I was surprised that most frequent travellers that I know didn’t buy travel insurance. Their standard response; “Yes, travel insurance is important and I have travel insurance bundled with my flight ticket/credit card or even health insurance”.
While I agree that does offer a certain level of coverage, it certainly can’t replace a proper travel insurance package. No doubt you pay more for a dedicated package but in the event of any unfortunate circumstances, the pay-back is so much more than what you have paid. To be honest, if you do your research, travel insurance encompasses more than just coverage for delayed flight and lost luggage (don’t worry, that was the impression I had all along too), it even covers home burglary (when you’re away) and travel cancellations.
The one that I chose; Chartis Travel Guard even has dedicated doctors on call 24 hours!
These doctors speaks your home language so communication won’t be a problem even if you’re stuck in a country where you may not have access to English speaking doctors; ie Japan.
While I don’t fancy myself a travel blogger (I’m more of a everything-in-between), I do travel at least once a month. Traveling to me encompasses both local and overseas destinations. I have 3 insurance policies so as you can imagine, I’m really the sort that believes in insurances.
Insurance has covered me in more than RM100,000 in medical bills so far in my life. I have broken a leg, wrist and feet. I had dengue, pneumonia, appendicitis, chicken pox and mumps. Thanks to my insurance policies, I managed to settle all my bills so far.
When I was in Bangkok for the World Gourmet Festival in September last month, I fell sick. It started out as nausea and I started to vomit right after I land at Suvarnabhumi airport. I have almost every month via flights but it was only during this particular trip that I was affected rather badly.
To cut a long story short, most of my 3D2N stay in Aloft Hotel Sukhumvit 11 was spent on the bed. After almost 48 hours of retching and fever I gave up the battle and got myself to the nearest hospital which coincidental was Bumrungrad Hospital Bangkok.
A quick check up and 2 injections later I was slapped with a 3,194 baht bill. That’s almost RM330. And I wasn’t hospitalised so I couldn’t claim from my 3 insurance policies. Also, most insurance policies don’t cover medication overseas (other than your home country).
I paid resignedly and hoped that I’ll recover fast. My trip was half ruined as it is.
Fortunately I did and I enjoyed the rest of my stay in St Regis Bangkok. But that bill was never far from my mind.
Coincidentally, not long after I was back, I was recommended travel insurance from Chartis. I wasn’t keen at first since I didn’t want to add on to my long list of monetary commitments. Like everyone else, I buy my travel insurance bundled with my flight tickets.
I chose my ideal package based on my frequency of travels. And since I do not know which country I’ll be at next, I chose Region 3; which covers countries worldwide including Bangladesh, Middle East, Mongolia (Inner & Outer), Nepal and Tibet. After all, I’m heading to Kathmandu this month!
The other options are Region 1 or 2. I opted for an annual package since I travel all the time.
Furthermore, (I bet you don’t know this!) you can buy Domestic Plan which covers you when you travel locally too; as long as you’re minimally 50km away from your home. That means trips away like Tanjong Jara, Pangkor and Malaysia Tourism Hunt are covered!
Thankfully nothing untoward happened during those trips but at least now I’ll have peace of mind if I’m ever on trips like that again.
My package costs RM431 (Annual + Domestic) annually. I chose the Standard package as it has higher value in claims and also because I do travel very frequently. You can opt for the Basic Package which is cheaper and also just Region 1 or Region 2 if you already have an idea of where you would most likely be heading to for your next holiday.
Frankly, travel insurance is really not that expensive. Think of how much is the potential lost if your flight was delayed, or if you have to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances and if you simply fell sick like me. My Bangkok hospital bill would have been covered (terms and conditions apply) if I had travel insurance back then!
If it’s any consolation, the bill was in Thai baht. For my recent Japan trip, I made sure to have my Chartis Travel Guard activated prior to my trip. Activation is real -time. Once your application is approved and payment is made, you will be given a policy number which you will have to remember in case of emergencies. A membership card will be sent to you as well approximately 2 weeks after your successful application – do note that this applies because I took an annual package.
I’m thankful I found out about Chartis Travel Guard just as I was about to leave for Japan. I certainly do not want to be visiting any hospital in Tokyo. Japanese yen is no joke I tell you!
BELOW: My policy is in effect immediately after payment was made – dated 23rd Oct, just before I left for Japan on the 25th!
Below: This is useful as well – the numbers to call during an emergency. I kept a copy in my luggage as well as my phone.
On another note, I saw this interesting Golf Insurance Rider and Special Sports Rider package in the brochure as well. These are for those who travel frequently for golf and high adrenaline sports such as surfing and snow skiing. Not bad!
Do let me know if you have any queries? I did felt much “assured” now whenever I agree to a media trip or even while planning for my next holiday.
Even if I travel to Melaka for Pak Putra Tandoori Naan or Satay Celup, my travel insurance is in effect! 😛
For those of you who may be interested, you can find out more HERE!
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**Sponsored post: However, I personally paid for my own travel package.