Now whilst this does break my heart I can’t help but put up the wall of WTF and wonder – Why didn’t you have travel insurance? To date I’ve never donated to one of these campaigns. I can’t help but feel like this is mildly rewarding a poor life decision and enabling that person, should they survive, to make more poor life decisions.

Dr Bear Traveling Honeybird

You Can’t Control When Someone Else Dies

Sorry but the truth fish is here to slap you in the face again. Sadly we can not control when others decide that it is their time to leave this world. Travel insurance may, depending on your policy, provide you with cover that allows you to interrupt your trip. This means that you could come home, attend a funeral, and if you wish return to where your journey temporarily stopped.

There are limits as to who’s death is covered so make sure you read the fine print in your PDS.

Ok Jean you’ve convinced me and I’m ready to buy travel insurance.

Lost Along the Way

Lost bagage. Lost passport. Lost wallet. Lost underwear. Who’s knows what else you might loose along the highway of life. This is probably the least of my worries bar the passport. Note to self – always have a physical copy and a digital copy of passport available. Shit happens. Things get lost/stolen/borrowed. These menial things (other then your passport) can be easily replaced when you get home.

The Top Two Stupid Reasons People Don’t Buy Travel Insurace

It’s Costs Money

I’m sorry to inform you my dear but unless you are a socially annoyance called a Freegan then life will cost you money. Somewhere along the line cold hard cash must exchange hands. If you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel.

Oh but you’ll never need to use your travel insurance?

LIES. This is a total and complete lie. You’ll never know when you need travel insurance. Which is why you have it. It’s a just in case I need it.

This is our friend Chris from Aussie On The Road. We love Chris. His smart, fun loving and generally a great guy. He recently had a fight with a boat, lost, broke his arm and needed to return to Australia for surgery. Chris didn’t have travel insurance. Chris is proof in the pudding that anything can happen to anyone at any time.

Oh and Chris is doing really well after having surgery, returning to China and eating some pretty darn delicious food.

In case you’re wondering why I’ve been so quiet. Flying home tomorrow for surgery.

A post shared by Aussie on the Road (@aussieontheroad) on

Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?

If you are asking this question, still, then I’m afraid that my work here is not yet complete. Yes you do need travel insurance. Even basic travel insurance is better then no insurance. You really don’t want to be a homeless hobo begging your friends, family and complete strangers like myself to bail you out of a shitty situation because you couldn’t be bothered spending a little bit of your hard earned cash on travel insurance and slightly less on booze and hookers.

No judgement here if that’s your taste in life. I just ask that you spend one less night on booze and hookers and one fanciful purchase on travel insurance.

But I’m on a tour –  won’t the tour company’s insurance cover me?

No. Tour companies like Contiki, Intrepid, G Advenutres, Geckons, Tucan, Dragoman…. the list goes on… require that you have your own comprehensive travel insurance and will ask to see your policy before the tour begins. Certain countries are now also bringing this in as a requirement to entry. Without evidence of a valid policy you risk being denied entry.

Who do we use for travel insurance?

We use 1Cover for our annual travel insurance. For ease of mind we buy a multi trip annual policy, which covers us for travel inside Australia and around the world. I have claimed on our policy, when a trip home from Sydney went astray. The customer service was amazing, claim was easy to complete and the payout sorted asap.

We’ve also used and recommend World Nomads for those on the go.

Have you ever used travelled without travel insurance? Let meknow in the comments below.

Jeanette

Jeanette

Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.

16 Comments

  1. I can not believe that people still travel without travel insurance. It is crazy but I still meet plenty on the road. I never see it as a waste of money. Although (touch wood) I have never had to use it, it is there just in case, even as you say in death. I do not want my family to have to find the money in such a distressing time if the worse was to happen on my trip.
    Loved the flow chart by the way.

    Reply
  2. This post is an eye opener. When I started traveling, I really didn’t think much of it. But after a friend has lost her wallet, cards and other essentials in one of the trips that I took, I knew that it was important. You made a good case for it and that infographic highlights it even more!

    Reply
  3. Totally agree with you on this!!! I never used to think insurance was a big deal but purchased it anyway because it’s what everyone does. Luckily I never had to use it! Then I got a job working for the medical assistance side of a travel insurance company and oh my word, the stories I’ve heard are unreal!!!
    I’m also now well aware of the cost of medical fees in almost every country in the world as well as the cost of repatriation of mortal remains, and I would NEVER want to put my stepfather in the position of having to pay thousands and thousands of pounds to bring my body home should something happen to me, for the sake of saving a few quid on insurance in the first place. People who think it’s unnecessary really need to stop and think about what they’re doing!
    I’ve actually been working on a post for a while now about insurance (from the point of view of someone “in the business” and not as a travel blogger) and I’m so so so glad that you, as a successful blogger, has published something like this! Would you mind if I link to this when I do eventually publish?

    Reply
  4. My bank covers me for trips of up to 21 days but anything above that I need travel insurance. I love the illustration you made, I’d lost my bag according to it so I need insurance! I do need it for my camera in case of theft, I’d be very upset, so it is a serious issue!

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  5. I always buy insurance when I go on trips outside Europe. Luckily in Europe we have the international health card which covers the emergencies that can occur while abroad. However, when I step out of Europe I never leave without insurance as you never know what can happen. And there’s nothing worse than not being able to get treatment because you don’t have insurance.

    Reply
    • That’s great for medical care but what about other issues? Though the EU rules on passenger compensation on airlines is pretty great!

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  6. Having worked as an insurance underwiter in my past life (not travel insurance though), I understand the importance of having travel insurance. We have no idea when accidents can happen, but sometimes they do and I know my family can’t afford to pay for high medical bills while I am away. Generally I just make sure I have medical cover as contents cover can be just too expensive for what it is. Thankfully the only accidents I have had were when I was visiting home and not on the road!!! I really don’t understand people who don’t buy insurance, its far cheaper than having to pay hospital bills!!

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    • That’s such a good way to put it! It costs so much less then hospital bills

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  7. Love your first statement on all of us being tourists in travellers shoes! And honestly I thouroughly enjoyed your posts. Travel insurance is something even seasoned travellers tend to ignore, but one cannot deny how helpful they are when we are in some trouble overseas. Great tips!

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  8. Your info graphic is hilarious! We have been traveling for four months without travelers insurance, and keep meaning to look into it. This might be just the kick in the pants we need.

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    • Well go get it!! World Nomads will
      Cover you if you’re already on the road

      Reply
  9. 100% agree … Everyone needs travel insurance. I’m lucky that my credit card covers me as long as I make the flight purchase on it which has saved me heaps over the years but my youngest son as just turned 21 and I need to check if they will still cover him. We are heading to Bali on Sunday so I better figure it out quick!

    Reply
  10. haha love your style of writing this post made me laugh! But totally agree – it is SO important to have travel insurance even if it is a bit of a pain to sort out. Lots of valid points I hope it will convince some numptys to purchase travel insurance!!

    Reply
  11. We usually get travel insurance through the online banking, which is a nice bonus. If it comes to medical cover we really enjoyed the benefits of European Medical Card while travelling in Europe and got really fantastic health care while in holday in Poland, when we thought my partner had a heart attack and they did absolutely wonderful job getting to the bottom of the matter. We didn’t have to pay a penny for that either. Sadly soon for us British it will be a distant memory as we will not be a part of EU any more.

    Reply
    • Oh I’m not sure I get what you mean – through online banking? Is this a service that your bank provides? I know some credit card companies offer insurance. Some though don’t cover you until you’ve left the country! Always pays to read the PDS.

      Reply
  12. I agree with you 100%. We do need travel insurance. I even had a travel insurance when I joined a road trip recently. We did a lot of adventures so travel insurance was really necessary. Well, even if someone is not going to do a lot of risky adventures, she/he needs to have travel insurance for so many reasons.

    Reply

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