The Unintended Consequences of Traveling the World without Insurance

The Unintended Consequences of Traveling the World without Insurance

You’ve booked your flight, chosen your hotel, arranged for a car to pick you up from the airport…are you missing anything? Did you purchase travel insurance…?

For most travelers purchasing travel insurance may be the most important part of the trip. For others, they don’teven think about it because, they’re thinking, ‘when was the last time I got hurt, or I never get sick, or I’m not going to get sick here in Turkey’.

Well, I totally understand these thoughts; however, there is absolutely no way to predict what will happen during your away time from home.

And often it’s not our fault when something goes wrong.

Many years ago while I was backpacking through Central America I got bitten by a stray dog. No one knew the dog and we weren’t sure if he had rabies or not. So, off to the hospital I went to get checked out. I didn’t provoke the dog, he just attacked me. It wasn’t serious, but even then I was smart enough to purchase insurance and I didn’t worry about the cost of going to the hospital to get checked out.

While in Thailand a few years ago I was talking to a young guy that had his foot all bandaged up and was walking with crutches. He had gone swimming and was jumping off of small cliffs. Well, I bet you can guess…on the first jump he landed on glass that was on the bottom of the lake and sliced his foot open. He had to go to the hospital, get stitches and had to pay out of his pocket. It wasn’t life-threatening, however, it was his first week in Thailand and nothing says he won’t get injured again.

But what if you or your spouse has a heart attack, falls and breaks their leg, or gets hit by one of those small motorcycles zooming through the streets of Bangkok like crazy people. These injuries are more serious and help is required quickly. Where do you turn if you don’t have insurance? How do you get help when you don’t speak the language? And worst of all, what happens if you can’t afford to pay $10,000 for surgery or $25,000 to send you home by air ambulance.

As an entrepreneur and owner of a very successful business, I tend to travel a lot. This year alone I will visit Brazil, Uruguay (twice), Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Lebanon, England, The Channel Islands, Germany and possibly the Czech Republic later in the year.

Each time I leave the comfort of my home Irun the risk of something happening to me. I don’t expect anything to happen, but the risk is there all the same.

I write this article about travelling the world without insurance because it’s something I would just never do. However, millions of people leave their homes, get on a plane, drive their car, or get on a ship without purchasing additional insurance to protect themselves.

I can tell you dozens of stories of people that have had travel insurance and saved themselves tens of thousands of dollars.

If you need to be airlifted home? Emergency surgery is required? Or you just need the expertise of a qualified doctor, paying out of pocket might not be doable.

So one of the first things I do when I’m planning my trips abroad is to check with my Insurance broker to ensure that I am covered for every country that I will be visiting.

From there I book my flights with the assurance that if anything happens I’m covered. The peace of mind for me is worth everything, especially when the cost of travel insurance is so low.

My mom was a travel agent a few years back and she would recount horror stories to me of people that refused to get travel insurance. My response was always ‘Why’ It just didn’t make sense to me.

She had a client that was on a bus tour through Egypt to cruise the Nile River and visit the ancient cities of Alexandria, Cairo and Luxor. On the first day of the tour as he was stepping off the bus, his knee buckled and he hit the ground with so much force that he broke his wrist and twisted his ankle. The trip was over before it even got started. They didn’t purchase insurance and ended up losing not only the tour itself but had to pay for a return flight because they had not purchased a changeable air ticket. The cost of the tour was $5,500 per person x 2, plus the fact that they had to pay for a hospital visit in Cairo, surgery on his wrist and a hotel in Cairo that they were not expecting. By the time it was all said and done, they paid out an extra $16,000 in medical expenses plus the loss of their original ticket.

I could go on and on with the heartbreaking stories of families who have had to mortgage their homes to be airlifted home, or of a mom who passed away on a cruise and had no insurance.

Why would you ever leave on a trip where so many things could go wrong, and not get insurance. Leaving your family with the responsibility of attending to your affairs.

Buy travel insurance every time you leave home, it’s that simple.

Contributed by: Mikkel Thorup

About Insured Nomads   

Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals. 

Information on integration, collaboration and partnership contact Brett Estep:



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  • Insured Nomads

    Insured Nomads provides global health and safety protection for the remote worker, traveller & expat. Insurance paired with advanced tech-enabled features and solutions for health, safety, security, well-being and support.


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