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You’ve paid for your trip, whether that be a couple hundred dollars or a couple thousand, the last thing you want to do is pay more money for something you probably won’t even use. I’m talking about travel insurance.
Before I really started traveling on my own, I didn’t even realize travel insurance was a thing and something I should be considering. But once I moved to Australia and started really traveling alone, I realized what an issue not having travel insurance can be. You don’t need insurance for every single trip you take, that would be a little over the top, and there are definitely some drawbacks.
First of all, chances are you’re not going to have to use it at all, and that’s money you could’ve spent on something else for your trip. Another thing to consider is some plans don’t cover everything, especially if you’re an adrenaline junkie like me and want to skydive or bungee jump. Something I’ve also just recently learned is that many big credit cards will cover some travel insurance too (including mine, I use Chase Sapphire).
But, WHAT IF. What if, you’re on a cruise in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, have a heart attack, and have to be airlifted to a hospital? True Story: One minute our ship was cruising along and we were playing bingo on a “day at sea,” the next, the entire cruise boat was being prepped for an emergency helicopter to land. A man had been having chest pain, ended up having a heart attack, and had to be airlifted to Houston from the middle of the gulf. Incredibly enough, we ended up right near his family disembarking and overheard that he had an existing heart condition and that they did in fact have travel insurance and that it covered it. I’m sure they paid and arm and a leg to cover him in the first place, but it was probably a fraction of what it cost to be airlifted from the middle of the ocean.
So how do you decide if you should get travel insurance for a trip or not? First, consider location. If you’re an American and staying within the US, chances are any insurance you already have will cover any issues that pop-up on your trip. Planning an overseas adventure? Then that’s a trip you might want insurance for.
Another thing to consider is what you’re going to be doing on your trip. If you’re just going to be doing some basic sightseeing and relaxing on the beach, your chances of an unexpected injury are low. But if you’re planning on skydiving or bungee jumping or doing some kind of activity where a risk is involved, then it might be a good idea just in case. I’m going to New Zealand in a couple of weeks to do a road trip of the South Island with Wild Kiwi. New Zealand is pretty close to Australia and it was very tempting to go without any travel insurance. BUT one of the stops along the way is Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of NZ, and you know, being the adventurous girl that I am, I’m going to do some exciting activities (might sky dive!!). And for that reason, I decided to get insurance. We’ll also be hiking a glacier and many more outdoor adventure activities so it’s a smart move to have just in case.
Thirdly, consider what you’re bringing along. It’s no surprise that I bring thousands of dollars worth of camera gear with me on trips. If any of that was stolen or broken, I would be heartbroken, not to mention out a good chunk of money. Many travel insurance plans cover that kind of thing, and that’s something I definitely find worth paying for. Make sure to double-check if the plan you’re looking at covers that.
I use World Nomads and highly recommend them. They give options for levels of coverage and are very clear on what activities are covered and what aren’t (read: no need to scrutinizingly read long ass T&Cs to see if you’re covered for skydiving, snorkeling, etc.). I used them when I went to Fiji and Australia’s Red Centre, and am using them for my upcoming trips to NZ and Southeast Asia.
Though I’m a big fan of World Nomads, I encourage you to shop around different companies and see what’s going to fit your needs.
So, I’m dying to hear, do you think travel insurance is worth it or a waste of money?
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