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 ridiculous and over used term “real travellers”?
Ok, let’s take a step back. The traveler vs tourist things is a crock of old rubbish. Many moons ago, I 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 dog walkers cousins thoughts on climate change. In all honesty we are all tourists in travellers shoes. Hopefully very comfortable shoes that won’t give us blisters.
Today I’m not here 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 un-sponsored info graph to educate you on the importance of travel insurance and if you really do need travel insurance.
Why Does Anyone Buy Travel Insurance?
Anyone who travels buys travel insurance for a myriad of very personal 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 I personally spend decent coin every year and buy a reliable travel insurance policy.
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.
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.
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.
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 Insurance
Travel insurance will cost me a lot of money.
I’m sorry to inform you my dear, but unless you are a socially annoyance called a Freegan then just about everything in 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.
Now there’s a lot of different options to buy and pay for travel insurance. For shorter trips you can get insurance for less then $5/day. Which is kinda the cost of a beer or a latte.
Oh but I’ll never need to use your travel insurance?
LIES. This is a total and complete lie. You will never know when you actually need to use your 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 was successful in his surgery. He has since travelled the world, gotten married and continued living his best not broken arm life.
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, when my laptop got smashed in Abu Dhabi. The customer service was amazing, the claim was easy to complete and the payout hit my account really fast.
For short term insurance we have used World Nomads and again made a claim after my trip to Myanmar. On this trip I got incredibly ill and there was talk about air lifting me to Singapore. The team at World Nomads were amazing to deal with as I lay in a pool of my own sweat in Hsi Paw.
You can generate a quick quote from both companies below. These are obligation free quotes. I would suggest that you shop around nto just for the best price but the most suitable product.
Have you ever used travelled without travel insurance? Let me know in the comments below why you chose to travel uninsured.
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.
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