Travel insurance, yes or no?

I draw inspiration from the delay of about ten hours of the plane that was supposed to take us from Marsa Alam to Milan to return to a topic that always arouses discussion: travel insurance (curious? I already talk about this but it’s in Italian!).

Travel insurance? no thanks!

Every now and then I receive a message from someone who wants to take a trip to this or that place and asks me for some info. If somehow we arrive on the topic of insurance, in 90% of cases, the person tells me that he/she does not intend to make one.

Travel insurance yes or no? While in September 2021 I was in Perù a lot of tourists I spoke to didn't have travel insurance, mainly because they say that Peruvian hospitals are cheap. First, I don't usually go around asking about insurance but it was a pandemic period, second, in my opinion, it's not a good idea to save money on insurance.
Travel insurance yes or no? While in September 2021 I was in Perù a lot of tourists I spoke to didn’t have travel insurance, mainly because they say that Peruvian hospital are cheap. First, I don’t usually go around asking about insurance but it was a pandemic period, second, in my opinion, it’s not a good idea to save money on insurance.

From a certain point of view, I understand it. There are many reasons not to appreciate insurance. Also among the many things to prepare before leaving, you can forget insurance. Especially if you are used to going to an insurer in the flesh and bone (the online purchase and the activation of travel insurance is a very simple process, you do not even need to send back the signed contract, everything is valid starting from the payment).

Travel insurance = online jungle

If you browse the web you can find everything: different prices, information leaflets of a hundred pages and more, tons of options, useful and not. You can spend hundreds of euros/dollars to get complete packages ranging from medical insurance/luggage, up to that on the house (while you are abroad), or scary solutions that only cover the return of the body (ok, that’s a joke, I meant only medical coverage).

I got you covered

The question that everyone’s asking is, however, whether an insurance really serves a purpose or it’s just a stupid way to spend some money. Fortunately, so far, in all my travels I have never had to resort to insurance services and, in fact, it is very likely that you will not need it either.

covid mascherina
Travel insurance is even more important in a pandemic time is a bit more complicated. Keep in mind some insurance doesn’t cover COVID. And it’s not a joke.

The point is that if, even for a very small thing, you need to go to the hospital. Or if even worse, for some reason you were hospitalized for a few days, the costs could skyrocket (a hospital is more expensive than an ultra-luxurious hotel). At this link, you can compare the daily prices of the hospital stay, the only hospital stay, without drugs, exams, or other interesting little things. Even a relatively simple “intestinal” problem that forces you to go to the hospital in Singapore for 3 days would cost you at the very least 1527 euros.

The source is a bit partial, but those few people I know who have had to go to a hospital abroad told me they paid a lot, in line with the prices shown (the only exception was a friend hospitalized for one day in a Cuban hospital, but we are talking about Cuba boys). On this other page, you will find a small article on the costs of hospitalization in the USA. The study comes from insurance, but it seems quite credible.

Let’s be honest I don’t need insurance until I need one

I tell you this not because I want to scare you into buying insurance but to let you consider the pros and cons. It is worth taking this risk, considering that the price of insurance is generally between 35 and 120 euros?

Putting together all the insurance premiums I paid in 16 years of travel, I would say I spent around 1100 euros. Not an exaggerated amount considering the 16 years of racing around the globe. In short, take always into consideration where are you going and what you plan to do.

Trujillo pubblicità su pozioni per amore

In general, the price of travel insurance varies according to 3 variables:

  • length of the journey (and this seems rather obvious).
  • destination (the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean make insurance more expensive, so much so that other countries are grouped into “the rest of the world”).
  • insurance options are chosen

Regarding this third point, I do not make any other insurance except medical. Baggage, delays, civil liability, travel cancellation, hijacking, terrorist attacks, and other amenities do not seem to be really worth it. Although the cost of these other options is generally quite low.

Now it’s time to make some names. AIG is one of the largest insurance groups in the world. Worldnomads is well known by backpackers, while Columbus is a broker that sells a highly competitive MunichRE insurance (at least in Italy). Finally, on the last trip, I secured with AXA and of course, you will know all about Europe Assistance (it says Europe but it works everywhere :)).

What about an annual policy?

Last note, for those who travel a lot or at least for those who travel several times a year, it may be worth buying an annual policy, whose price is between 100 and 150 euros. Keep in mind that in this case there may be limitations on the travel time covered. For example, for Columbus insurance, there may be as many trips as you want but each one must not exceed one month.

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