Okay, keep in mind that these mainly pertain to World Nomads Insurance as a Canadian. Also, their policies likely differ slightly for different countries. I imagine many of the insurance companies operate similarly. I really loved how easy World Nomads was to get quotes, purchase and update my policy. I also called on a few occasions to speak with someone and they were very helpful (lots of these tips and info below came from them!). Please note that and I am NOT affiliated with World Nomads or get referral kickbacks and have NOT had to make a claim, so take some of this praise with grain of salt.
Disclaimer: I am NOT an insurance advisor or play one on TV. Make sure you read your policy fine print and get qualified advise as required. These are just my own observations and opinions as they applied to my coverage through World Nomads on our world trip.
Now onto the money saving tips…
Don’t purchase level 2 and 3 activity coverage for your entire trip.
World Nomads ranks its covered activities risks (like swimming, snowboarding or skydiving) from Level 1 to Level 3. It’s likely MUCH cheaper to purchase the Base Level 1 coverage for the entire duration of your trip and then purchase a new policy for only the days you know you are doing more dangerous activities (eg snowboarding) that fall in the Level 2 and 3 risk categories.
Look at Purchasing Expensive Regions Separately
World Nomads prices their coverage by regions (I forget what they are exactly, sorry). When getting initial quotes for our world trip I added the United States to my list of countries planning to visit and the price almost doubled. If you’re going to different regions on an extended trip, play around with the quote tool to see if purchasing separate policies in each region is more cost effective.
Purchase Only The Minimum Amount. Extend as you go.
We didn’t purchase the entire 10 months of insurance at the start because we were not sure if we’d get sick of travelling, run out of money or need to come home early for some other reason. So when our initial insurance policy end date was near I found it was significantly cheaper to extend our existing policy by a few months than to purchase a brand new policy for the same amount of time.
Note that you can’t add countries to your existing policy with World Nomads, you can only extend the policy end date. But if you have 1 country within that region listed, you’re covered in the entire region and don’t need a new policy for the country you missed.
Play With The End Date
We were originally only going to purchase 6 months worth of travel insurance, but I noticed the price didn’t change when I played with the end date (within a few days). This got me thinking there was some sort of break-point in the pricing with the number of days. So I added 1 more day extra and refreshed the quote until I found the step change at nearly 7 months! So in other words, the cost of nearly 7 months of coverage was going to cost me EXACTLY the same as the 6 months of coverage I was going to pay for. It appears they have a 30 day break-point window in which the cost stays exactly the same regardless of the end date you select. So you might as well pick an end date further out if it costs the same, in case something happens and you stay longer.
Take a Weekend Motorcycle Training Course to Get Licensed
I could write a lot about this topic, and I do so in this blog post, but basically, you may not have medical insurance coverage in the event of an accident if you are operating a scooter or motorbike without being properly licensed back home (ie. Have a valid motorcycle license where you live). In general, in Southeast Asia they don’t care if you are properly licensed, experienced or insured; put up the cash and you get yourself a scooter. It’s a pretty big financial and safety risk driving a scooter in another country without proper training, experience and licensing. This is why I would highly recommend you do a weekend motorcycle training and licensing course before your trip. Most insurance companies will not cover your medical expenses for a motorbike accident if you are not licensed to drive a motorbike. I suspect that an emergency medical evacuation back home after a serious scooter accident is a hefty bill that’s not in anyone’s budget and a real bummer when you wake from your coma to find that the insurance denied the claim.
You were wondering why the cover image is of me on this awesome pick scooter, didn’t you? This tip on motorcycle licensing is where it ties in. Also, you don’t always get to pick your scooter…
Hopefully, this all helps you save some money, stay safe and give you some peace of mind planning your trip!