You have decided to go on the roads of the world, bag on the back. what an adventure! But before the big departure, some administrative steps are necessary, like the subscription of a travel insurance. This is certainly not the most exhilarating part of the preparations, but it’s a must! So to be a well-rounded backpacker and enjoy a light-hearted trip, here are the most important covers and points to pay attention to when choosing your travel insurance.
Obviously, the most important guarantee of a travel insurance for a backpacker is the assumption of your health expenses abroad. Your insurance must cover you for medical emergencies, but also for non-emergency care , such as a doctor’s consultation for a cold or flu or the purchase of medication in a pharmacy on prescription from a doctor. So remember to check this point!
In most cases, it will be up to you to advance your health costs and then apply for reimbursement from your insurance. Nevertheless, in some cases, it is possible to ask for direct care , which saves you from paying for your care out of pocket. Remember to inquire about the conditions of request for support. With the Globe Partner contract, for example, a request for support is opened in case of hospitalization of more than 24 hours. If you stay in the emergency room for a few hours, it does not count as hospitalization and does not allow for direct care. You will have to pay for your care and then apply for a refund.
In order to be a well-rounded backpacker, it’s important to check the ceiling of your travel insurance! In fact, insurance contracts have a maximum amount to cover your expenses (150,000 euros for Globe Partner, for example). This cap must be high enough to meet your needs. Some treatments in particular may also be subject to a lower ceiling, as is the case for example for dental care in most offers. Avoid unpleasant surprises and find out beforehand!
Finally, a very important point (or even the most important) and read carefully the terms and conditions of the contract, including exclusions . Yes, it is not the most fun activity of the preparation of your trip, but it is essential! All insurance contracts have exclusions, ie care that they will not take care of. It’s up to you to read it before traveling, so you can avoid very bad surprises! For example, most travel insurance does not cover pre-contract conditions, such as long-term illnesses. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, do not hesitate to talk to your insurer to advise you on the most appropriate solution.
Travel insurance for a backpacker is also there to deal with very big glitches. We do not like to think about it but it can happen: a disease that can not be treated abroad or a serious accident that ends your trip, or even worse, a death. In such cases, travel insurance takes care of your repatriation to your home country , and that can be very reassuring for you and your family who are far from you. Repatriation can take many forms, from simple economy class air tickets to dedicated medical aircraft, depending on your needs and your state of health. The cost of this emergency move can reach peaks: tens of thousands of euros, so it’s better to have insurance!
Repatriation assistance is therefore essential to any backpacker, and must absolutely be included in the travel insurance contract that you have chosen.
Other guarantees of assistance
Repatriation assistance is not the only assistance guarantee that your backpacker travel insurance includes. There are other less important but useful safeguards in difficult situations.
If your state of health requires you to be hospitalized for several days and you are alone abroad, your insurance can pay the trip to a family member so that he stays at your bedside. The number of days of hospitalization, the nights taken in charge as well as the total amount of this guarantee differs according to the offers.
Another guarantee covers your return to your country of origin in the event of the death of a member of your immediate family. Attention, the definition of the close family depends on the contracts, as well as the conditions of return. So think about this clause.
Finally, another guarantee of assistance very useful when you have the taste of adventure is the guarantee “Research costs”, in case you are lost at sea or in the mountains. The insurance then takes care of your research up to the amount indicated on the guarantee table.