Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with Generali Global Assistance
As a full-time traveler, whenever I get together with friends or even whenever I meet random acquaintances, the first thing they ask is what my biggest travel tip is. I could go on about why speaking to locals and asking for their favorite food spots is ALWAYS a great idea or how I try to go on free walking tours to help orient myself with the town or city I am exploring. However, at the risk of sounding boring, after almost 3 years of non-stop travel, the best travel tip that I can give is..don’t skimp on travel insurance.
You see, I have been officially dubbed by my friends and family as the clumsiest person in the world. I could be walking on a perfectly flat surface, and somehow, I would still manage to trip. Aside from my ridiculous list of crazy and often odd mishaps, I am also an adventure travel writer. This means that my “job” often entails me to go paragliding, go white water rafting, trekking, and skydiving. While I love doing all those activities, they aren’t exactly a great match to my clumsiness. True story: I once went canyoning and as I was about to leap off the waterfalls, I tripped, causing me to barely cover enough ground to make it past the ledge. However, for those people who aren’t as accident-prone as I am, travel insurance doesn’t just cover medical bills. It also covers theft, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and a whole lot of other things that we as travelers are prone to experiencing.
Travel Insurance: Why You Need It
Although I have an affinity for getting into small accidents, I never used to think much about travel insurance. I figured, if something happened, you could easily go to a local clinic/hospital, get myself sorted, and all was good. However, as soon as started traveling, I started seeing more and more accidents. Motorbike crashes leaving you with nasty scars and wounds, delayed flights leaving people stranded in airports, and even serious accidents that leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bill debt. While I hate to be a Debby downer, we’ve all seen those go fund me pages appealing for your help to pay for hospital bills. If you take a look here, you will see loads of articles of people in accidents trying to raise funds to help pay off their bills.
For us travelers, due to so many unforeseen circumstances- if your camera gets stolen, if you miss your connecting flight, if you loose your bag, or if god forbid, you get into a bad accident, your travel insurance will be your saving grace. For the price of a couple of bucks a day, it is one of those things that you wish you got and didn’t skimp out on when something happens to you. I once got into a random freak accident in Vietnam at the tail end of my year long trip where I found myself getting rushed off to the hospital in an ambulance. I left the ER with 21 stitches all over my hands and arms. Luckily, because I did a year long trip and as part of my visa requirements, insurance was needed. Because of that, I was in and out of the ER, without having to pay a single cent. A lot of people say that the main reason why they don’t get insurance is due to the cost. However, the bottom line is, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you shouldn’t travel.
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Generali Travel Insurance
Formerly known as CSA Travel Protection, the Generali Global Assistance is a travel insurance provider that has made a name for itself over the past 25 years. While there are a lot of insurance providers out there, I cannot stress the importance of selecting a reputable provider. When looking over Generali Travel Insurance plans, what struck me the most was the On Demand Medical Care which meant you don’t need to pay out of pocket for medical services up to $1000 which is great for when you’re traveling around places like Southeast Asia and South America.
- High trip cancellation benefits
- Trip cancellation justification extends to family members
- Coverage for stolen or damaged items
- 24/7 Emergency Assistance (which you can call toll-free from the US or collect call from anywhere in the world
- Identity Theft Resolution
- Dental coverage
Last but not least, one of the features which I loved was the access to a virtual doctor service which connects you to medical experts around the world via video. As I travel full time…a lot, I often find myself in places where sometimes, the level of English becomes an issue, because things can easily get lost in translation, especially in the medical field.
Although we are currently still insured with a different company as we took out a long-term policy from our credit cards, it may seem that this will cost us more in the long run as the coverage for baggage delays and trip cancellation aren’t that great when compared to the competitive rates of Generali Global Assistance. While thinking of insurance is the nitty gritty part of traveling that no one ever wants to deal with, it is something I never leave home with (especially when I go on big trips) and is something that you should never try to be cheap with.
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