In case of emergency
“You do not want to be the last one in here,” he said.
A few seconds later, I was in the hallway with all my gear and a few hundred other people. If Mike hadn’t said that to me, my computer, backpack, and passport would still be in that room. Hence, I would still be in Mexico instead of getting out on the first flight I could find yesterday. — Rear cover in Mexico, December 2008
Traveling internationally requires a certain false confidence. A traveler should always appear as though he knows what he’s doing, so as to not become an immediate target for ne’er-do-wells. A traveler should always let himself believe he knows what he’s doing, so as to not allow fear to ruin an experience. A traveler should balance both of he above with a certain latent uncertainty, so as to not get so overconfident that he stops paying attention.
Although well traveled, I’m no expert. Still, despite what could’ve been some tricky situations, I’ve managed to keep myself safe on the road when in the presence of crooked Mexican federales, a horde of angry Argentinians, and a Chilean guy named Pablo (all true and as yet untold-by-me stories by the way).
Monday’s mail was a pleasant surprise. Apparently, the client who sends me around the world thought it proper to buy me some travel insurance. Although I don’t receive health insurance for that gig, someone in the HR department must have figured it was a good idea to cover me with International Insurance in case of an emergency. So, now, if something bad happens while I’m out of the road, I can get medical and legal care without having to go broke.
It’s a really good and really specific policy. For instance, I know if I should break my arm while on a banana boat ride (see page 17 of the policy definitions book), I am covered. If I am mugged and my money is stolen, I am covered. If the claim results directly–and I’m quoting here–from “being an alcoholic,” then I am on my own.
All of it seemed fairly standard and I’ll admit some joy at being given something of at least some value by the client. Still, I couldn’t help but laugh when I reached page 51.
Section 16 — Hijack
This section of the policy sets out the benefit we pay in the event of a hijack.
What is covered
In the event the insured person is prevented from reaching their scheduled destination through hijack of the aircraft or other vehicle they are traveling
£50 per day per complete 24 hours the insured person is incarcerated
The most we will pay for each insured person under the policy per trip is £1,000.
And that’s it. Despite being so comprehensive as to explain which activities are covered (roller skating on a recognized rink) and which events do not receive coverage (injury caused by war, riot, invasion, revolution, or civil commotion), the section on hijacking left me wanting a bit.
I mean…£50? I’m going to sit in a hot airplane all day (for up to 20 days of coverage) with a guy who has a bomb strapped to his ass and is crying because Alyssa Milano never returns his calls and I’m only getting $75 a day? That’s less than minimum wage. I do things for fun that I wouldn’t do for £50 a day.
So, to my client: Thank you. You’ve made me feel a little safer on the road. I will feel much better about any on piste skiing I do and will be very careful about getting hijacked, because I’m not sure being incarcerated for 20 days would even cover the deductible.