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Things to know about backpacker travel insurance

Costs of ongoing medication that you know beforehand will be needed are not covered. The cost of vaccinations etc that are required to enter certain countries are not covered.

Dental treatment costs are normaly covered. This is only for emergency treatment and pain relief only. Cosmetic treatment is never covered.

Emergency medical repatriation is normaly covered. The decision over whether you need to be repatriated is made by consultation between the doctor and insurers medical experts.

Insurers can have the right to fly you home, if the doctor considers you are fit to travel, rather than have the operation overseas.

Medical cover on backpackers and long stay travel insurance is only for necessary and emergency treatment.

Sports-related claims, certain treatment, such as physio, are generally not included.

Be careful about alternative treatments as they might not always be covered by your backapckers travel insurance.

Long stay travel claims arising from being drunk will not be covered so be careful if you are out having a few beers!

Luggage, day-packs and backpacks

Generally, cover for valuable items is poor. This is not such an issue for backpackers as generally the rule of backpacking is to travel light!

Be careful of the total valuables limit. Long trip travel insurance policies often define the term valuable as things like jewellery and watches, but also includes photographic and electronic equipment e.g ipods, digital cameras etc. The limit is usually in the £140-£420 range depending on the travel insurance policy, meaning that the policy will not pay more than the upper limit for whole the duration of your trip, even if you are on a gap-year!

Be careful of the unattended item rule. This means that if the item is out of your site and goes missing then you cannot claim! Basically if you are taking a flight or a long bus journey in a third world countyr make sure your valuables are in your hand luggage and don't go down the route of having them stolen!

Valuables are not covered if dorm rooms in hostels. Valuables are left in an unattended vehicle (such as a camper van).

Most policies will deduct an amount for wear and tear for certain items. Be aware of this.

Keep all your receipts for everything – you will be asked for them by the travel insurers if you need to claim for lost or stolen items.

Don't carry large amounts cash if you can help it! It is a good idea to keep foreign exchange receipts. You might well be asked for them.

You must report theft and loss to the police and ensire a police report obtained. Unreported incidents will mean you are not covered.

Cancellation of your trip

Generally you are not covered for cancellation only if you fall ill or one of your party does. If you run out of money before you are meant to leave or miss your flight because you are stuck on the M25 you will lose out!

Cancellation due to an airline going bust or cancelling part of your trip are not normaly covered by long stay travel insurance.

Personal Liability

These are specific claims where someone has claimed against you. This is often for damage to their property or injury that you have caused to them maybe by driving or during sporting activities.

Personal Liability claims made against you that result from you being in charge of cars are not covered. This can include water transport as well.

Personal Liability claims arising from you working are generally not covered in backpackers travel insurance.


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