Colourful outriggers on Sanur Beach, Bali

Travel Insurance

Something You Should Never Leave Home Without

We get it! You’re fit and healthy.  You’ve been working and saving hard for the BIG trip.  Every dollar saved counts towards an extra day on the road.  So in the back of your mind you’re asking yourself “Do I really need travel insurance?”  For us at Roamindonesia, the answer is a no brainer.  You’d be mad to travel without it!

In fact, you should have travel insurance in place as soon as you start shelling out money for things like flights and accommodation because things can go wrong even before you leave home.  I say that from personal experience.  Back in 2011, we attended a family wedding in Vietnam.  With my siblings and their partners, nieces, nephews and friends flying in from all over Australia to attend, it was going to be a big reunion, a celebration and a fabulous chance to explore Vietnam.  In the months leading up to the big event, there were lots of excited phone calls and emails flying back and forth between us all.  Then with just two weeks to go, disaster struck.  One of my siblings suffered a pulmonary embolism that landed him in intensive care fighting for his life.

In those first few days, it looked like the only trip any of us would be taking was to his hospital bedside.  Thankfully, he pulled through and once he was out of danger he urged us all to continue with our plans but sadly, his trip was over before it began.

Fortunately, my brother had travel insurance in place and was able to recover the vast majority of the money he’d already spent paying for airfares, accommodation and tours, and it funded a holiday the following year when he was fully recovered.  Without travel insurance, he would have been sorely out of pocket and at a time when he and his wife had more than enough stress to deal with.

Whilst accident or illness are often the first things many of us think of when it comes to travel insurance, depending on your policy, travel insurance can cover you for things like:

  • Overseas medical expenses;
  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation;
  • Emergency dental care;
  • Lost, stolen or damaged gear;
  • Out of pocket expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen events out of your control (such as in the case of my brother);
  • Expenses associated with unexpected trip interruptions from things like accident, illness or natural distaster etc;
  • Legal fees and compensation expenses should you accidentally harm someone or their property whilst overseas; and
  • As morbid as it sounds, repatriating your body should you die overseas.

The point is, things can go wrong and sometimes they do go wrong.  The last thing you or your family needs is the added worry of trying to scrape together what can amount to tens, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, because you didn’t have travel insurance in place.  We frequently hear horror stories of travelers caught in nightmare situations without travel insurance, but for every story the media trots out, there are probably thousands that we don’t hear about.

The bottom line is, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Okay, so hopefully we’ve convinced you to be smart.  The next thing you should know is that not all travel insurance policies are born equal.  Before deciding on a policy, always read the terms and conditions of the policy carefully so you know exactly what you’re buying.

Things to look for when shopping for Travel Insurance

  • Are all your destinations covered?
  • Are all the activities you're planning to do covered and to what extent? For example, some policies only cover diving to a certain depth.
  • What personal gear is covered? Will you be able to replace everything in a lost or stolen bag?
  • What sort of cover is there for your valuables such as your camera, ipad, laptop etc?  Under what circumstances can you make a claim - lost, stolen or you accidently dropped your camera in the ocean?
  • What is excluded from the policy?  For instance, when volcanic eruptions closed airports across Indonesia in 2015, thousands of stranded travellers discovered their travel insurance wouldn’t cover their expenses.
  • What are the policy limits?  Is a $100,000 limit for emergency medical evacuation going to be enough if you’re planning to trek to Everest Base Camp?
  • What are the policy excesses?  How much out of pocket will you be before your insurance kicks in?
  • What are you covered for if you have to cancel your trip through no fault of your own?
  • Under what circumstances can you make a claim?
  • What is the procedure for making a claim? How practical or easy is it if you're stuck in an out of the way place with no internet and can't speak the language?

So, you’ve got your quote and you’ve read and understood the policy terms and conditions but there’s one last thing we recommend before you hit the buy button.  Jump onto the internet and search up some reviews on the travel insurance provider.  Do they have a good reputation or a record for refusing to pay out seemingly straightforward claims?

There are plenty of reputable travel insurance provider’s to chose from but our personal favourite is World Nomads. They have a great reputation, their policies cover the kind of adventurous, off the beaten track stuff we like to do, and we like that the team behind World Nomad’s are traveller’s too.  Oh, and they have an excellent website chock full of helpful information to keep you informed, educated and safe when travelling.

Why buy travel insurance from World
  • Designed for adventurous travellers.
  • Backed by specialist insurers and global assistance partners.
  • Buy Online, even if you’ve already left home.
  • Extend and claim online while travelling.
  • Covers a range of adventure sports and activities.
  • Give a little back and support a community development project.
  • Provides travel insurance for travellers from over 140 countries.