The CallmeSavvy Guide To Travel Insurance: Backpackers

The CallmeSavvy Guide To Travel Insurance: Backpackers

Our final part on travel insurance focuses on the backpackers, a specialist group who typically need long-term and sometimes high risk cover.


Why You Need Specific Backpacker Insurance

Most standard travel policies restrict the length of trip to 30 days, and most backpacking trips have barely left the city they flew into by this time. So you’ll need a policy that will last as long as you do abroad, anything from 3 months to a year or more.

If you already have an annual family policy be warned that this may not be extensive enough to cover you for a backpacking trip as many activities on such trips will invalidate the cover.

Medical cost cover and repatriation costs are often far more expensive and so therefore more of a risk in far flung corners of the world, so the premiums need to reflect this. Here are some minimum cover requirements that we recommend;

£2m medical cover

£1 personal liability

£3,000 cancellation or complete trip cover

£1,500 baggage cover

£250 cash cover

Excess less than £100

Airline and Supplier failure – important for local excursions

Delay cover at £20 per hour for 12 hours.


Features To Look Out For

The most important cover features for backpackers and travellers are medical treatment, repatriation & cancellation from your side.

Additional features can include 24 hour emergency service & assistance, personal liability & baggage cover.

Finally check that all your planned destinations are covered in the policy as certain locations come with hard to insure liabilities.

The benefits of backpacker insurance are the same as all policies – to provide you with a safety net should anything go wrong. But factor in the distance from home, the variation in local emergency services, language and cultural barriers and it soon becomes obvious that this type of insurance could be worth more than just pounds and pence and could be a literal life saver.


Be Wary Of Any Limitations

Be sure to check the Foreign Office advice for travel as if the UK government suggest that it is unsafe to visit a certain destination then this could invalidate your insurance.

Be wary of working during your gap year or trip as the type of work may or may not be covered by your policy. Usually any work with machinery will not be covered and luckily this doesn’t extend to operating a beer tap…

Adventure sports are nearly always excluded from basic policies and so you should be sure to get these added when you buy.

If an accident occurs whilst you are under the influence of either drugs, alcohol or both, you could find that you’ve invalidated your policy.


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