Global trotting is a passion with many. Referred to as backpackers, they often travel for a long time which can be as high as a year or more. Budget is a significant constraint for them. Amongst all the things that they collect to pack in their backpack; travel insurance is also a must. Traveling without it would be the worst mistake that a backpacker could make. Here, let’s walk through what exactly is backpacker’s travel insurance and few critical aspects of it.
Understanding Backpacker’s Insurance
Backpackers often travel for a lengthy period through multiple countries and engage in a wide variety of adventure sports. Considering the spontaneity and complexity of this type of traveling; backpacker’s insurance is a particular type of travel insurance which offers you medical as well as other protection extending beyond standard travel insurance at a cost-effective premium.
Risks of Backpack Travel
No matter how much protection you take, things can go wrong. This holds especially true for backpacking. To understand the importance of backpacker insurance, we must first understand all the unexpected things that can throw you off-edge while on the go.
- You are often traveling to remote areas and predominantly on foot. This makes you vulnerable to accidents like a tumble from a precarious rock, a sting from an unusual insect or even illness out of exhaustion. As you are traveling from place to place, you are eating all kinds of food and drinking water from all places. Thus, you can easily fall ill.
- Remote areas are a favorite with backpackers. If you hurt or fall sick there, you might need medical evacuation.
- Backpacking travel means traveling with only essential and important items. While on the go, you face a perpetual risk of them stolen or you getting robbed. In both scenarios, you need help to go through the embassy procedure for a replacement passport and would even require replacement cash and duplicate cards from your credit card company.
- Home emergency might force you to abandon your tour midway and return home. This means making eleventh-hour flight and other arrangements which is a costly affair.
- The flight can become delayed due to end number of reasons. This means making fresh arrangements to stay and losing on pre-paid arrangements elsewhere. Such unexpected costs are pretty common during a backpack travel.
Coverage to Look For in a Typical Backpacker Travel Insurance
All the risks described above should be easily covered in typical backpacker travel insurance at a budget premium. Listed below is some must-have coverage that you must ensure are available in the travel insurance you are considering.
- Medical expense coverage
Hospitalization and medical expense abroad can be terrifyingly expensive. Your travel insurance should provide you with all types of medical expenses during the entire tenure of your trip including medical evacuation.
- Baggage coverage
If your baggage gets stolen or lost; the insurance company must reimburse you appropriately for the backpack as well as the stolen items contained in it.
- Passport/credit card coverage
The travel insurance should give you emergency cash in case your passport and credit card gets lost. It should also reimburse the fees required to get duplicate passports and credit cards. Sometimes your credit card is charged unauthorized. You should be eligible for reimbursement here as well.
- Travel delay coverage
In case there is any travel delay, you should be eligible for reimbursement of necessary basic expenses like accommodation rentals, food and even transportation.
- Trip interruption coverage
In case you need to abandon your trip midway due to the reasons selected by you and specified in the insurance plan; you must get reimbursed for all unexpected expenses like airfare, lodging and transportation costs involved.
- Emergency evacuation
If required, your travel insurance should pay for your necessary medical evacuation to the nearest hospital or even back to your home for treatment and recovery. This becomes crucial in scenarios like getting injuredseriously during a rafting trip or a rock climbing trip.
While these are the basic elements; your travel insurance should cover all countries, you intend traveling and cover the special requirements for that particular trip. For instance, insurance requirements for a trip through the Amazon rainforest would vary from a trip along the Appalachian Trail.
Selecting the Right Backpacking Travel Insurance
Picking the right Travel Insurance Plan can be an overwhelming task. You should always get the quotes from all leading travel insurance providing companies. It is important also to compare the covers that they are providing as well as their list of exclusions and fine print. This will help you choose the right plan for yourself.
Travel insurance might look like an additional cost at the beginning but its worth becomes evident at the time of crisis. While purchasing a backpacker travel insurance is important; it is equally essential that you take the pains to do a little research and nail the right insurance plan.