There’s nothing like fine print and legal language to put a dampener on a spontaneous adventure, but many argue that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. They have a point, even though finding the best policy isn’t always easy. Travel insurance exists to protect a traveller’s investment in their journey and ensure they don’t lose out, and get medical help, if things go wrong. Whether you lose your luggage or have it stolen, get Delhi belly or tick-borne encephalitis, you need to know you can get help (without a stiff medical bill at the end of it). And that’s where insurers come in.
What could it cost me to travel uninsured?
In the event of serious injury or illness, insurance payouts can run into hundreds of thousands of US dollars. An uninsured Australian injured in Alabama will end up at the mercy of the expensive American healthcare system. If you consider a Canadian bitten by a rabid dog in Rwanda or British backpacker needing an airlift out of the Himalaya, the benefits of travel insurance are clear.
High prices don’t always mean the best coverage. List what aspects of a policy are important to you. It’s pointless paying a premium to reduce car rental excess if you can’t drive, or covering your luggage when all you have is a backpack full of dirty socks and a dodgy mp3 player. Removing options or lessening limits often reduces the premium you pay.