There are nearly 100 specialist backpacker travel insurance polices to choose from, read our Backpacker Travel Insurance Guide to help you understand whether this is the right type of insurance for you and your family
This guide covers:
Backpackers Travel Insurance is aimed at anyone who plans to travel around the world for an extended period of time (normally more than a month). The policy is specifically aimed at younger travellers (normally under the age of 46), who may visit multiple countries, during one extended trip.
Policies are known by several different names including working abroad insurance, year abroad insurance, gap year insurance, student travel insurance, explorer travel insurance, but in essence they are one and the same.
Backpacker Travel Insurance will normally be for up to 12 months, but some Insurers will allow you to extend this up to 18 months – Most travel insurers offer a separate specialist policy, although there are some single trip policies that offer competitive cover and premiums for tips up to twelve months. You can use the search facility below to compare polices, by saving your favourites.
Most specialist policies have a maximum age limit of 45, although standard single trip policies don’t. So if you are older and still fancy taking a year out to travel, then you should still be able to find good cover. This policy is best suited for individuals over the age of 18, who want to:-
Backpacker Travel Insurance covers you for multiple destinations within the scope of your policy cover (e.g Europe, Worldwide, Worldwide (Excluding USA and Canada) between your leaving and returning the UK. Most Backpacker Travel Insurance Policies allow for up to 365 days travel, however some cover you for longer than this. You can find this information by searching the insurance provider here
Some policies wil allow you to return home once or twice for a short period and you can also check this by following the link above. This may require an additional premium.
In short, Reciprocal Health Agreements are agreements agreed between the UK and certain countries that they will provide some treatment at reduced cost or free of charge. What is covered under these agreements varies from country to country. In the EU this is covered by the EHIC Card and in Australia / New Zealand by Medicare. Most Insurance Policy Wordings will not cover you for any claim for costs that would have been recoverable under these agreements, so it's important to read the requirements of that policy and make sure that you follow the terms. These may include holding an EHIC card where travelling to Europe and Registering for Medicare on arrival.
Many Insurers will state on their Policy Wording that they will not deduct any excess from claims paid out where the costs have been reduced by Reciprocal Agreements, so it's definitely a benefit to make sure you comply with this policy condition and are able to take advantage of these agreements
This policy is specifically designed with the younger traveller in mind and so most backpacker policies will only offer cover up to age 45.
A countries economic and political situation can change very quickly, take the situation in Ukraine for example. If you plan to change your itinerary, I recommend you check with your travel insurer first and keep in touch with the foreign office website, as to which countries are deemed not suitable for travel.
You will be away from home for a long period of time and therefore baggage and money cover is also very important. If you have home insurance, check the personal possessions section, to see if the cover is better. If you don’t, make sure you choose a policy that has good limits and not too many exclusions – Also bear in mind that many policies will not cover laptops, i-pads or tablets as standard. Many will be able to cover these as an optional extra.
When working abroad, some travel insurers will exclude personal liability e.g. if you injure someone or damage property through the course of your work. It is recommended to find a company that doesn’t have this exclusion.
Some Backpacker policies will allow you to return home for a short period of time (normally 14 days) some will not. So if you have to return home for a funeral or wedding for example, check the policy wording carefully.
Most Backpacking policies exclude existing medical conditions as standard. However it is important that you are honest and upfront with an Insurer about any condition you may have. Even if this means having to find alternative cover or paying a higher premium.
Make sure your Insurer has a good 24 hour easy access telephone number. You may be on your own in a strange country, having the back up of 24 hour helpline with access to expert help and advise is essential.
Some of the better policies will automatically include things like search and rescue and catastrophe cover, some exclude it and some offer it as an add on.
Finally, you will be abroad for a long period of time and Travel Insurance is very important. Whilst you may think the cheapest policy is the best, it will more than likely carry lots of exclusions and higher excesses. This is a long trip and time spent researching and comparing cover, will be time well spent.