Do I Need a Travel Insurance?

Don't leave home without it! Well, naturally we would say that!  But seriously folks, sitting here at Worldnomads we get first hand accounts of all the things that can - and do - go wrong on the road.  You can buffer yourself against the shock (and cost!) by taking out adequate travel insurance cover for your needs.
But don’t just take our word for it.
Looking at some statistics for Australia (just because we have these on hand).

"Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) … handles over 16,000 cases each year involving the welfare of Australians who have suffered illness, theft, robbery or assault."
This is triple the number of 20 years ago.  The Department of Foreign Affairs officially states

"If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel" (read more...)

What does Travel Insurance cover?

Travel insurance protects you in the case of lost or stolen luggage and personal effects; accident or illness, trip cancellation or personal liability.

Probably the most important reason to take out travel insurance is to ensure you are covered for medical treatment. Although your national health scheme may cover your medical expenses at home, once you head overseas, you are (normally) no longer covered. Medical expenses can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and you may be refused treatment if you are not insured.  

'Ten days in hospital with specialist care, including surgical clipping of an artery, followed by weeks of bed rest in Zurich. The patient's parents were flown from Australia to Zurich to help her recover. Ongoing travel plans to the USA had to be cancelled.'
True Claims Story: One Aneurysm and $73,000 later...!

A good insurance policy will also cover you for emergency evacuation back to your country of residence.

Make sure you take out a policy as soon as you pay for any flights or travel arrangements – that way you will be covered if you have to cancel your trip in an emergency.

'We received terrible news while we were traveling… My wife's brother had passed away. We needed to return home immediately, to help with funeral arrangements' 
True Claims Story: Funeral

Read the Fine Print!

The best single piece of advice we can give is to READ THE POLICY WORDING CAREFULLY.

Let's repeat that again: Take your time. Have a cup of tea. Sit down quietly and read the policy fine print. Especially the exclusions.

Not all policies are the same and it is essential you read the fine print to be sure you're covered for the sort of travel you'll be doing – and the places you'll be going. In addition to covering hospital treatment and additional expenses (go for the top level if you're traveling in North America); emergency medical evacuation; funeral expenses; emergency dental treatment; theft and loss of personal belongings, check the policy covers you for any adventure sports or other activities you might undertake, as well as all your gadgets such as cameras, laptops and ipods.

'The other man pulled out a knife and grabbed my wife, threatening to stab her if I didn't release my bag Of course, I let go immediately but we were still really distressed to lose our expensive photographic equipment.'
True Claims Story: He pulled out a knife...

Make sure you keep your policy up to date and that it provides a high enough level of cover. If you travel a lot, it may be worth taking out an annual policy. Check the level of excess you will be required to pay, and be sure to keep receipts (at home) for any gear you're taking that might get stolen.

Sensible Sanchez's Top Tip

A good rule to travel by is : Don't take anything with you that you can't bear to part with.

And remember, it's ok to be scared of new places and experiences - if you never leave home, you'll never really live.

About WorldNomads

Worldnomads keeps you travelling safely.  Whether you’re off for a long weekend, looking for the ultimate adventure or living the nomadic dream, you’ll stay safe with Travel Insurance you can buy online, anytime, and the latest travel safety advice. Learn how to flirt in over 25 languages with our free language guides and have an experience of a lifetime on a travel scholarship. We'll also help you share your journey with a free travel blog, get answers from other nomads to all of your travel questions (try the new 'Ask A Nomad' iPad app and donate to a local community development project through our Footprints program.  - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.