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Do You Need Travel Insurance? 4 Times We Wish We Had Travel Insurance

Do I Need Travel Insurance? 4 times we wish we had travel insurance

Nicaragua, France, Spain, Costa Rica…4 Times We Wish We Had Travel Insurance.  

I’m always so cheap. Seriously, it’s so hard for me to spend more money to be prepared and overbuy just in case. But after 4 trips of emergencies and mishaps, I won’t make that mistake again.

I’m the stingiest budget traveller ever, and it’s good because it’s how we’ve afforded to travel so much.  When people have told us, “You should get travel insurance,” I’ve always brushed it off thinking we’re safe, we’re healthy, we don’t need it.

Here are 4 times in our travels where travel insurance would’ve seriously come in handy on our adventures:

These situations happened to us because of what we look for, maybe that’s not what you are looking for, take our quiz to find out.

1: Our 4 Year Old Gets the Flu in Nicaragua

Back in 2014, we decided to take a break from a consumerist American Christmas and go to Nicaragua for a month.  Let me start by saying we didn’t go to the place in Nicaragua where most travelers go.  We started off in the beautiful area of Hacienda Iguana, just a little north of San Juan del Sur, but we only had hotel reservations for 2 days.  

We moved up the coast to our next AirBnb, a large two-story house with a pool and practically a private.  This place wasn’t that bad, but still to this day we all reminisce about the time we starved in Nicaragua (we didn’t actually starve). That AirBnb was in a small, rural village where the grocery store only sold processed foods and the fish was bought from the local fisherman each day.  Each day, the housekeeper would cook us breakfast, lunch, and, dinner and it was yummy.  But us being the spoiled Americans we were, went to bed so hungry every night.  Had it been just our parents and the older kids we would’ve sucked it up just fine, but our 4 and 6 year old whined all the time because they were hungry.  Now, that wasn’t where wish we had travel insurance.  

Our 4 year Old Gets Sick

After 2 weeks there we moved even further up the coast.  We arrived and our jaws dropped.  The house barely qualified as a house.  The kitchen consisted of a stove but no utensils.  It was 90 degrees out and bedrooms were hot and had no fans or windows.  The bathroom had crabs crawling out of the drains.  Locals walked by trying to sell us meat in plastic bags covered in flies.  And then to top it off, our 4 year old gets sick… terribly sick.  

She was running an 102 degree flu, she was hallucinating, she refused to take medicine, we were a 3 hour drive away from the nearest hospital, and it was Christmas Eve and there were so many drunk drivers we couldn’t even go to the hospital if we had to.

It was terrible.  By midnight, I resorted to booking immediate tickets back to the US.  We had to spend $1500 to change our flight and fly home the very next day on Christmas.

Emergency medical repatriation with World Nomads Travel Insurance would’ve covered the the cost to change our flight to immediately leave on Christmas.  Had it not been Christmas Eve, World Nomads would’ve also covered overseas medical assistance at the hospital, but in this situation, the roads were just too dangerous.

2: Surf Accident in France

Back on our 6 month European camping trip, we spent a lot of time in Hossegor, France.  Hossegor is an iconic surf destination but as a beach break, the waves can get funky and closed-out near the shore.  

Victor was surfing one day and was having trouble catching waves so he moved closer to the shore break.  As he was attempting to catch a wave on the inside, the wave suddenly started closing out (AKA breaking really hard and bad) and as he tried to bail, the board hit the ocean floor and bounced back and hit him right next to his eye.  Long story short, he ended up in the hospital with a skull and sinus fracture plus a massive gash right next to his eye. An inch different and he would’ve lost his eye (I’ll spare you the gruesome photos)!  And was incredibly scary and we spent the whole week going to doctor’s appointments.

Now here was the lucky part, we were in France with an incredible medical system but had we been in any other country, the price for Emergency room services, a CAT scan, stitches, and an eye exam would have cost a a fortune.  This situation was a good reminder to always have travel insurance, especially when it comes to adventure travel. Had it been in a country with crazy medical expenses, World Nomads would’ve covered it.  

World Nomads covers hospitalization, visits to medial practitioners, prescribed medicine, day surgeries, and ambulances, all things that were required when Victor got hurt in France. Victor went to to multiple different private doctors, the emergency room, had to get a stitches, got medical prescriptions, and really needed but didn’t get an ambulance. Needless to say, we really wish we’d had World Nomads insurance here.

3: Our Passports Were Stolen in Spain (Or So We Thought)

Last year in Spain, we were totally convinced someone broke into our apartment and stole all seven of our passports + credit cards. Now, after a day of going around on a wild goose chase of “What are we going to do? We can’t afford replacement passports!!!!” we realized they were in the “secret” zipper of our REI Flash backpack (yep, we were dumb, don’t judge). But man, for those 24 hours we were freaking out.

Do you know how expensive it is to replace 7 passports? It’s around $3,000!  And how exhausting would it have been to drive from San Sebastián to Barcelona?!

Now, unfortunately we are from the country of the United States and along with Brazil, these are the only 2 countries that emergency replacement passports are not covered by World Nomads.  It really is a bummer but if you are from any other country besides these 2, let me tell you, travel insurance is worth it for this aspect alone!  I was so wishing I had travel insurance at the time because even though they wouldn’t have covered the actual cost to replace our passports, they would’ve given us 24/7 assistance and would’ve covered our extra costs to drive to the embassy and stay in Madrid while getting our passport situation fixed.

4: Our Surfboards Get Damaged on Our Costa Rica Surf Trip

Traveling with surfboards is never easy.  It’s pretty much a guarantee you’re going to have one small ding on your board by the end of the flight.  In these cases, we always travel with Solarez to fix the small.  But in the unlucky (and pretty common) case that the baggage handlers don’t read the “fragile” label on your board bag and you end up with a huge hole in your surfboard—or worse, split in half—on your surf trip you’ve been looking forward to for so long, what’s a surfer to do? I mean, seriously, sometimes I think the airlines try to break surfboards.  

You can try to file a complaint with the airline but there’s no guarantee they’re going to cover anything.  We’ve experienced broken boards many times and it’s so frustrating. Broken baggage is a huge reason you should get travel insurance.

All 3 of these surfboards have been dinged up on airplanes at one point or another

If your travels are based around your adventures (surfing, climbing, biking, skating, skiing, paddle boarding, camping, hiking, or backpacking), your gear has to make it to your destination in one piece.  If the airline damages your baggage, World Nomads will cover the cost to replace your damaged baggage. On top of that, if your bag gets lost, stolen, or delayed, World Nomads has you covered on that too.

Click here to check out some more of our adventure stories

Other Coverage Travel Insurance Offers

  • Emergency dental coverage overseas
  • Stolen electronic devices 
  • Natural disasters + Terrorism
  • Coverage for Schengen Visas
  • and more!

7 things you should know about travel insurance from World Nomads

  1. Flexibility when you need it most
    Had a change of plans? You can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
  2. Cover for a range of adventure activities
    From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
  3. World Nomads keeps you travelling safely
    All members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.
  4. More than just great value travel insurance
    All members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
  5. Trusted reliable underwriters is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great coverage, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
  6. Value for money with the cover you need provides cover for what’s important for travellers from 140 countries. By focusing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
  7. Commitment to exceptional customer service
    We want to make sure you get the most from You can find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact directly.

Why use World

  1. World Nomads travel insurance is simple & flexible.
  2. It’s designed for adventurous travelers (like us) with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
  3. You can buy online, even if you’ve already left home
  4. Buy more cover and claim online while traveling
  5. Covers a range of adventure sports and activities
  6. Backed by specialist insurers and global assistance partners
  7. Give a little back and support a community development project

Travel insurance is one of those things I realize we can’t be cheap about.  It’s worth spending the money on it in order to have some piece of mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re “really safe,” “really healthy,” or a “really experienced traveler.” Accidents happen to the best of us and having travel insurance will ease your mind when traveling the world. Don’t make the same mistakes we did.  After our latest incident in Spain we never travel without World Nomads travel insurance.  Make the small investment in travel insurance for your next trip, you won’ regret it.

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Robin Knupp

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

I bought World Nomad insurance when we went to Kenya for a 2 week safari last year. It was the most reasonable I could find and I didn't have to buy things I didn't need, like baggage insurance since we only took carry-on and trip delay, since I think I could deal with that myself if it happened.

9 Reasons to Visit Hossegor, France • Nomads With A Purpose

Monday 17th of September 2018

[…] Related blog: So You Need Travel Insurance? 4 Times We Wish We Had Travel Insurance […]

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