Why I never leave home without travel insurance!


“Hey do you mind if I join the tour?”            March 2014: Israel

We all look forward to our vacations and once the trip is booked we have no intentions to cancel or reschedule.   Of course life is unpredictable at times and we never know what tomorrow will bring for us.  Take for example this baby camel who was seriously considering joining our tour group until the bus driver closed the doors.





Morocco Medical Evacuation

Many years ago while traveling in Morocco one of my travel companions had an accident.  On the second day of a week long trip, we were traveling by train which required a transfer part way through a long journey.  The station where we stopped at was extremely rustic with station platform made of mere dirt and gravel.  In the process of exiting the overcrowded train a local gentlemen grabbed our luggage which raised concern for all of us.  My friend was so focused on watching the man with the luggage and that she lost her footing coming off the train.  The pain was instantaneous but we managed to get onto the transferring train.

After arriving to our final destination we stopped a local clinic where no one spoke English and my limited French was not enough.  The progress at the local clinic was not going well so we asked our local guide to bring us to an English speaking doctor that we found in our travel book (thank you Lonely Planet).

Bottom line the diagnosis was not good as she had pulled ligaments on one side of the ankle and a strained ligaments on the other side.  Given our itinerary was primarily walking and hiking this was not going to a very enjoyable trip for her.  She was able to work with the travel insurance company for immediate evacuation back to England.  The last minute return flights were all arranged and paid for by the travel insurance company.  While my friend was very sad to miss the remainder of the journey; the thought of seeing her own doctor and sleeping in her own bed never sounded so good.

Turkish Delight

Almost 10 years ago I myself had an accident that involved “bouncing” down several marble stairs in Turkey.  While the pain was incredible and bruising occurred within hours I was extremely lucky the injuries were limited to muscular.  I was at the beginning of a week long trip that involved a stop in London, trip to Turkey and then back to London for a wedding and concert before returning back to Chicago.  I managed through the trip thankfully with lots of support from my lovely British friends taking shifts as my nurse.  In this instance my expenses while in Turkey to the doctor and prescriptions were all covered by my primary medical insurance through a reimbursement.  While travel insurance was not utilized for this situation I was relieved to know I had options.

Trip Cancellation/Rebooking

Every January or February I schedule a “flip flop trip”; which is basically an opportunity to get out of the below freezing temperatures in Chicago and yes you guessed it…wear flip flops.  This past January I had my annual “flip flop trip” was departing in 2 days when a family member passed away.  Sadly the airline industry is not very helpful in these circumstances; unless of course you happen to be flying Southwest who has a very generous customer service policy.  Anyway I digress, I ended up canceling the original tickets for myself and my travel companion.  I booked new tickets utilizing frequent flier miles which had last minute bookings fees over $200 each.  I was able to get reimbursed by my travel insurance company for the last minute rebooking fees.  The trip may have been delayed but the flip flops and I still got our day in the sun.

Things to consider. . .

Everyone will have different travel insurance needs but it will protect your investment in your trip.  I travel several times a year internationally and domestically therefore I choose an annual policy that covers all my trips.

So there are a few things I consider when looking for travel insurance depending on my travel plans for the coming year:

  • Does the coverage include medical evacuation & repatriation?
  • What is the maximum trip length covered?
  • Do they offer 24 hour telephone assistance?
  • Do they limit maximum number of trips covered per year?
  • Do I need to consider trip cancellation coverage?  What has been pre-paid for the trip that is non-refundable?
  •  Does it cover trip cancellation or interruption due to terrorism?

I have purchased annual policies for several years on Squaremouth.com website.  You can purchase annual policy or single trip policy all depending on your needs.  Once you have your travel insurance be sure to make a printed copy and take it with you on your trip!  Pack your bags and get ready for some fun.

Seek your adventure now!

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