We lived in Indonesia for 2 years from 2009 to 2011. The first year we had no insurance (everyone thought we were crazy). The second year, having felt like we’d pushed our luck far enough, we finally broke down and bought some. We were worried that one of our girls would get Dengue fever, break some bones, get bit by a rabid dog, or suffer from any number of things that were commonplace in the tropics. Instead, I was the one who ended up breaking my hand in two places from a “martini accident” and needed surgery. I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia twice for two surgeries over 6 months and didn’t have to pay 1 cent of what probably added up to over $10,000 worth of medical and travel expenses.
Insurance may not be sexy or cool, but I can’t imagine how screwed (no pun intended) I would have been without it.
If I think back over the years, and tally up the misfortunes of others that I’ve witnessed, as well as our own, it’s a shocking amount of loss: from my own mother getting robbed by street thieves in Rome, to my wife having her purse snatched from around her feet in a local restaurant to a good friend arriving all the way from Bali, Indonesia and having her wallet stolen between Termini and our hotel, The Beehive. These are just the cases of people close to me. If I add in our hotel guests, and the many fellow Americans I’ve seen at the Consulate getting stolen passports replaced, the amount of misfortune skyrockets.
Even though the odds are still in your favor that nothing will happen, if your number does come up, you’re going to lose big.
My point should be pretty obvious – bad stuff happens and when it does, there’s not much you can do to fix it. There’s a wide range of things that can go wrong – whether you’re adventurous, unlucky or just temporarily stupid (yes, it happens to the best of us).
Get insured – it doesn’t cost that much and you’ll be covered for health, your personal things both on you and left back in your accommodations, and for any costs (flights, hotel, etc.) associated with cancellations.
We’ve partnered up with World Nomads to offer quick, inexpensive insurance to our guests. You can get a quote by following this link.
To read about stuff you should worry about, and CAN avoid, in Rome, read Linda’s recent blog post about safety in Rome here.