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7 Best Travel Insurance Guide Tips

Last updated on September 9th, 2021 at 09:29 am

7 Best Travel Insurance Guide Tips

A Travel Insurance Guide is necessary when buying travel insurance because it can be a very confusing part of planning your international travel adventure. Is it worth the expense? Which companies offer the best coverage?

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 1 – What Is Travel Insurance?

The term travel insurance is commonly used to describe a few different types of insurance. It can sometimes be pretty confusing for new travelers.

You should know what kinds of coverage a travel insurance policy includes, because it may not include everything you think it does.

Travel Health Insurance is coverage for accidents, injuries, and hospital visits while you are away from home.

Medical Evacuation Insurance is coverage for transporting you to a major hospital for treatment.

Trip Cancelation Insurance is coverage for unexpected interruptions in your travel plans.

Baggage/Property Insurance is coverage for theft or damage to your gear while traveling.

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 2 –  Do You Need Travel Insurance?

This is the million-dollar question — and ultimately a personal decision. I’ve met plenty of people who travel without travel insurance and I’ve contemplated doing the same.

But after over 6 years of constant travel, hearing horror stories from other travelers, and getting into a few dangerous predicaments myself — if someone asks for my opinion on the subject I answer with:

YES! Everyone should carry some kind of health/property insurance when traveling.

Why? Because things do happen. Whether you think it will or not. Despite your best-laid plans and preventative measures. Sure, if you sprain your ankle, it might not be a big deal.

But what if your appendix bursts? Or your bus crashes? What if you contract a deadly disease? Or require medical evacuation after breaking your leg?

These things definitely happen to travelers from time to time and could cost you tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. Without insurance, you’re screwed!

My recommendation is based on listening to countless first-hand tales of the disaster from other travelers, as well as my own personal experiences.

I have met countless people who go to a SE Asia country and jump on a scooter to see the place cheap. Bad Idea! Riding in a place like Ho Chi Minh City or Bangkok is an art and not for a beginner.

For that matter Laurel and I had a blown tire on one going down the road in Myanmar, she safely jumped off the back and I was able to stop without a crash. A couple of hours later on a road with a foot of dust from the dry weather, we got bogged down and toppled over. Thank God, she was fine, but, I had a sprained shoulder and was laid up for a week.

A friend went to Bali and contracted Dengue fever just before leaving to go to Australia. She got to Melbourne and was in a hotel for the full month of her trip recovering. She had to pay all of her medical expenses out of pocket.

Another friend of mine lost everything he owned when his locked guesthouse in Nepal was broken into. Without personal property insurance, he would’ve needed to spend thousands replacing stolen computer & camera gear.

These are all people I know personally.

Our point is “things happen” and for a small cost, you can be prepared. Not having travel insurance when you do need it is a terrible experience. You will never know how much until it happens to you.

Travel Insurance Guide woman hurt while skiing

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 3 – What Kind Of Insurance?

The type and cost are pretty much based on a per trip and time frame cost. When we began at age 62 we could get a policy from Allianz that covered us both for a full year for about $135, which has gone up to about $200 now.

Is the replacement cost of your photo, video and other electronics covered?

Does a policy you have at home cover you on the road? Most do not and you will have to pay out of pocket in a foreign country and get reimbursed from the company back home.

Medical evacuation is one of the most important and confusing terms. Make sure the policy does cover getting you back to your home country. Most only cover getting you to the closest hospital and that is not enough if you do have a serious accident.

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 4 – Short-Term Travel Insurance

World Nomads

The group at World Nomads are specialists in short term travel. They cover everything including loss or theft of expensive gear and they are our go-to-guys for coverage. We use them in tandem with our Allianz policies.

What They Cover

  • Health Coverage Worldwide: Yes.
  • Coverage At Home: No.
  • Medical Evacuation: Yes.
  • Trip Cancelation: Yes.
  • Theft/Damage Insurance: Yes. ($500 per-item limit)

Travel Insurance Guide rocking climber

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 5 – Long-Term Travel Insurance

Because I’m a digital nomad and travel with thousands of dollars of camera equipment for work, I have a more long-term travel insurance mindset. I use an expat dedicated health insurance policy, combined with a gear policy for professional photographers.

This mix is more expensive than a World Nomads Policy but works best for my long-term travel lifestyle.

TCP Photographer Insurance

This is the best way to get coverage for the camera and video gear including drones. The coverage starts at $500 a year with quarterly payments. For that $500 you can get reimbursed for thousands of dollars of lost, broken or stolen equipment. This also covers you for drone accidents. That is almost always a requirement to use a drone in any country.

IMG Global

This plan specializes in long-term worldwide medical coverage but does not cover theft or trip cancelation. Coverage inside the United States is included, but to qualify you must spend at least 6 months of the year living abroad. You can choose a deductible from $250-$10,000.

  • Health Coverage Worldwide: Yes.
  • Coverage at Home: Yes.
  • Medical Evacuation: Yes.
  • Trip Cancelation: No.
  • Theft/Damage Insurance: No.
  • Example Quote: Global Gold (1-year policy) = $74/month with $1000 deductible

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 6 – Other Insurance Options

HTH Worldwide

Full international medical insurance, including the United States. No limits as to how long you are in the US. Deductible waived for regular doctor checkups. Excellent insurance, but pricey. Sherry from OttsWorld.com is a happy customer.

  • Health Coverage Worldwide: Yes.
  • Coverage at Home: Yes.
  • Medical Evacuation: Yes.
  • Trip Cancelation: No.
  • Theft/Damage Insurance: No.
  • Example Quote: Global Citizen (1 year policy) = $269/month with $1000 deductible

Your Current Insurance

Already have regular health insurance in your home country? Check to see if they provide coverage internationally. If they do, you might not need anything else.

Homeowners/Renters Insurance
Your homeowners or renters insurance may cover your belongings when you’re traveling in foreign countries too. Call them up to verify the details.

Credit Card Insurance
Many credit card companies often include some basic travel and theft insurance for their customers. Call them up to get details on what’s covered (or not).

Travel Insurance Guide

Travel Insurance Guide Tip 7 – Making A Claim

Insurance companies love to take your money but work really hard at not giving it back. Be prepared when they look for any and every reason not to pay. Here are some things to remember and do:

Above all, file immediately, do not wait until you return home. Talk to a supervisor and get emails sent to you with step by step instructions from that person for documentation. Finally, if you run into problems go to the Social Media Platforms and post in groups as well as on the company’s account if they have one. Companies hate bad press on their accounts.

1. If speaking directly by phone, record the conversations, make them aware and you will get less runaround and more truthful answers.

2. When filing a police report make sure every missing item, no matter how small, is listed on the report if you want to get paid for it. If it is not in the report you will be pretty much out of luck.

3. Always read the fine print! Know what items you will be covered for. Some policies have exclusions for certain gear and extreme sports items.

4. Take photos of all your gear with a date stamp.

5. Save PDF copies of all gear purchase & hospital receipts. Keep originals too.

6. Write down serial numbers, policy numbers, and insurance contact information.

7. Store this information online in a secure, easy to access place. I use Evernote. Other good options, for example, are Dropbox or Google Drive.

8. File a police report immediately after any theft or accident.

You might also like some of the articles from our website about boondocking and travel.

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