I always take out travel insurance when I’m going on any trip but the reason I do so has nothing to do with fear of my possessions being stolen.
That would suck but it wouldn't be financially crippling or matter that much in the grand scheme of things if that were to happen. The main reason I have it is for if anything were to happen medically as those costs can be crippling and nothing is more important than your health.
I haven’t always been this old and wise ( ;-) ) though. When I was younger I took numerous overseas trips without any travel insurance. I didn’t even have any when I spent a month in Costa Rica at the age of 21. At that age I naively thought that travel insurance was just to cover theft and muggings. The medical side of things hadn’t occurred to me since I’m from England and we get free health care there so I had no idea how bad medical costs are in other countries. Over the years however luckily it occurred to me that medical costs are really expensive elsewhere and if anything were to happen in most instances you won’t be treated unless you can pay upfront or have travel insurance.
I have therefore for at least the last five or so years always taken out travel insurance when going backpacking or even just on holiday. And I’m very picky about my travel insurance. I never choose the cheapest one and always check that they cover for items such as medivac, driving motorcycles (I have a proper license) and that the monetary amount they will cover for medical costs is high.
I’ve seen far too many a GoFundMe campaign with people getting screwed by their insurance companies refusing to pay for medical evacuation when needed or having reached the medical coverage cap (it’s easy to burn through thousands very quickly if something serious goes wrong) so I specifically check for these items.
When taking out my travel insurance I therefore checked all of the details of the insurance very carefully and they fulfill all my criteria. Their medical costs coverage cap is £5 million, they cover medical evacuation and allow for motorcycle riding (and have an extreme sports add on which is rather useful for me). I thought they were so good I have actually now used this insurer twice.
I'm very fussy about my travel insurance. I always check it has a high medical coverage amount, covers medical evacuation and riding motorbikes and yet still today I find myself facing a $12,000 USD hospital bill thanks to @InsureandGo— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
At 9am on Monday morning I found out that I have an ovarian cyst that is approximately the same size as if I was 3 months pregnant and have been told that I need urgent surgery to remove it. @InsureandGo disagree.— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
Despite these risks and the doctor's letter stating the exact thing that @InsureandGo told me they needed in order to cover this case, they are still claiming that the surgery is not urgent and they will not cover it.— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
Interestingly they do say that I need to curtail "now", not in a week or two weeks etc. but if my condition isn't urgent, as they claim, needing to return urgently for surgery in England doesn't really make sense now does it @InsureandGo— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
So it's not "urgent" enough for @InsureandGo yet, but if it were to become "urgent" enough, according to their definition, then they still won't cover me. That's just a flat out breach of contract.— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
There is absolutely no way it can be better for my health to make what will be about a 20 -24 hour journey back to England while I have cyst this size in my body. That is a stressful journey and depending on what route I take I could be on a single plane for close to 18 hours.— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
I have spoken to the financial ombudsman in England and they agree with me that this is completely unacceptable. @InsureandGo you are choosing to ignore the medical evidence and making decisions based on what suits you best, not what is best for my health in this urgent situation— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018
This is completely unacceptable @InsureandGo . What have I bothered to pay for insurance when the first time I have an urgent medical situation occur you don't even cover the costs #womenslivesmatter #itsurgent #ovariancyst #ovariancysts #worstinsuranceever— Travel For Your Life (@travel4yourlife) February 10, 2018