12 Things You Need To Do Before Backpacking Europe: Travel Insurance (Part 12)

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This is a 12 part series on Backpacking Europe for all you aspiring & seasoned backpackers and student travelers.

12. Travel Insurance.

Imagine traveling overseas and go reach for your passport and realize that it is missing. In reality, it was most likely stolen.

This happens to thousands of travelers each and every year.

Or, you wake up one morning sick as a dog, in excruciating pain, and need to see a doctor- yesterday!

Good thing you bought travel insurance because in both instances, your travel insurance will help you.

Let’s look at it another way. Would you drive your car around your own city without insurance (even if it wasn’t a law)?

Would you drive to work, school, or just around town hanging out with your friends without car insurance? It’s not like you don’t know where you’re going.

We do it, not only just because it’s the law, but because we feel safe. It gives us peace of mind.

Likewise, why would you travel to foreign countries that you are unfamiliar with, where you most likely are not fluent in the language and or culture, without protecting yourself?

Accidents happen, especially when you least expect them.

According to an article from iVillage, the top 9 reasons to buy travel insurance are-

1. Your flight has been cancelled.?
2. Your bags are lost and your medication is in it. You need to have an emergency prescription filled. ?
3. Your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport. ?
4. You’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. You need medical evacuation.
5. You need to cancel your trip due to illness. ?
6. Your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. You need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination. ?
7. You have a medical emergency in a foreign country. ?
8. A terrorist incident occurs in the city where you’re planning to visit and you want to cancel your trip.
9. A hurricane forces you to evacuate your resort, hotel or cruise
Original source- http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17519580/page/3/

Imagine heading over to Pamplona, Spain on your backpacking trip, to take part in the annual Running of the Bulls festivities, made popular by Ernest Hemingway.

Your adrenaline is pumping and you run through the century old streets with all of your might, trying to make it to the stadium before the bulls do and trying to stay out of the path of destruction that the bulls create each year.

You may reach the finish line perfectly fine, without a scratch. However, many travelers in the past were not so lucky.

* WARNING! PICTURE MAY MAKE YOU CRINGE.

Take a look at where on of the bull’s horns ended up.

runningofthebullspamplona.jpg

Hopefully this was the worst of it and that the guy is still able to walk fine these days.

I hope this traveler was also smart enough to have purchased travel insurance before he left for his trip!

Do you think he thought that he was going to get into a unimaginable accident as he was packing for his trip?

Do you think he ever imagined that he would end up in such a horrific situation, most likely unable to finish his travel itinerary and not only needing medical treatment, but perhaps medical evacuation?

Imagine if he didn’t have travel insurance.

Not only can the medical treatment for this type of injury can break your travel budget, but it can even cause your parents to take a 2nd mortgage. That is no joke!

Buying travel insurance should be factored into your trip just as you would factor in a Eurail Pass and booking your hostels online ahead of time before your trip.

Don’t spend too much time asking people IF you should buy travel insurance. Nobody knows the future, so their opinion is worthless.

The question really is, what type of coverage should you buy and where to buy travel insurance.

Make sure you read the coverage of the policy thoroughly before you purchase travel insurance.

Where to buy travel insurance?

If you currently have health insurance, call your insurance company and see if they cover you overseas on your travels.

If they do, then your coverage may be limited overseas compared to what they will cover on your home turf.

They will most likely cover only health insurance and will not cover anything travel related (stolen wallets, purses & passports, canceled flights, loss of baggage, etc…see list above), so you must get something in addition to your current health insurance to cover you butt.

To get proper travel insurance, you must purchase it from an insurance provider who specializes in travel insurance.

TravelPUNK is partnered with two of the top travel insurance providers World Nomads and AIG Travel Guard.

We highly recommend both companies as they are leaders in the travel insurance industry, have been covering travelers for many years, and are world renowned for their coverage.

Get a FREE quote from World Nomads.

Get a FREE quote from Travel Guard.

Be smart, protect yourself and buy travel insurance. It will give you peace of mind, that is certain.

And just like car insurance… pray that you won’t have to use it.

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