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Monday, October 31, 2011

Better to be safe than sorry

So here’s a bit of info you probably didn’t know.

In my life BC (Before Children), I was a Travel Agent for a time.

Best. Job. Ever.


Worst. Pay. Ever.

Hence, I am no longer a practising travel agent.  Unless you count every family member, acquaintance, friends of friends of cousins of nephew’s girlfriend’s sister in law’s dog walker….who all rely on me to search, read the fine print, and book their travel through the various websites.

So it is with some degree of knowledge and experience that I make the following statement :

Far too many people decline travel insurance without really thinking it through.  Here’s some of the reasons I’ve been afforded over the years.

“Why would I need that? I’m only going to Bali?”

What could possibly go wrong?

I’ve been to Bali over 30 times, literally.  Love the place.  Can’t get enough of it.  I know the place almost as well as my home town.  But I’ve had a video camera go missing, suffered severe Bali belly, travelled with people who have had to call out a Doctor to their hotel on account of various ailments, and even one who had to call an ambulance and go to hospital.

Better to be safe than sorry.

“It’s a business trip.  I’m going for a week.  I won’t need travel insurance.”
Important meeting? Oh well, apologies from the maintenance crew

Famous last words.  Be sure to let the airlines know not to misplace your luggage or delay your flight.  Be sure to let all tour and accommodation providers know not to shut up shop or allow you to injure yourself.  Be sure to advise all food and beverage outlets that you’re not there long enough to fall ill from foreign foods.  Let everyone know that you’re not going to be there long enough for any unfortunate accidents or interruptions to your important business meetings, okay?

Better to be safe than sorry.

“It’s just me and such-and-such going, and we’re not taking anything valuable so it’s not really worth it.”

Nothing of value in here then?

Oh, so you’ll be removing all that jewellery before you go?  Not taking a camera, mobile phone, iPod, laptop etc?  No value in your suitcase, make up, toiletries, clothing etc?  Packing your own super-duper First Aid kit to cure any and all ailments then, are you?

Better to be safe than sorry.

So my one crucial piece of advice to anyone reconsidering the need for travel insurance – just get it.  It’s really not expensive in the scheme of a holiday – and it is invaluable for the peace of mind it provides, and knowing that someone, somewhere, has your back 24/7 while you’re away.

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  1. When I lived in America no one ever bought travel insurance. We would look at the last-minute insurance booth that sat outside the departure gates and think, "who would be pathetic enough to buy travel insurance"? Now I'm in Australia, it is practically more important than getting my seat allocation early. I wouldn't step foot on a tarmac without travel insurance that covered every possible paranoid traveller's worst nightmare. I have heard so many horrific stories, including emergency evacuations and death, that I'm taking no chances.
    First thing I thought of when I saw the Qantas news last night was "I wonder how many people wished they had travel insurance?"

  2. BC hehehe before travel.

    yeah, I'm with you.  definitely get travel insurance. Hell, it's stuff all and you spend more than one travel insurance payment for the clothes you buy in one shop.  totally worth it.

    - tork

  3. Exactly my point. Such a relief in these days of airline strikes etc. to know that you're covered.

  4. Have had to do the sympathetic "I told you so..." to so many people who said they wouldn't need it.  Unfortunately.  But they never make the same mistake twice.

  5. Whoa.  What a relief to have the insurance.  That's exactly why I grew a brain and started getting it for every single trip, especially after we had kids.  I'd rather pay for the insurance and have the peace of mind.  Hope you get to have your holiday that you missed out on soon!

  6. As a fellow ex travel agent I totally agree with you - I have seen some shockers during my TA working life - worst was a medical evac from South Africa that cost over $300 000!!!


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