Travel insurance

It is essential to be insured when you’re on the road. Of course, 99 out of a 100 times you won’t need it at all, but if something serious should happen to you in a far away country, you’ll be damn glad if you’ve got some decent travel insurance. The most important thing to have is health insurance, as the bills for medical treatment can rise until unbelievable heights. Everyone travelling abroad should have a decent travel health insurance with a good coverage for all necessary medical and dental treatment. The general coverage that most people already have will not be valid outside of their country, so check with your travel agent about available extended medical policies and their boundaries.

And among other things, travel insurance will also help a lot if theft occurs. Especially if you’re carrying high-value items such as an MP3-player / iPod or a digital camera, for a relatively small up-front investment you’ll be secured that you won’t have to save up for your gear all over again. With any policy, read the fine print and make sure your policy doesn’t exclude some ‘high-risk’ activities like scuba diving or bungee-jumping if these are things you plan on doing.

Tip: Make sure to pack your insurance card, and don’t forget to scan it in and e-mail it to yourself, along with copies of your passport and other important documents. In this manner you’ll always have a copy of your documents available.

There are a number of companies who have specialized in travel insurance where you pay for the number of weeks/months you want to be covered. Specializing in backpackers, World Nomads backpackers insurance comes recommended. If you’re planning to go abroad for a few days until a few months, this will do just fine. However, if you’ve planned a longer journey, a much cheaper option might be to find a continuous (all year through) travel insurance at a normal insurance company from your own country. These cover all the necessary things as well, but generally ask a lot less than temporary travel insurances. When choosing your insurance, here are a few important things you should pay attention to:

  • The countries that are covered,
  • what damage/events are covered,
  • what is not covered,
  • the no-claim amount,
  • whether or not you can extend your insurance if need be,
  • if they have an emergency telephone number,
  • and of course the monthly/annual price.

There are loads of travel insurance companies out there, and all differ greatly in price, coverage, extra options, refund amounts, and so on. There’s but one advice to give here: decide on your plans and destinations, what kinds of coverage you want, inform yourself and choose wisely.

Insurance resources

  • Easy guide to travel insurance
    Why you need it, and what the terms mean.

  • Backpackers insurance
    World Nomads specialises in providing travel insurance to backpackers and has one of the best coverages around.