Emergencies and insurances, the worldtrip emergency plan
Although nobody is looking for it and everybody tries to stay out of it: an emergency can happen, anytime and anywhere. May it be a health emergency, may your car brake down in the middle of nowhere. For these situations we give you insight how we prepared ourselves. Also, take a look at our post about Training for an overland trip. Good training can help you in an emergency, as well.
We chose an emergency contact at home, one of Anna’s best friends. We didn’t want to go with someone from our families. Our friend might stay calmer if we (or someone else) contact her in an emergency. She is better in dealing with stuff online than one of our parents. She speaks English fluently and doesn’t plan to leave for longer vacations during our trip.
Wherever we go and need to give an emergency contact (e.g. on a scuba diving trip), we put in her name and number.
We decided to create an emergency plan for our emergency contact. We wrote down all our information like passport numbers, logins to online forums etc.
We gave her contacts to workshops and websites in case we need her to arrange help for the car. She became member of different Facebook travel groups in case we need help or she needs to find us somewhere on this planet (Social Media has is up side here!). We carry a GarminInReach, with her number as first contact.
Whenever we know that we will be out of cell phone reception for a while, we let her know.
There are different communication devices out there. The most used and widely helpful is, of course, the cell phone. We always buy a SIM card when we enter a new country. The cell phone coverage is surprisingly good in many countries.
But you will end up several times in regions without cell phone reception. Sometimes for two weeks or longer, depending on how remote you dare to go. For these cases, we bought a GarminInReach. It is not a sat phone but a messenger. We can send and receive messages, and in any case we can press the emergency button. Then, a global network will be alarmed and hopefully someone will come to rescue us. We decided not to have the InReach activated all the time but only when we enter very remote areas.
Germany is probably a country where many people prefer to be insured, for whatever there is out there. This is a decision everybody can make on his or her own. But a proper health insurance can be lifesaving investment. And we highly recommend to always be insured wherever you go.
For short time travel your home base health insurance, if you have one, may cover your stay.
For long time travel, you always need to get a specific health insurance for long-time and worldwide travels. There are different companies, depending on your home country. We chose Allianz which is surprisingly cheap, and which already helped us out twice (and paid without problems).
An important aspect, when you look for insurer: Keep in mind that they need to include your transport back home when you are injured or sick!
Amongst overlanders, vehicle insurance is a heavily discussed topic. There are two types: the one who gets every insurance in every country. Or who even pays a ridiculous amount for a worldwide insurance. The other type, where we belong to, is the one who only gets the insurance where it is obligate. And doesn’t care about the rest. This might be risky but seems the most practicable solutions for us.
Let us know what you think about our emergency advice! Should we be more concerned about vehicle insurances?