I know, I get it…If you purchased Travel Insurance, went on your trip, and then returned home without ever needing to use it, then it was all just a waste of money. Yes, you’re correct…kindof. But today I want to give you the other side of the story. The side that you may not think about very often.
The basics of Travel Insurance are designed to prevent you from huge financial losses. We always purchase insurance as a peace of mind and hope that we will never need to use it during our trip. But if we do, we will be extremely happy that we had it.
Here Are 5 Major Reasons That We Should Buy Travel Insurance
- Trip Cancelation
- Hospital Scams
- Required by Law
What is worse than being robbed? Being robbed and not having Travel Insurance to cover the losses! There are a couple ways that you can be robbed, either face to face or behind the scenes.
a) Theft Behind The Scenes (Airport)
After planning for months, you finally get on a plane to go to the most amazing island for a two-week getaway. You exit the plane and arrive at the baggage claim carousel. Eventually all of the bags come out but you do not see yours.
You go to the customer service department of the airport and discuss your problem. They claim that the bag is lost. No one knows where it is at. The contents in the bag are worth a lot of money. The airline has insurance built in to your flight ticket, but it doesn’t cover the full value of the contents in your bag. They will only cover about 20% of the actual value.
You are in a huge predicament and realize that you just lost thousands of dollars in the matter of a second. Traveling without Travel Insurance was a terrible idea.
b) Theft Behind The Scenes (Hotel)
You and your wife finally arrive at your hotel and unpack. You look out your window and realize that you are in the perfect location to explore. In fear of drawing too much attention to yourself, you both decide to remove all of your jewelry and put it in the pocket of your suitcase for safekeeping.
You enjoy exploring outside for 7 hours, and then evening starts to approach. You finally return to your hotel. You enter your room, take a shower, and change your clothes. You go to the bag and reach for your jewelry and all of it is gone. There’s not a single piece of jewelry remaining. You both nearly have a heart attack.
You immediately call the front desk and explain the situation. They come up to your room very quickly. You ask them who has been in your room since you were gone…they claim that nobody was in your room. You know that can’t be possible. You demand to see the footage on the camera in the hallway of your room.
They inform you that the cameras are not working and haven’t been functioning for almost a week. Convenient, you think. You decide to call the local police. They come, but unfortunately, nothing big can be done because there’s no footage available. You, unfortunately, just instantly lost $14,000. Traveling without Travel Insurance was a terrible idea.
c) Theft Face-to-Face
You’re walking down the street in a crowded city enjoying the smell of local street food. You’re eyeballing the food stall across the street. It looks particularly amazing! Just as you turn to start walking across the street, you feel someone snatch your bag from your shoulder.
You immediately reach for and try to grab the bag, but the man was too fast. He starts running down the street and turns into an alley before you can even catch up to him. He hops over a fence and is gone. Everything was in your bag. Cash, credit cards, important documents, jewelry, and more.
You approach a local person who happens to speak English and ask them where the nearest police station is. It is close by. You walk to the shop and report everything to the local police. Luckily, he also speaks a little English. Unfortunately, however, there’s nothing that this police officer can do. There’s no way to identify the man who took your bag or where he went. You are basically screwed. How much money did you lose this time? Traveling without Travel Insurance was a terrible idea.
Injuries are no joke. The two most concerning aspects of injury are price and distance from a hospital. Let me explain:
a) Expenses of Injury
Every year, you visit the same country. It’s a first world country. You’ve been there so many times that you have started to learn some of the common phrases of the local language. You have local friends that you go and visit every time as well. You become so confident that you choose to ignore purchasing Travel Insurance before you leave.
You cross the street to go to your favorite coffee shop and start walking down the sidewalk. You look at the beautiful flowers next to you and suddenly your heel falls into a rather large pothole in the sidewalk. Your ankle twists with all of your weight on it, and you fall to the ground which crushes your elbow. The pain is unbearable. It feels like you actually broke both your ankle and elbow together.
A couple of local people run to pick you up but the pain is too intense and you ask them to put you back down on the ground. You kindly ask for them to call for a Dr. Soon, an ambulance comes to your service and they put you on a stretcher and take you to the local hospital.
After several hours at the hospital and a couple of x-rays later, the employees reveal that your foot and your elbow is indeed fractured. They put a cast around your elbow and ankle, and send you off with a pair of crutches. Oh, and don’t forget the $3,800 bill. Traveling without Travel Insurance was a terrible idea.
b) Physical Distance from a Hospital
After carefully planning, you have arranged to go on a three-day trek through hills and a jungle somewhere in the rainforest. You’ve wanted to do this for several years! You finally arrive, meet your guides, and start trekking. You are two days into your trek and then suddenly you are bitten by a venomous snake that was under some of the leaves that you were walking on.
The immediate pain was excruciating. You can feel your heart start to palpitate faster and faster and your breathing starts to become erratic. You know it’s not due to solely being nervous, the venom has started to affect your nervous system. The guide takes out the insurance card that you gave him before you left, and he immediately calls the emergency phone number.
The company asks for current cell phone GPS coordinates, and immediately they send a helicopter for evacuation. The helicopter eventually arrives, drops down a basket, and you are helped inside. The doctor on board immediately injects you with an anti-venom and they fly you to the nearest hospital.
Suddenly you wake up several hours later and are told by the local staff that you were saved just in time. Had someone tried to carry you back home, it would have been too late. This was definitely a scary thing to hear, and yet, it was a sigh of relief at the same time. Traveling without Travel Insurance would have been a terrible idea.
3) Trip Cancelation
“I paid for this trip a long time ago and I am so excited to go on this trip. I would never cancel my trip!” You purchased your organized trip six months ago. But just three days before you plan on boarding the plane to leave, you got that terrible phone call.
The woman on the phone informs you that someone very close to you has passed away. This is devastating. After you take in the dreadful news, you soon know that there is no possible way that you can leave and go on a vacation at this time. The trip must be canceled. You and your spouse have paid more than $10,000 for this trip, many months ago.
You called the airlines, the hotels, and the tour company to inform them about the situation. They are all empathetic about your loss, but no one will authorize a refund. All of that hard-earned money is instantly gone. All of it! Not purchasing Travel Insurance was a terrible idea. Here is more information about the Benefits Trip Cancellation Insurance.
4) Scams in Hospitals
You are relaxing in your private villa overlooking the sea, and about 30 minutes after you eat your meal for the night, you start to feel discomfort in your stomach. With each passing moment, the pressure and pain seems to increase. You decide to wait for another 30 minutes to see if it will subside.
After 30 minutes have passed, you realize that you are now in a significant amount of pain and it only continues to get worse. You start to become quite nervous. You realize that you need to get to a hospital immediately. You are unsure what is happening. You’ve never experienced anything like this before. You order a local taxi. Each passing moment feels like an hour.
Finally, the taxi arrives. You ask him to take you to a hospital. He tells you he knows a nearby hospital, and takes you there. The moment you walk in the door they demand your credit card. This seems very strange but you have no choice due to the current predicament that you are in. You need help right now. After laying you down on a bed and running a few tests, they believe they know what the problem is.
They give you an injection and tell you to take a couple of pills. Within a few hours you can feel a decrease in pain and pressure. They tell you that you must stay for the night. You do. You wake up the next morning and you feel significantly better. When you are ready to leave, they present you with a bill of more than $12,000 US dollars. You nearly have a heart attack!
This can’t be right. You complain and they tell you that you must make this payment before you leave. There are 2 armed security guards standing next to the door waiting for you to make any type of wrong move. You realize this whole thing is a giant trap and a scam, and it started with the taxi driver. There’s nothing you can do. You must pay using a combination of a few different credit cards.
After you have made the payments, you leave and immediately go to the local police – but they tell you that nothing can be done. There are virtually no laws about charging patients in the hospital. The hospital did not commit a crime. Eventually when you return home to your native country, you open up a case to your local authorities. There’s nothing that they can do either. Your home country has no jurisdiction in the other country.
When you hire a lawyer to look into this whole matter, they realize that the police officer was indeed right, there are no laws that prevent hospitals from overcharging patients. There’s absolutely nothing that you can do in this situation.Traveling without Travel Insurance was a terrible idea.
5) Required by Law
Sometimes when you travel to a foreign country, it is required that you have purchased Travel Insurance before you enter the country. If you arrive at the airport and try to get through immigration, they will stop you at the border. They will need you to prove that you have purchased Travel Insurance.
Hospital costs can be rather expensive so they mandate that travelers who visit their country, purchase Travel Insurance. Keep in mind that every country is different. Some countries require a minimum of a $50,000 coverage policy and some countries require higher. Do your homework before you simply get on a plane and go.
Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
Well, if you are going to visit a country that doesn’t require Travel Insurance, then no. Legally, you do not need to have Travel Insurance. However, after reading the above scenarios, I highly recommend that you do. It is definitely worth buying.
I know, it is a bit frustrating. If you purchase Travel Insurance for 2 weeks, and then you return home without needing to ever use it. You just ‘wasted’ that money. I totally get it. Just don’t forget that if you happen to be one of the unfortunate people who is dealt a terrible hand of cards on your next trip, I can guarantee you will be very fortunate that you have purchased Travel Insurance. Travel insurance simply gives peace of mind.
Side note: Be sure to learn the best time frame to purchase your coverage.
All Travel Insurance Companies Are Different
As you probably already know, every single Travel Insurance company is different from each other. Different policies, different coverage, different prices, different customer service…and more. So which company is the best one? Eh, I won’t specify one specific company. However, I will say that there is a very small list of companies that I do recommend.
I only recommend a very small list of Travel Insurance Companies. But I do always recommend getting a quote from each of them to determine which pricing & policy is best for you. Some companies may have different policies for each country or different prices for each country. Insurance can be a tricky business. Definitely get multiple quotes rather than buying the first one that you see.