Buying a travel insurance is definitely a thing you shouldn’t skip when you plan to go travel. Anyhow, travel insurances can be a headache especially for those who are going for a long trip. National insurance companies offer a normal insurance mostly for maximum three-month trips and a travel insurance for more than three months can be expensive. We ended up buying our travel insurance for the backpacking trip in Asia from international True Traveller company* that sells insurances for European citizens. We find this cheap travel insurance a very noteworthy alternative for national travel insurances.
In this article, we tell about True Traveller travel insurance and how to buy it. The post contains affiliate links but all the opinions and experiences are honest and our own.
We had lived abroad already for a long time before we started traveling so buying a Finnish insurance wasn’t even an option for us. We compared the local insurance companies in Poland but the prices were honestly crazy. Another problem would have also been the language barrier (we were not very keen to spell the terms and conditions in Polish). That’s why we had to find another solution. Our situation was complicated also in that sense that our trip was going to be one-way and we didn’t know how long it would last. Many travel insurance companies want to know the final destination or require a return ticket.
While searching through the travel insurances we found British True Traveller that had got lots of positive reviews and also turned out to be the cheapest option after comparing. Another well-known international travel insurance is World Nomads. Anyhow, the insurances offered by this company were way more expensive than the True Traveller insurance. The lowest offer for one-year travel insurance at World Nomads is 891 euros whereas we only paid about 300 euros each for our True Traveller insurance. After this price comparison, the decision was quite easy. We noticed though that True Traveller has raised the prices since last year. At the moment, a basic insurance package with luggage protection and 0€ excess costs about 400 euros for one year (prices are from October 2017).
Why to buy travel insurance from True Traveller
True Traveller insurance was specially designed for aimless backpackers like us, which is great!
The best sides of True Traveller travel insurance are, besides the cheap price, the long duration of the insurance and the wide cover for activities. You can take the insurance for up to 18 months and prolong it after that. Backpacker travel insurance doesn’t require the return ticket either and you can buy it even if you are already traveling. We bought the insurance for one year first and prolonged it later after we decided to continue our trip to New Zealand. For the prolongation, you get a 10 percent discount from the normal prices. True Traveller insurance was specially designed for aimless backpackers like us, which is great!
Because the company is British, you might wonder how Brexit affects the insurances. True Traveller writes on their websites that so far, Brexit doesn’t affect the insurance in any way and the official date for Brexit is only in March 2019. After this, even the company itself doesn’t know what will happen to it. Anyhow, for now, you can buy the travel insurance without any worries.
We have been lucky on our travels so far so we don’t have any personal experience in making a claim at True Traveller (let’s touch the wood at this point). Based on the reviews we have read, the things go very quickly and smoothly though and you get paid immediately while you are on the road and not just after the trip. You can read reviews for example here. We have sent questions to the company via e-mail a couple of times and always got a quick and prompt answer.
Things to consider while buying a travel insurance
Before buying a travel insurance, the first thing you should do is to define what kind of trip you are planning. Which countries are you going to travel to and what do you want to do there? If you plan to do any extreme sports or want to work while you travel, you must take this into the account also in the insurance. We chose the Backpacker insurance* from True Traveller’s selection that fit our situation well. Anyhow, you should also check the other options like multi-trip and one way.
The price of the travel insurance depends naturally on where in the world you are going to travel. You can buy a separate insurance only for Europe or Australia and New Zealand or you can choose an insurance that covers all the countries. Our travel insurance is valid everywhere in the world except USA and Canada. This option is cheaper than the one that covers all the countries and we knew that we wouldn’t travel to these two countries on this trip.
If you have any illnesses or other premedical conditions that can affect whether you can be issued a normal insurance, you must always contact the insurance company before buying an insurance.
What kind of travel insurance package to choose
It is easy to test on True Traveller website* how much the insurance will cost. True Traveller offers three different value packs that are True Value, Traveller and Traveller Plus. The first one is the cheapest option so also the remuneration sums are the lowest. This package doesn’t cover for example hijacks or missing a flight. Traveller plus again is the most expensive package and also the remuneration sums are the highest. We found that the cheapest option is enough for us so we bought a True Value package. Getting kidnapped is quite unlikely to happen and all the flights we buy are normally so cheap that missing a flight wouldn’t be a big loss.
One very important thing to notice is that when you choose the insurance package, you should definitely choose the excess waiver option. This option is “hidden” on the site at the upper corner of the insurance packages (see the picture below). If you choose this option, it will cost about 50 euros extra for one year. With the excess waiver, you don’t need to pay any excess that would otherwise be 125 pounds (140 euros) in the cheapest True Value package. Without the excess waiver, the insurance is basically worthless when it comes to basic doctor visits and other small things.
We somehow missed this thing completely while we bought our insurance. We got to notice it only recently when Johanna had to go to see a doctor and paid almost 100 euros for the visit. Only then we noticed the excess sum that was on our insurance papers. This is of course our own fault and not the insurance company’s as it is clearly mentioned on our insurance policy. Anyhow, it is easy to miss that button when you buy the insurance so you should pay attention to it. We contacted True Traveller right away and were luckily able to add the excess waiver option to our new insurance that hadn’t become valid yet!
Activity packs and luggage cover
After you have chosen the suitable insurance package for you, you can add different extras to it. There are also three different activity packs to choose from: Traveller Pack, Adventure Pack and Extreme Pack. The cheapest option is Traveller Pack that comes with the insurance automatically. This activity package covers most of the basic sports and activities, including snorkeling and diving until 18 meters. If you are not planning to do any extreme sports, this basic package might be enough for you.
We chose Adventure Pack to our insurance as it also covers volunteering and physical work besides the basic activities. We have done volunteering several times during our trip and now we also ended up getting paid jobs in New Zealand so this extension has been really useful. Extreme Pack again covers, besides everything mentioned before, also more violent sports like rugby, American football and for example flying a private plane, just in case someone happens to end up in this kind of situations while traveling. If you plan to do winter sports, there is also a separate package for that.
True Traveller travel insurance doesn’t automatically cover luggage or valuables but you have to buy a separate package for that. We chose the cheapest option that covers the luggage, money and travel documents. The package covers a single valuable item up to 350 pounds (390 euros) so if you have more valuable electronics with you, you should choose an additional package for them.
Just like when buying any insurance, we recommend reading all the terms and policies through carefully before the purchase. Also, double check that the insurance covers everything that you plan to do on your trip. Travel insurances with their complicated policies and rules are sometimes frustrating but we find the websites and insurance policies of True Traveller fairly clear (except that excess waiver button). As we mentioned, the customer service works without any issues according to our own experience and they answer to e-mails within 24 hours.
Summarized, True Traveller is an extensive and cheap travel insurance for a long trip. It is a great choice especially for those backpackers who want to travel without a specific plan or destination and who stay on the road for more than 3 months.
What kind of experiences do you have about travel insurances and which insurance do you recommend?
PS. Check also other useful websites and applications for travel planning on our Resources site!
*the post contains affiliate links