You would think this is a no-brainer. But the amount of friends I’ve had to convince that travel insurance is a fabulous idea has made me realise otherwise. So let me break it down for you.
If you’re travelling to the US of A without it, you’re an absolute idiot. Land yourself in any situation where you might require a hospital, and you should probably ask them to take out all your organs on arrival. Policy cover for millions of dollars looks like a joke, but especially in the States, it’s a reality.
When I got stuck in Nepal, it cost me about $2000 USD to change all my flights, travel, and accommodation. Luckily, I got all of this back. They even reimbursed me for my Indian visa that I didn’t get to use. Winning! I used Covermore. Their policies are expensive but so worth the money. They are perfect for shorter trips. They contacted me daily to check I was ok, and chartered an evacuation flight out of the country. I wasn’t back in Kathmandu by that stage to get the flight, and it was headed to Australia so gave it a miss. They were even going to airlift me out of Lukla if I couldn’t get down myself.
In the U.K, I’ve used Columbus Direct who have been great. Their main policy sets you back about £60 a year for everything – make sure you get zero excess so it doesn’t cost you a cent to make a claim! I added on ski cover when I needed it, which again was cheap (£8) and so easy to do. I had to make a claim with them, and I got all my dollars back.
If you’re on a serious budget and live in the U.K., check out Gocompare which gives you a list of the cheapest policies available. The one thing I’d look for is the zero excess. The other way around this is to get your EHIC card sorted. Then if you make a health claim, it’s freeee!
The one slightly morbid detail of buying insurance in a country that’s not your own, is that if anything happens to you, you’re returned to the country you bought your policy in.
If you can’t sit still and base yourself anywhere, World Nomads are worth checking out. For me, living in the UK but returning to NZ, this is the way to go. You just need to pick the country you would call home to return to. This is wherever you have access to healthcare.
From assistance with stolen passports, lost bags, to emergency evacuations, travel insurance is a must! If you’re still not sold – can’t say I didn’t tell you so!