The date of your departure on a trip is approaching, your reservations are complete and your suitcases are ready. Now, to leave with peace of mind, you are probably asking yourself the question:
is it a good idea to travel without insurance?
Having an accident, losing your luggage, falling ill, or even being repatriated, while traveling, anything can happen! Travel insurance and its guarantees are intended to protect the traveler at the time of his departure and throughout his trip. It provides cover adapted to the duration of the stay as well as the destination and protects the traveler in case of need. Above all, travel insurance allows you to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
Why take out travel insurance?
If I cancel my trip…
A broken leg summons to a remedial exam, death of a close family member, or economic redundancy… all these unforeseen events can lead you to cancel your trip at the last minute. And, without travel cancellation insurance, you will have to pay for part or all of your stay. To avoid this and deal with this type of situation, you can take out cancellation insurance before your departure.
In general, cancellation insurance reimburses the costs incurred for your trip, after deducting the sum already reimbursed by the organizer of the trip (airline company, travel booking site, travel agency, etc.) and sometimes an excess.
Cancellation insurance is often inexpensive (the amount corresponds to a small percentage of the price of your trip). Do not hesitate to subscribe to it, especially if the price of your trip is high.
If I lose my luggage or it is stolen…
Some unexpected events may also take place during your trip. Fortunately, this does not happen every day, but, for example, the airline may lose your luggage at the airport… So remember to cover your personal belongings so that you do not have to regret it and have to buy back your belongings at a real cost.
Namely, compensation in the event of theft or loss of luggage may be capped by your insurance. Find out about the ceiling and check the guarantees before subscribing to your travel insurance. It is important to specify that all the guarantees are not the same according to the contracts.
If I fall ill or have a minor accident…
A cold or the flu? You won’t die of it but it can really ruin your trip, especially if the situation gets worse. This is also the case for small accidents that may occur once on site. When self-medication is no longer enough, you have to resolve to consult a doctor and put your hand in your wallet to treat yourself properly. Between the consultation with the doctor and the passage to the pharmacy, the bill can quickly climb.
If you are traveling in Europe and you have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), it is possible – but not systematic – to obtain reimbursement. Please note that this reimbursement will be in accordance with the reimbursement scale of the Social Security of your country of origin.
Outside the European Union, it is also possible that all treatment remains at your expense. Without insurance, expect to pay for all of your care out of pocket. Indeed, medicine in the world has disparate costs
Here are some examples of the prices of a consultation with a general practitioner around the world:
- between 100 and 150 dollars in the United States
- between 80 and 100 Australian dollars in Australia
- 5,000 yen (about 38 euros) in Japan
The cost of consultation of this type is still limited and will not ruin you, but can be covered by good travel insurance. This will allow you to spend your travel budget on items other than your medical expenses!
If I have a serious illness or accident and need to be hospitalized and/or repatriated…
If you need to be hospitalized, travel insurance will cover you and save you from breaking the bank on medical bills. You should know that even in countries with a lower standard of living than your country of origin (such as in Southeast Asia), access to quality care can be very expensive. You will often pay a higher rate than in Europe! In North American countries, the bill can skyrocket, especially if you have to do surgery or stay in the hospital for several days. In the United States, a simple sprained ankle can cost you several thousand dollars!
Here are some examples of prices for a visit to the emergency room or several days of hospitalization in different countries:
- Canada: Ski accident on Mont Tremblant €5,500
- Thailand: Monkey bite in Kho Phi Phi Ley 200 €
- New Zealand: Hospitalization following an accident in Auckland €9,200
- Indonesia: 6 days of hospitalization in Jakarta for suspected dengue €2,000
- Australia: Motorcycle accident in Perth with multiple fractures €130,000
Regard to the repatriation insurance ensures that you will be brought back to your country of origin if necessary. Without travel insurance, you or your loved ones will have to pay for your repatriation for whatever reason: accident, illness, or death. In the event of medical repatriation, prices can quickly soar: an economy class flight took overnight or repatriation in a medical plane can cost you up to €30,000!
If I cause damage and engage in my “private life” civil liability
When you take out travel insurance, it is mainly to cover medical expenses abroad. We often forget an important guarantee: “private life” civil liability. This is the one that covers you if you involuntarily cause bodily and/or material damage to others. In several cases, your civil liability may be engaged, for example:
You are cycling in Canada, there are people on the road and you accidentally hit another cyclist. He falls down with his phone in his hand; gets hurt and his phone breaks.
You cause material and bodily damage: your civil liability is engaged and you must reimburse costs, this is when your “private life” civil liability insurance comes into play.
My credit card as travel insurance?
Many travelers think that their bank card covers them abroad no matter the country or the situation they face. Please note that we advise you to carefully check the conditions of your contract. If, like many people, you don’t want to read the little lines, call your bank directly.
If you purchased your trip with a bank card, it is possible that travel insurance is automatically included. However, in most cases, this “free” travel insurance is much less effective than the travel insurance offered by specialists, and the guarantees are often limited (find out more about travel insurance from your credit card ).
Before subscribing to travel insurance, we advise you to take note of the guarantees included in the insurance to which you have already subscribed voluntarily or automatically, whether it is that of your bank or another. You will avoid duplication and adjust your travel insurance according to your needs.
Traveling with insurance is sometimes mandatory!
In Europe and beyond its borders, some countries require, among other things, valid travel insurance for visa applications, in the same way as a valid passport to obtain the right of entry into their territory. If you go to Cuba, China, Algeria, or Russia, take your precautions because travel insurance is compulsory.
For students going abroad, the host country may also require travel insurance. For people going abroad as part of the Working Holiday Program, travel insurance is generally mandatory, for example, PVT Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, etc.
Traveling without insurance: “At your own risk”
Certain adventures encountered during your trip can cost you (very) expensive, of course, we cross our fingers so that nothing happens to you but you never know… In the event of unforeseen events, travel insurance gives you the chance of not going into debt. So, of course, initially, it represents an investment in your travel budget but it can also represent a real source of savings and a non-negligible service.
When it is not mandatory, you are free not to take out travel insurance, however, we strongly recommend it. If you travel without insurance, as the saying goes, it is “at your own risk”!
The choice to take out travel insurance or not must be carefully considered. If you are still unsure, we hope this article will help you make the right decision. Of course, you are not always obliged to take out travel insurance, but as they say… it doesn’t just happen to others!
So, is travel insurance a good or bad idea?