If you plan to go on a long-term backpacking trip out of the country, you should consider purchasing backpacker travel insurance. Backpacker travel insurance, also known as student travel insurance, provides flexible policies designed to fit your traveling activities. Hiking in rugged landscapes or extreme sports increases the risk of injury, infection, or disease.
Backpacker travel insurance does not cost a lot, and you can easily compare quotes online from many different insurance companies. Whether you’re a student studying abroad, or traveling with family, you can choose a plan which provides coverage for a specific period of months. Most companies allow you to extend the plan at any time during your travels, in the event you need to extend your vacation.
If you were to become ill or suffer injuries, lack of travel insurance could end up costing you thousands of dollars in medical bills and traveling expenses when evacuating the country. In order to find the best backpackers travel insurance suitable for you, you should understand how to compare policies.
Compare Backpacker Travel Insurance Coverage
Baggage and possessions
Backpackers travel insurance provides coverage for lost or stolen property. Many travelers bring a good amount of luggage for extended travels. Factor in the value of your belongings and choose backpacker travel insurance covering luggage. Carefully compare the terms regarding coverage for your money and personal documents such as passport.
Choose backpackers travel insurance covering repatriation, search and rescue, and emergency medical expenses. In addition to medical expenses, the travel insurance policy should apply to a potentially dangerous country or region. If you’re backpacking in a remote area, you want to make sure the plan covers helicopter pick-up in an inaccessible area.
Backpackers travel insurance should cover your cancellation expenses if you suddenly need to cancel your trip due to an emergency or holiday. Without cancellation coverage, you would have to pay for airline expenses.
You want to make sure you’re covered in case you accidentally cause property damage, or injure someone else during your backpacking trip. Without personal liability protection, you could end up paying for expensive bills out of your own pocket, or even wind up with a nasty law suit.
Backpacker Travel Insurance Exclusions
Choose a plan suitable for your intended travel activities. Some companies exclude certain types of extreme sports, while others do not. Gap plans usually provide more versatility in the amounts of sports covered. Backpackers travel insurance can cover up to at least 40 different sports.
The coverage varies, but some backpackers travel insurance covers sports such as bungee jumping, hang gliding, jet skiing, and sky diving. However, many companies do not cover extreme winter sports such as snowboarding, or down-hill skiing. If you cannot find coverage for your planned travel activities, you can usually pay a higher premium and receive additional protection.
Backpackers travel insurance does not provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Inform companies of pre-existing medical conditions to avoid potential problems. Do not lie to an insurance company, otherwise you could wind up being convicted of insurance fraud.
In addition, injuries relating to drugs and alcohol are not covered. There is no coverage for self-injury, HIV transmission, pregnancy and several others. Some companies do not allow people over a certain age to even apply for the insurance, so check the age requirements for the policy. Both backpackers travel insurance and student travel insurance are geared towards young adults and students travelling for more than four to five months at a time.
Once you find suitable insurance, contact the customer service department and ask about their exclusions. If you don’t understand the policy terms, ask a lot of questions.
How Much Does Backpacker Travel Insurance Cost?
The cost depends on different factors including the destination, the length of the policy, and the number of travelers. You can purchase insurance for a three to twelve-month period or longer.
If you look around online, you can find cheap premiums for as little as $50 – $75 for a three-month term. You will pay more for a six to twelve-month plan. If you order the insurance online, you can usually get nice discounts and save money.
Additional Considerations for Backpackers Travel Insurance
Find a company providing 24-hour customer service. If you need to file a claim, or ask questions, you should be able to make a phone call and receive assistance at any time. If you end up in a disastrous situation, inconvenient customer service could cause a major delay.
Find out if the policy offers student travel insurance benefits, such as special discounts or coverage for studying and working abroad. You might be able to receive student travel insurance discounts through a work program, or university.
Obtain copies of your medical records. Most backpackers travel insurance companies want to review your medical history before they insure you. You can usually send copies via fax, email attachment or mail the papers directly to the company.