We strongly recommend you buy a travel insurance coverage before you begin your volunteer trip. There are hundreds of possible events during your trip that could result in two major financial losses: money you paid in nonrefundable pre-payments, and medical expenses that in many instances may not be covered by health insurance. Illness, accidents or other unforeseen events that force a traveler to cancel or interrupt their plans can be covered by a travel insurance policy.
Here are a few common scenarios which you could easily cover and and be covered by a travel insurance policy:
- It's late at night and you arrive at the airport for a connecting flight, only to find that your flight has been cancelled. Who can assist you with finding new flights to get to your destination?
- Your bag was lost with your clothes and medicine inside. You need help locating your bag as soon as possible and have your emergency prescription filled. Who do you call? If your luggage is only delayed, who will pay for your necessities? If it's stolen, who will pay to replace it?
- During your stay abroad, your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn for emergency cash, and how will you get your passport replaced?
- You're involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation?
- If a family member becomes seriously ill and you must cancel your trip, what happens to your non-refundable deposits or pre-payments?
- During your volunteering job abroad, you twist an ankle. Who can help you find an English-speaking physician?
- Three weeks before your scheduled arrival, a coup d'etat occurs in the country you are planning to visit and a civil war breaks. Who will pay if you want to cancel your trip?
- You are in Thailand, and you are forced to evacuate due to an approaching a tropical storm. Who will help you evacuate?
For these and many more unforeseen circumstances, it is a wise idea to spend a small fraction of your budget to buy an adequate insurance coverage.