I've Not Always Believed in Travel Insurance.

Until the time I became violently ill at the beginning of an all-in-one, prepaid, non-refundable trip.

I'd taken all of the precautions.  I drank bottled water (when I could find it).  I drank bottled beverages (when bottled water could not be found).  I only ate food that could be cooked or peeled (or so I thought).  I might have accidentally ingested a little lettuce.

The violent illness that shook throughout my entire body was instant and incomprehensible.  It.  Would.  Not.  Stop.  There's nothing like being so ill that you don't have the ability to fetch proper fluid, food, or medicine on your own.  It.  Was.  The.  Worst.

When I did not sufficiently recover (and my language barrier prevented proper help), I left the country so I could fully recover.

This experience meant a physical and financial loss, where one is faced with additional fees for booking an early return.  For years, just thinking of that trip brought back the vivid reality.

I now know how unnecessary it is to experience that sense of helplessness and those losses, especially considering how little travel insurance can cost—and the dedicated medical support it can provide.  For that reason alone—though travel insurance can provide much more—I'm now a believer in it.

 

AFTER VERIFYING...

—what my own medical insurance will cover while traveling

—what my credit card medical benefits will cover while traveling

...I want a reputable travel insurance company to cover any gaps.

 

CHECKLIST:

I've found it important to confirm that travel insurance will cover as much as possible at a decent rate...

—the countries I'll travel to

—trip/lodging/transportation cancellations

—24/7 help/service/expensive airlift rescue/evacuation

—accidents, injuries and illness

—doctors and medicines

—high medical expenses

—emergency flight back to my home country

—financial reimbursement if I've paid for services that do not deliver

—damaged/lost/stolen luggage, electronics, personal belongings, and documentation

 

IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ME TO REMEMBER:

—what can be claimed

—to keep all receipts, forms, documents, and police reports to submit for reimbursement

—the exact process one must go through asap to ensure a claim can be processed

(Thank goodness that's partly why 24/7 support exists.  XO)