WHY YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE: MY DETAILED EXPERIENCE

We all have this idea that we are invincible and that we aren’t that stupid guy on the motorbike or in the ski accident. We won’t be the sucker that gets pick-pocketed or targeted in a scam. We won’t drop our phone in the ocean while taking a selfie or get caught with our camera in a thunderstorm in the jungle. The reality is you are likely to be all of those things, whether you are a seasoned traveler or it is your first time overseas.

The old quote is, ‘If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel.’

I use World Nomads Travel Insurance because I can choose global coverage and I really like their online claim form that means I spend 10 minutes filing a claim rather than being on the phone for five hours to get it done. It is how modern travel insurance should be.

MY TRAVEL INSURANCE EXPERIENCE

I’m a pretty seasoned traveler but I can tell you right now, I have made an insurance claim with World Nomads in every single year that I have traveled. In fact, most years I have made more than one. These are the claims I have made:

Medical Bills for motorbike crash in Bali: I knocked out two and a half teeth, had 8 stitches to my chin, a hairline fracture to my wrist and considerable grazes to my body.

Stolen money from my hotel room: $500 AUD was stolen from my passport wallet in my hotel room when the door was locked. I believe it must have been the cleaner.

Medical Bills in Indonesia for another motorbike crash: I had x-rays and a cast put on my wrist for a hairline fracture after a crash in Philippines days earlier.

Broken Camera: My camera stopped working after I was caught on a hike in the rain. Even inside my bag, the ferocity of this storm flooded my Sony A7ii.

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WAS I COVERED FOR THESE LOSSES?

Generally, World Nomads Travel Insurance is pretty straightforward. You just log in online, submit the form of what happened and attach any receipts and give your bank account details. You then wait about a week and they respond with approval and deposit the money automatically or they outline why they won’t refund or approve the claim. You can then appeal.

For the medical bills, I was approved straight away and just attached the receipts. No questions asked. That was super handy and it is comforting to know I can go to the hospital without having to worry about the fees. Your health is worth more than a dollar amount but when that dollar amount is thousands, backpackers with no money might find themselves learning how to stitch up the wounds of their best mate in the dorm room of the hostel.

When the money was stolen from my room the insurance asked for clarification about the hotel and when I told them it was not a shared room it was a private, locked room they then sent me $250, which was the limit of cash they refund. That was what it said in the contract so that was a fair result. World Nomads Travel Insurance had halved my losses. Often the contract can be quite wordy but in this instance, they gave me the maximum amount they could for lost cash. The maximum for electronics, luggage and medical is much, much higher.

My broken camera claim was sent and they replied asking me to take it to a registered repairer for a quote. The quote came back and they told me they would pay for the repair. If the repair amount was more than buying a new one or a model of similar age and use they would have done that.

IJEN CRATER TREK AND THE BLUE FLAME IN EAST JAVA

WHY WOULDN’T YOU GET TRAVEL INSURANCE?

It seems like a no-brainer but I know so many people without travel insurance. You might be able to go years without an incident but you are essentially gambling with your savings. One bike accident (whether it is your fault or not) could lead to thousands in hospital bills. There are cases where people have had to stay a few days overnight in the hospital and received bills of $5000 or $10000 USD because of all of the scans.

I’m not one of these nervous mothers who wants to wrap you in bubble-wrap before sending you overseas. However, I do consider myself to have decent common sense. I’ve made 4 claims in three years with World Nomads Travel Insurance and I’ve just about broken even to what I spent on the travel insurance and how much it saved me in medical bills and repairs. It would be incredibly naive to just assume, ‘I will be okay’. Whether you drive motorbikes or not, do adventure sports or not, things like Bali belly can strike anyway. An injury while hiking, surfing, or even slipping in the damn bathtub can happen to the most athletic, to the fittest and to the healthiest.

This is one of those situations where you don’t try and be a tightass like when you pick the cheapest dorm room in the town. This is a situation where you say, ‘Damn, I don’t have a lot of money but this is just part of travel and part of life so I need to cover my ass here’.

Bali cliff jump

SEVEN things you should know about travel insurance from WorldNomads.com

  1. Trusted reliable underwriters
    WorldNomads.com is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with a great cover, 24-hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
  2. Value for money with the cover you need
    WorldNomads.com provides cover for what’s important for travelers from 140 countries. By focusing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
  3. Flexibility when you need it most
    Had a change of plans? You can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already traveling.
  4. Cover for a range of adventure activities
    From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, WorldNomads.com covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
  5. World Nomads keeps you traveling safely
    All WorldNomads.com members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.

NT PHOTOGRAPHY AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK IMAGES

WHAT ARE YOU COVERED FOR?

There are different levels of cover you can get. If you are on a big budget you can get the insurance that covers you for medical, luggage, theft and the basics. This means you aren’t going to have to pay a huge amount when an incident happens.

A higher premium might mean you are covered for motorbike riding, adventure sports, and unlimited global travel. I always take global travel because I don’t know which countries I will visit. It is much cheaper if you know which countries you are visiting in advance. I have to select ‘Worldwide’ and my premium goes up because of that.

You may pay a higher amount per year to have no excess on medical. For example, a cheaper yearly rate might mean every time you go to the hospital you pay the first $100 and the insurance pays everything more. So you never pay a lot but if you go several times a year you might have to pay a few hundred. It doesn’t really make a huge difference but some people prefer no excess.

Make sure you do read the contract/fine print at least once. Spend the hour to see what you are and aren’t covered for it is a valuable hour trust me. You might find you want to choose a different plan to include motorbikes or an activity you always do may be excluded. You are responsible for reading the plan and finding out what the coverage entails. It is pretty common sense and simple stuff.

 

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