Photo credit: LegacyTravel
As we are still in the planning stages of our trip a lot of questions are emerging. Lucky for us the planning starts in The Dominican Republic so we get to mix a lot of work with a lot of play =)
Lately I’ve been asking myself “Should I get travel insurance.” To get or not to get, that is the question. So off to the internet I went to gather as much information as I could on the benefits and downfalls as well as the different companies out there. I still haven’t decided on whether or not it’s for us but I have definitely learned a lot and have a couple of questions for you to answer to help you if you are stuck in the same stage.
What kind of traveling will you be doing?
I feel that this is the most important question that you should ask yourself before dishing out a bunch of cash on a travel insurance plan. There are two ways to travel, more or less. The first is going through tour agencies, staying on trail and simply visiting the common tourist attractions in relatively safe places. If this is you then travel insurance really isn’t something to think about, in my opinion. The second way to travel is more of an “off the trail style.” Going to isolated regions of the world, trekking through jungles, cliff jumping, mountain climbing, cave exploring etc. If this describes your travels then travel insurance may be something that you want to consider.
Where are you going?
Will you spend the week at some of the safest places to visit. Or will you be venturing to some of the most dangerous places to visit? This decision is very important. In places where the crime rate is 5 times that of the states, travel insurance should be on your mind. Check out the two links above and see if your traveling will take you to one of those places. Watch your sources as some tend to amplify the risks for some countries when in reality they are not that bad. Below is a map put together for the CBC which shows how dangerous/safe certain places in the world are. Click on the image for a full interactive version.
What are you traveling with?
When traveling simply to see the world you will probably have a backpack with only the essentials and nothing too costly; in this case travel insurance wouldn’t suit you. If you are traveling as a photographer, or a little more on the high end side, it would be nice to have an insurance that covers you if you are robbed. Professional camera gear is one of those things that, if stolen, will take a big dent out of our pocket. Keep in mind that most travel insurance agencies will not cover the full price of each piece of equipment. They usually set a cap at around $500-800 USD. So if you are traveling heavy then calculate the cost of your gear (its depreciated value) and see if it is actually worth it to have your gear insured.
Answering those questions can give you a little insight as to whether or not you would need travel insurance. The likelihood of something happening to you on your travels is pretty small, but there is the occasional tragedy. Don’t let fear be the determining factor for your getting travel insurance though, as a decision based on fear is not usually a good one.
At the End of the Day:
If you decide on getting travel insurance make sure to read ALL of the fine print. The last thing you want is to spend hundreds of dollars on a plan that doesn’t even meet your requirements.