Backpacker travel insurance guide

backpacker insuranceDeciding to take time out and travel the world is exciting. However, whether you choose to go it alone or go with a group of friends, it can be a daunting experience. There is lots of planning involved for these kind of trips, and without a doubt, one of the most important things to consider is travel insurance.

There are travel insurance policies which are aimed specifically at backpackers. There are many benefits to these policies, the main being that you will be saved a lot of hassle and money if you find yourself in any bother whilst away, but there can also be exclusions and things to watch out for.

Here we explain all about backpackers travel insurance to help you get a full understanding and ensure you are sufficiently covered before you embark on your trip.

What is backpackers travel insurance?
Backpackers travel insurance policies can cover individuals for up to 18 months, however this can vary from insurer to insurer. This is one of the biggest benefits of having this type of travel insurance as opposed to single or multi trip insurance, which only offer cover for a certain amount of days each year.

With a backpacker’s insurance policy, you will be covered for a number of different countries during your trip, so you won’t need to organise individual cover for each place you visit.

What is covered with a backpackers travel insurance policy?

Medical cover
Medical treatment can be extremely expensive abroad, but with the correct insurance medical costs will be covered if you should need it. If you do not have sufficient medical cover, you could find yourself facing medical bills of thousands of pounds.

Some insurers will include a 24 hour emergency service, meaning that if you find yourself in a medical emergency, an assistance company will make all the arrangements for you so you get the right help.

Personal possessions cover
Your personal possessions including your passport (and other travel documents) and money could be covered if they were to be lost, damaged or stolen.

Personal possessions cover usually has a limit on both the total claim and on specific items, so if you are taking expensive items away with you, for example a digital camera or pieces of jewellery, you should make sure they are adequately covered by your policy to avoid not being able to claim.

Personal liability cover
Backpackers travel insurance policies also include personal liability cover. This is to cover any costs if you cause any injuries to a person or any damage to their property. This cover is important to have, as there may be situations where possessions are damaged by accident.

Cancellation cover
Cancellation cover is included in some, but not all backpacker insurance policies. The cover is in place in case you have to cancel some or the entire length of your trip.

Common exclusions

There are common exclusions to backpacker’s insurance policies, some of which are mentioned below. You should always make yourself aware of the exclusions in the policy that you opt for so that you know exactly what you are covered for, and also if you need additional cover for certain things.

Basic sports are usually covered by your policy but you may find that certain activities are not. Such as sky diving, scuba diving etc. It is important that you check your policy to find out if you are covered for these activities. If you find you are not covered and wish to be, many activities can be added on to your policy for a small additional charge.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be refused backpacker’s travel insurance. You must always be honest about any medical conditions that you have, even if it results in your paying a higher premium. If you fail to declare medical information, you run the risk of your policy becoming invalid.

Certain countries may not be included in your travel insurance policy, for example those considered not suitable for travel by the British Foreign Office. Before you leave for your adventure, you should check the guidelines of your policy and always inform your insurance company if your itinerary changes whilst you are away.

A final note about backpackers travel insurance is to always compare policies and prices before you commit to purchasing. You may find that after assessing your budget, you can afford to pay a higher premium which would then lower the excess if you had to make a claim. It is important that you ensure you have sufficient cover for everything you plan to do whilst you are away, failing to do so could leave you with huge problems and large bills, or even you having to end your trip sooner than planned.

Having backpacker travel insurance could help you if…

  • Your flight has been cancelled
  • Your bags are lost
  • You need emergency medication
  • Your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport
  • You need medical help
  • You need to cancel your trip due to illness
  • Your holiday operator goes bankrupt
  • You need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination
  • You have a medical emergency in a foreign country
  • Severe weather conditions force you to evacuate your resort, hotel or cruise

Your travel insurance should cover the following:

  • Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad – you could find yourself unable to receive medical treatment for an emergency outside the EU if you do not have travel insurance
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance
  • Personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
  • Lost and stolen possessions cover (personal possessions)
  • Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
  • Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as hazardous sports

The policy should cover the whole time that you’re away.

Your policy may also have:

  • Personal accident cover
  • Legal expenses cover
  • Financial protection if your airline goes bankrupt before or during your trip.

If you’re looking for a travel insurance policy that fits your needs, take a look at our travel insurance deals page.

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For more information regarding travel insurance, read all of our handy guides and resources below: