The truth is, when it comes down to it, travel insurance is a necessary evil. It’s something you don’t want to spend money on, but when you find yourself in an unfortunate situation far from home, you will be happy if you have it.
Since our plans were to travel for a long duration of time, I knew I would have to find something that was flexible, yet affordable. As an American, travel insurance can get extremely expensive. Unlike George, who has a surplus of affordable options coming from the UK, us Americans have fewer options when it comes to affordable travel coverage.
In this blog post, I will share my personal travel insurance experiences and hopefully provide you with some valuable advice. If you are looking to embark on any long term travel around the world, we strongly suggest you get some form of travel insurance before you go!
My Experience with World Nomads
If you are getting ready to travel, chances are you have heard of World Nomads. World Nomads is the trusted insurance by Lonely Planet and provides pretty decent coverage for travellers. They also have great extreme sports and activities coverage. What I liked about them initially, was that I could easily input my information and get a quote for the price. For me, the price for my coverage was a bit high, but something I knew wouldn’t break the bank. I also really liked the fact that I could renew my coverage whilst overseas.
Ultimately, this was the insurance I went with for the first half of our travels. However, it wasn’t until I needed to actually use it, that I found the customer service and ease of filing a claim to be my worst nightmare!
Unfortunately, I had a bag of my clothes stolen off of a train in Vietnam. It wasn’t my entire backpack, but a separate bag filled with some of my warmer items. When it came time to file a claim, I became instantly frustrated with the lack of customer service. They had no way for me to get in touch, apart from email. Since I couldn’t afford to make an international call from my cell, this was our only method of contact. Communication was slow, and the details needed to file the claim were ridiculous. Even though I finally got reimbursed, it took over 3 months to actually receive any check.
Needless to say, after this incident, I knew immediately I wanted to switch my insurance carrier. After more research I ended up moving over to Safety Wing.
My Experience with Safety Wing
Safety Wing is a travel insurance for travellers, created by travellers. Thus, they understand what it is like to be in need far away from home. But from the start, I loved that with Safety Wing I had the option to go month-to-month with my insurance plan. For a low monthly fee of only $37 a month, I also found them to be much more affordable than World Nomads.
As I have mentioned before, travel insurance is one of those things that you hate to have to buy. You always think, “nothing will happen to me,” and with that mindset, I was happy paying as little as possible upfront. $37 a month was a steal! Although Safety Wing had a deductible, it was only $250 USD and I figured if I was going to have to use my insurance it would be for something much bigger than $250.
Another major selling point for me on Safety Wing was their incredible customer service. On their website they have instant messenger, where you can talk directly with a team member who can help answer any of your questions. This proved to be even more valuable for me when I found myself in an actual emergency.
Trust me, when you are in an emergency situation, having quick, friendly guidance is SO important.
Check out what it would be for you below.
To keep a long story short, I had an appendix scare in Thailand. I was rushed to the hospital in Chiang Mai and was seen by a number of doctors. Blood work taken, CT scans, the whole thing. I was in the hospital for the entire day and at the same time in constant contact with someone from Safety Wing.
I immediately logged onto their website and began a live chat with one of their service members, who helped me throughout my entire time at the hospital. They told me everything I needed to get on the back end as far as documentation and proof of receipts. They even worked with my parents who were helping me to file a claim from overseas. Overall, it was so much more efficient and helpful than my previous experience.
At the hospital I was expected to pay for the fees out of pocket, however I gathered all the required documentation to file my claim once back home. I filed it that night and received a confirmation email the following day. Rather than waiting for multiple months, the claim was processed in only one month and a check was delivered in the mail shortly after.
Although I still had my $250 deductible, the insurance helped to cover the remaining cost of my hospital visit.
In conclusion, travel insurance is a very personal topic and at the end of the day, you really do need it for your travels. Even if you think nothing will happen to you, you will be sorry if it does.
Just like you, I hate to spend money on things such as this. However, I especially hate to give my money to those companies who are really no help when there is an actual emergency.
That is why I will continue to use Safety Wing as my preferred insurance and why I would definitely recommend it to you. They are very helpful and easy to reach should you get stuck in a bad situation abroad.
If you are interested in looking into Safety Wing as an option click here
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