Traveler Insurance


You get into some shit, while traveling.

You have to imagine that the normal amount of ouchie-stuff is going to happen to you at any point, and when you’re traveling abroad you don’t have the benefit of your mom to kiss it better, or the junk drawer to raid in the kitchen for some Purell to start the cleaning process.

Also, there’s the bigger stuff that would warrant a trip to the ER, or maybe the Walgreens Care clinic. Does your Kaiser health plan cover a broken arm while base jumping the Cliffs of Moher?

It might. Mine does.

Too start out, there’s a semantic lesson to learn when it comes to insurance you get while traveling abroad. What’s commonly referred to as “travel insurance,” what AmEx gives you as a loyal card holder or what your airline will try to sell you when you purchase tickets –   that’s insurance covering possible bad stuff that can happen related to travel – flights canceled, hotel burning down, camera getting stolen right out of your fucking hands when you were taking that picture of where the Beatles crossed Abbey Road. This is great; the kind of thing that I probably wouldn’t buy by itself but rather I’d make choices ( of credit card providers, or group memberships for example ) that included such benefits.

“Traveler insurance” is mostly referring to health stuff – seeing a doc, getting meds, getting extracted if things go wrong, or having the pieces that are left of you transported home if something –really– goes wrong. This is pretty necessary, and if you haven’t traveled abroad much you might not have done the research.

My research process involved finding contending policy providers, reading the negative stuff about each, then reading the positive stuff. I used Reddit, Google, Lonely Planet forums, and a bunch of other resources. I made lists. I talked with people I knew who’d traveled RTW. After all this, World Nomad won out with me.

After much reading and some talking to peeps, I went with World Nomads traveler insurance. I went to their site, put in all the destination countries I thought I’d be visiting and the length of time I thought I’d be gone, and it spit out two options – “Standard” ( for normal people ) and “Explorer” ( for people who might go base jumping ).

The list of covered items is pretty extensive:

  • Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expense
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancelation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Trip Delay
  • Baggage & Personal Effects
  • Baggage Delay
  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • One Call 24-Hour Assistance Servicees
  • One Call Non-Emergency Evacuation Services

Some of the travel-related stuff is included with World Nomads, so I have redundant coverage on some points. There are numbers/dollar values attached to all of these points, and sub-headers that break down coverage. It’s can be tedious, but at times very interesting reading. You should check it out, just to see how they present it all.

If you belong to a special group ( retirees, teachers, former Microsoft employees, etc ) you might want to look in orgs that sell benefit packages directly to your group. There is no such group catering to the needs of UX architects, or fiction writers, or RPG nerds, so I went with WN. But Kim is a teacher, and had the option of choosing slightly better coverage for about a quarter of what I paid. Pretty sweet.

Our traveler insurance basically says that in many, many places we have immediate access to medical care. Beyond this, both our plans provide for the travel insurance that makes the bumps a little easier. Also, both our plans give us access to concierge services, legal advice, and many other assistance tidbits not really covered by the above list.

I’ll disclose that my insurance giving what after research seems to be good coverage ( USD $500,000 medevac coverage, for example, along with all the other stuff above ) cost about $480 for the duration of my trip.

I have the contact info for them and a copy of the policy in my phone, on my laptop, and in the cloud via email. WN doesn’t provide a card, but I could definitely make one.

Hmmmmmmm. This might have been an awesome idea of a prep to do before I left  (^_^

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