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    Is Travel Insurance Really That Important?

    Is Travel Insurance Really That Important?

    By Kelsey KrahnGeneral

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    How important is travel insurance? Let’s kick this article off with an (almost) cautionary tale. It’s 2017, and my boyfriend and I are preparing for our trip to Thailand. A few days before our departure, we tell our friends: “We don’t need travel insurance! We never get injured abroad.”

    They utter names such as ignorant, thick, and dense, and the list of synonyms continues. Their name-calling inspires the thought that we should get travel insurance.

    Two months after arriving, my boyfriend ended up in the hospital with a broken arm, which would have cost him around 20,000 CAD without insurance.

    A month later, I plummet onto a rock that gauges a deep hole in my elbow, requiring a minor surgery to remove a fast-moving infection.

    We always get travel insurance before a trip now.

    So should you get travel insurance? The short answer: yes. Read on to discover what travel insurance can cover and how it can support your expeditions.

    For example, if you’re mountain biking in the backcountry somewhere, you’ll want to ensure the company you use covers this adventure!

    Go Wrong

    What can go wrong on your trip, and how can travel insurance help make it right?

    We’re sorry to freak you out, but if you don’t think of what could go wrong, the importance of travel insurance might fall off your radar. And we can’t let that happen!

    Things that can go wrong (and have been going wrong, according to some stats)

    This section might induce unwanted anxiety, but we only hope you see how essential it is to get travel insurance!

    In 2022, US airlines cancelled 3.56 percent of domestic flights, resulting in the worst rates since 2014, other than 2020.

    Over Canada Day weekend this year, Air Canada cancelled or delayed around 2,000 flights. Imagine the chaos and overall travel disruption that ensued!

    Losing your luggage is a nightmare for anyone! And the chances of an airline misplacing your luggage is only on the rise. In April 2022, 220,000 checked bags on American airlines were damaged or lost, a whopping 135 percent more than the year prior.

    Thankfully most tropical places with malaria and other horrible illnesses have cheap, local, effective treatments you can take to heal. However, some unexpected ailments, such as diarrhea, dehydration, or anything under the sun, may require a hospital stay, which is when you need insurance.

    Infections are also a significant issue in hot, humid places. Most can go away with antibiotics, but some may start to spread, meaning a trip to the hospital (like what happened to me in Thailand!).

    Getting injured abroad is everyone’s worst fear. Imagine planning an epic adventure-filled trip, only to break your leg a week into your month-long vacation. When I was in Thailand and Vietnam, I heard horror stories of people breaking limbs, primarily due to scooters, and not having insurance to cover their hospitalization. As a result, some hospitals refused to let the patient go until they paid. I heard of several GoFundMe accounts during this time! Talk about a vacation ruiner—not to mention the bills you must pay and cover for several years after that.

    What can travel insurance cover?

    Booking travel insurance is a relatively straightforward process, but ensuring you get the right coverage for your trip is vital. Insurance for an all-inclusive might look different than a trek in Nepal. For example, World Nomads offers coverage for 250 adventures!

    Some optional extras include backpacking, hiking, camping, biking, scrambling bush walking, and rock climbing up to 6,000 m. For sports, another optional extra is playing hockey or ice skating on a frozen lake or river! Our point? It’s important to cover your specific adventure.

    However, in general, most travel insurance covers the following:

    • Medical evacuation
    • What happens if you die outside of your home country
    • Lost luggage
    • Trip cancellations or delays
    • Emergency flight back home (if not—we recommend adding this to your coverage)
    • Unexpected illness and hospitalization abroad

    Side note: If you have pre-existing conditions, form a written agreement with the travel insurance company on how they can cover you if something happens abroad.

    Make sure every activity and possibility is covered, and take your time to read through the fine print of your policy!


    Frequently asked questions on travel insurance

    Where can you buy travel insurance?

    Other than World Nomads, a great travel insurance company for adventures, you can also get travel insurance through your credit card, insurance broker, travel agent, or employer’s insurance provider.

    What if my insurance expires when I’m abroad?

    Some companies will allow you to renew your insurance while abroad, but only if you do so before the expiration date. So what happens if you miss your expiration date?

    For example, World Nomads allows you to purchase a policy while you’re already overseas. Some other companies in your country may also let you do this. I know that there are some companies in Canada, but some digital nomad travel insurance companies also allow you to purchase insurance outside of your home country.

    Can I buy travel insurance the day before I leave?

    While it’s advised to buy as soon as you’ve booked your trip (so you don’t forget), it is possible to purchase insurance right before your departure. Just make sure you get approved for it before your flight.

    Travel Is Important

    Travel is too important to miss out on

    The bottom line: travel insurance gives you the freedom to enjoy your trip without worries haunting the back of your head. Experiencing the world is essential, and you want to make the most of your trip instead of ruining it with unexpected medical bills.

    When my boyfriend and I got hurt in Thailand, we spent a few days in the hospital before continuing our adventures. Despite the cast and bandage on our arms, we could still enjoy every minute of the salty sea air, sandy beaches, and waterfall hikes. We then continued to Vietnam after, spending another year abroad and soaking in valuable life experiences. If we didn’t have travel insurance, we would have had to go home and find a way to pay the bills.

    So is travel insurance really that important? Yes, it is.




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