Travel Insurance – To Get Or Not To Get?


Personally, I always travel with personal insurance. Things happen. This is the money I pay and rather never to use it. It is not a value-for-money purchase but more of prevention-is-better-than-cure policy.

I am not a financial guru, but am considered financially savvy among my peers. I have insurance for life, health and liability. Especially since unpredictable things can happen when travelling, you never know when you need it.

On top of the usual student insurance in New Zealand, I bought extra travel insurance during the 3 summers I was travelling, as well as for my 2 South Island holidays and 1 Australia holiday. Thankfully, I never use the insurance at all during my 3 holidays.

During my last semester, our little city had a gastrointestinal virus epidemic. Fortunately, I was okay during the semester till exams. However, my close friend caught it at the start of the holidays and I drove her to the hospital. I must have gotten the nosocomial infection there.

The bug attacked within a week and my summer flatmate drove me to A&E at night as there were no 24-hour clinics around. To cut a long story short, the bill came up to NZD$400+ which I managed to claim successfully with my travel insurance. Can’t really remember, but the policy probably costs about NZD$160 for 10 weeks.

During my 2nd and 3rd summer in New Zealand, I was looking after my friends’ car as they returned home for holidays. As their cars were manufactured before year 2000, car insurance was expensive. Hence, I got the AA membership instead.

Think it was a sign that I should not drive, I met 7 car accidents in a span of 10 weeks. Out of those, I was in the car 3 times – drove into middle of roundabout during heavy rain, knocked on the curb and punctured a tyre, and kissed the butt of a van because I accidentally release the foot brake.

Thankfully with AA membership of NZD$100++, I claimed tow truck twice and got someone came to change tyre for me for free. Heard the tow truck service is really expensive in NZ. Mechanics are expensive too, about NZD$60 per hour.

Since I did not have car insurance, I paid my friend NZD$3,000 for all the dents and bumps on his Toyota Trueno. As the Chinese saying ‘Lose money just to avoid misfortune’, I am thankful that I am healthy, intact and fine today.

In my recent holiday to Phuket, Thailand, I was down with food poisoning during the trip. When I came back, I went straight to see the doctor at Changi airport at 2.30am. The bill came up to SGD$120+. Managed to claim promptly with my Chartis Travel Guard insurance under Jetstar which costs SGD$30+.

Currently, the longest travel insurance coverage is by DBS/POSB for 1 year at SGD382.50 worldwide. Guess it is a sign of keeping it to a 1-year timeline per trip. Who knows, maybe there are 3-year insurance policies in the near future!


Source by Doris Chow

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