Backpacker Security – What Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover

It’s a common misconception that you can just go and buy the first travel insurance policy you see and it will cover you for everything you need, for all of your trip. However, the reality is quite different, with various policies having huge lists of terms and conditions, as well as exclusions. Reading the actual policy wording or document is essential because if you end up needing to claim when you’re away and find that your policy doesn’t cover you, there’s a real risk of you having to foot a very steep bill.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Some insurance policies won’t cover you for pre-existing medical conditions, particularly if there is a chance that you could relapse or have some sort of complication as a result of it when you are on your trip. Some conditions are covered, but you need to make sure that you have declared everything as well as list any medication that you take.

Don’t forget to mention any medical conditions that may have affected you in the past. Even if these conditions are now stable and under control, such as asthma or high blood pressure, these will still need to be declared, just in case.

Extreme Sports

If you are planning to do some extreme sports when you’re away, check what your insurance policy will and won’t cover. Things like diving and other watersports are often covered, but they may need to be a bolt on for the standard policy. If you want to take part in more white-knuckle activities, you will need to check your policy more closely.

Bungee jumping and micro lighting are just a couple of things that you may decide you want to do when you are on your travels, however these more unusual activities are not always included in standard packages. Make sure you list every single activity that you are even considering doing, otherwise you could find that you’re not covered when you get there, preventing you from doing it or tempting you to take a big risk.

Unexpected Circumstances

There are a number of things that could go wrong during your trip and it’s very difficult to prepare for them all. You may miss your flight, change your plans or even get mugged. Things like this are not always covered by your travel insurance, so you need to check what you are and are not insured for beforehand. While it’s not nice to think about, you need to be realistic about the chances of having your things stolen while you’re away. Some countries have higher crime rates than others, so this is worth keeping in mind.

Cover Yourself

While you will of course have travel insurance before you leave, there are things you can do to protect yourself when you’re away as well. Take care not to carry too much cash around with you and try to draw it out in stages when you get to each new destination. Similarly, fitting a lock to your backpack can help to keep your belongings more secure.

When you are out and about, keep everything securely stowed away in a bag that you hold close to your body; don’t go waving around any expensive items like mobile phones or your passport. Make sure you have all the right papers with you at all times in case you are stopped at any point. It will save you time in the long run and the last thing you want is to be refused access to a country because you don’t have a valid visa.


There are many things that could go wrong, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. As long as you stay aware of everything and prepare as much as you possibly can in advance, you should be able to enjoy your backpacking trip without any issues. Just make sure you read through all the terms and conditions of your travel insurance before you leave and get a quality policy which meets your needs.

 

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