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What does backpacker’s insurance cover?

What does backpacker’s insurance cover?


As with any kind of insurance, the precise elements of cover included in cover for backpackers vary from one insurer to another. There are common, core themes, however, and it may be helpful to review some of those likely to be important to the typical backpacker:

The risks

  • according to government statistics, nearly a half of Britons travelling abroad do so without any form of travel insurance;
  • this despite the fact that some 82% of travellers admit to engaging in “more adventurous” activities when they are on holiday;
  • and who are likely to be amongst the most adventurous of them all – practically by definition, the backpackers;
  • without wanting to appear a killjoy, it is an inescapable fact that adventurous behaviour is more likely to result in accidents and injuries – which may require considerably expensive medical treatment;
  • the more remote the corners of the world your backpacking might have taken you, the more challenging and the more expensive any rescue and treatment is likely to be;

The safeguards

  • for all these increased risks, there are specialist insurers prepared to take on the challenge of arranging cover for backpackers;
  • one of these specialists, Ben goTravel, has also produced a helpful guide to the kind of elements typically covered in backpackers insurance as well as things to consider pre-travel;
  • there are all manner of adventurous activities in which a typical backpacker might involve and a specialist insurer is more likely than others to ensure that the widest possible spectrum of these is covered – some such insurers, for instance, include no fewer than 300 activities in which backpackers might become involved;
  • backpackers are also more likely than other travellers to take on casual employment – in areas such as tourism, bar work and light casual labour – as they strive to work their way around the world;
  • the cover from certain specialist policies for backpackers includes insurance whilst engaged in such employment;

Medical emergencies

  • central to any type of travel insurance – and potentially even more important for backpackers – is cover for medical emergencies;
  • wherever you are in the world the cost of emergency medical care and attention is likely to cost a good deal of money – something which the typical backpacker is unlikely to have in any abundance;
  • medical cover, therefore, is generally considered to be the central core of travel insurance;
  • but specialist providers of insurance for backpackers against accidents, illness and other medical emergencies also recognise the need for a balance between the essentials to be covered and the ability – or inclination – of backpackers to pay the premiums for the cost of that cover;
  • some travel insurance providers therefore offer policies varying in their scope and nature – from basic cover which provides all essential aspects of medical cover, to that which also includes some protection against loss or theft of personal possessions, to a gold-plated comprehensive form of cover for the more prudent backpacking traveller.

In short, therefore, backpackers insurance may cover a number of risks and perils. Cover is likely to vary from one insurer to another, but a specialist provider may be more familiar with and capable of meeting the particular needs and requirements of backpackers.