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Authored by Insureandgo.com.au

There are plenty of myths surrounding travel insurance, from thinking it’s unaffordable to believing it’s a waste of time. We bust 5 common travel insurance myths and explain why travel insurance is essential for every trip!

Myth #1: Travel Insurance is a Waste of Time

“I don’t need travel insurance. Nothing’s going to happen to me on my trip. And if it does, I’ll just deal with the costs myself.”

Busted: Anything could happen when you’re overseas. If you experience an emergency, getting help can be incredibly expensive.

Medical treatments and hospital stays can cost thousands per day, and even a simple medical evacuation can cost up to $300,000 in the US. If you don’t have that kind of cash to spare, travel insurance is the only thing that can help (your home government won’t help with financial fees).

(Read more about case studies of Australians travelling without medical/travel insurance abroad.)

Money personal loan

Myth #2: Travel Insurance is Unaffordable

“Travel insurance is expensive and can pile hundreds of dollars on top of my trip costs – I can’t afford that!”

Busted: Buying travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it often only costs a fraction of your overall trip. It’s simply a matter of considering various providers, choosing the right level of cover and shopping around to get the most competitive deal.

Myth #3: Travel Insurance is Only for High-Risk Holidays

 “I’m not going to be doing anything crazy on my holiday – like bungee jumping, skiing, rock climbing or diving – so there’s no need for me to get travel insurance.”

Busted: Accidents and illnesses aren’t always the result of high-risk activities.

Even if you’re taking a ‘relaxing’ trip, unfortunate incidents – like road accidents, thefts and even food poisoning – can still occur, meaning you’ll need medical attention or another form of help.

Travel insurance is essential in ensuring you’re covered, no matter what you’ll be doing while you’re away!

Slip on a banana

Myth #4: Travel Insurance Should Be Purchased Through a Travel Agent

 “Travel agents can provide expert travel advice and deals, so they’ll be able to give me a great deal on travel insurance too, right?”

Busted: This isn’t always true. Travel agents aren’t necessarily experts in travel insurance. Going through a travel agent doesn’t mean you’ll get the best policy for your holiday or the cheapest option.

A lot of the time, they might also only offer you insurance with certain companies because if you buy, it means more profit for them.

Myth #5: My Travel Insurance is Already Covered Elsewhere

“I already have travel insurance through my credit card or another insurance package, so I don’t need to buy another insurance policy.”

Busted: Even if you do have travel insurance cover through another provider, there can be strict limits and exclusions. You might also only be covered for the most basic of emergencies or incidents, or only for a minimal amount of money.

Going with a specific travel insurance package can mean much more comprehensive cover and more dedicated help when you need it most.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Hand with stack of $100 bills by Pictures of Money.

    30 Comments

  1. As a frequent traveler, I’ve been carrying annual travel insurance for several years now. Paying once a year just seems easier than purchasing it trip by trip. Ir really DID pay off a few years ago, when I had a bicycling mishap on holiday. All of my out-of-pocket expenses were fully reimbursed. Unfortunately, I did forget to renew it one year, and I had my passport stolen. This was actually quite costly. While the passport itself cost about US$90 to be replaced, my Chinese visa would have run $250 – plus I needed to pay for transport to the nearest consulate (US$100) PLUS eight nights in a hotel. All of that would have been covered by the travel insurance had I not forgotten to have the policy renewed.

    • Paying once a year is definitely easier if you’re traveling all the time, or full time as many digital nomads nowadays do :) Sorry to hear that you had your passport stolen … and in the year you forgot to renew! Murpheys law right – you never need it until you do!!

      Crazy to realize that something as simple (well not simple, but less serious than an injury) as a lost or stolen passport could rack up some serious cash. And obviously the hassle and time it takes to organize the renewal.

      I hope it never happens to you again. Happy travels Michael XX

  2. This article is an eye opener! I’ve always felt it’s expensive and unnecessary to have travel insurance- except of course for high risk travel. How wrong I was! I have actually been putting my personal finance at risk without having one!Truly insightful

    • I’m so glad we could bust those myths for you James :) I’ve had so many friends who’ve thought the same about only needing insurance for high risk travel, though have then broken arms by trying to get back on the boat after snorkelling, or been hit by a football while playing sport, or tripped over on cobblestones in Europe and broken their nose. All pretty low risk trips, but it happens to the best of us.

      I’m glad that you haven’t needed to rely on travel insurance to date :) Highly recommend covering yourself for future trips though. Safe travels! X

  3. This is a great reminder… do your homework before you leave home when you embark on an adventure. It’s true, nobody ever knows when a medical emergency could come up while traveling. Bringing light to what could happen, something as simple as food poisoning, can be a major event and travel insurance would have been helpful. Great insight and again, thanks for the reminder of how important travel insurance is.

    • Glad we could help Sara, I agree, I think the biggest thing is to remind people that none of us are invincible, and it could literally be something simple which lands us in strife. Travel insurance is one of those things you never want to have to regret not having taken out.

  4. Travel insurance is one of those things you don’t want to need but when you do you’re glad you have it. I think Myth 3 really nails it. You fall into the trap of thinking nothing will happen because you’re not snowmobiling or white water rafting, but then you slip and fall in the hotel shower. When I was in Costa Rica, I slammed my finger, not on the zip line, but closing a car door. Luckily, it wasn’t broken, but I had insurance to let me get it checked out by a local doctor. :)

    • Absolutely Jackie – and totally agree re myth #3, I think this is the most common one. So glad to hear that you’re ok after falling in the shower and slamming your finger in the car door … ouch!!! Glad to hear that your insurance kicked in to cover you. That’s the thing, you really don’t need to be doing anything adventurous for something to go wrong. I hope we stress this enough for people to realize!

      Safe travels … keep those fingers out of car doors going forward! :)

  5. Your article and tips are bang on! We never travel anywhere without travel insurance, especially not to the United States, where health care costs are off the charts. There are just too many horror stories and cautionary tales of travellers who have not purchased insurance, gotten sick or had an accident, and have practically had to crowdfund to return home. You never want to use it, but are grateful to have it should you need to!

    • Thanks Claudia; and I’m so glad to hear that you’re always set with insurance.

      Yes, OMG healthcare in the US is not something I EVER want to have to deal with, I’m so glad that our travels there went smoothly. The costs are insane, I’ve heard so many stories about people who have gone bankrupt from hospital bills there. It’s sick. And yes, then have to crowdfund to get their plane ticket home.

      Insurance all the way!!

  6. Depending on your travel, insurance could be the best purchase you have ever made. If you’re into adventure and adrenaline or even getting off the beaten path it’s not bad to have a little piece of mind. Perhaps, when mom is going into her “be careful” speech, you should ask her to get you some some insurance.

    • Absolutely Jenn, and there’s definitely something to be said about securing that peace of mind. You want to be having fun on your vacation and actually enjoying your time as opposed to worrying about getting hurt and possibly diluting your experience to stay on the safe side.

      Haha I like you’re thinking on the parental advice :D

  7. I think a travel insurance must be an indispensable part of travels. Especially for frequent travelers, who can never anticipate or guess what can happen. I once got into a sudden emergency situation on my maiden trip to Bangkok. Luckly my insurance came to my rescue. And yes, it didn’t happen due to any of the adventures that I tried :)

    • Sorry to hear that you ran into trouble in Bangkok Reshma, but glad to hear that you had insurance to cover you! It’s funny, everyone I’ve heard from who has had to rely on insurance, and it’s never been from an adventurous trip. Definitely says something re busting that myth!

      Safe travels X

  8. I still believe in all those myths and have not used travel insurance at all!

    • :S I hope we have managed to convince you otherwise!

  9. I’ve been keeping an active travel insurance policy for the past 8 months as I travel more nomadically and my wife and I are between expat assignments. Fortunately we’ve never had to make a claim on our insurance, but unfortunately (?) that means it’s hard to know how easy it would be to maneuver in the system or get payment for a loss. I do worry about it sometimes that our coverage won’t actually cover us if something happens, but until it does, and we’re forced to use it, we won’t actually know! But…keeping it just in case :)

    • Glad to hear you’re both covered Drew, and that you haven’t had to put it to use! If it’s comprehensive coverage I’m sure you’ll be fine, just make sure you’ve read the small print so you know if there are any exclusions, ie some policies don’t cover you for snow sports, cruises etc. and you’ll need to take out extra or add on for that.

      But hopefully you’ll never have to use it! Happy travels :)

  10. Coming from an insurance background, travel insurance has always been a must for me. Luckily I haven’t had any need to use it so far. I’m however always surprised when some of my friends choose to travel without insurance. Some are doing it not out of myths but more like they just want to take chances & risks while saving some money. To me it’s a big gamble considering that an annual travel insurance – when divided by 12 months – can be pretty cheap.

    • Yeah, it’s not a gamble we’re willing to take, not worth the money you would save. As you said, travel insurance is pretty cheap, so my stance is that if you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

  11. No 4 is not quite correct. The reason travel agents are only selling certain policies is because selling insurance of any kind is a financial service and requires them to be qualified by doing a little compliance course for every single insurance provider they wish to offer. They are not permitted to resell just any travel insurance policies out there, because if this requirement. So they end up concentrating on one or two insurers. Also,unfortunately only a handful of insurance companies do provide specific insurance products that are sold through travel agents.

    • Thanks for sharing your insight Tina, it makes sense that you have to be qualified to sell a financial service, though for every single insurance provider could get out of hand, so I can see why they would concentrate on one or two. Thanks for clearing that up :)

  12. Aha! I though you were talking about cancellation insurance, which could be of value- it it WERE less expensive. but, the travel/medical/emergency service is very reasonable- and,when you are traveling in a place where your own health insurance is not part of the buying program, or where the facilities may not be up to the bar we find acceptable, it is a very valuable add-on.

    • A lot of insurance providers offer the whole bundle now as part of the package, which is great because you really do need all of the travel/medical/emergency as well as cancellation :)

  13. I can’t believe people insure their homes and cars but travel and don’t consider travel insurance.

    • I know, the logic is a bit off!!

  14. All very fine. Where can you get travel insurance if you don’t have a permanent address?

    • Hi Ian, not having a permanent address could make getting travel insurance difficult, since travel insurance is meant to be valid from the time you leave home until you return home. So if you are travelling in a continuous motion without returning to a base this wouldn’t be compatible with any travel insurance products I know. You could contact an insurance broker though, maybe they can actually find you a niche product that will cover more than the traditional travel patterns…

  15. I never fly to the US without travel insurance. It’s just not worth the risk.

    • Glad to hear it Glen – absolutely, and especially with the US, it’s one of the riskiest countries to travel to without insurance, healthcare costs there could easily ruin you :S!

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