Let’s face it. Obtaining insurance isn’t too thrilling, no matter what it’s for. It certainly doesn’t compare to the feeling you get when you reach the summit after a three day hike, but backpacker travel insurance is something you should not leave home without. It will protect you in many important ways, and you don’t want to find out the hard way!
Why It’s So Important
Although backpacking is an exciting way to travel, full of fun and adventure, it can also be dangerous. Any vacation should be insured, allowing you to enjoy your trip with fewer worries and total coverage. While you’re more likely to sustain serious injury walking city streets than gallivanting over the trails, protecting your health is essential.
Medical costs for the uninsured or under-insured are simply staggering. Not to mention the fact that all your expensive gear should be guarded too. Go ahead and plan your backpacking adventure, but don’t do so with reckless abandon. Make sure you are adequately insured!
What You Can Expect For Coverage
Nearly every aspect of your trip can be covered, from pre-existing health conditions to the contents of your backpack. While most policies will cover 24 hour emergency services, not all circumstances are acceptable.
If you sustain an injury while engaging in extreme sports for example, you may be on your own. In the event that you are planning a few bungee jumps or some other intentionally dangerous activity, ask your potential insurer if you can purchase an extension in coverage.
Also note that the policy may offer limited or no help if you are hurt while using alcohol. Liability is offered too and should extend to both people and property. If your belongings are lost or stolen, your policy should protect you. Additionally, cost incurred due to delays or cancellations may be covered as well.
How To Select Your Insurance Company
Make sure the insurer you select is licensed and reputable. In both the United States and Europe, this industry is highly regulated. It may also benefit you to log on to various travel forums where you can get first-hand information on which company provides the best coverage under the most extreme circumstances.
Look for an agency that responds to the needs of their customers quickly and that delivers on its promises.
Where To Buy
The convenience of online shopping is unbeatable and you should still be able to obtain everything you need in coverage. Using one of the many comparison engines available, it will be easy to investigate all of the options available to you in a matter of minutes.
Also, online insurers have no expensive overhead costs, which may mean significant savings for you. One major advantage of shopping for insurance in person, however, is being able to ask questions and have them immediately answered. No matter where you obtain your policy, make sure someone clarifies all of the details and terms for you.
Reducing Your Risks
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a backpacking trip is to exercise everyday. Unless you’re an experienced hiker, you will need to condition your body to prevent unnecessary injuries. Believe it or not, the average hiker traverses over 90 miles every 10 days! That’s a lot of ground to cover, so prepare your body well.
Make a checklist of everything you need to take care of well in advance of your adventure and check items off as you get ready. Keep a copy of your important documents with you, such as identification, passport and proof of your travel insurance. Always map out your route and provide someone close to you with your itinerary as well.
Although backpacking appears to be an activity where you can just throw caution to the wind, there’s really a lot to consider. Make sure you are well prepared, put safety first and that you have all the insurance you will need. Then let the fun begin!