Le Monde Entier [#592]

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Le Monde Entier [#592]

Have you gone to a travel agent and had your dream itinerary made up for you just to have them finish with, “Oh, and your travel insurance is another $300!” Uh, what? What the hell do I need that for?
That was me. And I refused to get it. Until one time I had a job in Paris and they required it so I begrudgingly bought a $20 AUD policy online and off I went. Then my camera was stolen and I went to make a claim, which took about two months back and forth with an online company who eventually refused my claim. There was also the time I bought a similar, ridiculously cheap online cover and my bags went missing on a flight from New York to London. Again, I spent weeks with the insurance company as the bags took over two weeks to return to me. I actually just never heard back from them, after having to post a few kilos of paperwork to Australia. So let me tell you why you need it, what it actually covers you for and how you can get it cheaper.
There is a multitude of things covered by travel insurance but my number one thing I make sure of is the ‘Medical and Dental Cover’. A lot of policies will cover for unlimited medical, which is an absolute must, but will cap the emergency dental at $500. I know you’re thinking, as if I am going to need dental cover on my holiday in Europe! But falling over and chipping a tooth can lead to thousands of dollars in doctor and dentist fees.
Another thing to look out for is your excess amount. If you have it at $0, you’ll pay a small premium now, but can make as many claims as you like when you’re away. If you want to save some money now, you can change it to $100. This will usually save you anywhere between $1 and $100 initially, but every claim you make while you’re away, you’ll pay the first $100 of that claim. Missing bags? $100. Doctor visit? $100. Make sure you evaluate what is going to be worth it for you.
Your cancellation cover is a final big thing to make sure of. Cancellation covers you for all of your prepaid travel expenses like accommodation, flights, tours etc. You should make sure you cover yourself for the full amount of your trip. This will come into play when you have to cancel your trip due to “unforeseen circumstances” like death, illness or work commitments. Anything bar change of mind really.
Other things that are covered are ‘Luggage and Travel Documents’ (stolen/missing belongings, passport stolen), ‘Travel Delay’ (when your flight is delayed for a certain amount of time and the airline does not compensate for food, accommodation etc.) and ‘Money’ (if you are mugged).
Bigger things that you should always check for, but are hopefully least likely to affect you, are disability, loss of income, hijacking and resumption of journey. This will cover you if you are travelling, have a death in the family, and then go back to continue travelling after the funeral. If will also cover if (heaven forbid) you pass away, and the huge costs of getting your body home would be covered and not left up to your family.
So yes, you should buy it. My way of conquering the price and hassle is to buy an annual policy. You can choose to have it for 30-day journeys or 45-day journeys and it covers you for unlimited holidays under those day restraints year-round. It ends up being a lot cheaper than individual policies, and if you saw what the medical bills in the USA were like ($2000 for an X-ray), you’ll be jumping on the internet or visiting your travel agent for info now!
Written by Madelin Baldwin