Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do you need trip insurance?

This is the Goa paradise I nearly had to abandon for a hospital trip in 2010...

Something every traveler wonders about (however briefly) is whether or not they should purchase insurance.  Travel insurance can some in a number of forms, such as insurance offered by a credit card, a temporary insurance you purchase separately from other travel items (such as plane tickets or hotels), or bundled insurance provided by a travel company, such as one you are touring with.

I have never bought insurance for a single trip, though I have been covered under credit card policies and the occasional flight cancellation/lost luggage insurance (namely when I am flying sort of sketchy discount airlines...).  There are times, for instance when in places that require a lot of vaccinations, when travel insurance with medical protection makes a lot of sense -- there are also places where I know I can fend for myself, such as countries with universal healthcare and minimal language barriers.  Whether you choose to insure or not, it is definitely wroth doing a little research into your destination's medical system and the admittance of and payment for foreigners (come on, it will take five minutes on Google).

Doing more adventurous things like hiking Kilimanjaro, I had special medical insurance that, while expensive, would let me get helicoptered off the mountain if I got ill, rather than having to hike back down (the first step in treating altitude sickness would have been to walk me to a lower height, but there is always the possibility of my being ill from something else, or injured and unable to walk).

But insurance is for more than medical treatment -- some folks travel with an awful lot of expensive gear.  I've never been one of them, but if you do like to travel with nice cameras, laptops, iPhones, trekking gear, or jewelry... well, then, I cannot believe you would travel with any of that stuff and not have it insured somehow.  Frankly.  In fact, I am just surprised if you travel with most of that stuff - but hey, I travel sort of like a vagrant (hey-o!).

The price of insurance will depends on the length of your trip, the destination, the age and possibly the health of the travelers, and sometimes upon the cost of the trip.  I recommend reading this to help you sort through the maze, and if you want my help researching a policy that is right for you, well then call me on Wizpert!

Do you have any tips about buying travel insurance?  Do you think it is worth it?

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of the companies whose sites are linked to in this post, simply providing the information.

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