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  #1  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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Travel insurance... General feeling?

Hi Guys,

I am leaving on a 8month round Africa trip in 2 weeks.

What are youre feelings about travel insurance? I am in 2 minds...

Cheers Riaan
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  #2  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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No offence to anyone else, but I think you would have to be a total moron not to get travel insurance.

You could be bankrupted for life for something as simple as a broken leg.

Medical costs often costs tens of thousands of pounds.

Imagine you're in a serious crash ? Do you want to be treated by a back street hospital in Ethiopia ?? Even they would charge you thousands and you will get very questionable care.

You will want to be repatriated to get put together properly. That will cost unimaginable abouts of money

Don't forget about the the intensity of HIV in many African countries.

I took a sterile needle kit with me and kept it in my tank bag.

Insurance would cost you about £3-400 for 8 months.

Make sure the company covers you for riding a motorcycle OVER 125cc.
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  #3  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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Thanks Ted.

Its make sense. Can you recommend a good company?
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  #4  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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My friend had a very bad motorcycle crash in Laos a couple of years back. A drunken local on a scooter couldn´t steer on a bend properly, so the scooter went straight, and they basically had a head-on collision. Luckily my friend who got hit, is a real expert rider, as he´s raced bikes on and off road before I was even born, so he was able to make some sort of really quick maneuver, and the scooter only hit his left leg and hand.

But it still damn near killed him. He found himself on a ditch, with his left motocross boot on his armpit (and with the leg still inside that boot!)... the big artery, that delivers blood to the thigh and leg, was miraculously not cut, because in that case he would not have had a chance, but there was a lot of bleeding, and pain, and falling unconscious at times. He was taken to the capital Vientiane on the back of a pick-up (a painful ride of about 6 hours) and then on an ambulance plane to Bangkok, where he was operated several times. After a month or so, he was transported to Finland, again on a special flight because he needed to be stretchered, couldn´t even use a wheelchair.

He´s still not 100% recovered, but he´s alive. I don´t know what that mess of intensive care units, operations, chartered flights (and then later on, also all treatment back home) has cost, but I´m certain 100.000 dollars would not really get you far in his case, the grand total is probably closer to 500.000, if not more.

And you know what? It is ALL being payed for by his travel insurance, that he said had cost him less than 100 euros. If he didn´t have it, he could have in fact ended up dead in Laos. The level of treatment there was simply nowhere near to what he received once he got transported to a private hospital in Bangkok. Such places want in advance the certainty, that their patients are able to pay for the treatment, either themselves, or by their insurance companies. So it´s important to have proof of your travel insurance with you as you travel, for situations like this. You may not personally be able to tell anybody anything after the accident.

He´s been travelling & riding all over the planet for many many years, and never really needed the travel insurance. Until this happened.

Maybe this expressed my ´general feeling´ about the subject.
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  #5  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanGS View Post
Thanks Ted.

Its make sense. Can you recommend a good company?
I see you're in Jo'burg.

I only know of one here in the U.K.

They're called Navigator Insurance and based in Manchester.
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  #6  
Old 28 Mar 2013
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Insurance

Hi Riaan,
I am driving from Norway to Cape Town from June to November down east Coast. Have a look at mototouring.com and have you tried Tuff stuff in Pretoria ?
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  #7  
Old 28 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
My friend had a very bad motorcycle crash in Laos a couple of years back. A drunken local on a scooter couldn´t steer on a bend properly, so the scooter went straight, and they basically had a head-on collision. Luckily my friend who got hit, is a real expert rider, as he´s raced bikes on and off road before I was even born, so he was able to make some sort of really quick maneuver, and the scooter only hit his left leg and hand.

But it still damn near killed him. He found himself on a ditch, with his left motocross boot on his armpit (and with the leg still inside that boot!)... the big artery, that delivers blood to the thigh and leg, was miraculously not cut, because in that case he would not have had a chance, but there was a lot of bleeding, and pain, and falling unconscious at times. He was taken to the capital Vientiane on the back of a pick-up (a painful ride of about 6 hours) and then on an ambulance plane to Bangkok, where he was operated several times. After a month or so, he was transported to Finland, again on a special flight because he needed to be stretchered, couldn´t even use a wheelchair.

He´s still not 100% recovered, but he´s alive. I don´t know what that mess of intensive care units, operations, chartered flights (and then later on, also all treatment back home) has cost, but I´m certain 100.000 dollars would not really get you far in his case, the grand total is probably closer to 500.000, if not more.

And you know what? It is ALL being payed for by his travel insurance, that he said had cost him less than 100 euros. If he didn´t have it, he could have in fact ended up dead in Laos. The level of treatment there was simply nowhere near to what he received once he got transported to a private hospital in Bangkok. Such places want in advance the certainty, that their patients are able to pay for the treatment, either themselves, or by their insurance companies. So it´s important to have proof of your travel insurance with you as you travel, for situations like this. You may not personally be able to tell anybody anything after the accident.

He´s been travelling & riding all over the planet for many many years, and never really needed the travel insurance. Until this happened.

Maybe this expressed my ´general feeling´ about the subject.
+1.

Without recounting a whole load of detail, a friend of mine incurred massive costs for a medivac flight when it was realised that the travel/health insurance had lapsed (by just a few days IIRC). It wasn't a traffic accident, it wasn't anything to do with travelling as such - it was a medical problem that arose during work in a "3rd world country", but the cost came in at around 85K US$ IIRC which was for a stretcher-based recovery to the home area in a "1st world country".
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  #8  
Old 28 Mar 2013
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I think it is all about risk management. How much risk are you willing to live with?

I can see the argument that most of the time, lesser injuries are easily covered, and that if you do happen to have a major injury (broken leg) it can still be covered out of pocket.

Howver, when I've travelled out of my home country I've always made sure to have some sort of emergency health coverage for that one-in-million chance I'll get seriously mangled.

If it's a short trip the cost is under a hundred dollars for up to a million dollars worth of coverage. For a few hundred bucks, you can get coverage for six months or a year.

If you can afford a plane ticket and a motorcycle rental/purchase, surely you can afford some insurance. It seems a bit fool-hardy to me not to have it.
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  #9  
Old 29 Mar 2013
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The real problem comes, when in fact you do not manage to kill yourself in an accident, but you are left in real bad shape, require very expensive care possibly for a long time, maybe even a med-evac flight somewhere for better treatment (and do you pay THAT out of your wallet - I certainly could not, I just don't simply have that kind of money, nevermind arranging it on the spot, while I'm badly injured?) How do you get med-evac flight without an insurance, unless you're an oil sheikh, is beyond me. But then it's not my problem. Another area, where costs can seriously pile up, is if you will need to stay in intensive care for some time. Or you continue to need treatment for months or years.

And even if worst comes to worst, and you are killed, maybe your loved ones would like to get some compensation from your insurance in that case, it might not be a very easy situation for them, and usually it also involves financial stuff. For one thing, burying people in a decent manner tends to cost a bit of money.

But it's a free world, and you can choose to go without. Just be aware of the possibly very serious risks involved in that decision.
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  #10  
Old 29 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
I think it is all about risk management. How much risk are you willing to live with?

I can see the argument that most of the time, lesser injuries are easily covered, and that if you do happen to have a major injury (broken leg) it can still be covered out of pocket.

Howver, when I've travelled out of my home country I've always made sure to have some sort of emergency health coverage for that one-in-million chance I'll get seriously mangled.

If it's a short trip the cost is under a hundred dollars for up to a million dollars worth of coverage. For a few hundred bucks, you can get coverage for six months or a year.

If you can afford a plane ticket and a motorcycle rental/purchase, surely you can afford some insurance. It seems a bit fool-hardy to me not to have it.
A big "click on" advert has appeared at the top of this thread! I haven't noticed it before - for Global Rescue - and their quoted "ball park" prices are as you mention.
It is all oriented to the market for health in the USA, maybe Canada also.

Risk: certainly it is about risk, and how much an individual is prepared to take.
It is also about the selfish gene in us all; the propensity to get into difficulty and then expect others to clear up the mess, no matter how much of a mess it is - the western world has lots of this nowadays.
e.g. "If you have a bad accedent you will most likely be killed and dont need insurance"

As a contrast, in my time working overseas, I have found that people are much more self-reliant and do not expect to be "sorted out".
As one summary word: inshallah. (this has been discussed in another thread in recent past that had a very similar theme).

ps the first time I broke a limb I found out, from talking with the surgeon, that there is no such thing as a "simple break".
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Last edited by Walkabout; 29 Mar 2013 at 11:15. Reason: ps added
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  #11  
Old 29 Mar 2013
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When I travel I make sure I have minimum $1 million USD coverage.

I know what the costs of reasonable care are in a decent hospital:

ICU stay - $10,000 per day would not be unusual
ER visit for simple problem - $1200
Broken leg - $20,000
Medevac Flight - short $50,000, long $100,000.


These are North American prices.

And before anyone says it, no, it's not going to the doctors, rather the hospitals and retrieval companies.
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  #12  
Old 3 Apr 2013
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Global Rescue services

Hi Guys,

August Felix here from Global Rescue. I wanted to chime in and provide some further detail on who we are and the services we provide to travelers like you. Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue provides 24hr Advisory services through our Operations centers staffed with critical care paramedics and security professionals. All nationalities are eligible to sign-up.

Member Benefits Include:
  • Field Rescue from the point of illness or injury
  • Evacuation back to the member’s home hospital of choice
  • 24hr medical advisory services from critical care paramedics and in-house physicians
  • Deployable medical and security teams
  • Global network of medical Centers Of Excellence
  • Specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine available in real-time
  • Medical Evacuation services up to $500,000
  • Optional Security Evacuation services up to $100,000
  • No restrictions on nationality, activity or destination
  • Memberships beginning at $119 for 7 Days

If you are interested in learning more about our services and membership plans, my contact details are below!

Best,

August Felix
+1-617-459-4200
afelix@globalrescue.com
Global Rescue Video
www.globarescue.com/horizonsunlimited
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  #13  
Old 26 Jul 2013
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Steve here in the USA, and getting ready for six months on the road south of the border to TDF and up the other side to Rio de Janeiro.

World Nomads has a good site for very reasonably priced travel insurance..

Me? My Blue Shield is good all around the world, and I purchased Medjet for emergency evacuation.

Travel safely,
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  #14  
Old 7 Aug 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Rescue View Post
Hi Guys,

August Felix here from Global Rescue. I wanted to chime in and provide some further detail on who we are and the services we provide to travelers like you. Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue provides 24hr Advisory services through our Operations centers staffed with critical care paramedics and security professionals. All nationalities are eligible to sign-up.


Member Benefits Include:
  • Field Rescue from the point of illness or injury
  • Evacuation back to the member’s home hospital of choice
  • 24hr medical advisory services from critical care paramedics and in-house physicians
  • Deployable medical and security teams
  • Global network of medical Centers Of Excellence
  • Specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine available in real-time
  • Medical Evacuation services up to $500,000
  • Optional Security Evacuation services up to $100,000
  • No restrictions on nationality, activity or destination
  • Memberships beginning at $119 for 7 Days
If you are interested in learning more about our services and membership plans, my contact details are below!

Best,

August Felix
+1-617-459-4200
afelix@globalrescue.com
Global Rescue Video
www.globarescue.com/horizonsunlimited

On the face of it, this seems quite a good deal, but what are you actually getting cover for ?

After going to the website and reading carefully, i understand that one is only apparently paying for the rescue service and any medical advice needed. The cover is not for any costs involved in immediate medical care, such as being taken to a hospital and operated on, so one would have to have a medical insurance in force as well to cover all costs associated with having an accident or serious illness, with repatriation, etc., being covered by the second policy through Global Rescue.

Am i understanding this correctly ?
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  #15  
Old 7 Aug 2013
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Looked at Global Rescue but although it sounds good at first glance, second glance it seemed to not cover much of what I was looking for.

Needed to be able to renew while overseas and just that eliminates a few others. Over 65 and you can forget a few more.


Went with World Nomads in the end. Around $2000 for two of us for a year - cheaper than our regular health insurance which is suspended while we are overseas. (can do that in Oz only because we have a very good free health system so no danger in getting dumped back home and then ending up bankrupted by un-insured medical costs as would be the case in some other places.

Having used travel insurance a couple of times while in China - once for a fairly major accident - I reckon if you can't afford insurance, you should stay home.

Was "interesting" that when I was being put back together, the nurse would be sent out of the theatre to give Betty a list of stuff which she would have to go and pay for and bring back the receipt so the doctors could keep on suturing. Friend in China had a very serious accident and while they did do enough to stop her from dying, wouldn't finish the job without money. She did have a fair bit of cash in her bag but was too crook to let them know. Luckily a concerned friend tracked her down and paid for the treatment. Guess travel insurance wouldn't have helped much in either case. Cash is king.
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