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Why I Buy Travel Insurance

Photo courtesy Keven Lawver from Flikr

I used to think of travel insurance as something that I probably should have, but couldn’t really afford, and most definitely wouldn’t go through the trouble to buy. Visiting an insurance agent, filling out papers, and paying a bunch of money that could go towards beer and bungalows; who wants to bother?

Then, one day, after I got old enough to worry about such things (yes, I’m that old). I began to worry that if my laptop and camera was stolen or, worse, if I got seriously hurt or sick, I would be in big trouble.  So, I started shopping around for an insurance company.  I looked at several in my hometown in Canada.  Then I looked online and found a travel insurance company that seemed to fit my needs: World Nomads.

WorldNomads is recommended by Lonely Planet and offers insurance tailored to meet the specific needs, and budgets, of backpackers and sports enthusiasts. During my insurance shopping I found that most insurance policies had to be purchased well in advance of a trip. WN insurance is available up to the day of, and any time during, your trip. It is also easy to sign up for. All you need to do is fill out a simple form online. There are no restrictions on which countries you can visit (as many insurance companies have). They donate $2 from every policy to the charity of your choice (from their list) and, best of all, it’s affordable. Today I paid $48 USD for premium coverage for a week.

In this world, you get what you pay for. WN insurance is not going to cover everything. For example, they only cover stolen electronics for up to $2000, which is a lot less than the value of those I carry. However, most other companies I looked at didn’t cover much more. Most insurance companies have similar limits because, hey, electronics are expensive and popular with thieves.  But, WN does cover you well for the most important thing—emergency health care.

They also cover sports equipment, which is something many other insurance companies don’t like to cover, because it is subject to a lot of wear and tear and abuse.

This all probably sounds like a sales pitch.  It is and it isn’t.  I’m telling you this because I buy WN insurance when I travel, and because I believe it’s a good product.  Of course, when it comes to something as important as your security, you should not just trust the word of a stranger, including me. You should read the terms of the insurance, look at the prices & benefits, see what they cover and decide for yourself.

If you have found my blog entertaining or helpful, and if you decide to buy WN insurance, then I would appreciate it if you would purchase it from my insurance page. It will not cost you any more, but WN will pay me a small affiliate fee because the purchase came via my website.

And, if you don’t want to buy WN insurance, or just don’t want to buy it from me, I strongly suggest you either buy it from their website or find some other sort of insurance. I know that my friend Garret could have used it when he dropped his Nikon D80 in a river in the Philippines, and my friend Michelle was very glad that she had it when her MacBook Pro was stolen on a chicken bus in Guatemala. She was even more grateful for it when her brand-new replacement was stolen from her room a few months later.

I’m glad that I’ll be covered while I’m searching for pygmy elephants and headhunters in the jungles of Borneo. I feel better knowing that if an elephant steps on me, or a headhunter decides to ‘borrow’ my MacBook Pro at machete point, at least I won’t be totally screwed.

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One Response to Why I Buy Travel Insurance

  1. Joey Phi February 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I was looking for an insurance I could purchase after leaving, thanks for sharing! I ended up getting it b4 my trip, but I’ll know next time.

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