Why Get Travel Insurance?
After working hard and saving up for ages it's a real pain having to fork over a load of money for an insurance policy you might not use, especially when there are far more important things to spend your money on like beer and throwing yourself out of an airplne.
I'm not here to scaremonger and preach to you about the benefits of travel insurance. I have taken many trips without it and have come away fortunately without any horror stories. True, it would have come in handy when I was in Australia and managed to get tonsillitis and a bike, my sunnies, some money, and my camera ripped off all in one week in Brisbane. I was about $150 out of pocket for the doctor and shots and couldn't claim for the stuff I had stolen, but nothing too terrible.
Then there was the time I was in Ireland and got glandular fever and was in hospital for 3 nights (on my birthday no less!) and had a £600 medical bill lovingly mailed to my parents back in Canada. Thankfully in this case my parent's work insurance combined with my province's health coverage just covered that bill nicely. I was pretty stressed about it though before I dicovered that piece of good news.
I think I've been lucky in the past and can now see how easily thing can go pear shaped while on the road. Maybe I'm getting responsible in my old age (I hope not!) but it seems to me like forking over a bit of cash on a travel insurance policy at the beginning of your trip will buy a hell of a lot of piece of mind down the road. It's one thing to think you might die when you hurtle down some mean rapids in a raft (that's natural) but it's a whole other thing to find yourself worrying about what you will do if things get a bit hairy and you do actually end up really hurting yourself. You've got to conectrate on not drowing, not on worrying about not having any medical coverage!
So if you're cheap like me and don't want to buy insurance, think about the piece of mind it will buy you so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest - skydiving and whitewater rafting and all. Even getting a bare-bones medical only policy beats not having anything.