I like insurance. (Sometimes).
Some forms of insurance are more useful than others, especially when it comes to traveling.
One of the biggest risks you face on the road is that of theft/loss/damage of your personal valuables. You are vulnerable from all sides when you travel, so you need to be especially attentive to where and how you carry your valuables.
The problem is, property insurance is probably one of the hardest forms of insurance to claim on. No insurance claim is easy (trust me – I’ve been there), but when it comes to property and valuables, insurance companies are very adept at finding ways to not pay out.
However you can beat them at their own game, if you’re organized. Keep original receipts of major items you have insured, and take pictures of the items – and you using them. (And of course, if the insured item in question is your laptop and all this information is stored on it, then make sure you have a backup in case it’s the laptop that goes missing).
If you can irrefutably prove that you bought Item X, and can illustrate that you owned and used it before it was damaged/stolen, then there isn’t much they can say. Cheque please!
For the first few years of my full-time travels, I didn’t have any property insurance. But when I upgraded my laptop and acquired a few higher-value items to accompany me on my journey, I started becoming consumed by a fear of these items being damaged or stolen.
Enter from stage left: Property Insurance.
Through some fellow travelers, I learned about Clements Insurance which is geared towards expats, providing various forms of insurance to those living or traveling abroad. Their International Property & Liability insurance wasn’t prohibitively expensive, and gave me peace of mind that if my laptop (for example) went missing I wouldn’t be immediately on the hook for an expensive replacement bill.
It’s their transit coverage that makes it effective for long-term travelers on the move. And if you are a short-term traveler, check out your existing renters’ or homeowners’ insurance plans, as they might provide coverage for your items while you’re traveling.
As with all insurance, read the (mind-numbing) fine print to ensure you understand the coverage and what you need to do to make a successful claim – before you need to make a claim.
Clements Insurance is the only insurance company I’m aware of that offers international property insurance suitable for travelers. Are there any long-term travelers out there who have experience with another property insurer?