The Importance of Backpacking Travel Insurance

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Most backpackers travel on a shoe string budget through many countries and for extended periods of time. These adventurers usually seek to purchase the cheapest flights, borrow backpacks from their friends and sometimes dismiss the necessary backpacking travel insurance. Even if you believe that an insurance policy is something you can do without, when traveling overseas for so long the risks for unforeseen events greatly increase.
The Importance of Backpacking Travel Insurance The Importance of Backpacking Travel Insurance Picture

Furthermore, if you can’t afford backpacking travel insurance, you certainly can’t afford the medical bills for overnight stays in European countries or the U.S. In case of an accident in a remote area, you will also need to be transported to the hospital and back home. This can reach even $30.000, and without proper insurance you will have to pay the expenses out of your pocket.

Because backpacking travel insurance policies focus on covering the essentials, they are generally cheaper than a single trip policy. Standard policies usually limit the number of days you are covered in one trip, while backpackers insurance offers you many options, especially if you are planning an adventurous vacation. The bare minimum should cover emergency medical expenses, lost, damaged or stolen possessions if you carry expensive electronic gear such as cameras in your backpack, medical evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption and high-risk activities.

Medical cover

The most important part of a backpacking travel insurance is the medical cover. Without it, you will not be able to receive emergency medical care outside your country of residence in case of an illness or accident. Make sure your policy includes 24 hour emergency service and medical evacuation, so in case of an emergency the company will make all arrangements. Because most policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions and high-risk activities such as bungee jumping and 24 hour emergency service, you will have to pay a small increase in premium for these options.

Personal belongings cover

The next thing you need to add to your insurance is coverage for personal belongings, in case they get lost, stolen or damaged. Make sure you ask how much coverage you have, because possessions coverage usually has an upper limit per item and on the total claim. Some policies also insure your documents and money with certain conditions. A mistake most backpackers make is to rely on airline compensation for lost luggage. Airlines are required to cover a small amount of money, usually per kilo, that will not be sufficient to replace expensive items. In case of a theft, you will need to report it within 14 hours and provide the insurance company with proof from the police department.