I’ve not always believed in travel insurance. Until that 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.
Even after that, I’ve not always remembered to purchase travel insurance.
Like that time I was in the next state and had an anaphylactic reaction. My regular health insurance would not cover the $1000+ ER bill (due to it being an ER visit) and my credit card insurance could not cover it (because I’d not purchased transportation tickets for this trip…I’d arrived in someone’s auto).
These experiences create a physical and financial loss, as well as additional fees for booking early returns. All of this is unnecessary, especially considering how little travel insurance can cost—and the dedicated medical support it can provide.
what my own medical insurance will cover while traveling
what my credit card medical benefits will cover while traveling
...I want reputable travel insurance to cover any gaps.
The Two Travel Insurance Plans I Consider
An annual travel insurance plan (which can be very affordable yet have lower medical bill coverage, limits to trip length, etc). I now automatically always have this.
A trip specific travel insurance plan (which can be more expensive yet cover much higher medical bills, the entire length of a long trips, etc.). I now always consider this.
Most importantly, everyone must carefully read the small print to choose the travel insurance plan/s that work best for them.
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
—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!)