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It is essential to take out travel insurance before you travel. Běijīng is a reasonably healthy place and foreigners are rarely targeted in thefts, but accidents happen and things do disappear, so a policy that includes comprehensive medical coverage, including evacuation back to your home country, and the loss or theft of your possessions is a good idea. There are any number of potential policies out there, some of which will cover you for just one trip, while others are annual policies which cover you no matter how many trips you make. When deciding on a policy, don't just look at the cost of the policy itself: check to see what exactly you are insured for (some policies won't cover you for certain activities or sports, such as rock climbing) and also if the insurer will deduct an amount of money before settling any claim. It is always sensible to get a couple of quotes before deciding on a policy. Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you are already on the road.