Should I get backpacker travel insurance? The most common thought/question at the beginning of an overseas adventure. To help you in your decision-making, we have put together a guide on why you should get it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that depending on the countries you want to visit; the health systems differ from your home country. This means you’re most likely not entitled to free medical treatment.
Risks on a world trip
Like any trip, you may be faced with unexpected risks which could potentially cost you a lost if you do not have travel insurance. Outside the European Union you will not be covered at all, unless you have a blue card which is explained below.
The highest risks are obviously related to your health. A simple fracture could cost you thousands of dollars, potentially even more if there are complications. On top of the financial aspect, logistics also can cause a financial nightmare if you require repatriation.
If you accidentally injure someone, civil liability insurance covers your expenses.
Luggage, loss, theft
What’s more annoying than having your backpack stolen right in the middle of your long-awaited world trip? With the right insurance, this kind of situation would be easier to manage. When deciding on an insurance company make sure to thoroughly read through the terms and conditions as you want to avoid any bad surprises especially in the case of theft.
When travelling around the world, you face situations where the language barrier can make things complicated. Sometimes a slight misunderstanding can turn a simple issue into utter chaos! With backpacker insurance, you usually get support from insurance agents that speak your language.
Credit card travel insurance
If you use a standard Visa or MasterCard, the covers are virtually non-existent. However, some Visa Premier or MasterCard Gold cards offer you travel insurance if you pay for your flight ticket using the card. However, they are usually limited to travel periods of less than 90 days. Also be cautious as the banks use high deductibles and have several exclusion clauses. In most cases these credit card travel insurances are insufficient but, discuss with your bank all the pros and cons.
More Info: Credit Card Travel Insurance
Do trips within the European Union require additional insurance?
Social Security covers you when you are in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. If part of your trip is in Europe, you need to request a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card allows you to get medical treatment in any European country. You can apply for it online on the government website or at your public health insurance fund. It is valid for a maximum of 2 years.
Outside of Europe, you will no longer be covered by the Social Security of your home country.
Overall, travelling with travel insurance is travelling with peace of mind. You’ll know that if insurance related problems were to occur, you will receive support to manage and rectify the situation.
Article updated on 26/05/2019 – Published initially on 06/01/2019