Pre-trip planning, post #2: travel insurance
When it comes to travel insurance, people play their own game. Some risk it and just pay medical fees abroad (should they incur any), while others purchase a travel insurance plan before departure.
Since I live in a country (Israel) that provides national health insurance, when I go on non-risky trips–like Eastern or Western Europe–I usually purchase national travel insurance, which works out to a dollar or two a day and covers basic medical expenses (though there is a co-pay) and emergencies. On my current trip, which is chock full of snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, and trekking, I looked into getting more comprehensive insurance that covers adventurous activities. World Nomads was recommended to me, and I found their website clear and easy to navigate. I purchased their “Explorer” insurance, which covered all the activities above, and worked out to $172 for 6 weeks. Importantly, they cover medical evacuation, which is a concern among trekkers–if you get altitude sickness or are otherwise ill and have to be airlifted out of a remote region via helicopter, you’re looking at $5-6,000 in helicopter fees.
Lastly, it’s important to purchase insurance before you hit the road, as lots of places won’t insure you once your trip starts. It’s generally no problem to extend your insurance plan if you decide to extend your travel plans.
Which insurance plans have you used?