ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Backpackers Insurance

Updated on August 21, 2014

Introduction to Backpackers Insurance

Backpacking is a fun and cheap way to travel however don't stinge on getting Backpackers insurance. When traveling, anything can happen. Baggage gets lost or worst still, you might get sick and need a hospital. Foreign hospital can be expensive for foreigners and if they charge you for being a foreigner, that's nothing you can do about it.

Being a backpacker means you will tend to travel off the beaten track more compared to regular tourist. Off the beaten track usually equals less access to medical care should you get yourself hurt while tracking or taking part skiing or other sports.


Some backpackers insurance require you to purchase the insurance before you leave your home country. While backpacking, you tend to leave things to the last minute and forget buying the insurance, my practise is to buy the insurance as soon as I get my air ticket.

The reason is simple. Once you have bought your ticket and confirm you flight, should there be any cancellation or delay, you might be entitled to claim if you suffer any financial lost from that cancellation. If you delay until the last minute, your backpackers insurance policy might not be in force.

Some countries do not offer backpackers insurance. If that is the case, you can either get a normal travel insurance or go online to get it. 

Insurance Terms

Whatever type of insurance you buy or who you get it from, make sure your insurance covers the following.

1. Medical emergencies & evacuation

If nothing else, medical emergencies and evacution are the reason to get backpackers insurance. Take the time to read this part of the policy in detail, especially the areas
of cover for emergency evacuation, limits on medical expenses and cover for emergency dental work. Also make careful note of the general policy exclusions.

2. Trip cancellation

If you can't travel for unforseen reason like an accident, illness or the death of a close relative. For this section of the policy to be useful, you have to buy the policy when you start booking tickets. Not all policies cover cancellation, and only some cover your non-refundable, pre-booked costs if your trip is interrupted after you've left home.

3. Baggage & personal belongings

Many people buy backpackers insurance due to loss of baggage and belongings. The loss that you might suffer is usually small. Most backpackers insurance expects you to take reasonable care of your belongings. Some insurance policy do not cover or have limited cover for electronic gear especially laptop, camera and other valuables.

4. Personal liability

If you are involved in an accident or accidentally cause damage and are held accountable for it, insurance can cover your liability and legal expenses.

Terms to understand and be clear about

Read the policy wording and look at the clauses for period of cover and the terms "medical evacuation", "trip interruption" or "curtailment" for details on when you may be covered for expenses if you have to return home early.

Also check out what is not covered. Generally the following is not covered:

  • Medical conditions that exist before you travel
  • Deliberately put your life in danger
  • Taking unnecessary and unreasonable risk
  • Anything that involves alcohol or drugs

If you plan to ski or take part in high risk sports, then make sure your backpackers insurance covers such activities. Sports to take note of include scuba diving, paragliding, bungee jumping and winter sports. Carefully check your backpacker policy wording to ensure that the activity you intend to do is covered by your policy.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the article. I've forgotten to get backpackers insurance on a few occasion. Will keep this in mind the next time I travel.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)