More cover, not less, needed for Backpacking

Posted in General on 18 August 2011

There is little more exciting than going around the world backpacking on a GAP year or other sabbatical. However because travellers are going abroad for an extended period of time they need to think carefully about their travel insurance requirements.

Many backpacker or GAP year travel insurance policies reduce their cover limits, but at Responsible Travel Insurance we believe that travellers should be looking at higher levels of cover to ensure they are adequately protected for the duration of their long stay overseas.

Medical treatment and repatriation from the Far East or North America could easily cost several hundreds of thousands pounds. Without adequate cover levels on their travel insurance policy a traveller’s family could be responsible for the cost of getting their loved one home, should the worst happen.

Frequently, long stay policies are only available for a 12 month period, Responsible Travel Insurance allows for a trip overseas for up to 15 months. Indeed if you are unsure of how long you intend to be abroad for a policy can be bought and then cover extended for the additional months, while you are abroad (up to the maximum of 15 months).

During the period you are away, Responsible Travel Insurance understands that there may be times when you want to come home, at Christmas for example; while many policies allow for a single trip home, Responsible Travel allows for multiple 14 day visits home.

When going abroad for an extended period of time there is a greater potential for baggage or personal belongings being lost, damaged or stolen. Many policies cap their valuable limits at £150, which means something like a digital camera may not be entirely covered by the policy. The cover is far greater on Responsible Travel Insurance at £500 for valuables and £2,000, for all baggage and personal possessions (with a single article limit of £250).

If you are travelling around several countries in one trip and relying on public transport, there is a greater potential for you to miss connecting flights or other onward travel. Missed departure cover protects you against the costs of this. However most policies, despite the fact that you may be relying more on public transport while backpacking than you would on a normal holiday, only cover the first international departure from the UK. Responsible Travel Insurance also provides cover for all departures on your pre-booked itinerary for alternative transport arrangements necessary to get you to your destination should there be a problem. Responsible Travel Insurance also has catastrophe cover, which many policies in this category do not include.

Nearly 275,000 passports need to be replaced each year (Source:, not only is this an inconvenience when it happens abroad, loss or theft of a passport can pose real issues while backpacking for a longer period of time and potentially visiting more countries, Responsible Travel Insurance allows you to claim up to £500 expenses in order to obtain a replacement. Many other backpacker polices are not even half this level.

Voyager’s Responsible Travel Insurance product is specifically designed to cover long stay trips abroad giving you high levels of cover while overseas. Every Responsible Travel Insurance policy sold includes a contribution to TICOS (Tourism Industry Carbon Offset Scheme). TICOS develops projects that both offset carbon emissions and have wider socio-economic and environmental benefits, so you can be sure that while you are away some of your money is going towards sustaining some of the places you may be visiting.

Author: Adam

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