What is Backpacking Insurance?

Garry Crystal

So you are all set for your backpacking holiday of a lifetime. You are off around the world on a one year trip. You’ve palmed the cat off on your friends, stopped the milk and left no forwarding address. You have your passport, spending money and credit cards, but is there anything at all you have forgotten? One very valuable item on your to-do list before you set off is to find adequate backpacking insurance. It not something that should be left until the last minute.

A backpacking insurance agreement.
A backpacking insurance agreement.

If you have booked your holiday through a travel agent, then they may have offered to sort out your backpacking insurance policy for you. If not, and you want to find a backpacking insurance policy that covers all your needs, there are a few factors to keep in mind. There are a number of online agencies that deal specifically with backpacking insurance, and these may be your best bet.

A backpack.
A backpack.

If you have an extended trip ahead, taking in various countries, make sure that the backpacking insurance can be extended indefinitely. You should also find out whether they cover all the countries you are intending to visit. Some insurance companies only cover certain countries. Usually, the cheaper policies are adequate if you only require medical coverage, but remember that that may be all they cover.

If you are taking expensive equipment with you on your holiday, make sure you are covered for it in your backpacking insurance policy. You may have to pay extra for your camera or MP3 player. Even with expensive insurance, do not take it for granted that your equipment is covered. Make sure that the backpacking insurance policy includes in writing exactly which items you require to be covered.

Remember, one of the most important things to look out for is the arrangement your insurance policy has for theft. Is your cash covered in the backpacking insurance policy? Before you go, also check what insurance your credit cards provide if they are stolen abroad.

In the last minute rush before leaving your house, remember to check that you have taken your backpacking insurance details. Your insurers should provide you with a hotline number for immediate contact. Also remember to keep all receipts for items you buy abroad and for cash taken from ATM machines. Most insurers require proof of purchases if they are lost or stolen.

If anything happens to go wrong on your trip, make sure you phone your insurers right away. Do not leave it until the end of your trip. When obtaining backpacking insurance, shop around online for the best quotes; you may save yourself a lot of money. Lastly, when taking out any kind of insurance, make sure your read the small print carefully; it will be worth the extra time for peace of mind.

Backpacking insurance should cover all the countries you intend to visit.
Backpacking insurance should cover all the countries you intend to visit.

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