Do I need Travel Insurance?

Holding a World Globe

When planning a trip, many of us ask: “And now, do I need travel insurance?” The truth is that we never plan for a flight to be canceled, that our luggage will be lost between stops, that we may stumble while walking in a city, that we may have a heart attack, or that someone malicious will steal our camera or our mobile phone.

Imagine the scenario of needing an emergency evacuation to your country, how much can this cost? And if you have a medical emergency in a country where public health services are practically non-existent, will you not have a preference in being assisted in a private hospital with better means and security conditions?

The truth is that the probability of certain events occurring is very low, however, they can happen. From experience, we have already witnessed a terrorist attack on the main square of Marrakech (Jemaa el-Fna), and we were already unable to leave Turkey during a coup. In these situations, everything worked out ok. But having travel insurance helped us to feel the necessary security to go through those moments, being sure that if the various scenarios turned for the worse, we would have support to solve them.

Having travel insurance will not mean that these situations will not happen, it will only help you to travel without delays or that you do not have to cancel your plans. An insurance or a combination of several is just a way of transferring the risk responsibility to another entity, who will be in charge of solving the problems or pay the expenses of some incident.

Risk Evaluation

Travel insurance risk

Depending on the type of trip you are going to take, there are different levels of risk. In addition, not all travelers see risk in the same way, however, what matters is that in addition to feeling safe and reassured during your trip, that effectively any problems are solved.

The more adventurous trips, in which you do radical activities or in which you decide to ride a motorbike or boat are always riskier. Traveling to destinations where safety is more unstable will always have more risk of being mugged and can put you in a situation where you lose your computer, phone or camera.

Risk factors

  • Destination and safety conditions
  • Purpose and duration of the trip
  • Type and value of the luggage
  • Traveler’s health conditions
  • Means of transportation
  • Activities during the trip

What can happen to you

  • Unexpected travel cancellation
  • Delay, loss or damage to baggage
  • Accidents or diseases
  • Theft of luggage, documents, credit cards, and personal items
  • Damage caused to third parties

Travel Insurance Options

There are several types of insurance with different coverages and limits of liability. Usually, the price of insurance increases according to its scope. When you chose your travel insurance, you must take into account all of your specifics, know exactly what you are buying, if it suits your needs, and know the exclusion clauses. If you do not understand what you are buying, you should always ask for advice or clarification.

The main options of travel insurance are:

Long-term (multi-trip) or adventure travel insurance

These insurance typically cover people who travel for long periods, or who travel to do adventure activities. They have a higher level of coverages and usually allow you to add some extra.

Travel insurance associated with credit cards

Usually, these insurance covers travel purchased with the card in question, as well as, in some cases, protection if purchases are made during the trip. These are more restricted insurances that may include accident coverages, lost luggage or delay or cancellation of the airplane. Not all cards have insurance and coverages depend on each card. You should always consult your card documentation or contact the issuing authority.

Travel insurance included in travel packages (agencies or tour operators)

These insurances are usually included in the price of the travel package and this indication is usually described in the travel details. These insurance vary greatly with the type of travel and with the tour operator. In case you have insurance included in your travel package you should always ask for details and coverages and ensure that you understand them.

Airlines travel insurance

The insurance provided on the purchase of an airline ticket is usually more limited and depends on each company or the protection plan that you chos. They usually cover cancellation expenses, medical expenses and loss of luggage or documents. You should always consult the coverages and the periods of validity of your insurance, as well as the exclusion clauses.

Travel Insurance Coverages and Limits

Travel insurance Coverages

Exclusion clauses limit liability for certain scenarios or under preconditions, for example, there are countries where medical expenses may not be covered. Normally, insurance also does not cover expenses for an illness that is part of the traveler’s condition prior to the beginning of the trip.

Incidents not covered by travel insurance

  • Accidents related to alcohol and drug abuse
  • Slouching and abandonment of personal items and luggage
  • Accidents in extreme sports
  • Incidents caused due to the irresponsibility of the traveler
  • Pre-existence of medical conditions, for example, if you take medication for a chronic illness, do not expect that if you want to purchase this medication during the trip that the insurance company covers the expenses
  • Theft of money

Coverages you may need

Payment of damages in case of car accident
CDW (Colision Damage Waiver)

Finding a Doctor
24h Assistance

Protect the goods you take with you on the trip
Coverage against loss or theft

Be taken to the nearest hospital to provide you with adequate medical care
Emergency evacuation or repatriation

Assistance if you get sick or hurt yourself
Medical travel coverage

Compulsory Health Insurance

There are countries that require you to have health insurance coverage abroad to obtain entry clearance. Cuba is one of these examples. Travel insurance is not the same as health insurance and they do not replace each other. Before traveling, you should always consult the information on the entry criteria in the consulates or in the embassies.

Travel Insurance Options for Long Term or Adventure Traveling

Choosing travel insurance is not an equal process for all travelers, and you should always assess the risk and realize what coverages you may need. There is also no perfect insurance, and sometimes the best option may even be a combination of several products.

Iati Seguros

Iati is an insurance company widely traded in Spain and are now entering other markets. As with other companies, there are various types of policies for each type of trip, varying coverage and price.

Unlike other companies, Iati has no excess payment and covers every destination in the world without exclusions.

In addition to traditional single-trip insurance, Iati also has policies (in some countries) like the Iati Bloggers and Great Travelers policy. In this policy you can purchase long-term insurance for travel between 6 months and 1 year or annual travel insurance that covers all trips you make (up to 90 days each) for one year. This policy is very advantageous for those who plan many trips during the year, or for those who travel around the world like us.

Valid for travelers of any nationality

No age limit. The Backpacker policy is the only one with an age limit of 70 years.

Subscription and information here. If you make our insurance through our link you get 5% off your policy. This way your insurance will be cheaper than bought directly from the Iati website.

World Nomads

World Nomads insurance is one of the most comprehensive. The coverages suit the needs of any type of trip and in addition, it is still possible to add extra coverages. In addition to these coverages, it allows you to add your electronic equipment to the insurance. It is also one of the most referenced and recommended insurance on several travel websites. Information on coverage and how insurance works are very explicit on the insurer’s website.

Valid for residents in more than 140 countries

Age limit up to 70 years

Subscription and information here

Globelink

It is a more economical option and also with excellent coverages, however, they are more limited than other options. In this insurance, you can also add extra coverages. Globelink offers several levels of insurance according to your trip and in the case of long-term travel insurance, you can add extra coverage in case you have to return home for family or health reasons.

Valid for EU and UK residents

Age limit up to 89 years

Subscription and information here

Insure My Trip

It allows you to compare insurance from several insurers, so the coverage and prices will depend a lot on the plan chosen. It suits older travelers and has a service that allows you to file a complaint, in case your insurance is denied, so that they can understand the reasons and how they can be overcome.

Valid for travelers of any nationality

It is better suited for travelers over 65

Subscription and information here


Having travel insurance will help you make your trip more reassured, making sure that, in case of unforeseen events, they will be easier to solve. When choosing travel insurance, make sure that the insurance coverage is appropriate to the type and risks of each trip and that you understand all the conditions of the product that you will acquire.

In our opinion both Iati and World Nomads have good products and you should look at both when planning your trip. For our trip around the world we chose Iati insurance as this was the most complete and best value option, so if you need insurance for your next trip:

IATI travel insurance

You can also simulate your World Nomads insurance here:

If you need any more help booking your next trip, don’t hesitate to check our Travel Resources page.




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