The biggest mistake every traveller makes is not buying travel insurance. We get it – it seems like accidents never happen. What are the chances right? That is, until it happens.
Having been in your position, we know what it’s like. The insurance industry is set up to be confusing which is why we’ll be jumping into the details of where to buy travel insurance.
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Here's what we're covering:
- How to buy travel insurance
- Where to buy travel insurance
- What do credit cards with travel insurance cover?
- When to buy travel insurance
- How do I get my tech gear covered?
- What about car rentals?
- Final thoughts on why travel insurance is important
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to buy travel insurance
Like tour operators, travel gear, and the number of shows to pick from on Netflix, we’re often overburdened by choice and more than that, not knowing which one is truly worth your time.
The other problem with the insurance industry is that it’s almost impossible to compare companies and policies side-by-side which means scrolling through the rabbit hole of endless quotes and jargon.
Let me break it all down for you and show how to pick the travel insurance plans on the market.
As a heads up, since I’m based in Canada, my focus will be on companies available for Canadians and Americans but much of the principles apply around the world.
Summary of travel insurance companies
To cut to the chase, I know what you’re most interested in are the companies to buy travel insurance from.
We’ve broken it down by category:
|Overall Travel Insurance||World Nomads Travel Insurance|
|Backpacker Travel Insurance||World Nomads Travel Insurance|
|Nomad Travel Insurance||SafetyWing|
|Expat Travel Insurance||SafetyWing|
|Seniors Travel Insurance||InsureMyTrip/RATESDOTCA|
|Travel Insurance for Pre Existing Medical Conditions||InsureMyTrip/RATESDOTCA|
|Ski Travel Insurance||World Nomads Travel Insurance|
|Multi-Trip Travel Insurance||InsureMyTrip/RATESDOTCA|
|Family Travel Insurance||Travelex/CAA|
What to look for in a travel insurance policy
There are a lot of things to consider when picking your travel insurance and policies are written in a way where the fine print tells a very different story from marketing material.
To start, there are two general types of travel insurance you need to know about:
- Comprehensive travel insurance – This is the all-in-one policy that includes medical, evacuation, baggage, trip cancellation, theft, etc.
- Emergency medical travel insurance – Not everyone has full coverage or perhaps are mixing and matching policies so all you need is the medical stuff like accidents, hospital bills, and dental.
From there, policies can cover different trip lengths:
- Single Trip – Most policies are for one trip where you leave your home country once for a period of time and then return home.
- Multi Trip – These cover all trips that you might take in let’s say a year for a specified trip length.
- Nomad – Designed for long term travellers.
Within each policy, there are a number of things you want to pay attention to.
This is primarily why you need travel insurance. When shit happens and you need to go to the hospital, you don’t want to be on the hook for ridiculous medical bills.
- Max coverage limit – The higher the better. $100,000 USD is in my opinion a minimum you should look for but they can often go up as high as $2 million.
- Evacuation – This is usually a separate line item to emergency medical but if there’s something like a natural disaster or medical emergency where you need to be sent home, you want to be protected for expenses up to $300,000 USD. Also make sure the policy covers the evacuation (flight) to your home and not just the nearest medical facility. Companies like Medjet specialize in this.
Unexpected Travel Incidents
These are important provisions that could be anythign else that happens when you travel:
- 24/7 assistance – Sounds like a throw-in but is actually important when you need to talk to someone about your policy at anytime, anywhere in the world.
- Bankruptcy – If the hotel, airline, or tour operator you booked with goes bankrupt, are you covered?
- Trip cancellation – If there’s been a death in the family back at home or some other emergency, can you cancel your flights, hotels, and other transportation while also having your flight back home covered?
- Are your destinations covered? – This mainly applies to riskier countries but make sure where you’re going isn’t excluded.
- Natural disasters, war, and pandemics – Wordings in policies are usually carefully crafted here so pay attention to this.
- Is your stuff covered? – If something gets lost, stolen, or damaged, what kind of coverage do you get?
- Extreme sports – Every company’s definition of “high risk activities” is different.
Max Coverages and Deductibles
We want to shine a light on all the numbers that are thrown at you in insurance policies.
Every policy will be comprised of a bunch of maximum dollar amounts. This is the limit to how much they will pay you if you’re eligible. While the amounts will feel difficult to comprehend the grasp, here is a loose guideline of what I feel like every policy should have at a minimum. I have to stress here that every person’s situation is different so take these for a grain of salt.
|Policy Line Item||Minimum Amount You Should Aim For|
|Emergency Medical||$100,000 USD|
|Evacuation and Repatriation (if together)||$500,000 USD|
|Trip Cancellation||$2,500 USD (ideally $10,000)|
|Baggage Delay||$500 USD|
|Accidental Death/Dismemberment (sometimes called Flight Accident or Travel Accident)||$10,000 USD|
You also want to pay attention to are the “per day maximum” amounts because the total amounts are deceiving.
Finally, let’s talk about deductibles. This is the amount you need to pay first before the insurance company will start reimbursing the insured traveller.
In most comprehensive travel insurance policies, there is no deductible but in emergency medical-only policies, there usually is one that ranges in the hundreds.
For these policies, the higher the deductible, the cheaper the policy so it is a balance. In my personal opinion, I’d always aim for a $0 deductible medical emergency travel insurance policy.
Finally, here’s a handy chart to help you determine what kind of coverage you need for your upcoming trip.
|If you need||Make sure you have this in your policy|
|Payment for medical expenses if you get sick or injured while travelling and isn’t covered by a regular health insurance plan if you have one.||Emergency medical|
|To be flown home or taken to the nearest medical facility after getting injured.||Emergency evacuation and repatriation|
|To get reimbursed if you get sick and need to cancel or end your trip early.||Trip cancellation and trip interruption|
|To get reimbursed for cancelling a trip no matter what.||“Cancel for any reason” coverage.|
|To buy emergency personal supplies because your bags didn’t make it.||Delayed baggage|
|To find the nearest doctor, specialist, or lawyer.||24-hour assistance|
|Money to cover lost, stolen or damaged luggage or personal items.||Theft, baggage & personal effects|
|To cover for rental car damage.||Car rental collision insurance or CDW|
What does travel insurance actually cover
With some of the basics on the table, let’s break down what kind of situations travel insurance is good for.
This could apply to everything from a serious accident to maybe needing stitches.
- Hospital fees
- Prescription medication
- Surgery costs
- Dental – Good policies include continuing care for up to 180 days after returning home. Most cover you for $1,000 USD. Think chipped teeth or infection.
- Meals & accommodation – If your situation delays your trip home, this is a per diem to cover these basic expenses.
- Outpatient treatment costs
- Emergency professional services – Visits to licensed physiotherapist, chiropractor, chiropodist, podiatrist or osteopath if recommended by physician.
- Medical evacuation – This could be a local medical facility or all the way back home.
- Bedside companion – This comes in handy if you’re travelling with a companion. This can cover airfare, accommodation, meals, and transportation.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
This policy line item should be at least $500,000 USD.
- Evacuation home – Transport back home for medical treatment (some include a medical escort).
- Travel companion and children transport – If you’re with your kids or a buddy, this covers their one-way flight home
- Repatriation of remains – A ghastly thought but if the worst happens, your insurance would make sure your body makes it home so your family isn’t burdened by the cost. This specific coverage is usually $5,000-$50,000 USD.
- Trip continuation – If you had to return home for a medical emergency, good policies allow you to resume your trip with a one-way flight.
Baggage Delay or Damage
This happens more often than you think. Airlines lose bags all the time or miss putting it on your flight so it gets to you a day later.
Without your things, this allows you to buy “essential personal items”.
Usually, this only kicks in if your bag has been delayed for 12 hours or more and they are very specific about what you’re allowed to buy.
Make sure you keep all of your receipts and meticulous detail of when you landed and when you made your purchases.
If you need to cancel your trip for a medical reason, death in the family/travel companion, you can get reimbursed.
In most cases, coverage is only $2,500 so it won’t be enough for all of your trip cancellations but something like the World Nomad’s Explorer Plan offers $5,000 CAD or $10,000 USD.
Documentation will be required.
Flight Delays and Cancellations
If for some reason the airline cancels or delays your flight, you can get reimbursed for additional travel expense that result.
Usually when this happens, it’ll be a flurry of events that happen at the airport. Make sure to keep track of all the correspondences you have with the airline, and receipts of your expenses.
Theft and Damage
If your bags and gear get lost or stolen while travelling, you’ll be covered up to a certain amount. This can include things like your passport, personal items, and tech gear.
When this happens, a mandatory step is to file a local police report as part of the claim.
For tech, you’ll find that the coverage amount is smaller ($500 USD per item limit) which is why you might want to consider specialized coverage for high-priced gear like laptops, cameras, and sports equipment.
COVID-19 has really put a spotlight on coverage for things like pandemics. Many travellers learned this the hard way in 2020.
While many provide limited coverage for COVID-19 and other pandemics, there are some travel insurance policies that now include specific COVID-19 coverage.
Some countries require medical insurance coverage as part of entry. Tour operators might also require it.
What you need to know is that while insurance policies might not specifically call out COVID-19, as long as there are no specific pandemic exclusions, you are protected through things like trip cancellation and delays.
What’s actually more important is whether your country has issued travel advisories against travel to certain countries. If that is in effect when you booked your trip and you have travel insurance, most policies will not cover it.
In addition, as of April 15, 2021, they now cover quarantine costs of $50/day for up to 10 days as long as you’re covered by the Nomad Insurance for a minimum of 28 days and you’re outside of your home country. Also, the quarantine must be mandated by a physician or government authority because you’ve tested positive or are symptomatic and waiting for test results.
This is the perfect segue to the next section.
What’s not covered by travel insurance
There are many things aren’t covered by travel insurance which is why it’s important to read through travel insurance policies to understand those exclusions.
Let’s start with the common sense ones.
- Doing stupid things – If you’re doing something recklessness like incidents relating to drugs and alcohol, you won’t be covered.
- Carelessness around your bags and personal effects – If you leave your bags in the car overnight or lose your things because you looked away, your claim will be denied.
- Checkups for non emergencies – If you need to see the doctor for something routine, don’t expect coverage.
- Stolen cash – If cash fell out of your pocket or worse, you were pickpocketed, you won’t be able to claim for that missing cash.
- Missed flights/connections – If you slept in or something happened that was deemed to be in your control and your fault, you’ll be denied your claim.
- Changing your mind – Other than deaths and emergencies, you can’t cancel or delay your trip.
- Due diligence – If you get denied entry into a country because you didn’t apply for a visa ahead of time, or refused entry because of a passport with less than 6 months remaining, it’s your fault.
Not so obvious exclusions
Then there are things that you assume are covered but in reality aren’t.
- Extreme sports – Most policies will have a specific list of activities that aren’t covered like hang gliding, skydiving, and bungee jumping although you can upgrade some plans to include these. Make sure to read my deep dive on Canadian travel insurance that includes extreme sports.
- Professional sports and technical activities – This could be anything from training for sports, technical climbing, or alpine hiking.
- Pre-existing conditions – More on this later!
- Civil unrest – If something just happened and your own government hasn’t declared an evacuation or some sort of advisory, most insurance companies won’t allow you to evacuate. That said, companies like MedJet have the best evacuation coverage.
- Pandemics – Whether it’s COVID-19 or the next pandemic, don’t assume that you are covered in certain situations like quarantining. Again, some policies explicitly include this but most are quite ambiguous so it’s best to hop on a call to find out.
- If you booked a trip knowing it wasn’t safe – As an example, if you travel to somewhere that your government has declared as “not safe to travel to” and there is a terrorist attack, you will not be covered. The same principle applies for natural disasters known before you buy your policy and you still go to that region.
- Policy ends when you get home – Seems obvious but isn’t that clear in some policies. For instance, baggage delay doesn’t apply on your return home. Medical coverage also ends in most cases once you get home.
Where to buy travel insurance
Travel insurance is meant to cover the “oh shit” moments and ultimately travel accidents.
Since we have a lot of readers from US and Canada, I’m going to be focusing on both markets.
Overall travel insurance
No matter where you live, a travel insurance company to consider is World Nomads.
We have a full review of World Nomads travel insurance for the US, Canada, UK, and Australia but here’s what it comes down to:
- Travel insurance built by travellers instead of old-school insurance suits.
- Extensive end-to-end -coverage that is truly comprehensive.
- Extreme sports and activity coverage.
- Above-par limit amounts for their Standard plan and excellent for their Explorer Plan.
- Claims are processed quickly.
- Cost for the coverage is fair and reasonable.
If you’re looking for more clarification on their policies, you can take a look at their website.
Backpacker travel insurance
World Nomads is one of the options for backpacker travel insurance.
A few things to consider:
- You can be on the road already if you want to buy the insurance.
- Solid base of sports coverage that most backpackers would want to do including kayaking, hiking, bungee jumping, and skydiving.
- If you realize you want to continue travelling and need more coverage, you can extend your policy online if you’re a resident of the Canada, UK, and Australia. Unfortunately you can’t extend your policy if you’re from the US. In that case, you can only purchase a new policy.
- Price is reasonable and when you work the math is about the cost of a coffee per day on the road.
Nomad travel insurance
The difference between a backpacker and a nomad is that a digital nomad will spend an even more extended time overseas. These are long-term travellers that might be working remotely in Chiang Mai or maybe working on a farm in New Zealand.
What’s unique about nomads are that they don’t visit home often and are not bound to a specific country. In many ways, nomad needs are quite unique because regular comprehensive travel insurance is a maximum of 180 days in the US or a year elsewhere if we look at World Nomads.
SafetyWing is a company where nomad insurance is one of their specialties. They’re backed by Tokio Marine and underwritten by LLOYD’s.
As digital nomad travel insurance, they’re awesome because:
- Unique model that works like a monthly subscription just like Netflix with no contract you have to sign.
- One of the lowest costs per month.
- For the few trips home you might take, you get coverage as well for up to 30 days per 90 days of insurance (15 if home is in the US).
- You can purchase the insurance when you’re already on the road.
- There’s no deductible for most claims but if there is, it’s a yearly deductible at $250 per year.
- You’re allowed to use private healthcare.
- COVID-19 and quarantine is included.
- Up to 2 children under 10 per family can be included in your policy for free.
If you’re thinking about World Nomads, one of the disadvantages for them and many other policies is that you’re only allowed to return home once during the duration of your policy.
Heads up that if you’re from the US, the policies are more so your best bet is to exclude the US from their policy so cut the price almost in half. When visiting home, just buy a separate policy elsewhere.
Expat insurance policy
Expats are different from nomads because they’re settled in a foreign country, typically on a working visa.
The needs in this case are very different because you’re not so much looking for travel insurance as you are a global health plan. This means that you don’t need travel benefits such as trip interruption and delayed baggage.
As a non-citizen, you might not be able to purchase the local health plans so you’ll have to rely on a company like SafetyWing to help you.
Rates start at $153 USD/month and it has excellent coverage:
- Works globally including your home country.
- There’s a $250 deductible but can be upgraded to be $0 deductible.
- Claims are fast and easy.
- You can start Remote Health from anywhere in the world.
- Doesn’t include dental but can be added on as well.
If you’re looking another company to compare with, IMG with their Global Medical Insurance plan.
Travel insurance for seniors
Most policies either become much more expensive or don’t cover travellers that are older than 65.
As a result, you need to start looking elsewhere for a good policy.
Since it’s extremely painful to search every single insurance company, I always turn to an aggregator to show me the best results for my needs.
In both, you’ll see a mix of comprehensive insurance and also health-only insurance.
Insurance for those with pre-existing conditions
If you have pre-existing conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, or diabetes, what do you do?
Pre-existing conditions are almost always excluded from policies and so where can you go to find places that will cover you?
Insurance companies will only insure your pre-existing conditions if it’s defined as stable and controlled for a certain amount of time.
To get covered, there are 2 things to look for:
- The standard is 90-180 days but some policies have extremely short stability periods (also called look-back periods in the US). TuGo in Canada has a single trip policy with 7 days if you’re 59 or under.
- Policies have add-ons (also called insurance riders) that give you little to no stability period but then you’re paying a higher price.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you have to buy the travel insurance anywhere between 10-21 days of the first trip payment/deposit in order to qualify for pre-existing medical conditions coverage.
That said, even if your medical condition hasn’t been stable, many of the standard emergency medical policies are still valid – they just won’t pay out if the claim is related to your pre-existing medical condition.
My recommendation is to start with RATESDOTCA in Canada which has a pre-existing conditions questionnaire built into the quote. Manulife has a special CoverMe and TravelEase products that could fit the bill as well.
Ski travel insurance
A common question comes from the seekers of winter fun. The truth is, ski insurance is really the same as any other standard travel insurance.
What you need to make sure of is that the type of skiing that you’re doing is included in the policy.
With that in mind, I still think that the World Nomads travel insurance plan is the best all-around.
If you’re Canadian, you even get the benefit of sports equipment theft or loss, and sports equipment delay as additional lines of coverage.
What it doesn’t cover is:
- Search and rescue in backcountry areas.
- Competition and training.
- Acrobatics, tricks, stunts, freestyle, aerials, and jumps.
Multi-trip travel insurance
Much of what we talked about so far is all comprehensive travel insurance but the problem is that they’re only single-trips so once you come back home, your coverage ends and that’s it.
If you’re the kind of traveller that isn’t quite nomadic but travel frequently throughout the year, multi-trip travel insurance may be the perfect fit for you.
Once you’re in this territory, you’re looking at emergency medical policies only so if you’re looking for protection against things like trip cancellation and baggage delay, you need to buy that somewhere else (credit card travel insurance coverage may be a good combination).
Something to take note of is that these multi-trip medical plans usually have a maximum allowable length per trip.
In Canada, I’ve always used RATESDOTCA for this and over the years I’ve always ended up with Allianz as my insurance provider.
In the US, yes you have guys like SquareMouth and TravelInsurance.com, but I still think that InsureMyTrip is the best of the bunch.
Family travel insurance
Traveling as a family of 3, 4, or more? Have kids and pets?
While family travel insurance is nothing more than buying regular travel insurance but just for a larger group, it’s more of a matter of convenience when insurance companies offer bundles designed for families.
In Canada, CAA travel insurance is great for families because they have something called Family Coverage available for 3 or more family members insured under one policy.
This makes the purchase process a lot easier because you just buy one policy to cover everyone in your group that include your spouse, children, step-children, and/or grand-children.
Premiums are calculated by taking the eldest traveller and multiplying this by 2.75 for the comprehensive “Vacation Package Plans”. Value-wise, the larger the family, the cheaper this is.
In the US, Travelex is a great choice. Any number of kids (including friends of the kids) under the age of 21 are included in policies. Travelex doesn’t have child-to-adult ratios (great for single-parents), no time limit on coverage purchased in advance of travel, nor are there deductibles.
What do credit cards with travel insurance cover?
This is a topic that most places don’t cover so I wanted to do what’s already in your wallet justice.
If you own any sort of “premium” credit card that has travel insurance built-in, like the ones I mention in the best credit cards for Canadians, you actually already own a policy.
What does credit card travel insurance cover?
Every credit card you sign up for will come with a small booklet that’s called a “Certificate of Insurance”. This is similar to other travel insurance companies and inside are the details of what it includes.
Here’s a sample of what the Amex Platinum in Canada includes:
- Emergency Medical – $5,000,000 for those under 65 for the first 15 consecutive days of a covered trip.
- Trip Cancellation – You can be covered for up to $2,500 per insured person, per trip, up to a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons combined.
- Trip Interruption – You can be covered for up to $2,500 per insured person, per trip, up to a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons combined.
- Lost or Stolen Bags – Checked-in or carry-on baggage and personal effects while in transit for up to a maximum of $1,000 per trip.
- Travel Accident – $500,000 of Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance for travel on plane, train, ship, or bus.
- Travel Emergency Assistance – Out-of-town worldwide emergency medical assistance services and legal referrals by telephone.
- Flight Delay – Up to $1,000 in coverage for necessary and reasonable accommodations, restaurant expenses and misc. related items purchased within 48 hours when delayed or denied boarding for 4 hours or more.
- Baggage Delay – Up to $1,000 in coverage for reasonable and necessary emergency purchases for essential clothing and misc. related items purchased within four days of arrival at your destination if your checked-in bags are delayed for 6 or more hours.
- Hotel Burglary – $1,000 in coverage against the loss of most personal items (excluding cash) if your accommodation is burglarized
- Car Rental Theft and Damage – Up to $85,000 for rentals of 48 days or less if CDW, LDW, or similar is declined.
- Travel Medical Concierge – 24/7 access to physician telephone consultations, arrangement of house call visits, and referral to medical facilities.
The maximum amounts and lines of coverage varies from card to card but this shows you that this is pretty comprehensive but only up to a point.
When does your credit card insurance apply?
- Emergency medical insurance only applies to the first 10-15 days of your trip starting from your day of departure. This depends on your credit card.
- Related travel plan needs to be fully charged on the card. For example, if it’s flight or baggage delay, your flight has to be purchased with that card.
- For trip cancellation, you’ll only be reimbursed for the amounts that were charged to the card. If you mixed your spend with other cards, they wouldn’t apply.
- For trip interruption, as long as any portion of the trip costs were put on the card, you’re good.
- Trips purchased through rewards points (i.e. Aeroplan) are typically not covered.
- You can’t be doing extreme sports. This means hang-gliding, rock climbing, paragliding, skydiving, parachuting, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, rodeo, heli-skiing, and skiing/snowboarding out of bounds won’t be covered.
What credit card insurance has but standard travel insurance doesn’t
Typically, credit card policies cover the cardholder, the spouse, and dependent children. This means that this covers your family up to a maximum of 3 persons.
This is usually not the case for most standard travel insurance that only cover the person the policy is for.
How to best use credit card travel insurance
For those that have a good credit card, I recommend that you do this: combine your credit card travel insurance coverage with an emergency medical multi-trip/annual travel insurance.
This way, you get all of the comprehensive travel coverage from your credit card like baggage delay and trip cancellation while relying on your emergency medical policy to cover you on the accident side of things.
In fact, you get the bonus of being covered twice for the first 15 days of your trip. This means that you can choose whichever one has the better coverage for your situation but you can’t double dip.
When to buy travel insurance
You can buy travel insurance up until the day you depart for your trip but keep in mind that it may take 24-48 hours for the policy to kick in.
What might also be worth knowing is that you can buy insurance after you’ve put a deposit or booked various segments of your itinerary.
While the procrastinator in you might want to take care of this last minute, it’s always best to get travel insurance as soon as possible. This can be when you’ve made your first booking for your trip or when you’re 100% sure your trip is going to happen.
- Sometimes there are some unforeseen hiccups when buying travel insurance where it doesn’t go through or takes longer than you think for them to issue your policy number. You don’t want to have to deal with this after you land from your flight.
- If pre-existing conditions are involved, there may be a longer process to get that sorted out.
- Most policy exclusions come from when you knowingly purchased the travel insurance after something like a natural disaster or similar event. So if you buy it before a monsoon is recorded on approach and you cancel, you’re covered but if you buy it afterwards, you might be denied. The same goes for illnesses as well.
Lesson: Don’t wait to buy your travel insurance.
How do I get my tech gear covered?
If you’re lucky, some travel insurance plans include coverage for your personal effects and this can include expensive tech gear such as cameras, drones, smartphones, and laptops.
The thing with standard travel insurance is that even if you’re covered like with World Nomads, the cap is $500 per item for a total of $1000. This barely covers the costs for tech these days.
This is why you’ll want to consider supplementary coverage. In the US, consider the firm Taylor & Taylor or TCP Insurance. In Canada, Drone Insurance Depot and MiBroker for drones, and Front Row for most gear.
The issue is that you’ll find that these policies are quite expensive and carries a deductible but keep in mind that this is usually good for an entire year spread across multiple trips.
Interestingly enough, I’ve seen a shift in the finance industry where credit cards like the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite have Mobile Device Insurance.
Lastly, look to your home insurance provider to see if they have any add-ons to cover equipment when out-of-country.
What about car rentals?
Most standard comprehensive travel insurance policies do not include car rentals but there are exceptions to this.
World Nomads for US residents includes a line for rental car damage of $35,000 USD for their Explorer Plan.
Credit cards also will have coverage for rental car damage as long as you deny the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), or their equivalent offered.
Make sure to read the policies to make sure if mini-vans are excluded. Off-road vehicles are also typically not included.
Keep in mind that liability (personal injury or damage to property) is not included by default and if you do use a corporate coupon code, your claim may be found ineligible.
Final thoughts on why travel insurance is important
There is so much to cover here and I know we weren’t able to get to every single aspect of travel insurance but hopefully this was able to give you more insight than anywhere else.
Knowledge is power and ultimately this will guide you to becoming a smarter traveller.
You might feel invincible when you’re travelling but nobody can 100% say that they won’t get pickpocketed in Greece, have bags delayed on your way to Kauai, or get into an accident skydiving in New Zealand.
For literally only a couple of dollars per day, have the peace of mind of being protected.
Something to always keep in mind are the old adages of “you get what you pay for” and “the devil is in the details”. You might not know what will happen to you when you hit the road but you should at least know what your travel insurance covers.
Get travel insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether for COVID-19 or visa requirements, some countries require that you have an emergency medical policy, repatriation, and some other things. For visas, this includes USA, Canada, Australia, Ecuador, and most of Europe. All providers mentioned in this article will be good enough but always check what the requirements are to make sure your policy has everything. For Egypt, they don’t specify the requirements so as long as you have an emergency medical plan, you’re good.
The general rule of thumb here is to put the country you’re spending the most time in. If that doesn’t apply, use the country that’s the furthest away from your home country.
Yes, your home country is important because only insurance companies that can operate in your country can issue a policy. The rules in your country will dramatically dictate what kind of coverage is available and what is allowed.
Yes, and no. If the airline is able to cover this event completely including additional expenses, the answer is no since you can’t double dip. If it’s partial or none at all, you can file a claim if your travel insurance policy covers this.
Here are a few general tips that every traveller needs to know about:
– Keep all your receipts or better yet, scan all of them by taking a photo with your phone and keep it organized.
– Keep digital copies of your travel and financial documents (think passports, driver’s license, visas, credit cards) in a secure place like 1Password or LastPass.
– Keep a paper copy of your insurance card or policy cheatsheet in your wallet. At a minimum it should have your policy number and emergency phone numbers.
– If you have a medical emergency, call the 24/7 hotline to find out what to do next and make sure you know what’s covered and what isn’t (i.e. medical facilities, medication, ambulances, etc.).
– Try to file your claim ASAP as the more you delay, the higher chances of you missing the deadline.
– For high-priced gear you’re traveling with, take photos of them at home before you depart so you can prove that they are yours and that you had them in-hand before theft or damage.
If you have a premium credit card with a well-rounded travel insurance coverage, it is good enough for the number of days the emergency medical is good for (usually 10-15 days). If your trip is longer than this, you need to supplement it with your own emergency medical travel insurance plan.
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Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Airbnb is the market leader but you’d be surprised how you can find cheaper deals on the lesser-known VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
- RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
- SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
- Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.