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5 tips everyone should know when choosing Backpacker Insurance

Posted on January 4, 2014 by  in Travel Insurance //

Avoid expensive medical expenses with our 5 top tips on Travel Insurance

  1. Think about where you are likely to be travelling in the world

    • Travel Insurance worldwide varies.  For example if you plan to travel around the world, taking in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australasia, USA, Canada and South America will cost you the most by far.
    • If you plan to just visit Europe / UK, you will find that travel insurance one of the cheapest policies because there is basic state health cover in most of Europe, meaning lower potential costs to insurers.
    • Travelling to South East Asia / China?  That is again one of the cheapest insurance policies you can take out.
    • The USA / Canada being a part of your trip will certainly add to your overall premium because healthcare costs in the states are so vastly high compared to anywhere else in the world, so for the insurer, there is a bigger risk.
  2. What activities are you going to do whilst on the road?

    • If you are travelling to Australia / New Zealand and plan on sky diving, bungee jumping, bridge swinging, white water rafting, etc..  Then this means you will more than likely need to pay extra for those activities on your premium.Backpacking in Thailand activities
    • In South East Asia you may do Mountain trekking, Elephant trekking, rock climbing, water sports, scuba diving, hiring a moped on the islands and these things will again all push up your premium.  Make sure you don’t shy away from paying the extra for these activities though.. Buying an insurance package that is useless for activities that have a higher likelihood of accidents then you are taking the risk of being out-of-pocket.
  3. How much do you want to be covered for stolen money, passports, possessions?

    • All travel insurance providers are different.  Usually the cheapest providers will offer limited coverage for the loss of money.  However, you need to weigh up the likelihood of the worst case scenario happening to you.  As long as you take adequate protections whilst on the road, the likelihood of theft is very very low in many parts of the world (China, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Europe as examples).  Regarding loss of passports and possessions, our list of providers at the bottom all cover these things.
  4. How much excess do you mind paying if you need to make a claim?

    • If you accept a higher excess amount on your claims, then you can get a much cheaper travel insurance premium.  However, then you may be less likely to claim for small damages / problems occurring.  If your excess is £250 per claim, then your not likely to claim on any damages / injuries below this amount.  The maximum excess you should consider is £100 per claim.
  5. Personal liability / medical emergency cover

    • The personal liability cover will help you out in (hopefully rare) cases in which you are liable for an accident, dispute, injury, loss of income, etc..  It will also be there in case you ended up in court over a dispute.  Although the likelihood of you needing the amount that the cover provides is slim, if you end up accidentally causing an injury to someone in, say, the USA.  Your going to be hit with lawyer fees and potentially huge personal injury claims.
    • Medical emergency cover will sort out any health problems you may get into whilst on the road.  For example, if you had a medical emergency in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, at the top of Mount Kinabulu or just being in countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Bhutan, Cambodia and Vietnam.. You are going to want the option available to be airlifted out to a country such as Thailand to get immediate treatment.

I hope those points will help you with choosing the right travel insurance for backpacking around the world.  Because we are from the UK, we have a good idea on how much travel insurance should cost British Backpackers.  For other nationalities, make sure you shop around and compare the fine prints on every travel insurance policy.  There are some ways in which they will catch you out and you may end up with a useless travel insurance policy.

Have you read our guide on the top insurance providers?

We have recently reviewed the top 4 providers of great value travel insurance for backpackers and long-stay travellers.  Read our essential guide to saving money on travel insurance here.

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