|Do You Need Insurance?|
|Many travelers opt to get traveling health insurance and/or insurance to protect their valuables. We are not two of them.
Health care in most countries in the world is very cheap, if not free (the United States excluded). When Joel had a nasty ear infection in Cairns, Australia, we walked into a hospital emergency room, got immediate attention and medication Ė and the whole thing was free, even the medicine! Itís ironic, but the one country you would most need health insurance, if something happened, is the good old US of A. There are horror stories of travelers from foreign lands visiting the US and leaving with $50,000 - $60,000 in medical bills. Some foreign travelers visiting the US have even be denied medical attention because they canít prove they can pay. Thatís terrible. Medical coverage should be a human right, not conditional on how much money you have.
Anyway, we have opted to pass on health insurance. Many of you may find this too risky. Many of you may be saying, ďBut what if something happens?Ē. But, what if it doesnít? Sure you may have to pay more if some medical emergency did, by chance, happen. But how likely is that? The most likely outcome of having health insurance is, you will pay big monthly premiums (remember we arenít working so we would have to get insurance on our own, not through work) and you will never see a return on your investment.
As for travelers insurance to protect your valuables, we have also passed. Yes, we did get ripped off on this trip. (Twice in one day!) Maybe, if we would have had insurance, it would have covered all or part of our loss Ė but that is a big maybe. Most insurance plans have rules and restrictions that prevent payoffs Ė grace periods before coverage kicks in, conditions that restrict the scope in which a loss can take place, etc. Try getting a police report (a requirement in most insurance claims of loss of property) in say India. You would have to pay more to the police to get the form than you would get back from the insurance company. As with health insurance, we feel that the most likely outcome of insuring our valuables would be us paying in big monthly premiums, without a return on our investment.
Going without insurance isnít for everyone. Like Linus, they need their security blanket. But, if you believe in karma, you might want to think twice about getting insurance. If you focus on insuring against something happening, you are creating negative energy that makes it more likely for the outcome you are trying to avoid to happen. Itís like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In most Asian countries the concept of insurance doesnít even exist. Insurance conglomerates that have set up shop in Asia have found that their prospective customers find the concept of insurance ridiculous. They believe that if you insure against something happening, you make it more likely to happen, not less. When you think about it, they are right. The only way you can possibly benefit from getting insurance is if something bad happens. Talk about creating negative energy!