Travel insurance: to buy or not to buy? A case study

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As most of you know, I went on trekking trip to Israel last month. Long before I boarded my flight, I got an email from the organizers of the trek telling me that I am required to buy travel insurance for this trip. ‘Really?’, I thought, ‘is it really necessary for a 4-week trip?’. I looked into pricing for travel insurance in the UK (still my country of residence) and came across this number: £50.98 (around US$81).

negev desert big fin hike
If you’re planning a hike like this, travel insurance is a must!

This included medical care, transport back home in the case of an emergency, trip cancellation, flight delays or cancellations, personal liability, theft or loss of my belongings up to £1,000. (Side note: I know that most people travel with more equipment than I do – I travel with gadget of little value for a reason though – but the insurance plan I chose is the budget plan. Investing just £6 more on a better insurance package would insure my belongings up to £2,500 (roughly US$4,000). The policy even covers missed flight departures, which one of my fellow hikers was delighted to hear after having missed her flight and re-booking on another flight to Tel Aviv when she was already at the airport.Luckily I wasn’t robbed, my flight wasn’t cancelled and i didn’t get sick (the story of a boy who had to be rescued with a helicopter after breaking his ankle in the Negev Desert though got me thinking about how long you’d have to pay off the debt for something like that – medical expenses with Avanti are covered up to £10,000,000).

big crater israel national trail
Imagine having to get evacuated out of a place like this!

While I didn’t get sick, my camera got severely sick, however. Two of my lenses, to be precise. I am still not sure what exactly happened, if they didn’t cope well with the desert sand or just decided to act up on me, but two lenses worth $1000 (£625) simply stopped working.

I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me (and how limited I was from now on with regards to picture taking!) but when one of my fellow hikers pointed out that stuff like this was usually covered by travel insurance, my mood brightened. I really didn’t have the money to replace two lenses – and upon checking if incidents like this were covered, I found out that travel insurance did indeed cover broken equipment!

Let’s look at the numbers: $81 for insurance vs $1,000 to pay the replacement out of my own pocket.

Next time I am wondering if it is worth buying travel insurance, I know the answer already.

dani israel national trail negev desert hike
Survived the desert trek without any injuries!



  1. I think it’s important to have travel insurance for this situation. We don’t think about it until something happens especially in our younger days because we just want to save money and think it only covers our health.

    1. Yes, exactly! I think it’s more likely that you get robbed, loose something, have to deal with a cancellation or something like that, and not get sick 🙂

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