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Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #1  
Old 29 Mar 2015
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Do long term travellers keep up travel insurance?

Good morning everyone. I wasn't sure where to post this so I thought this would get the widest audience.

When I left last July to travel I took out an annual policy, from Campbells I think, I would have to check. My travel is open ended, I have no set return date and to be honest no real route planned, just a rough outline that has firmed up a little as I have bumbled my way along.

Now I may well extend my time in Africa and as I said I have no return date set. I am looking long term to move on and just travel for some time to come. Possibly looking to work at some point so I can continue this lifestyle for as long as possible.

So are their people out there who travel without annual insurance. If you live on the road with no permanent address, is there a point at which you just live and do not tie yourself to your mother country?

Sorry this sounds a bit vague, I know what I want to ask but am not sure of the best way to put it. I do not want to categorize travellers, I don't like that sort of thing.
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  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2015
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I would strongly recommend against not having insurance. It costs yes, but everyday your life is in the hands of people who dont check their mirros =P

in your home country you should at the very least having your mail sent to a family member or very close friend. Be sure its all in line with your insurance company's fine print tho. A friend of ours recently was taking a swim in mexico and a wave hit him sideways on a rough day and broke his back, thankfully his insurance was all in line and the 40,000$ Medical Evac + treatment was covered, and he was a young fit smart guy who was sober just going for a swim at the age of 28.
Random things can happen to anyone at anytime, that could leave you homeless in poverty stuck in a 3rd world country for the rest of your life if you don't take the WHAT IF into account.

Ride far, but ride safe.
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  #3  
Old 29 Mar 2015
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Annual Insurance

I wouldn't dream of travelling without insurance and I'm currently look for insurance for an upcoming overland trip from the UK to Oz.

It might seem like a waste of cash if your trip goes well and you don't make use of it, but you only need to make one tiny mistake and you'd be lost without it. There is always someone back home to use as a base for your address.

However, My experience of annual travel insurance is that it usually has trip limits (30, 60 90 days etc.) that are no good for overland travel unless you buy some special expensive 'adventure travel' insurance.
Slight Hijack but anyone recommend cheap travel insurance for motorcycle overland?
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  #4  
Old 30 Mar 2015
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Do long term travellers keep up travel insurance?

Depends what country are you a resident of. For the UK you can try AA Travel insurance, Post Office travel insurance or Navigator. Mine ran out not insured now and can renew policy from outside of UK nor can purchase new one. All the insurance that can be bought whilst abroad do not insure motorcycle as primary means of transport.
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  #5  
Old 30 Mar 2015
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Its not just one small mistake we should be worried but what if some SOB hits u and catches u unaware. Its a third world and I would not every venture out without one. After all SAFETY HAS NO HOLIDAY.
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  #6  
Old 1 Apr 2015
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We use World Nomads. Cover just about anyone from most countries and to anywhere and it can be taken out for periods of up to a year and then extended on-line using a credit card. They have a couple of levels of cover that should suit most.
Can even start coverage even if you are not in your home country.

Worldnomads.com but they do have country specific web sites depending on your home country

Quote:
Its a third world and I would not every venture out without one.
What is infinitely scarier is having an accident in the USA and having no insurance.
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  #7  
Old 1 Apr 2015
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We are planning to use travel insurance provided by our credit card. Only limitation is- it cover first 90 days, but you have to use credit card to pay for your travel. After that, you can start use another credit card insurance. In theory you need 4 credit cards for all year travel.
Does any one use card covered insurance?
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  #8  
Old 2 Apr 2015
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Tony - world nomads do not cover motorcycle travel for UK citizens.

Eshark - make sure they cover "motorcycle travel as primary means of transport" as many don't by default.
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  #9  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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As some of you may have noticed from other threads, I work for a company doing medical assistance for insurance companies customers. When they get sick or injured we are asked to step in and manage the case.

I would definately advise against travelling without insurance. Even in countries with recipricol agreements you may need insurance to cover repatriation. Some EU countries (notabaly Spain) are refusing to accept the EHIC and demanding you pay. Also, if you have an accident in Europe, and you don't have insurance, you will be billed for treatment if you don't have an EHIC, but the big new thing is, if you apply for an EHIC retrospectively, YOU WILL NOT GET THE MONEY REFUNDED like you used to.

If you aren't covered, you will pay, and you won't get it back.

And if you are really sick or badly injured, we're talking life changing, lose your house type amounts here, so, make sure you apply BEFORE you leave these shores.

Even then, in some countries you may be asked to contribute a percentage of the cost, and in some you have to pay for the ambulance. So, the gold standard is, get insurance.

In most even if you have insurance you may have to stump up a fair bit in advance, like several thousand, and the insurance won't set a guarantee of payment immediately, there is a process that has to be gone through first to make sure you have a valid policy, so make sure you have access to a decent amount of fundage for emergencies, say a credit card with a 5k limit.

I would strongly advise against getting multiple policies and stringing them as described above. If you are out of the country for longer than the allowed amount you aren't covered, regardless of whether you used that particular policy for some of the time. They will ask for evidence of travel dates and telling them you only left last week, but now your in Thailand without an air ticket to explain how you got there so fast just isn't going to wash. Also, lots of credit card policies require you to pay for your holiday using the card, tricky if your on a motorbike.

Declare EVERYTHING they ask for. Some companies will take the slightest non declaration as an excuse not to pay. The cheaper the policy, the more likely they are to try and weedle out of paying, because the tighter their margins are. Before treating you for an illness and some accidents they will require a comprehensive report on your medical history from your GP so they will find out. This will also delay cover being inplace, so as above, make sure you can cover the initial costs.

Also your GP will charge you for this report and generally the insurance company won't pay for it, so make sure you have made arrangements for it to be paid. Almost no GP surgeries will take a card or internet banking payment, they are really that backward!

READ THE SMALL PRINT. make sure the activities you are doing are covered and that the countries you are travelling in are covered, there are often exclusions (typically the USA). we are currently managing a case for a guy in the British Virgin Islands. His policy excludes the USA and Caribbean. he will probably have to pay for an air ambulance to move him to Martinique where he can be treated on an EHIC, cost will be knocking on the door of 100k by the time he's finished.

Don't assume only the states is expensive. You get put in intensive care anywhere and your looking at life changing amounts of money.

Your not just paying for medical care, your paying for us to move you in an emergency, either home or to a place of safety. Our most common moves are from African countries to South Africa. We had to move a girl who had an appendectomy in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the Zimbabweans delayed giving us the permits to fly in long enough for the surgeon to go back in and have another bash sorting out the mess he made the first time when he inadvertently nicked her bowel and gave her life threatening peritonitis. Even after reconstructive surgery in SA she was a mess. She's only in her 20s, if she had been older she probably wouldn't have survived.

Also, we will recommend you what clinics to go to. Even for Turkey we have a list of what clinics will rip you off or have a high risk of malpractice or poor quality treatment.

Insurance is a rip off, and everyone who works in it crooks, right until you get that $900000 American medical bill (as one man had recently, who wasn't covered) or your laid in a hospital bed in Botswana with a broken back, multiple internal injuries and not much skin left (like a 19 year old we recently moved to SA)

I can't recommend specific companies for this type of insurance because it's not what we usually look after, Our customers are holiday makers and business travelers. But I would strongly suggest finding one. It won't be cheap, not because the insurance companies are ripping everyone off, it's far too competitive a market for that, but because (big shock to those spoiled by the NHS!) medical care isn't cheap. I saw a bill recently from an American hospital for a guy who was admitted for 24 hours with gastroenteritis. Cost, $20000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #10  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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To echo the others...

Don't leave home without it. It's just not worth the risk.

A few things to mention:

You need to arrange it before you leave your home country. Most policies do not allow you to extend it from abroad (as you are usually taking out a new policy once the term has expired and the rules state you have to be in your home country when you take it out.) There are a couple of providers that have got round this and you can effectively extend on the road but you have to take it out initially when you are in your home country.

Most annual policies only cover individual trips of up to 30 days (sometimes up to 60) after which you must return to your country of residence. As Moggy said you have to be able to prove that the planned trip was for less than that period to be covered. The credit card insurance mentioned above will not be valid in a long term travel scenario. You wouldn't even be covered for an incident on day 1 of your travels if you can't show your planned trip is within the allowed period.

Try searching for gap year cover. I got good cover for two years with Amex, at a reasonable price but it couldn't be renewed from abroad.

Make sure it covers medical evacuation, that's what you're really paying for. Don't get bogged down in cover for belongings etc.

As Moggy also said declare any relevant info. They will often still cover you if you have a pre-existing medical issue.

It gets increasingly hard to get long term travel insurance the older you get. A lot of policies only cover under 30s and a few go up to 50. After that it's really difficult.

Good luck.

PS Rules and regulations regarding insurance differ depending on your country of origin. The above applies to the UK (and most likely other countries in the EU).
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  #11  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridetheworld View Post
Tony - world nomads do not cover motorcycle travel for UK citizens.
Strange since they do provide cover for Australians and Canadians on their "adventurer doing stupid things" plans, and that cover is actually provided through LLoyds.

Few conditions apply as you would expect so don't expect full cover if you have a head on because you have crossed double lines on a blind bend.
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  #12  
Old 6 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pheasant56 View Post
...Slight Hijack but anyone recommend cheap travel insurance for motorcycle overland?
Try alphatravelinsurance.co.uk
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  #13  
Old 6 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pheasant56 View Post
...Slight Hijack but anyone recommend cheap travel insurance for motorcycle overland?
I've been investigating this lately. The two companies I short-listed were:
  • 1Stop - underwritten by Cigna Europe Insurance Company; and
  • Holidaysafe - trading name of Infinity Insurance Solutions Ltd - underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG (Germany)
Both will cover m/c overlanding without c.c. restriction subject to holding an appropriate UK licence.

I have it on good authority that Cigna '.. are generally fair and pretty good. [but can be a little slow at times]'

I notice that Alpha Travel Insurance's plan - suggested by trackdayrider (above) - is almost identical to Holidaysafe's offering in nearly every detail; both policies are just different 'white label' contracts as far I can tell. The slight exceptions between the two regarding 'motorcycling' definitions are:

Holidaysafe: 'Motorcycling with appropriate UK licence (excludes track days)'

Alpha: 'Motorcycling with appropriate UK licence'

Both will also include 'MotoCross' as an activity, providing you are prepared to pay an additional premium.

Incidentally, 1Stop's motorcycling definition is: 'Motorcycling on public roads (no racing) safety helmet to be worn and must possess a licence allowing You to ride an equivalent motorcycle in the UK'

I guess therefore, by definition, 1Stop excludes any off-roading activity whatsoever. In other words, you must stick to 'public roads'.
NOTE - the policy is silent regarding the particular make-up of 'roads' - therefore I assume it includes all surfaces - e.g. tar-sealed, gravel, even dirt - as long as you are travelling on a recognised 'public road' (.. and not racing.)

Finally, it's worth noting that 1Stop were prepared to include cover for a minor health condition I have, whereas Holidaysafe insisted on excluding it.

You cannot be too very careful with an insurer's policy wording!
.
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  #14  
Old 6 Apr 2015
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I have been travelling soon 3 years and all the time with travel insurance.
In Indonesia I had accident with truck, broke both of my hands and one arm.
Hospital in Indonesia could not fix my broken wrist because it was too badly damaged, so I needed to fly back to Europe to get it operated.

My insurance company (ADAC) paid everything, even flight back to Europe without any problem.

You do not need to make mistake, it is enough that someone else does something stupid... So, my warm recommendation is to have travel insurance
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  #15  
Old 6 Apr 2015
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Thanks for all the replies. A topic worthy of the good discussion it has created. I asked because I will soon be at the end Of my first year of travel, and I fully intend to carry on. I will have a lot to sort out in order to continue, insurance is just one of those things.

I am at present with Campbell, really should check the paperwork to be sure but it's late and I am in the tent. I can now check out a few others as well. the big problem as some have mentioned is the travel by motorcycle part. Lots of the companies turned away at that point.

Your answers and comments have reinforced how essential this is.
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