Off and away to discover the world - that's something many of us dream about, even in Switzerland. Insurance is often the last thing people think about here, but it is crucial for a successful round-the-world trip, particularly health insurance.
A round-the-world trip must be carefully planned. And despite all the best planning, there is still one basic rule: no long trip is exempt from disasters, difficulties, and setbacks. By the time of the first serious incident, it'll be clear whether you can continue to enjoy your trip worry-free. It's not uncommon for the continuation of a trip to be determined by your personal insurance cover. For instance, if you have to go into hospital in the US and don't have any international health insurance, you'll very quickly have a problem. We show you which types of insurance really make sense for a round-the-world trip and which ones don't.
Classic travel insurance has a modular structure, in that you choose exactly the insurance cover you need. The key component is normally cancellation costs insurance or travel cancellation insurance.
Employees who work at least eight hours a month for the same company are covered in Switzerland by compulsory insurance for occupational and non-occupational accidents. However, this insurance cover ends 31 days after the last day of work, regardless of whether you resigned or are taking extended unpaid leave. You now have the following options:
The benefits are normally better with accident insurance through your employer, so you should take advantage of interim accident insurance for as long as possible before you change to your health insurer.
The cover from compulsory basic insurance is valid worldwide, but is limited in terms of its amount. If you travel to countries with high health costs, you are strongly advised to take out international health insurance (see "Is it worth taking out international travel insurance?").
Personal liability insurance applies worldwide. And it's important that you're covered, even when traveling, as you can accidentally cause damage to someone else anywhere. Tip: at AXA, damage caused by drones in the open category are also automatically insured.
You have to decide for yourself whether it's worth insuring your luggage. In any event, travelers who have the least to worry about are those who take as few valuables with them as possible. Otherwise household contents insurance offers supplementary cover for luggage and theft away from home. However, many globetrotters today take a great deal of expensive equipment with them, the value of which exceeds the standard sum insured for luggage. It's worth taking out electronic device insurance for photo and video cameras, drones, laptops etc.
There is a "Personal assistance" component with
Read your contracts very carefully to avoid multiple cover.
Travel insurance is valid from the date specified in the insurance contract. You are therefore insured if you take out a policy on short notice. But please note that events that happened or were apparent before you took out the insurance or booked your trip are not insured. Special rules apply to the chronically ill.
There are some countries you may travel to where you will not be adequately insured under Switzerland's compulsory health insurance. Although basic insurance also covers emergency treatments abroad, the benefits are limited: it pays up to twice the rates applicable for your canton of residence for a specific treatment. The insured must pay for anything above this level. The same also applies to accident insurance. The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are some of the countries with particularly high health costs. Here a harmless incident can become a financial fiasco. For this reason, many insurers offer international health insurance which is supplementary accident and health insurance specifically for travel abroad, the duration of which can be chosen.
If you're planning special high-risk activities for your round-the-world trip, check whether your insurance makes specific exclusions . For instance, some high-risk types of sporthave to have special insurance depending on the provider, such as downhill biking, snow rafting, high-altitude hiking over 5,000 meters or deep-sea diving below 40 meters.
Do the destination countries on your trip require specific vaccinations, such as yellow fever? Are you traveling to a malaria area and is medicinal prophylaxis required? Are there currently any outbreaks of contagious diseases along your route? HealthyTravel, the Swiss expert committee for travel medicine, has up-to-date information on its website about relevant events and explains what you should consider before, during and after your trip.
It often makes sense to seek the advice of a professional. You'll find specialist doctors for tropical and travel medicine near you in the Specialist Directory.