Best Travel Insurance For Backpackers (2018 Update)
The coverage you need depends on the country or location you are planning to visit. It also depends on your medical situation, your mobility, the amount of goods you are taking, the time you are spending over there, and your budget. If you are a smart backpacker, you are putting a lot of planning into this adventure, and if that is the case, you will have to spend a lot of time planning and researching your travel insurance–and here is a good place to start. We explain the difference between regular travel insurance and backpacker insurance, we explain the types of protection you can pick, and we list the companies offering the best travel insurance for backpackers.
Travel Insurance vs Backpacker’s Travel Insurance
Keep in mind there is ‘regular Travel Insurance and there is specialized ‘Backpackers Travel Insurance’. The two may overlap, but they are likely different insurance products entirely.
Backpacker’s Insurance should cover more specific areas that cater better to backpackers rather than regular ‘tourists’. So we recommend you look specifically at a company that specializes in backpackers.
What Are Your Insurance Options as a Backpacker?
As a backpacker, there are several insurance options available to you. It is your job to pick the ones that you think may suit you.
Sadly, many of the insurance companies do not make it clear what each policy and plan covers. For example, if you are afraid you may lose your passport abroad, you may wonder if you need “Emergency evaluation” or Emergency Evacuation” or “Trip Interruption cover” or even “Personal Effects cover.”
How Many Options Do You Have Personally?
These are the things you need to thrash out with the insurance companies you choose because each has its own rules and own procedures. They have their own policy options, and they have parameters for who they will and will not insure. This confusion is one of the reasons why comparison sites are not a great ally for choosing insurance companies; they are only helpful for finding them. After you find a few promising companies, you need to start doing your own personal research. Later in the article, we feature a few companies that offer backpacker insurance.
What Do Most Other Backpackers Choose When Picking Travel Insurance?
Below is a list of the most commonly used cover options. They are pretty self-explanatory. Most backpacking insurance plans will have a number of these bundled together.
- Theft Cover
- Medical Cover
- Emergency Evacuation
- Emergency Repatriation
- Trip Delay
- Trip Interruption
- Not-Your-Fault Trip Cancellation
- Emergency Accident Medical Expense
- Emergency Sickness Medical Expense
- Baggage & Personal Effects Cover
- Baggage Delay Cover
- Accidental Death
- Accidental Dismemberment
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
- One Call 24-Hour Assistance
- One Call Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Services
Best Backpacking Insurance Companies For You To Try
Here are a few insurance companies that offer travel insurance for backpackers. Research what each one does and get a few quotes before you hit the comparison websites.
Remember that the comparison websites only show you quotes for standard plans that may not cover all the requirements you have.
This is a large company with numerous backpacking options. They have plans for frequent backpackers and single-trip backpackers. Their standard plans have coverage in varying amounts for things such as trip cancellation, emergency medical, trip interruption, emergency dental, baggage delay, emergency medical transportation, and trip delay. They also have a whole slew of add-ons and variable compensation amounts.
The reason why you should try Allianz Travel Insurance first is because they will insure any person for any reason. It is their biggest selling point! Start with Allianz because you are going to spend a lot of time trying out different insurance companies only to find out they cannot offer what you want. Even if your trip is far from the beaten path, and even if you are taking extra risks, or you are trying a dangerous country, you will be covered by Allianz.
The only downside we can see with Allianz is that they do not offer massive payouts if you die. We all want our families to receive tens upon tens of thousands if we die on vacation, but Allianz death payouts are on the less-than-average side. This is because their big death payouts are reserved for their life insurance policies.
Will Allianz offer you the best rates or the best coverage? It is up to you to find out if their coverage and prices will suit you. However, you have to remember that most insurers are probably going to turn you away or charge extortionate amounts because you are backpacking, which is seen as a riskier endeavor than the usual hotel holiday where people tour the restaurants and cafes. At the very least, you know Allianz are going to cover you, and they could turn out to be your cheapest or safest insurance option.
GMI (Global Medical Insurance) is favoured by veteran backpackers because it is long-term, flexible and annually renewable. It was created for non-U.S. citizens around the world and U.S. citizens living abroad that need medical and travel insurance. They have four coverage plans and various options for you to choose from.
They have a “RoundTrip” plan that is handy for people that want more medical protection and more trip interruption protection. Seven Corners have a longer limit for travel delay at 12 hours up to $500 compensation. They have high medical coverage at $75,000. They have evacuation coverage at $350,000, baggage coverage up to $1,000 and trip interruption coverage that goes up to $1,000.
They have their “Worldwide Trip Protector” plan if you want high medical coverage and short travel delay coverage. Travel Insurance International have a shorter limit for travel delays at 6 hours for up to $1,000 compensation. They have medical coverage that goes up to $50,000, and evacuation coverage that goes up to $500,000. They have baggage coverage that goes up to $1,000, and trip interruption coverage for up to $500 compensation.
They have their “Adventure Traveler” plan that gives you plenty of protection for your belongings and it has a high evacuation limit. Their shortest limit for travel delay is just 5 hours with compensation up to $1,500. Their highest amount of baggage coverage is $2,500, and their evacuation limit is $500,000. They have medical coverage at $25,000 and trip interruption coverage that goes up to $750.
This is a pretty comprehensive travel insurance company with a very good reputation. They cover pretty much every type of trip you might have and they offer different packages. They have a good reputation and are the go-to choice for a number of the top travel blogs and travel publications (such as Lonely Planet).
The plans you buy with Altas series are for a minimum of five days can be taken out for over a year. They offer standard cover, and a few free extras that include emergency medical evacuation and acts of terrorism. You can even opt for their complications of pregnancy feature too.
This company offers temporary medical insurance for people in the US traveling outside of the US, and their plan for people from other countries traveling into and around the USA. Theirs is a medical plan that includes emergency medical and political evacuation plans, and repatriation compensation, plus their plans have a series of deductibles you can choose from.
The World Escapade travel medical insurance plan is mostly for young travelers who are looking for medical coverage. It is for international travel insurance in any country but your own. Their policies cover most of the world, but they have an ever-changing exception list, such as war zones and regions where travel is not recommended for people of a certain country, race or religion.
This is the “First online travel insurance facility specifically developed for volatile, high risk and frontier markets.” It has a one-size-fits-all policy that is suitably extensive. It covers things that other backpacking companies simply will not, such as accidental death, kidnapping, wrongful detention, terrorism, violent crimes, relocation and even dismemberment. It also comes with a series of regular functions, such as medical, baggage loss, etc. Even if you are traveling to low-risk areas, you may like thing such as their wrongful detention cover, or their theft cover. It also comes with crisis consultant costs, independent interpreter fees, legal expenses, relocation travel and relocation accommodation coverage too.