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Travel insurance is available from World Nomads.

Why get travel insurance?

If you are planning a trip for the first time you might be wondering why you need insurance.

For anyone who is considering international travel, it’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong. Even if you are only going away for a week, once you leave your home country you are most likely not going to be covered by your personal health insurance plan.

I occasionally see travel advice that says that travel insurance is not necessary. This is easy enough to say if you have you returned from a trip while uninsured and nothing happened to you.

When looking at your travel budget it might be tempting to take the insurance out and save money, but as the old saying goes:

If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel.

While it’s not an exciting purchase like buying a round the world ticket or a new backpack, having a medical emergency while you are outside your home country could be financially ruinous for you.

Travel insurance is available from World Nomads.

About World Nomads

World Nomads is headquartered in Australia and offer travel insurance globally, backed by reputable insurers. They are pioneers in the online insurance world, forming in 2002 to offer insurance coverage for independent travellers.

Many insurance providers only offer insurance for the country they operate in, and only for trips originating from that destination. World Nomads offer insurance to residents of over 150 countries, and you can start insurance coverage outside your home country. You can also extend your cover while you are on the road.

With more flexibility than a traditional insurance company they have become the go-to choice for long term travellers and digital nomads. They’re also trusted by some of the biggest names in travel, including Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, National Geographic Channel, and Intrepid Travel.

How much does travel insurance cost?

When shopping for travel insurance you will never see an advertised quote because there are so many variables that the insurer needs to factor in before offering a quote. Details like your age, nationality, days away, and where you are going are all considerations.

To find out how much your coverage costs input your details in the search form and you will be given a quote without having to login or give your personal details.

Get a no-obligation travel insurance quote (no email required for quote).

How to save money on travel insurance

one of the biggest variables on the cost of travel insurance is the destinations you visit. For example if you are visiting the US or Japan your premium will go up. If you are planning a round-the-world trip and you know which countries you are going to, input those countries into the quote rather than using the “Worldwide” option. If you do change your plans you can always extend your insurance to include other countries.

What does travel insurance cover?

There are two levels of insurance at World Nomads, both of which offer the most essential coverage. Once you have a quote you can decide which package is best for you.

The most important features of travel insurance are as follows:

Overseas medical expenses
This covers medical expenses including doctors, hospitals, and ambulance expenses. Remember that your home country health insurance doesn’t cover international expenses, thus the need for international travel insurance.

24 hour assistance
24 hour emergency assistance is essential if you are in a foreign land where you have no contacts and something goes wrong. Keep this number handy when you travel.

Emergency medical transport and repatriation
Medical evacuation (medevac) to the nearest appropriate medical facility, or repatriation home if needed.

Personal liability
Coverage for if you injure someone or damage their property and they sue you is essential as well (especially for travel to the USA).

Extra features
On top of these basics there are numerous other benefits, such as cancellation and trip interruption costs. There is also provision for lost luggage expenses, so if your bags go missing you can get clothes and supplies again.

Coverage for electronics and high value items

Coverage for electronics and high value items

At a minimum travel insurance will cover medical, liability, and evacuation costs. The basic coverage will also cover theft or damage to baggage and personal items, so you won’t be stranded without clothes should that happen. This doesn’t cover electronics, so you can opt to add extra coverage for high value personal items such as cameras, laptops, and iPads.

Choosing to take extra coverage for your electronics will depend on your personal situation. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime RTW trip that you are saving everything for, and losing your gear would cause financial pain, then the extra insurance would be beneficial.

For my situation I travel with a laptop, camera, iPhone, and Kindle. If I was to lose the lot I would be out of pocket about $2000USD to replace everything. For me I have assessed that I can afford to replace those things if they are lost. For my health I can’t afford a $200,000USD medical evacuation bill if I was to encounter such a situation.

Another “insurance” you should have is to back up your data online. Even if you have insurance to cover a stolen laptop, a new laptop is no replacement for lost data.

I have online data backup, which is synched with my laptop and updates everyday.

This has already saved me when I dropped my laptop and killed my hard drive. I had to get a new hard drive which wiped everything on my laptop. Once I got my laptop back from repairs I logged into my account and started synching my data.

[Special Offer: 75% off ($14.88 for the first year) for Nomadic Notes Readers!]

Travel Insurance Stories

Real-life examples

Sudden illness turned Peter Dawe’s US trip into a nightmare — but without travel insurance, he would have lost his house – Peter Dawe from the Adelaide Advertiser recalls his travel story of how he was covered for a $250,000 medical bill.

Uninsured horror stories

Here is a collection of travel horror stories where people were uninsured.

The tourists in Asia who crowdfund to pay crippling medical bills

No travel insurance proves costly for Phuket tourist – A 30-year-old British man had a heart attack and ended up in Bangkok hospital that cost 2,300 GBP per day.

Family of British teacher critically injured in Bali bike crash spend £250,000 bringing him home because he had no travel insurance

Brit crash victim needs £25,000 after holiday insurance runs out – When taking out travel insurance make sure that it can be extended once you have started your trip, and remember to extend it if you do travel longer than planned. It’s easy to forget so set an alert in your calendar for the expiry date.

Family of British man who died in Thailand appeal for help in paying for his funeral

A British traveller had to be cremated in Canada because she did not have holiday insurance – Your insurance should cover local funeral expenses or repatriation of remains.

More than $120K donated for Kiwi in coma in Thailand with no travel insurance – In this case someone was popular enough to have been able to raise funds from friends and well-wishers. I’m in several travel and expat groups and I’ve often seen GoFundMe and Indiegogo campaigns for someone who’s been in a motorbike accident and is trying to raise money to pay for a hospital bill. Most of the campaigns aren’t as successful as this so don’t be stuck depending on the charity of others.

A word about motorbikes

As you can see from the sample of news articles, motorbike accidents are a prominent cause of travellers getting into mishaps abroad. Insurance providers generally won’t cover you if you don’t have a riders licence, so check your policy and understand the risks before hiring a bike abroad.

An Australian tourist stuck in Thai hospital owing $56,000 in medical bills. She had comprehensive travel insurance but it was void because she did not hold a licence for a motorcycle in Australia.

If you are planning to ride a scooter while you travel you should get a motorbike licence in your home country. This is a good life skill to have anyway, and if you have never ridden a motorbike before (which a surprising amount of people haven’t before travelling) then you will pick up valuable riding skills. Most bike hire shops in the tropics are only going to show you how to start the bike and where you put the petrol.

Other terms and conditions

As with any financial contract there are terms and conditions so make sure you understand these before you undertake a commitment. For example you wont be covered if you are drunk and do something silly. Pre-existing conditions are another T&C, otherwise people would be taking holidays to claim free health care.

And obviously don’t do something dodgy like pretending you were robbed to claim insurance.

Disclosure: Nomadic Notes is a an affiliate of World Nomads.

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