Backpackers Insurance Plans

back-packers-insuranceWith your backpack strapped to your back, no real itinerary set out apart from a vague idea of where you want to go – the thrill of backpacking around the world is second-to-none! The friendships you also make along the way are some of the things that will make the trip what it is, but what you do not want is for something to come along and ruin it all for you. If there is one item therefore that you should take care of before you travel, it is to make sure you have checked out all the best Backpackers Insurance Plans and work out the one that will meet your needs.

As a traveler myself, there is nothing worse than getting sick or injuring when you are abroad. You are outside of your comfort zone, in a strange and foreign land – and the last thing you want to be doing is lying in bed. That is why it is so important to make sure you buy an insurance plan that will help you in the event something happens medically. There are many great insurance plans out there for backpackers, however some of them focus on the wrong benefits – trip cancellation, lost/stolen items, travel delay, missed departure, etc… The list goes on, and while they are excellent benefits to have, sometimes the more important benefits are the ones that get you help when you are sick or injured, when you really need help.

So here are a few things to consider:

Medical Care 

Medical cover is the number 1 benefit you will want to make sure is rock solid! Not only should this cover hospitalization and doctors visits, but also medical evacuation (in case you are in a place where you need to be evacuated quickly), repatriation (in case the worst happens) and even emergency reunion (to bring your family to your bedside if you are hospitalized). Without these benefits, if you do get sick or injured you could be stuck without the benefits you need and could be having to pay for these things yourself.

Emergency Assistance

There is nothing worse that being abroad and trying to navigate a healthcare system where you have no idea how it is meant to work. Therefore access to an emergency assistance team 24 hours a team, ideally with toll free access around the world will really make the difference for you. They should be able to refer you to local providers and in some cases make all necessary arrangements for you to visit a provider. Having that helping hand is sometimes really useful!

Provider Payments

In some cases, it may be easier to just pay a provider and submit a claim form – but what if that bill gets too large? Will your insurance provider pay a provider direct? What are their threshold limits to do this? If an insurance plan will not pay a provider direct, it could leave you in hot water if you cannot pay them yourself. Therefore it’s always good to make sure your plan will work with providers around the world, and to see if there is a worldwide network they can tap into. Without this, you could be looking for a doctor yourself, and hope they can speak English!

The best advice is to always look at the insurance fine print and to work out what benefits are most important to you and if you are looking for a solid travel health insurance plan, the Atlas Travel is a great product, offering up to $1,000,000 in coverage with some hazardous/extreme sports included without any extra charge.

Posted by Ross Mason

Ross is the Vice President of International Student Insurance, with over 15 years experience in the international education arena. A graduate from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK with a First in BSc (Hons) Business and Technology, Ross has lived all around the world including LA, New York, Boston, London, Hong Kong, Florida and Germany.

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