Backpacking is a no-frills method of travelling, with adventurers prioritising experience over luxury. Recently, some companies have been offering specific backpacker travel insurance as a direct appeal to this type of traveller. Like the method itself, such insurance is offered with fewer frills than many standard policies. This means it is crucial to consider all your options before agreeing on a deal.
- What is the Difference between Backpacker Insurance and Travel Insurance?
- Backpacker Insurance or Multi-Trip: Which is Right for Me?
- Does Backpacker Travel Insurance Cover Multiple Countries?
What is the Difference between Backpacker Insurance and Travel Insurance?
Given its name, it’s understandable why many people believe backpacker insurance to be the best deal for all backpackers. However, the name itself can be slightly misleading and not necessarily the best option for all travellers embarking on such a journey.
Backpacker insurance will certainly satisfy the needs of many budget travellers. It is ultimately just another form of single-trip insurance, and competitive worldwide travel insurance may be of greater benefit.
Let’s look at travel insurance in general to see how backpacker policies fit into the overall picture:
As most of us take one holiday away each year, single-trip insurance is the best choice for many. A policy will cover your trip’s length, which may be anywhere from one week to one month or more. Research shows that the single-trip travel insurance segment dominates the market with a share of 60.1%.
Companies offering backpacker travel insurance ultimately offer single-trip insurance with a few alterations to their standard policy. Such a deal may cover a traveller for a longer period, say six months or more. But it’s ultimately an extended single-trip policy, and so it comes with its limitations and benefits.
Annual travel insurance is also referred to as ‘multi-trip’. Unsurprisingly, it’s intended for those who plan multiple trips away over 12 months. To ensure sufficient cover, travellers planning multiple trips should advise their insurer of their planned destinations. This is because different areas of the world carry different risks and separate costs for healthcare.
Even though many backpackers plan to visit multiple destinations while they’re away, it still falls under a single-trip policy. Furthermore, backpacking deals often limit travellers to a specific geographic region e.g. Africa. As a result, those taking out such a policy don’t have the freedom to change continents on a whim.
Anyone planning a lengthy trip abroad should consider all forms of travel insurance, alongside whether paying an additional premium is necessary to cover their requirements.
Backpacker Insurance or Multi-Trip: Which is Right for me?
Those shopping around for travel insurance should take a needs-led approach. Just because you’re going backpacking, it doesn’t mean you necessarily require backpacking insurance. Getting the best – and right – deal depends on your intentions whilst you’re away.
Here we’ll detail the main areas of consideration for those planning a backpacking trip:
1. Level of cover required
Annual or multi-trip insurance offers more comprehensive coverage than single-trip or even those policies with ‘backpacker’ in the title. You’ll tend to see coverage for a greater number of activities in annual policies.
2. Length of time away
If you’re planning on going away for a year, you may be able to find a single-trip/backpacker policy to cover this. But you must ensure you’re sufficiently covered for any planned activities throughout this period. It may be more cost-effective to purchase a multi-trip policy for 12 months and then reassess your plans and insurance once that period is close to expiration.
Multi-trip travel insurance is often more expensive than backpacker insurance but comes with greater coverage. All travellers are different, so it’s up to individuals to work out whether any savings made outweigh the higher levels of risk involved.
Travellers of all ages are eligible for multi-trip insurance, but backpacker policies often have stricter age limits. Many people over 50 embark on backpacking trips but may not be eligible for a backpacking insurance policy.
5. Number of travellers
Although backpacking is typically a solo venture, lots of families with young children disappear on budget trips to foreign destinations. If you’re planning such a venture, a family insurance policy might be more beneficial than a backpacker one. This depends on the length of time you’re away and your plans while overseas.
Does Backpacker Travel Insurance Cover Multiple Countries?
Backpacker travel insurance will cover travellers across multiple countries, but you’ll need to specify the destinations you intend to travel to beforehand. Some countries may be exempt from cover if deemed to be unsafe for travelling in. Others – such as the US, which has higher-than-regular medical costs for medical cover – will affect the cost of your quote. Depending on your intended destinations, a multi-trip policy may be more advantageous for your needs.
GasanMamo offers single-trip, multi-trip, and family travel insurance for all travellers starting and finishing their ventures in Malta. We don’t offer any policy under the ‘backpacker’ moniker, but many backpackers take out our policies given our competitive pricing and generous levels of cover.
No matter whether you would describe your trip as backpacking, single-trip, or multi-trip, the type of insurance that’s best for you may not concur name-wise. As with any travel away, it’s best to list your needs and then find the insurance that meets these, regardless of its stated moniker.
To get started, take a look at our competitive and comprehensive benefits, optional extras, and annual offer on our travel insurance page.
GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.