Travel Insurance is IMPORTANT!
Holiday doesn’t always go as planned. Liveaboard travel can be expensive especially if you go for a deluxe boat or a remote destination. Travel insurance can be as important as a passport. Travel without it, you or your loved ones could suffer financially if things go wrong. No matter who you are, where you're going and what you're doing, get insurance!
Medical expenses are the number one reason to get insurance, but sometimes other things can go wrong too, such as trip cancellations, delays, lost luggage or even the big stuff like natural disasters, or something like the COVID-19 pandemics. If you end up out of pocket because of these things, insurance can make up for that.
Travel Insurance is a MUST for some countries
Some countries such as Ecuador (Galapagos Islands), Thailand, the European countries in the Schengen Area all require you to have travel insurance by law, otherwise they may refuse you enter the country if they really want to.
Travel insurance for your health
Travel insurance is especially important if you need medical assistance. Healthcare overseas can be very expensive. Most countries won't give you free care, or subsidies the cost of your care. You, or your insurer, must usually pay full price.
Hospitals in some countries will even refuse to give you medical assistance if you don't pay upfront, or hand over your insurance details. Even if it means you might die.
"Be aware that you may not be covered if something happens to you as a result of an excluded activity. For example, most policies cover a broken bone. However, if you scuba diving, then most travel insurance won't cover it and that's why you need to buy professional dive insurance!"
Travel insurance and COVID-19
Many travel insurers now offer limited cover for COVID-19, but the available cover varies quite a lot. Some policies only cover medical and repatriation costs if you get COVID-19 overseas, while other policies provide limited cover for cancellation costs in addition to medical and repatriation costs.
When you buy travel insurance for liveaboard trips, be extra careful. Some travel insurers may not offer COVID-19 cover for multi-night cruises or they may restrict the cover provided on cruises.
There are cooling-off periods for COVID-19 cancellation cover, so it’s best to buy your travel insurance at the same time as you book your trip. Some insurers may only cover cancellation if you test positive to COVID-19 and the policy was purchased more than 21 days before your scheduled departure date.
Travel insurance for your baggage and valuables
Travel insurance can cover the cost to replace your baggage and valuables. If you're insured, you can claim the replacement costs for items that are lost, stolen or damaged.
Some insurers will also help you organise the replacement if it's something you need while you're away.
Items insurance can cover :
- Electronic devices. >> smartphones, computers and cameras.
- Baggage and personal property >> clothing, toiletries etc.
- Jewellery and valuables >> rings, necklaces and watches etc.
- Cash. This is usually only a small amount.
- Sports equipment >> diving gear
Most policies set item limits. If you're carrying an item worth more than the limit, you can usually pay extra to cover it. So check the insurance police.
Covering the cost of cancellations and/or delays
Plans change. Travel insurance can cover cancellation costs if you need to change your plans or you are forced to change plans due to regulation or other reasons.
You’ll probably want to be covered if your travel plans are cancelled for any reason, but be aware that insurers will come up with plenty of excuses to avoid paying up.
Find out what's covered for cancellations and delays. Read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before you buy your policy.
When insurers may cover cancellation costs
- You or someone you care for gets seriously sick, or a family member dies.
- you were going overseas to study and your course is cancelled.
- you have an emergency situation at home or work (e.g. fire, flood or burglary) in the days before you leave.
- you fall pregnant before you go and your doctor says you can't travel.
Most insurers won't cover cancellation costs if:
- You changed your mind and don't want to go
- If your visa is refused
- If you break up with your partner
- Events that are known before you buy the policy
- Pre-existing medical conditions
How to choose the right travel insurance
Consider the destination you are going!
Some policies are destination-specific, others are worldwide. The level of cover and the cost of travel insurance can vary depending on the region you're travelling to. Risks in some regions or destinations may be of greater concern than others to the insurer.
Decide how long you're going for ?
Travel insurers usually quote based on how many days you'll be away. If you’re just planning a quick trip, you may want a one-off travel insurance policy. These are for a set number of days. If you travel often, or for extended periods, consider an annual multi-trip policy. It may end up being more convenient and better value.
What are you going to do before and after the liveaboard trip?
Will you heading out just for the liveaboard trip? Then the dive insurance will already cover the diving activity, so do not need to buy travel insurance "cover" scuba diving anymore. But if you are going for other activities, like hiking, mountain climbing. You might want to consider a coverage fully covers all the activities you want to do, Include driving a rental car!
Are you taking any valuable items?
Do you need cover for a digital SLR camera or an expensive tablet or laptop? Cover for such valuables can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands, and higher cover will often mean a higher premium.
How to buy the right travel insurance
The further out from your departure date that you buy travel insurance, the more you’re likely to pay for it, but you’ll be covered from the moment you buy your policy. For example, if you buy insurance 8 months before your liveaboard, you effectively have cheap cover for any events that affect your travel plans in those 8 months.
As 90% of the liveaboards require full payment at least 3 months before the departure. But if you only buy an insurance policy 4 weeks before you depart, you may not be covered for any cancellation costs at all.
Use your credit card
Some credit cards come with ‘free’ travel insurance when you use them to buy a ticket, pay for other travel expenses or otherwise activate it (we say ‘free’ because you’ll pay a premium in fees for the card itself).
This type of insurance can sometimes be a money-saver, and the level of cover can be just as good or even better than standard insurance, but make sure it gives you the cover you need.
Safty Wing Insurance works like a subscription and offer multiple services for different sort of nomads, travelers and remote workers. If you are traveling more than 4 weeks, then it's perfect for you, as they offer Travel medical coverage starts at 1/3rd of the price of the other competitor for similar coverage.
World Nomads Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance offers a range of different travel insurance plan, it is suitable for guests are 100% sure they will do the liveaboard, and there won't be any changes, as their cancellation coverage usually isn't high enough to cover the cost of liveaboard travel.
DiveAssure - Dive & Travel insurance
"DiveAssure"'s Dive &Travel insurance also provides extra premium coverage for international trips and liveaboard vacations. This plan secures your investment for your liveaboard trip – if you miss your liveaboard departure or lose diving days due to illness, boat issues weather, etc, you will be covered!
Please Note :
Dive and Cruise does not sell or endorse specific insurance policies or companies; the above information is offered as a service to our guests, but is not an exhaustive list of considerations.