You’re young and healthy, travel insurance is for suckers. It’s a waste of money. You won’t need it. After all, you’re traveling light with just a backpack. Well, that and your camera and, oh wait, an iPod. And maybe a laptop, just so you can keep in touch (and keep up with Farmville). You plan on meeting cool people on the way and winging it. It’s going to be awesome. Why would you need travel insurance?
Big damn volcano. That’s why.
When the Icelandic volcano erupted the IATA estimated that 1.2 million people a day were affected by it (via CNN). You didn’t even need to be in Europe to have your flight canceled. You and thousands of other people all trying to get a ever-dwindling number of rooms. How does an extra week in London impact your budget? But that won’t happen again – right?
What does travel insurance typically cover anyway?
Let’s look at what WorldNomads cover, but remember it varies from plan to plan. Typically they cover costs involved with canceled flights and missed trains or tours. Travel insurance also covers you if you have to cancel your trip or if your traveling companion backs out on you – you don’t want to get stuck with the full cost of things that you booked planning to pay half of.
Nearly all plans also have some sort of extra medical coverage. What if you get hit by a vehicle? I think you have to watch out for mopeds more than you do cars in many cities. Those little buggers will mess you up if you get clocked by one. Not going to the big cities? Ever read any blogs where someone has gone into the emergency room for food poisoning or malaria?
Did you know your travel insurance also covers lost or stolen bags? Yup, your Macarena iPod and Farmville box too. You have to read the fine print because there is often a $500 max on all “electronic gear” but it’s better then nothing.
A waste of money? Just think about it
You may have your ideas about travel insurance, if you’re a backpacker or on a limited budget you should really think about it. It doesn’t have to be something huge like a volcano, it could be something personal to you. My recent hospital stay taught me about that. Less than 12 hours before my flight to Europe I ended up in the hospital on large doses of morphine. My point is, you never plan on missing a flight.
We want you to be safe and to keep traveling. And one of the best ways to ensure that is to buy travel insurance.
What questions should you ask about travel insurance? Find out on our comprehensive travel insurance page.