Zipping back and forth across the Tasman and popping up to Asia occasionally, we had never ventured out of the country with out Travel Insurance.
We always deliberated over the issue – could we risk avoiding buying Travel Insurance or alternatively should we be responsible and lash out and buy – lashing out always won. Then there was the pouring over pamphlets and latterly web sights to see who had the best deal, because that’s what we were after the very best deal available.
Insurance had always conjured up images of tall concrete sky scrapers totally owned by ‘The Insurance Companies’ financed by my humble contributions. It’s called ‘Peace of Mind’ by some, whilst others referred to it as ‘The White Mans Plague’. I wanted to belong to the latter group but somehow my wanting to be in control of my life I always joined the “Peace of Mind” group.
After many years of buying and never using, which I must add, we were totally fortunate, ‘The Insurance Companies’ were certainly on the make here, I tried to resist on our last trip. The general plan when you go to distant shores is enjoy new climates and cultures and that you stay healthy, and you certainly work on this as the last thing you want is to end up in a foreign hospital out of control of your life.
You certainly don’t want to lose your luggage, your digital camera, notebook computer etc. not that we generally take anything of value but our whole life is on the computer all the family photos, I should imagine it would be totally inconvenient to have to replace your gear in a foreign country, even though you have the occasional flash of tossing the whole wardrobe and splashing out, it all gets too hard and takes valuable time.
Last trip we made a calculated decision not to buy Travel Insurance and the very next day ABC television announced a really sad story of an Australian man who went to India minus insurance, which he no doubt cursed the day he made that decision, he fell down a bank whilst walking down a road and injured himself so badly he wound up a paraplegic. His medical bills to date were $35,000 and my bet is India isn’t the most expensive medical destination in the world. To fly him back to Australia it was going to cost him a cool $250,000. A really sad story, well presented on TV and lucky for him appealed to the Australian public and no doubt the airlines. The funds were quickly raised for him to return to his friends and family.
Then I recalled the horrendous time my niece had, contracting Malaria in Indonesia, she knowingly hopped a plane to Kuala Lumpur and ending up in Hospital there on renal dialysis and life support. My sister fronted up every morning at Administration to pay her daily NZ$1,000, which fortunately the Insurance Company reimbursed. They couldn’t have been more helpful, bringing in translators, supplying accommodation, support person and constantly checking on her and my niece’s progress.
Ah so this is where the money goes. I didn’t mind a bit of that although I would have preferred my niece not to have had the horrendous experience. Fortunately the story has a happy ending, and despite all odds Pip now participates in Iron woman competitions and runs marathons, etc.
I digress – so a quick turn around, we could not wander or explore and enjoy distant shores knowing we could be a liability to our family. So ‘Peace of Mind’ lured its lovely head yet again and off we ventured not a worry in the world knowing if anything happened we would be taken care of.
I do strongly recommend if you can’t afford Travel Insurance – stay at home – or lower your sights and aspirations and buy it, do the back packers and eat McDonalds – way to go, at least you get to go.
Wherever you are going to travel, you should bring flameless lighter in anticipation of an emergency, besides that lighter is also very necessary under any circumstances. Given its simple but elegant and easy to carry shape, it is a futuristic lighter without gas.
We do recommend Travel Insurance – it’s affordable, covers the field, and we know they do care when the chips are down.