A backpacking holiday is a wonderful way to get lots of exercise, see some beautiful scenery and get an up-close look at nature. There are backpacking excursions for groups that are guided and organized, or you may choose to chart your own course. Wherever you choose to roam there are some important considerations to keep in mind. The first is that there is always the chance of injury or illness whenever you are traveling, so you need to plan accordingly and have comprehensive insurance.
In order for you to have peace of mind as well as prevent significant out-of-pocket expenses, it is essential to take out travel insurance. While you may not have to worry about flight delays or lost luggage, you definitely don’t want to be in another country or even in your own country without enough insurance to cover bills for medical treatment, replacement of equipment or any other type of unforeseen disaster.
1. What Does The Policy Really Say?
As with all types of insurance policies there are some that are more inclusive than others. Many people that purchase travelers insurance just read the highlights on the policy, they don’t stop to read the fine print. The key points of the policy to review include the coverage, claims process, limitations and exceptions, and all other sections of the insurance. If you don’t understand a specific term or the policy language do some online research, talk to an agent or ask a person you trust. Once you sign the policy and pay the premium you will not get a refund even if you decide to cancel the policy at a later date.
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility as the insured party to understand the terms of the insurance policy. Reputable insurance companies have highly trained representatives that can answer your questions and provide specific information on the policy you are considering.
Some policies may limit claims that are based on personal liability issues. This means that if you caused the accident, injury or loss of property because of your actions you may not be able to claim on the policy or you may only be entitled to a portion of the benefits. Personal liability may include the area in which you chose to hike as well as leaving luggage unattended or other types of mistakes that can and do occur. Many policies provide coverage for personal liability, which is a wonderful option for anyone.
2. What About Cancellation?
Since backpacking is a completely outdoor trip, having a comprehensive type of travel insurance is essential. You do need to make sure that the policy you are considering doesn’t penalize you and can compensate you for a trip that doesn’t happen because of a cancelation. This can be due to emergencies, health related issues or even with cancelled flights or travel to get you to the backpacking location. If the policy doesn’t cover cancellations you are really left on your own to cover any expenses of the trip if you can’t make it for some reason.
3. What Is Covered?
Typically medical is the first coverage that most people consider. In some cases medical insurance with travelers can include pre-existing conditions, but it is essential to carefully check into this if it applies to you. In addition to medical emergencies you also need to consider replacement of property if there is theft or lost luggage along the way. Since backpackers tend to travel by a variety of modes of transportation this type of insurance, especially in some countries, is really important.
What are your favorite national and international backpacking locations? Where would you most like to hike on your next vacation?