Choosing the best travel insurance is one of the most important things you will need for your trip. Would you have a car without car insurance? Would you be at home without home insurance? Obviously not, that’s why and you can’t organize a trip without travel insurance.
So, if you are asking yourself “Do I need travel insurance?” the answer is YES.
Why is it important to have the best travel insurance?
Travel insurance gives you peace of mind when you are on the road. You never know what will happen when you are traveling and insurance just gives you that extra confidence to travel how you want to.
And travel insurance is not only covering your health, but also your belongings. And in a time when everyone is traveling with electronic equipment – be it a Kindle, an iPhone, a laptop or an expensive DSLR camera, it is well worth paying to insure them while on a trip.
What is the best travel insurance?
The best travel insurance company according to my own experience is World Nomads. I have personally used them in all my trips since 2007, when I discovered them while living in Australia.
They are simple and flexible to use, and cover residents from over 150 countries. World Nomads allows you to buy travel insurance online 24/7 from anywhere in the world, even if you are already traveling. However, I don’t recommend you to do this since your travel insurance will only cover you for events that happened right after you bought the plan.
World Nomads are a reputable insurer, trusted by brands like Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Eurail.
- With World Nomads Travel Insurance you can claim online even if you are still traveling.
- Their travel insurance is available to residents of more than 150 countries.
- Had a change of travel plans? World Nomads allows you to buy another policy while traveling! They refer to it as an extension, but it is a new policy with the “pre-existing conditions” rules, even if they occurred on the previous policy. Just in case and as I always recommend, read the small print carefully or contact them if you have a question.
- Being an online company, you can do everything (purchase, claim, change of policy,…) 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
- While coverage may attract a premium, World Nomads cover most adventure sports from bungee jumping in New Zealand to white-water rafting in Colombia.
- You can buy World Nomads policies online using a credit card. Simple and fast!
Coverage: what does the best travel insurance policy looks like?
I am sure that your initial plan for was to research all of the different travel insurance options out on the market for independent travelers. Did you actually tried to do it? Did it take you ages?
That’s what I thought… Look no further. After years using them, World Nomads is offers the best travel insurance.
A World Nomads policy provides levels of coverage for 5 key areas:
- overseas medical care
- medical evacuation (Medevac)
- baggage claims
- theft on some belongings and electronics (read the policy details!)
- trip cancellation coverage
- and more!
The company also has a Travel Safety Alerts subscription service.
Travel insurance tips
Buying travel insurance can be a very confusing part of planning your international travel adventure. Is it worth the expense? Which companies offer the best coverage?
Here are a few tips that will help you out.
1. Make sure you know what and who are you insuring.
Make sure you know what your needs are and what your situation is:
- Where are you traveling to?
- How are you traveling? Plane, rental car, train, etc.
- What activities will you be doing? Does your trip include adventure sports (e.g. ski diving, rafting,…)
- How long will you be traveling?
- Who are you traveling with? On your own, with your partner or family?
- What is the value of the goods (e.g. clothing, electronics) you are taking with you?
2. Be very thorough while checking the extent of your travel insurance coverage and the exclusions.
- Does the policy cover indemnity only for medical expenses incurred abroad?
- Can you also obtain reimbursement if you need to continue your medical treatment in your home country?
- Choose a travel insurance policy with the least exclusions, and pay attention to them when reading the insurance policy.
- What are your policy exclusions? As a rule of thumb, most insurance companies won’t cover weather conditions or natural disasters as well as acts of war, terrorism, uprising or civil commotion.
- Be honest and declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. Failure to do so may nullify all coverage. Many policies will not cover pre-existing medical conditions and you may have to purchase an add-on to cover you for this.
- Your travel insurance policy will be null and void if something happens while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs!
3. Have a look at all the available premiums and how much would they cost you.
- Are you paying for the right coverage?
- Can you upgrade (or downgrade) as needed if you need to?
4. Final considerations:
- Read the fine print first!
- Take photos of all your gear with a date stamp.
- Save PDF copies of all gear purchase & hospital receipts. Keep originals too.
- Write down serial numbers, policy numbers, and insurance contact information.
- Store this information online in a secure, easy to access place. I use Dropbox and Google Drive.
- File a police report immediately after any theft or accident.
- Learn how to make a claim.
Get you travel insurance as soon as possible
Don’t wait to get your travel insurance. I recommend you to buy yours as soon as you know your travel dates.
Why? Because it will only cover you for events that happened right after you bought the plan. Don’t wait and get out of luck. I have seen it happen to so many friends of mine…
Truth is there is a minimal chance (probably 99%!) you will never need to use the policy you bought. Unfortunately, accidents and other unfortunate events could happen while you are traveling. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are in a different country, thousands of kilometers from home.
You definitely don’t want to end up like a friend of mine in Paris, who decided not to purchase a travel insurance, only to be robbed everything she had (luggage, electronic devices, backpack with her wallet and passport…) and have to spend lots of time and money to solve the situation.
Be smart and get coverage.