Travel Insurance - Is it worth it? Is there a cheaper option?
Yes and Yes!!!
For the countless times I have travelled, I have waived on purchasing insurance, Mostly due to finances. I had been lucky - never sick or injured, lost luggage, delayed flights, disaster or theft. So my travel insurance purchases were solely based on my finances or memory to get coverage.
But things DO happen and it was pure luck that I had discovered an amazing insurance company. For the same price as one week with other companies, this company had you covered for one year! And it was during this year while volunteering in Ecuador I was robbed at gunpoint while sleeping. They took everything. Everything! Complete nightmare. Luckily I was not hurt and yes, it was just materialistic things. But what if I was injured, the costs and situation could have been way worse. And then what? Thankfully I would have been covered. And I was...
I made a claim, sent in receipts, proof of the incident and received a cheque to help me cover my costs.
The catch? You must be volunteering. This is NOT regular travel insurance. This is a company that appreciates the time, money and dedication to all those that volunteer. This is their thank you and not something to take advantage of. They do require proof of you volunteering and they will check up on it. Although your insurance is valid for a year, you must inform them of each volunteering trip (with acceptance letters, organization details, itinerary etc.) prior to leaving. You will not be covered if you volunteer for 2 weeks and then go travelling for 2 months and need to make a claim. This is solely for the duration of your volunteer time.
So what is this amazing company?
International Volunteer Insurance (IVC). http://www.volunteercard.com/
I can’t thank them enough for providing such an amazing service. Friendly, helpful and easy to deal with in those times in need (and even when you just have some regular questions) and quick to respond back. 24 hour service, great website with tips, membership with great affiliate discounts. This is an absolute must for any volunteer!
Tip - If your trip is pricey and prepaid - I do recommend purchasing trip interruption and trip cancellation.
If you do plan on travelling before or after your volunteer project there are some great resources on insurance plans on the web.