How to Buy Good Travel Insurance

By Nomadic Matt | Published January 22nd, 2013

travel insurance nomadic matt While a lot of people think “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” travel insurance is much than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is cancelled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or if something is stolen. It is the single most important thing you should get but hope to never have to use. And for the little money it costs a day, you’re foolish not to get it. I never planned on falling in the sea in Italy with my camera or popping my ear drum in Thailand and if it wasn’t for my travel insurance, I would have been out a lot of money.

Travel insurance is one of the most complex and confusing aspects of trip planning. With the myriad of plans and companies out there, people can easily get confused about what they should get and why. Given its importance and the amount of time it’s been since I last discussed it, I want to start the year by discussing it again. I’ve seen too many people forgo insurance and end up regretting it.

Travel insurance is something you absolutely need on the road. You never know what could happen, and most health plans don’t cover you overseas. I never thought I would pop my eardrum while I was scuba diving or break my camera in Italy. My friend never thought he would break his leg hiking or that another friend’s father would die and she would have to fly back home. (My favorite travel insurance provider is World Nomads. They always have my back when something like the above happens.)

Travel insurance was there when all those things happened. It is something you hope you never have to use, and with plans costing just a few dollars per day, in my view, only an idiot would travel without it. I would rather be safe than sorry and not be stuck with a giant hospital bill.

I was recently in Africa for 3 weeks and my plan cost only 4 dollars per day. Considering my domestic health plan wasn’t going to cover me while overseas, it was a small price to pay for knowing if I got attacked by a lion, bitten by a snake, or contracted malaria, I was protected.

But, like I said, it’s more than just medical care. Loose a bag? Insurance has you covered. Trip cancelled? Insurance is there. Get something stolen? Insurance is there too.

Travel insurance has more than proved its worth many, many times. It’s the kind of thing you will be very thankful for when you need it but hope you never do. After all, you don’t want to end up like my friend who didn’t have insurance when her computer was stolen and had to pay out of pocket for a new one.

So let me explain how to avoid getting the wrong insurance plan and not being covered:

What to look for in a great plan
There are a lot of options out there. This is a billion dollar business and everyone wants their hand in the cookie jar, thus you face a mind-numbing number of choices that can be confusing and overwhelming. And, often, in the fine print, you’ll find that plans aren’t as good as you thought.

When looking for a plan, first make sure they have a high coverage limit on your medical expenses. Good companies provide up to $100,000 in coverage care, though more expensive policies will cover you for higher amounts. The maximum coverage limit you can find is around $1,000,000 USD, though I’m not sure why you would ever need a limit that large. High coverage limits are important because if you get sick, injured, or need serious attention and have to seek professional care, you want to make sure your high hospital bills are covered. The worst thing you can do is go cheap and get a policy with a $20,000 coverage limit, break a leg, and reach that limit before they are done taking care of you. Don’t be cheap with your health.

Secondly, you want to make sure your policy also covers emergency evacuation and care that is separate from your medical coverage. If you are hiking in the woods and you break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital. If a natural disaster occurs and you need to be evacuated to somewhere else, your plan should cover that as well. This protection usually covers an expense of up to $300,000 USD.

Additionally, evacuation also should mean from the hospital to your home country. Standard emergency evacuation usually includes this provision but it’s important you double-check a company will cover the cost of your flight back home if you need it.

A great policy will always include the following provisions:

  • Cover most countries in the world.
  • Some coverage for your electronics (and have the option for a higher coverage limit).
  • Cover injury and sudden illnesses.
  • Twenty-four hour emergency services and help (you don’t want to call to be told to call back later).
  • Cover lost, damaged or stolen possessions like jewelry, baggage, documents, cameras, etc.
  • Cover cancellations such as hotel bookings, flight, and other transportation bookings if you have a sudden illness, death in the family, or some other emergency.
  • Cover emergencies, strife in the country visited, etc., that cause you to head home early.
  • Policies should include personal accident coverage.
  • Cover any legal expenses that may be incurred.
  • Have financial protection if any company you are using goes bankrupt and you are stuck in another country.

Don’t get a policy that doesn’t cover these bullet points!

A quick note on electronics: most companies only cover a small amount, usually up to $500 USD as part of their basic coverage. You can often buy supplemental insurance to get a higher amount of coverage. For instance, Clements Insurance offers special coverage for your electronics. Prices vary depending on the country you visit (between $145-195 per plan) but they don’t have worldwide coverage. You have to get coverage for your specific country. Moreover, many regular and home insurance companies such as State Farm offer plans that can help you cover your electronics.

What isn’t covered is just as important as what is
Know what is also not covered by your plan. Most policies do not cover accidents sustained while participating in extreme adventure activities such as hang gliding, paragliding, or bungee jumping unless you pay extra. The majority of companies won’t cover you if you injure someone on the road (called third-party liability). Policies do not normally cover alcohol- or drug-related incidents, or carelessness in handling your possessions and baggage. You won’t get reimbursed if the problem happened because you were reckless, and how “reckless” is defined is a matter up to each company. Simply put, if a reasonable person wouldn’t partake in what caused your accident, you won’t be covered.

Moreover, you won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions or general check-ups. For example, if you have a heart condition and develop a problem on the road, you won’t be covered. If you have diabetes and need to buy more insulin, you won’t be covered. If you want to go see a doctor for a general check-up, you aren’t covered either.

The medical portion of travel insurance is more about emergency care than being a replacement for your normal health care. A lot of people purchase insurance thinking it is, then get disappointed when they find out they can’t go get an annual physical with it. Travel insurance is accident insurance. It is there to protect you in case of emergency and, if need be, get you home in a hurry. If you want a global health plan (because, say you now live in Beijing), you need a completely different type of plan.

Making a claim
If you make a claim, remember that any travel insurance company, no matter how good, is there to make money and will try to avoid paying out as much as they can. They are, after all, an insurance company and they don’t make money by paying out to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Be prepared to wait to receive your money because even the best companies drag their feet. In order to ensure that you do get paid your claim, make sure you have all your receipts, necessary forms, and proper documentation – all of it will help make your claim go through a lot quicker.

Major travel agencies like STA Travel and Flight Centre also offer their own plans, though coverage is very limited. While I haven’t used it, many other travel bloggers and writers I know recommend Medjet and IMG. One of my favorite webs. It compares policies from a number of providers and a wide range of policies at once. It’s like a global insurance search site! It lots of people have success on their site, and I especially like their high age limit as not enough companies cover seniors!

My favorite insurance provider is World Nomads. I’ve been using them since I first started traveling in 2003 and use no one else. They are very reputable, and claims are quickly and fairly processed. I enjoy World Nomads for a number of reasons: I can purchase and renew my insurance policy online in a matter of minutes, they have a very friendly and responsive staff who answer questions and help solve problems via social media, have great customer feedback, and most importantly, they provide a lot of coverage at a good price. If there’s one company I would recommend, I would say go with them.

Here’s what a couple of readers also said about travel insurance:

Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story
Travel insurance story

But no matter who you choose, shop around before you make your final purchase. All plans are different and you want one to suit the type of trip you are taking (for example, I never get the more expensive plans that cover those high-risk activities like skydiving because I don’t do those type of activities). There’s a 99.99% chance you will never need to use the policy you bought, but accidents happen and life on the road is uncertain. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are in a different country, thousands of miles from home.

Travel insurance is about not only you are ensured for health reason but if anything goes wrong with your trip, you have a back up. Travel insurance is a Plan B. Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish. Get the insurance. Find a company that works for you and be covered. Life is full of accidents. Don’t end up spending all your trip money on some emergency because you didn’t want to spend a few hundred to be covered!

You can use the booking widget below to get insurance for your trip (and doing so will help keep travel tips flowing on the website for free. But even if you don’t, just get insurance – from anywhere! Be covered. For me. Please.).

comments 83 Comments

I’ve gone to a couple of places without travel insurance then wished I had got some. In both situations it turned out lucky I didn’t but still. Never hurts to have some.

The other way to hedge you bets is a proper emergency fund. You essentially can insure yourself to some extent (not serious injury or illness) but atleast it’s your money there if you need it.

I’m also with World Nomads. They allow me to renew or purchase a new policy when not in Australia (this is a rare thing to find there). Made a claim with them last year and it all went smoothly. Although a tip to new travellers: keep ALL receipts of items you may want to claim such as camera, phone, laptop etc. If it’s worth more than $100 and you don’t have proof of purchase, they won’t cover it!

Steve

Thanks for this!!

I completely forgot about Travel Insurance until after I left Australia and didn’t think I could buy it now that I had already left

NomadicMatt

You can purchase World Nomads no matter where you are in the world.

That’s very good to know–thanks for posting!

Wil

Can you get travel insurance without medical? My medical insurance covers me internationally but I would like theft protection without paying for medical again.

NomadicMatt

Yeah, there are a number of companies that will just insurance your goods.

Our basic approach to insurance is to only cover expenses that could be potentially catastrophic. Health coverage (especially in the U.S.) fits that category, as does automobile liability (again in the U.S.), emergency evacuation services, and possibly some others. Everything else we self insure. Why?

As Matt said, insurance companies are in business to make money. For them to do that they have to charge you more in premiums than the extremely talented actuaries at the insurance company calculate they’ll likely pay you in claims. If a policy cost $4 per day, the value to you is likely to be less than that. Instead, we’ll save that ~$1,500 per year and put that toward a self insurance fund.

I just wrote a post on travel insurance and most of my readers don’t think it’s useful. To be honest, I haven’t purchased it before. Since doing that research, though, I will always purchase travel insurance for foreign travel. Thanks for the detailed info — passing it on to my readers.

Zaid

On a recent trip to Morocco my iPad got stolen from my backpack while I was exiting a train. I am glad my insurance paid me out a little for it (+-$210 for a 2.5yr old iPad 1)

Some credit cards include travel insurance when you pay for all or part of your trip with that credit card. Check your credit card company or bank and see if you’re covered.

NomadicMatt

The medical coverage not substantial though but they do offer gear and trip cancellation protection though. AMEX cards are very good for that.

Good to know! I’ll check in with AMEX to see what they provide. Thanks!

Erick

Are there any policies that allow you to pick and choose what you want covered and not. Looks like STA and World Nomads only have packages. I already have insurance on all my gear and clothing. Would only need medical and automobile.

Erik, if you’re Aussie I just happened to be looking at QBE and they have comprehensive and what they call Elements. I think elements is just medical but you may be able to pick and choose what coverage you get.

Erick

Nope. I’m a Texan. lol. Thanks though.

Hey Matt

Quick question, so If you are doing a holiday abroad what type of insurance plan should you get? I thought world nomads covered hoildays abroad but when you said “say you now live in Beijing you need a completely different type of plan.” it got me wondering. Thanks

NomadicMatt

If you are living somewhere, you want expat insurance so you can get regular doctor visits, go to the dentist for a routine check up, etc. Holiday/travel insurance is meant to cover you if you get hurt or sick on the road and need emergency care.

Yep, a definite must have for all of those traveling. It’s definitely one of those things we hope to never have to use but like what you said ‘better safe than sorry’. And thanks for the info regarding World Nomads, will be checking them out.

NomadicMatt

Let me know if you have any questions.

I have a travel insurance which covers my luggage as well. But I have never actually needed it even though I studied two years abroad and traveled quite a bit. It’s still good to have just in case.

Good information on what to look out in travel insurances. If one is travelling to India then they must look into their health coverage. I do not know about World Nomads but will certainly look into it. Thank you.

I have world nomads as well. Have a few claims to make (yay ear infections from crazy Thai bacterium!) and hope it goes smoothly!

I have World Nomads as well, thank god I didn’t have to use it while I was just in South East Asia (in which I actually met up with Kristin above!), but it’s definitely peace of mind when you’re going to remote countries that you have some protection.

I got a year’s worth of travel insurance before I left on my trip, and I had to file a claim more than once (medical and theft). What a good (although annoying) investment. For Canadians, travel cuts is a very affordable option, the best that I’ve come across.

As someone who travels frequently, I like the one year plans….that way if an opportunity presents at last minute, I don’t have to worry about it – I already have the insurance. Proved to be a huge advantage recently. Spent 3 months in Europe, came home and was invited to go to Barbados with a friend. I bought the plane tick Friday and flew out Wednesday. I didn’t even have to think about it! Insurance is good for one year with as many trips as I want – I don’t even have to notify them!
Be sure to know the plan first though – while I can travel repeatedly in that year, I believe that each trip must be 30 days or less! (I would need to double check if I went on another big trip but a week here, 2 weeks there…no problem!)

Peter Hobbs

World Nomads sounded great, but (at least for me as a Canadian resident) the age limit is 60. Any suggestions for good companies that will cover a 78 year old at reasonable cost?

Banks and Insurance companies all carry travel insurance. Most have on-line calculators. I just checked bank here in Oz and they will insure over 75s. I’m guessing Canadian banks would have similar policies. Not cheap though.

NomadicMatt

Unfortunately, I don’t know! Maybe someone else here can help.

colin

Me too. We are 64 and will be travelling to lands afar again next year. What’s out there for us “grey nomads”. Don’t really need coverage for risky adventures as skydiving,scuba and bungee jumping, not our thing. However the missus wants to go zip-lining. Any suggestions on where to look for grey haired,no teeth people ?

colin

We are Canucks too

I used World Nomads for the first time during an eight week trip to South America last year. On my trip, I had some medical mishaps and while the out of pocket costs weren’t high separately, they added up. An eye doctor here, an allergic reaction there, an elbow that was gushing blood and more! Beore I knew it, I had seen doctors in four of the six countries. I saved all my receipts and World Nomads paid me back down to the last penny making my investment well worth it. Thankfully none of my medical visits were life-threatening, but it’s great to know that they have great customer service and they paid me back super fast.

NomadicMatt

Amazing!

I have a couple of credit cards these days where I get travel insurance. World Nomads are pretty good, but my philosophy on travel insurance is get as many online quotes from as many different companies that you can. Then choose the best option that suits you. I use to find, particularly travelling from Australia overseas, is that there was a big disparity in price from travel insurance providers. Everytime I would look for travel insurance and get some quotes there would always be a different company that provided a better deal than the others. I guess travel insurance is one of those products where it pays to shop around.

NomadicMatt

Like I said in the post! Shop around but since people ask who my favorite is, I wrote about that too.

Monique

I have a Mastercard that includes 31 days of travel medical coverage and as we are travelling for 4 months have bought a top up insurance with them for the remainder of our stay in Mexico.
i had a bad shoulder injury upon arrival here and saw a Dr had an xray called the insurance company and they approved what I had done and also approved an apt that Dr made for me to see an orthapdic surgeon, as they thought I had a broken colar bone. As it turned out I had torn ligaments and mussels needless to say extremly painful. Dr said he would see me again in a few weeks, and prescribed pills. I called my m astercard insured company and they told me that I would not be covered any longer with them,as I only had a week of coverage left with them. They told me to call other company they set me up with for the top up portion. They completely washed their hands of it, as it happened with my 1st 31 day coverage, as a result my injury now was a pre existing so would not be covered with them for further xrays or Dr visits.
I then proceded to call my Mastercard plan and they said that I was not covered ater the 31 days and that was that.
They said that they were prepared to fly me back home, however would not be responsible to zpay for all of our prepaid accomodation for the next 3 months.
All I can see in this, is do not get a credit card that offers travel insurance if you need to top up even if you do as I did, use their insurance for the top up…..How disapointing. What do you make of this. I will be 65 in April and my spouse is now 69 and we are both Canadians..any ideas anyone, our future travel plans will be long term..

Amy

My bf and I considered using World Nomads, but they’re just so expensive. In the end we found insurance for half the price through Globelink International, who also provide more medical cover and lower excess costs than World Nomads. I’ve also heard that True Traveller do good policies for long term trips.

NomadicMatt

I looked up the company and while they are cheaper for a year policy, they offer less coverage. You get more medical (5 million GBP is excessive though) but there’s no emergency evacuation coverage listed, property coverage, and a very limited trip cancellation policy. Additionally, cheap insurance is not really good insurance. I looked over their site and it’s super shady. Their underwriter is some other company I couldn’t even find a website for. That’s probably not a good sign. While World Nomads is not the only game in town, don’t get insurance just because it is cheap. Do your research.

JC

I use World Nomads as well. Main reason is being able to do everything online. I found that buying the 6-month policy is the most cost-effective. Just renewed mine for the second time a few weeks ago.

I haven’t had to submit any claim yet (fortunately), but it’s good to know they get processed pretty quickly!

I contacted World Nomads about pre-existing medical conditions, specifically pregnancy, and at the moment pregnancy is not covered. Apparently that will be changing in a few weeks though, and some pregnancy related coverage will be available as a pre-existing medical condition. Conditions will apply.

A timely and info-laden article on the type of nuts and bolts advice travelers need. We are planning an Eastern Europe trip this spring and I plan to be shopping around for insurance, thanks for all the good advice.

NomadicMatt

Welcome! Shop here :)

Seeing as how I am doing a bit of research on travel insurance, especially for pregnant women, I’ll keep updating. :)
Some insurance companies will not cover pregnant travelers at all.
Some will cover up to 26 weeks as long as the pregnancy is not IVF, not twins, no complications, not against doctors advice.
Most companies, even if they cover pregnancy, will not cover a birth and/or care of newborn.
I’ve only found one company, so far, that will extend coverage for up to 30 weeks pregnant for an additional premium. http://www.columbusdirect.com

By “not against doctors advice” I meant traveling not getting pregnant. ;)

NomadicMatt

I don’t think this is a problem for most travelers.

This article was incredibly helpful, Matt! I’ve traveled extensively internationally but usually am covered through work or local insurance while living abroad, so I’ve never even thought about it. This is my first time to set out on an extended RTW journey, so travel insurance seems like a good idea–thanks again!

Neil

Keep in mind that even if you have your own health insurance that will cover medical issues, almost none include evacuation insurance, which could easily be the most expensive part of an accident.

If nothing else just find the cheapest plan that would offer you that.

thanks for provide me information….

Aimee

You said you need to have all your reciepts but I have lost mine to my 700$ camera! Would my insurance cover this if something happened to it! How would I show them I lost it?

This is from World Nomads…

I don’t have receipts for my personal items. Can I still make a claim?

Yes. Please be aware though that you will still be asked to provide proof of ownership for the lost or stolen items. We understand that you might not be able to produce such receipts for each and every item, but you still have to ‘tip the balance’ and should be able to provide evidence of ownership where you could be reasonably expected to have such evidence.

Proof of ownership can include photographic evidence in conjunction with warranty cards, manuals, receipts, bank or credit card statements. In the end, common sense prevails and you should ask yourself, “Does this conclusively prove that I owned this item?”

Awesome, Nice Sharing and i m very impress just because i m not getting any travel Insurance yet. God Bless you!

Gemma

I was also looking for travel insurance, and Globelink was on my list. You’re right about their website, it looks awful and it all so super cheap… When I was looking for some reviews on them I came across http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/travelinsurance/19231_travel-insurance-for-trekking—globelink- so that was it for me! I looked at Globelink no more!

You can never have too much insurance. I once clocked a Mexican guy while I was driving a rental car in Vegas — thankfully everything was covered.

Well done, your article is pretty good and helpful. Why Buy Travel Insurance? There are a number of reasons why you may want to purchase travel insurance. If you injured in abroad this insurance policy will cover medical and health related expensive. This plan will help to provide you 24 hours emergency service. In this insurance plan they provide travel coverage for cancellation & interruption, baggage coverage and many more. Thanks

Linda

Try http://www.insuremytrip.com. You can buy all-inclusive or a-la-carte type polices. They give you quotes from many different insurance companies. If you insure shortly after booking your trip, the cost is less than if you wait. There are different limitations depending on the company you go with. I bought insurance through World Nomads for my trip to Africa, and I’m glad I didn’t have to file a claim. I paid a lot less for that policy than one I bought through Insure My Trip. In two years I will too old to be insured by World Nomads. Wish I’d heard of them before!

Mike

good one. I also have a travel insurance to cover loss or damaged baggage. just for my own protection when I go for a trip.

Amy

We did a lot of research and didn’t think World Nomads were amazing for what they charge. Globelink provided just as much cover for personal possessions as the WN policy and their cancellation cover is enough for what we need. I could not find any emergency evacuation cover on the WN policy either. The company is insured by MAPFRE Asistencia (http://www.mapfre.com/mapfreasistencia/en/who-we-are.shtml) so I don’t think they’re as shady as you make out.

NomadicMatt

World Nomads has 300k evac coverage on their policy. At the end of the day, you have to go with a company that makes you feel comfortable.

Kieth C. Stephenson

As my girlfriend and I were traveling to Indonesia, ensuring that we’ve got travel insurance from a reliable company was so important. And so we got one from Beyond Cover. I love this site because aside from the standard benefits, I really loved being able to share and support to our favorite charity!

Also, scroll down to vwvagabond in the comments section.

Mark

I’ve been on the road for 2.5 years now, and have neither a country of residence nor any travel insurance. I would happily get something that covers financially catastrophic events, but don’t have any need for smaller things like stolen items or dentist appointments.

Any tips?

I totally agree about the need for travel insurance. Many people don’t think that they would ever get sick or in need of the “extra finance” for difficult situations but you never know, especially in a foreign country. Good information.

Matt – I am a strong believer of health, especially whilst traveling just like yourself and its certainly not worth the risk. On my travels I have witnessed some bad incidents (as you have) and the tipping point for myself to persist on making sure fellow travelers have insurance was from a shocking incident in Egypt, where my mate had been completely taken advantage of. Another way to be covered is by some banks/credit card companies who provide insurance under certain conditions (return tickets and ect.), but for other readers this is just another option. I use this method and have made claims finding it very easy (the credit card companies usually use sister companies as insurers), but of course everyone should look into the policy beforehand.

Cheers for the blog Matt, really good

Thanks for your post! I would not recommend World Nomads at all. I had their most expensive plan, I had to stop my trip because my mom had urgent surgery and they did not want to pay my trip back home, the reason? According to the dr my mom’s injury happened when she was a kid, eventhough she had never had a problem or noticed she had an injury before. For this reason they didn’t pay for my trip back home eventhough my mom was rushed into the emergency room… I have not worked with other companies but I would not recommend WorldNomads at all.

Sheralyn

Great article… I’ve been devouring everything on this site – love it!

We’re planning to leave in about 18 months for an open-ended trip (ie. 2 years minimum, and hopefully forever), starting off in Malaysia. From what I can tell, travel insurance won’t be suitable for us due to the prolonged nature of our trip, so we’ll need to get some kind of expat health insurance coverage… there are so many companies to choose from, and so much to read (in terms of exclusions etc)… if anyone has a short list of good companies to look at, I’d love to hear your suggestions! :)

Duncan

I’m planning on heading to Canada in July for 9-12 months.
If I want to go snowboarding etc during winter, is it better the upgrade the adventure sports option when i’m actually going to be partaking in those activities, or just get it to cover the entire time i’m there?
Am I able to make those kinds of changes with World Nomads while i’m already overseas?

j

I find they never pay out. I don’t have reciepts for my items anyway. I’d rather just get health insurance – where can the global nomad get cover for that?

NomadicMatt

clements.com

j

actually, legal cover would be a good idea too

Sheralyn

Legal cover in case you get sued while traveling? I imagine the risk of being sued while traveling is pretty small…. but maybe I’m overly optimistic on that haha

NomadicMatt

I’m not sure why you would be sued while traveling either.

Hey Matt! Just wanted to take a quick opportunity to thank you for this post. Because of it, I bought travel insurance that night before my trip to Panama.

2 weeks later, I had to receive an emergency appendectomy while still in Panama and luckily had insurance. Also, I thought your readers would like to know that Panama offers up to $7,000 for 30 days to tourists visiting Panama if anything happens while there (no preexisting medical conditions are covered). So with that and travel insurance, I was completely covered.

NomadicMatt

Thanks for the story!

Andario

Hey Matt! Thanks for the useful post (and comments!).

My “little” problem is that I´m preparing a RTW on my motorbike, and I haven´t been able to find a single company that will cover me if the bike gets stolen (Including Worldnomads et al), which is a HUGE problem as you can imagine.

I guess you must have met lots of travellers using their own vehicles, do you happen to know how did they deal with the possibility of waking up one day not having their vehicle any more? (And no, praying is not an option… ;)

THANKS!

Jen Rai

I’m an American, already abroad (with student health insurance in my current country).

When I leave this country I plan to travel to 3 or 4 other countries for at least 6 months.

I looked at World Nomads, and they said no “multi-trips” — what does this mean? Does it mean it only covers people for one country per trip? I am so confused?

NomadicMatt

They cover you for a set time period. So you buy insurance for say 6 months at a time.

Jen Rai

Thank You!

Keith

I’m not convinced comprehensive travel insurance is a necessarily a good deal – with one exception: medical/evacuation insurance. You buy any type of insurance because you have a risk that you cannot afford to take. This is true for all types of insurance: life, health, travel, etc. I personally don’t find trip cancelation insurance to be a good deal in most situations since it’s simply very unlikely you will have to cancel for a reason covered by the insurance and the insurance is relatively expensive. Of course, you have to determine your own risks and make informed decisions. If your travel company has a poor performance record, if it’s tropical storm season, etc. that could make it worthwhile. For me, the cost of trip cancelation insurance is usually higher than the risk justifies. On the other hand, when I’m traveling in a part of the world where medical care is sketchy I always purchase medical/evacuation insurance. The risk of illness or injury (and the consequences of illness or injury) is much greater, in my judgment, than any other possible circumstance. This insurance is relatively cheap and often comes bundled with lost baggage and trip delay coverage. My favorite company is Travelex. The coverage and cost are very good and I know firsthand they pay without hassle.

steff

ok my hubby and I have always got insurance with each trip when we leave Canada which is about $200 or more for EACH part of our cruise,flights and hotels. Found this site we are 52 and 51yrs old prebooked our cruise for Jan/14 but didn’t buy insurance because we still need to book airfare and hotels and we maybe also taking another vacation in the us before then. We figured what we pay for each leg of our trip why not buy by the year. So my question is this insurance primary or secondary to our work plans for medical(no pre-existing problems thankful). And if we buy for the year it covers us on all our trips and flights. Insurance is important to us because in jan up here snowstorms are the hazard.

Ray

Thanks for sharing. Nice post.

Neil

It’s worth noting that the World Nomads basic plan doesn’t include any risky activities.
That’s normally not a big deal to me. HOWEVER, 2 that were mentioned that you definitely should think about are:

1. Scuba diving – ok, I get it, this is risky
2. Snorkeling – ?!?!? This is quite common on vacations, and if you got injured while snorkeling it would suck to not be covered.

So, if you go with World Nomads, be sure to check out their list of acceptable activities per plan.

AN

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the detailed article. It was very useful. I have spent the past few days looking at all sorts of different insurance companies online to find travel insurance that will cover our family for our forthcoming cruise in the Med. Many US ones won’t cover anyone other than US citizens and same for the UK. I can’t remember the last time we had to purchase travel insurance. So it’s been a lot of reading and confusion!

In addition, we are Aus expats living in Europe, so that adds a layer of complexity to the eligibility question. I came across Columbus Direct and World Nomads as two shortlisted companies. I read their reviews and must say CD didn’t come up very shiny. World Nomads came out better but there were also some very negative comments. We’ve never had any incidents while travelling over the last 30 years so have never had to make any claims. Fingers crossed it will remain that way, but I will be taking out insurance for this trip.

NomadicMatt

No company ever has 100% positive reviews.