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Old 4 Dec 2007
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Travel Insurance for the year??

Vehicle is ready....I think I am....loads to do in the way of packing...and only 24 days to go until I hit the road!

So i have the fun parts left to do, one of them is trying to find a reputable insurance company who will give me a year's cover for me and the more expensive items I need to have with me to film our docu i.e. laptop, camera, sat phone etc (I know I shouldn't really be taking them with me).

Can anyone advise me on any companies they have used or know of who offer a good service and will cover items to a value of about £2500?

All help is very much appreciated

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Old 5 Dec 2007
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A few tips I picked up:

- You need to really check that the insurance covers you for 'expedition' use or 'overland vehicle travel' or something in the list of activities covered. Many are just for back packers and if they find out you are driving a vehicle you won't be covered.

- I used world nomads for medical insurance - World Nomads - Keep Travelling Safely but be warned they are the bare bones of insurance in some ways - quite cheap and they paid out easily enough when I claimed.

- Add up all of your equipment and expect to pay about 20% of it's value in insurance for 12 months in Africa. Is it worthwhile? Mostly they won't cover theft from within a vehicle (sometimes only at night) or you lose another 20 % as an excess. (I haven't bothered with insurance like this before - for a few weeks it's fine, but for many months....£££££).

- After much checking of fine print and emailing insurance companies over it, they made it clear that technically you are not covered in ANY of the countries listed in ANY 4 of the sections of the UK travel advisery list. So that means that currently your insurance is not technically valid in places such as India, Mauritania, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and even Thailand! It doesn't matter that the warning is only for part of the country.

Clearly this sounds stupid, but I wrote 4 letters to insurance companies asking them to make it clear which of the 4 sections of countries I would not be covered under and they said all 4 sections, which currently includes India and Thailand.

Absurd, but I suspect they pay out on medical claims and deny large property claims maybe?

Who knows, but worth checking and asking exactly that question. Here's the FCO Travel Advisery list that they use:
Don't Go To...*Foreign & Commonwealth Office

- You are better off asking on shootingpeople.org where film makers hang out etc

- Let me know how you get on! I came to the conclusion that the price of the equipment has to be included as part of the budget of the film, as is having some one fly in another camera. Camera's will get a battering (dust wise etc) so make sure you have two even if the 2nd one is a small tourist type cam - best in areas with loads of people anyway.
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Old 5 Dec 2007
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Why bother??

If the kit you're planning on insuring is only worth 2.5K then you might be better off self insuring - ie carry the risk yourself.

On a trip like that everything you have with you - including your vehicle is dispensable. There are other facits of the trip that carry far greater risks than loosing a bit if IT equipment.

If the sat phone breaks - use a phone box or get a local sim card.

Chances are the motherboard on the PC won't make it anyway with all the dust and vibrations. Don't expect it to make it all the way.

If you've taken valuable photos - then back them up onto a few CD's as you go.

My advise - break free from the clutches of Insurance and and all that they represent. Spend the money on an Intercooler and put more power into your vehicle - youll enjoy that more than the peace of mind that an insurance policy will give you.

Let it hang loose

Good luck.

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Old 5 Dec 2007
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I agree with you when it comes to property and vehicle (I am a motorcycle traveler) but not when it come to personal health insurance. Having been in a couple of accidents it's piece of mind if you need to be patched up in hospital or flown home.

For a years travel insurance try Direct Travel
Direct Travel Insurance - Great Value Holiday Insurance and Annual Cover
I use them because they cover motorcycle riders

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Old 5 Dec 2007
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For those that don't know:

World Nomads LEFT me in Thailand when I needed an operation and left me there for 4 weeks before I could fly MYSELF home and get treatment on the NHS. It's a year later and I still can't walk right and the bloody leg hurts like hell all the time.

They only paid out when I got Watchdog involved in the episode, steer well clear of them. And if anyone wants to argue the toss I can give you their MD's direct contact number and you can ask him all about it.


Forgot to say in Thailand the family brings food for the patients and does the nursing jobs, and they have dogs and cats on the wards to eat the cockroaches honestly. I must say that they looked after me really well and I couldn't have asked for more care, but they just didnt have the skills to fix my leg, and the insurance company didn't want to know.

Last edited by juddadredd; 6 Dec 2007 at 00:14.
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Old 5 Dec 2007
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who pays out?

What I think we need as well as ones to avoid, are experiences from people who have made successful claims. it is all very well carrying a certificate, but when you need it you want good service and the company to pay. if you are in hospital in a strange land it can be frightening. the last thing you want is your expensive insurance not worth the paper it is written on!

so if you have had good experience lets hear it

I hope your leg heals

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Old 6 Dec 2007
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sadly we hve had to claim !

We have been on the road for couple of years now.
Like most of us we have laptops and cameras and mp3 players and bikes etc etc and probably total value is in region of say 4000 quid.
We have within last year had to make 3 claims, first for a breakin, second time a theft of camera (pickpocket) and third time when I rolled truck and few items got damaged(laptop, bike).
All 3 claims were dealt with over the telephone with also some limited email correspondence. Most values of items were accepted as we defined (ie no proofs of purchase needed). Claims were paid with days, any delays only really being because we couldn't get to a telephone! No police reports were requested.
In other words excellent service.
the company - Barclays home insurance.

I 'upgraded' my home contents policy to include full accidental cover for items out of the home, ie when on holiday.

So that's the 'goodies' taken care of.

Vehicle - nightmare ! good luck ! i kept falling into the 'beyond 6 months out of home country' category or the 'you want to go where !!!' category, not to mention the little clause of 'insurance invalid if vehicle not tax n MOT' category (you try and renew MOT your car in Mongolia). In the end have given up. Try to get by with my 'self prepared' insurance document (worked through all central asia) and when not then buy insurance at border.

Health - your choice, personally i do not - tempting fate and all that !!

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Old 6 Dec 2007
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You’re thread seams to going off at a tangent, apology for that.
I have traveled without any insurance, both property and medical. The worst property loss I have had was a penknife I left on the saddle. But I must be the luckiest SOB because when I've had an accident and needed medical insurance I had cover. The first was hitting a deer in Oregon, the ambulance ride cost more then the premium. The second was a broken leg in Greece and I occupied 3 seats on the flight home.

With regards to the travel bike and equipment I've always been prepared to right the loss off, but with empirical knowledge I now NEVER travel with out medical insurance. Two reasons for the medical cover is firstly the cost can be huge, the sky’s the limit and secondly I would like to live as long as possible and getting the best treatment could make all the difference.

I gringe when I hear travelers don't have medical insurance.

Break a leg

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Old 6 Dec 2007
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Also think SERIOUSLY about good medevac insurance - we strongly recommend MedjetAssist:


Also read the notes on World Nomads, on same page a little below the MedJet info.
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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Just check out the policy small print

Hi Ben

like all insurance policies check the small print carefully - during our time away my self and my wife insured the first year with Boots gap year insurance, we put it in writing what, where and how we were travelling and got them to confirm in writing that this was ok - my wife later boke her left leg in a parachuting accident in Vic Falls, we knew that the insurance said we were not covered but they paid out anyway - covered all our costs in Africa plus flew her business class back to the UK - where she had two titanium plates inserted in her lower left leg. They were fantastic - however I understand that we were very lucky that they paid out - several thousand pounds. Believe they no longer cover Expedition/overland trips, but worth checking out

We then insured with another company whose name eludes me for now, but they did a two year policy - they later paid out approx £3000 when the room we were in at a lodge was ransacked and all my valuables stolen.

I would recommend using a company someone else has used positively before and to check all the wording of the policy before parting with your money - maybe get them to confirm in writing that they will cover your overland trip.
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Old 11 Dec 2007
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The search continues.....

Thank you all for the input you've given realting to this question, I have searched, scoured and called almost all of the companies suggested and have had a reasonable range of quotes, gasps and laughs at what I'm doing and whether or not we'll be covered but have yet to make a firm decision on who to go for.

Conclusion drawn from this is that theres very little chance of getting all of our valuables covered under one policy as they total more than most will take, so I'm looking into the idea of my house insurance covering some things while away - those that the travel insurance won't stretch to.

Again cheers for all responses,

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