Is Travel Insurance Worth It? Your Costs Vs Benefits
I see the question asked quite often… is travel insurance worth it? What’s the likelihood that I’m going to use it, and will I really see a benefit?
After all, ending up in hospital overseas is highly unlikely right?
Here I’m going to run through a few scenarios where travel insurance can benefit you, should unfortunate events occur during your travels.
As you will see, I’ve had to rely on travel insurance a few times while travelling. I don’t blame it on bad luck, I put it down to travelling quite often. Because I travel often, the chances of something occurring are higher.
Travel insurance for my latest three-week trip cost me just $150. You can get a free quote for your trip here too.
Theft or Damage to Personal Goods
No matter where you travel, your personal items can get stolen. Even in the safest country, or with the strictest laws, these things still happen. Sure, theft can happen at home, but it sucks so much more when it happens on holidays, right? So why no cover that risk?
Back in 2009 while I was travelling in Malaysia my camera bag got stolen. It was broad daylight in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, a motorbike came past, and the passenger on the bike pulled the bag from my shoulder. Camera, lens, memory cards all gone.
While travel insurance cannot recover my photos and memories, it did recover the cost of the goods. My camera (Canon 1000D) was only a few months old, so 100% was paid out, the lenses were about 2 years old, so roughly 80% of the value was paid out after “depreciation” was applied for their age.
Over $1,500 was paid out to me within two weeks of the claim. An excess (claim fee) of $100 charged. Net outcome, $1,400 back in my pocket.
With those funds, I purchased a new camera (Canon 60D) right after my trip. Was travel insurance worth it? In this case, yes.
Overseas Medical Expenses
Accidents can happen, and people get sick. It happens at home, so it can happen abroad. The main difference is that at home you might have government or private health cover, while aboard you’re left uncovered.
Granted, in some countries, it is cheaper to go to the hospital than others. However, quite often in those countries, the cheaper hospitals are nowhere near as good as the more expensive private hospitals. With travel insurance, you can get good medical assistance without worrying about the bill.
In mid-2015 I was unfortunate enough to get bitten by a nasty mosquito in Thailand. That mosquito bite gave me dengue fever and left me bedridden in a hospital for almost two weeks. Let me tell you, dengue fever is not fun, and the second time it can actually kill you. Had I not been in hospital, I may not have made it through.
When I was finally discharged from the hospital the bills totalled around 158,000 Thai Baht ($7,300). That was more than my budget for the entire trip, and probably for a lot of other people too.
Travel insurance covered 100% of the fee immediately, with a $100 excess charged. The net outcome was that I avoided $7,200 worth of overseas medical expenses. Was travel insurance worth it? In this case, yes.
Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess
Ever see the option to reduce your rental car the excess to zero for only an additional $15 per day? This option means that if you have a car accident there are no additional payments for you. Then you can cover the windscreen and tires separately for another payment. Over a two-week trip that cost will add up to $200 or more, on top of the rental car cost.
Now, consider that your entire travel insurance policy may be less than $200. You’ve instantly saved $200 without even having a car accident.
I typically hire a car or motorbike when I travel as it gives me the ultimate freedom to explore where I want when I want. To date, I’ve been lucky enough not to smash up a rental car, but it can easily happen, and wouldn’t even need to be my fault.
I’d rather not be liable for paying up $5,000 worth of rental car repair costs. So my travel insurance covers this for me.
Trip Interruption Expenses
In 2010 a volcano exploded in Iceland grounding half of Europe for weeks. In 2017 another volcano exploded in Bali grounding all flights for days. Both major tourist destinations. No one saw these coming.
Every year, major storms like hurricanes rip through the South Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia closing airports and businesses. I could go on for days, but I’m sure you get the idea.
It differs between each airline, but most won’t compensate travellers for cancelled flights due to bad weather or natural disasters. What would it cost you for a new flight home, and a hotel room until flights eventually resume? This varies case by case, but it could end up being well north of $5,000 or even $10,000.
Again, travel insurance will cover this. Of course, I still wouldn’t want to be in the area when a volcano is exploding whether it was Iceland or Bali.
Having vs Not Having Travel Insurance
I’ve run through four aspects of travel insurance which will cover you in unfortunate events. They all come from the same travel insurance policy. There are lots of other aspects which can also cover you such as lost or delayed baggage, dental expenses, emergency transport, kidnapping, hijacking, and the list goes on.
For my 3-week trip to Finland, World Nomads Travel insurance cost me just $150. It’s already saved me over $200 on rental car policies and has the potential to save me much, much more if needed.
You can tailor make your coverage depending on which countries you will travel to, how long you’re going for, when you travel, and what type of coverage you want. All of this means that you can get the best bang for buck with your travel insurance.
If you’re planning a trip, then get yourself a free quote with World Nomads Travel Insurance.
Have you ever had to rely on travel insurance? Let me know about your experience below.