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World Wide Travel Insurance

World wide travel insurance has got to be at the top of the list when it comes to getting prepped to finding a job in Japan. Picking a English school to work for is pretty complex thing all by itself. 

Then picking the country you want to try to work in is another. Then if you have settled on teaching in Japan you have to weigh the pros and cons of the city you want to teach in, the company you want to work for and the list goes on. Complex stuff. 

World Wide Travel Insurance & Some Considerations

Part of what this site is about is not only giving advice about teaching in Japan but also about getting  you there in good shape and a solid state of mind so you can get off to a good start. And when you start I was always told to start at the beginning and so we shall with a basic prep step before you get on the jet. Travel Insurance.

Gosh there's not enough on your plate to deal with so let's stack more on. Picking worldwide travel insurance is yet another. And a serious one to consider at that. 

The very first thing that pops into a person's mind regarding travel Insurance is - do I need it? Well to quote Clint Eastwood we'd have to say this: 

"You've got to ask yourself one question.
Do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?"

Many skip travel insurance  because they think nothing will happen to them but it does. We at All About Teaching English in Japan call it O.P.S. (Other People's Syndrome). We made the word up. It's the little thought in the back of your head that whispers this won't happen to me.

But things really can and do happen to everyone, every day . You have car insurance right? Homeowner insurance right? Usually health insurance too.  So if you put yourself in one of the most difficult positions possible in terms of the stuff that can go wrong why on earth would you not get some type of insurance, even if it is bare bones cheap travel insurance.

World Wide Travel Insurance - The Basics: Bags

The #1 travel insurance claim is lost and stolen baggage. Most think it is injury but it isn't. It's all that precious stuff you put in your bag. It's an extremely  common problem.

People actually track this kind of stuff. Research from SITAthey made the World Tracer System and crank out annual reports on the state of baggage handling  worldwide, found that 21.6 million bags were mishandled (lost or temporarily mislaid) in 2016. Well I guess we now know that millions weren't that lucky. So it is a very real thing.

Travel Insurance for Lost/Stolen Baggage

Whether your bag was lost by the airline, accidentally picked up by someone with a similar bag or just flat-out ripped off, being the last one standing at the baggage carousel isn't exactly the greatest feeling in the world.

Beyond just mere inconvenience, if your bag  has things of sentimental value or invaluable stuff like data on your i-pad that isn't backed up it can be a real set back. Making sure that your travel insurance covers baggage losses is indispensable in choosing a  package. Something else to consider is as to whether or not your home insurance policy covers travel losses. If so, you won't need this.

World Wide Travel Insurance & Some Super Simple Steps to Protect Yourself

Travel Insurance for Lost or Stolen LuggageTravel Insurance for Lost or Stolen Luggage

Some things you can do to minimize this risk is to pick a bag that really stands out. Don't buy a black one like everyone else. Get a real eye grabber.  Or tie a red bandanna to the handle.

Really folks, how many people have an Eiffel Tower on their checked luggage (besides of course all the ESL teachers who are going to France to teach English. Or how about this next one. A bit more for the ladies perhaps but really...

Excuse me sir... I think that's my bag...

how could you possibly make a mistake and grab this one thinking it was yours. Unless you spent too much time in the Sky Lounge throwing back the beers like there was a fire you were trying to put out.

Also as soon as you get off the plane make a bee line to the carousel and get  your bags as soon as they come out. This minimizes the risk of someone else ripping it off or taking your bag by  mistake. After all 21.6 million bags can't be wrong.

World Wide Travel Insurance: Don't Even Think About Trying to Pull This One

Cash Isn't CoveredCash Isn't Covered

Something that is not covered in your insurance policy is non-attended baggage (thus the reason to get to the carousel lickity split.

Also baggage contents often have to be considered. For example cash and travelers check aren't  covered. So in other words if you've got these kind of liquid assets in your checked baggage you're out of luck.

Also make sure to report or make your claim within the time allowed on the insurance contract. As soon as your bag doesn't turn up within one might say a reasonable period of time. 

What's reasonable? It depends on your policy disclosure statement. If you're standing there by yourself when everyone else who was on the same fight as you are already through immigration and heading on, go the baggage claim department and file. Not doing this can get cause a claim to be denied as they deem the bag was unattended.

And a word to the wise, if you claim some high-end gadgetry like a slick cam recorder was in your bag, your insurance company might ask you to prove it. Got your receipt??? It might be a good idea to keep them if you intend to get some pics or video footage of Mt. Fuji or your students and adventures while teaching in Japan.

World Wide Travel Insurance and Credit Card Theft 

Another common snag when traveling abroad is credit card theft. Whether your pocket got picked or your numbers got lifted from the guy behind you at the ATM machine it happens a lot.

In 2017 alone in a  Identity Fraud Study, released by Javelin Strategy & Research, found that $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016.

I guess O.P.S strikes again.  Millions more not so lucky. But luckily most basic travel insurance plans cover this kind of theft.

Some Things you can do to protect yourself are:

  • Avoid using public computer when entering CC info.
  • Don't give your CC# out over the phone.
  • If you have one use a smart CC not one with the magnetic strip as that technology is old now. They call this new technology "embedded chip technology"
  • Keep your credit card in a neck wallet with RFID blocking capabilities that stop electronic pick-pockets. Some credit cards, passports, and driver's licenses now come with embedded radio frequency identification thus allowing that info to get "skimmed".

If this does happen to you check your travel insurance policy to make sure you are covered they will often advise you on what steps to take like cancelling the card, reporting it stolen or missing etc. The most important thing is to act quickly to limit the amount of damage done.

Related Articles...

Gap Year Travel Insurance - Stolen Baggage, Credit Cards? How Much Insurance do You Need?  
Packing Tips - Info. on What to Bring & What to Leave Behind.
Flight to Japan - 17 Ways to Make Your Flight to Japan 10 Times More Enjoyable.
International Air Travel Tips - Fast and Convenient ways to Save Money When you book flights.
Airline Ticket Price Comparison - More Tips & Tricks to save you Money on Your Next Flight.

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