I used to work in a travel agency for almost 4 years. In that period I always asked myself why people buy a travel insurance. For me it was a useless thing and lost money. And I had another advantage. If something wrong would have happened to me, I would have called my colleague and asked here to make me a travel insurance.
Traveled in over 20 countries in Europe and never had a travel insurance. I knew I was covered somehow.
Traveling outside Europe in 2009 made me change a bit my mind. For the first time I bought a travel insurance. I bought a basic one which included only compensation in case of flight changes and cancelation and health insurance. Fortunately, nothing bad happen to me in the 2 months I traveled in South East Asia and again I asked myself the same question. Was it worth it? Do we really need a travel insurance while traveling? When you never know what can happen. And Africa came..
I always knew that at some point I will get robbed in Africa. Met on the road many people who got robbed just days after they landed in Africa. But I never got robbed in Africa. I mean not on the street, pity robber and things like this. I got robbed in the less expected places. While doing the volunteer work in Uganda. And you know the story and the details.
Before leaving I have decided to have a complete travel insurance. Luckily I still have a friend in the travel industry and I managed to have a 40% discount for a complete travel insurance. I would have been covered for:
- Baggage lost
- Delay in any flight segment
- Clothes thief – cover for 150$-
- Electronics – covered my Mac Laptop, my ebook reader and the smartphone – payment for 1500$ in case of robbery.
- Health insurance
- Repatriation in case of death – in same cases you must have it in order to obtain the Visa for some countries (South Africa for ex.)
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The insurance did not cover the any sport activities like the rafting I did in Uganda or the bungee in Jinja. Not sure if I would have been covered for any lion attack in the Safari!
For 7 months of traveling, I paid only 75$. And I had a safety feeling just knowing to have it!
Did it worth it or not? Yes and no. Yes, because I got robbed and my laptop and ebook reader had been stolen from the compound I was living while in Uganda.
No, it did not worth having a travel insurance. Cause I did not receive any money from the insurance company. And the funniest thing just comes. It was only because of the fact that the corrupt and incompetent police in Uganda did not provide me with the needed papers.
The insurance company asked at first for different documents: from visa prove for entering in Uganda, bills for the goods and the police report. And not to forget: the boarding passes for the planes. Who the hell keeps that?! Was not able to obtain the police report and I lost hope.
But my insurance company wanted to pay me the money! Sound strange no? After 3 weeks they wrote to me asking this time only for a document from the police, declaring that the goods had not been found after 30 days. Of course I could not obtain that paper either.
My advice? Buy a travel insurance even if you travel international or domestic. Can save you from many troubles! Safe travels!