The time has finally come. You’ve saved enough coins to book your Vanuatu fishing trip. Dates have been blocked off, flights and hotels booked and paid for in advance, new rods and reels spooled with fresh braid prepared and packed, new lures rigged with brand new hooks. Ready for take-off!
But you’ve read our recent article about fishing travel woes and realized that you have yet to purchase a fishing travel insurance. Not really as exciting as having a big doggie at the end of your line, but travel insurance is a necessity, based on my personal experience.
Having worked in the fishing charter industry for the past few years, I have dealt with a lot of situations wherein I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience in fishing travel disaster world. Lost luggage, cancelled flights, natural disasters and even cancelled trips can throw a spanner into your well-oiled plans, proving how crucial it is to have an insurance policy covering these things mentioned above.
I will be sharing discussions I’ve had with past and current guests to provide context. I am not a travel insurance expert, but I do know how important it is to have and how great it is to have when you “need” it.
“No, you don’t “NEED” travel insurance, but if you find yourself “NEEDING” it, you’ll be glad you have it.”
Why do I Need Fishing Travel Insurance?
Even the most seasoned fish travelers fail to understand the importance of having a fishing travel insurance policy to cover them, and I’ll try to keep things extremely quick to understand.
Let’s pretend that you aren’t a tough and outdoorsy individual and you get a bug or influenza after the guy seated next to you on the plane sneezed into your dinner tray while you were in the loo. Yum. What if you broke your wrist by slipping off the boat’s gunnel straight into the transom well? Basic medical treatment in most countries are fairly affordable and easy. But what if all your expensive camera and fishing gear gets lost or stolen? What if you need emergency evacuation after an 800lb blue marlin impales you in the upper thigh? Unforeseen events and disasters may happen in a blink of an eye and you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need to cancel your trip. Sucks balls doesn’t it? All of the above situations are very unlikely but can still happen. Spending a few hundred bucks on travel insurance will be worth it. No, you don’t “NEED” travel insurance, but if you find yourself “NEEDING” it, you’ll be glad you have it.
What kind of Fishing Travel Insurance Do I Need?
Let’s focus on fishing trip specific needs. Different companies offer heaps of different policies and even more possible combinations of the said policies. Sifting through all of them will take a lot of effort but doing so, you’ll find something that will be best for you as a fisho. Just like your car insurance, they are different levels of coverage depending on how much you are willing to spend. Some more pricier policies can cover everything, from emergency evacuation, trip cancellations to lost or stolen luggage. Warning: always read the fine print! It’s in the fine print where they tell you (or try not to tell you) all about the monetary limitations on your policy.
If you feel extra healthy and good, you can customize your policy to only cover major medical evacuation and just let you deal with your chicken tandoori related diarrhea on your own, all for a cheaper price.
As standard practice, I always recommend my guests get the following covered:
- Sickness or Injuries coverage
- Trip cancellation coverage
- Trip interruption coverage
- Emergency evacuation coverage
- Lost or stolen luggage coverage
Let’s revisit the scenario earlier. Trip booked and everything fully paid. All gear purchased and packed. Then a sudden illness forces you to cancel your fishing Vanuatu trip days before your departure. Trip cancellation coverage will be your savior here and can cover the above-mentioned expenses. Trip cut short due to a sudden hurricane or “Act of God”? Flight cancelled due to a natural disaster? Trip interruption insurance to the rescue. 50kg barracuda bite two fingers off you while unhooking the green bastard? Emergency evacuation coverage has your back! All your fishing gear stolen in transit? Lost or stolen luggage coverage at your service.
Again, different companies, different policies, different costs. Make sure to buy one that you feel is right for you.
Emergency Evacuation Insurance? How Dangerous is the Fishing Trip I Booked?
I signed up for a fun and relaxing trip, not to wrestle with sharks!
The likelihood of getting into extremely life-threatening situations are slim, so no need to over react, but as I’ve said earlier, you’ll be glad you have it if you end up needing it. Mobilizing an emergency response team to rescue you from a remote fishing location, then rushing to the nearest facility that are qualified to handle your case is not cheap at all. Some policies may cover up to $100,000, $1M or even unlimited coverage! Depends on what your budget is or what risks you are willing to take. Well known and world trusted companies offer short term coverage that covers you only from the start date to the end date of your trip, which is a smarter and significantly cheaper choice.
What if My Fishing Gear Gets Lost or Stolen? Will They be Covered?
I cannot tell where or when theft or loss may occur, but this is another aspect I always ask my guests to look into, hard. Ensure lost or stolen items are covered in your policy. I hate repeating myself but different companies will provide varying levels of coverage. Some will cover only $50 per item and some will cover the full cost. Just make sure you have all the receipts and photo evidence of your gear to make things easier come claim time.
Once a claim has been sent to the insurance company, it will take some time for them to review and there are really good insurance companies that act really fast and ensure they keep their clients happy and satisfied. Diamonds in the rough.
If our Fishing Trip Gets Cancelled, How Will I Get Reimbursed?
If a fishing trip gets cancelled by the charter company you booked with, booking managers or fishing guides will assist you in your claim by providing all the necessary documents and evidence required by your insurance company. We’ve had times where we had to send them detailed weather reports from the national weather bureau to prove a trip was cancelled or cut short due to bad weather. We’ll do these for you with no drama and we’ll be extremely happy if you get reimbursed.
I truly hope you consider getting a fishing travel insurance policy to cover yourself for your next Vanuatu fishing trip. Not a necessity but is awesome to have when you eventually need it.