Travel insurance at affordable premiums

What is backpackers' insurance?

Many people love the freedom and free-wheeling cultural associations that go together with the notion of backpacking.

Yet even backpackers would be advised to think seriously about insurance protection and that's why we at Bengo Travel have designed a range of products specifically to provide backpackers' insurance:

  • although generalisations are risky, some backpackers may be at a greater risk of certain types of problem when abroad, than conventional tourist or business travellers. That's why thinking about cover is important;
  • you should keep in mind that some destinations, regions or countries, may be riskier than others to travel in. It is a good idea to take advice on your destination(s) prior to leaving the UK and a useful source of information is The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office;
  • participating in hazardous sports or other activities while backpacking, may put certain elements of your travel insurance cover at risk. Our product does have an optional additional cover element that may provide protection for some of these areas. We'd welcome the opportunity to advise you further on that;
  • one of the characteristics of backpackers is that they stay outside of the UK for longer periods and may visit a greater number of countries than is the case with many conventional travellers. Some of our products are specifically designed to cover that sort of roaming and longer-duration activity;
  • it is important that you consider not only the direct risks to yourself but also your financial exposure overseas should you be held to be accountable for third party liability claims. If a court awards damages against you, you may be forbidden to leave the country concerned until such time as you have settled that award - and in some circumstances the sums involved may be very high. Our policy provides such cover;
  • you must declare openly, any pre-existing medical conditions you may be suffering from at the time you wish to take out your policy. In some situations, some insurance providers may decline to cover the condition or they may make it subject to special terms. It might also be something that requires the payment of an additional premium; however, failing to declare it might invalidate some or all of your policy. Don't take risks in this area;
  • when you are travelling in the European Union, it may be advisable to have with you a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is freely available from the NHS website here: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx Don't confuse this though with travel insurance. It will only allow you free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in the country you are visiting, to a similar level to that available to local citizens. A significant number of medical situations would not be covered by the EHIC and a whole range of other things, such as personal accident cover, would be excluded.

Whatever your insurance position, try to remember that there are some parts of the world where backpackers travelling alone are at particular risk. As mentioned above, do your research thoroughly before departing and where possible, travel with other like-minded individuals for security.