Your travel plans are set and you’ve purchased your insurance. You may feel like everything is in place. But there’s one vital detail that some travellers can forget: you need to physically have that insurance information. Copied. And in multiple locations.
Yes, that’s right. When you buy insurance for a trip, it’s imperative that you carry your policy information with you—and, equally importantly, that you make a backup copy to leave at home.
Why should I bring my insurance information along?
If you require medical care abroad, you’ll want access to your travel insurance details right away. Bringing along documentation that includes your insurance provider and policy number will mean there’s no delay in getting your medical bills sorted, should such a situation arise. In fact, in some cases, doctors abroad may not even be willing to treat you until they know you’re insured.
What’s more, some countries are starting to require that you bring proof of travel insurance when you visit. Always having that proof along will ensure you don’t run into any trouble entering your next destination.
Why do I need to leave a backup copy at home?
If you should misplace your policy information while abroad, it helps to have a loved one at home with quick access to the details. And, more importantly, in case of an emergency, your loved ones might themselves need to know the details of your insurance coverage.
Take the case of Zsombor Toth, a Canadian traveller who was recently seriously injured while travelling in Thailand. Toth told his family that he purchased travel insurance before leaving on his trip. Unfortunately, being in critical condition, Toth is not able to communicate the details of his coverage—and his family have not been able to locate his policy number. This puts everyone in a difficult situation; without knowing who Toth’s insurer might be, his family have not been able to contact anyone for help in covering his medical bills.
Not leaving a copy of your details at home is, of course, an innocent mistake—we don’t typically set off on exciting journeys thinking about the worst-case scenario. But by taking that extra step of leaving your policy information at home, you can be absolutely sure that the information will be there and accessible should you ever need it.
Is there anything else I should do to prepare before I go?
Confident in your travel insurance policy? Have copies of your details ready to go? Check the rest of the items on our travel checklist to make sure you’re prepared for your next adventure abroad. And travel safe!