One does not simply take a backpack halfway around the world without proper travel insurance. Okay, that might not be exactly how the line goes, but the point still stands – you need insurance! This is non-negotiable for all travellers, no matter if you’re a born and bred Aussie exploring their country’s wonders, or if you’re jetting in from around the world to check out what all the fuss is about. And no, not everything here is out to kill you, contrary to what the internet would like you to believe, but it pays to come prepared.
If nothing else, having a good backpacker’s travel insurance policy will allow you to travel stress-free, and claim the value of your backpack’s contents should something get broken while you’re trekking across Adelaide Hills or if you happen to lose a valuable gadget while exploring Canberra. Okay, so insurance is important, now what? Good question, here are the five tips every backpacker exploring Australia should keep in mind.
Travel Insurance Tips
Get coverage for every activity in your itinerary
It should go without saying that your insurance policy should cover every single activity you plan on being a part of during your exploits. If it’s not on the list, then check with the insurer if you can pay extra to add it in, or find another insurance company offering a sweeter deal. Sure, you can partake in some adventure activities without insurance, but keep in mind that if your country doesn’t have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, the price for healthcare for foreigners can be astronomical.
Again, get insured. Now, insurers are increasingly offering special adventure packages for the types of travelers who would like to take a ride on the wild side, but be sure to check how, when, and what conditions apply. The last thing you want to happen is to get injured dirt-biking, only to find out you’re not eligible to an insurance claim.
Extend your coverage if your plans change
An insurance policy has to be flexible, and that goes for your insurance company as well. The reality of backpacking is that your plans can change, quite suddenly, and you might decide to extend your trip, visit new places, and try out new things. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will be able to stick to your itinerary without making some unexpected detours here and there, because it’s there’s no way you can see as much of Australia as possible without being flexible and open to changes in your travel plans.
With that in mind, check with your insurance company if they can work with you on the fly, per your needs, as well as some unexpected circumstances. You should be able to extend your policy seamlessly across activities, dates, and even countries by getting in touch with your insurer.
Get insured against every eventuality
Another crucial consideration you should always keep in mind is that as a backpacker you have to be covered against every possible eventuality. This is especially important when you’re reading the policies guidelines on medical care. Should something happen to you, you need to be eligible for a claim, whether you’ve visited the doctor’s office because of a cold, or if you got into a fist-fight with a quokka (don’t, they’re cute, but they’ll mess you up).
Leave nothing to chance, and consider adding critical illness to your policy as well, because there is always a possibility that you might require immediate medical attention, something that can’t wait for you to fly back home. This will allow you to travel worry-free across Australia and beyond, knowing that you are covered against every possible health concern.
Get covered for every single item you carry
What’s a backpacker without their backpack? The reality is that your backpack is your home during your travels, and while backpacking is one of the best ways to explore the Land Down Under, you mustn’t allow anything to happen to the precious few belongings on your back. Make sure that your coverage extends to all of the contents of your backpack, including everything from the most valuable tech such as your camera or your laptop, down to your phone charger. Again, leave nothing to chance, because stuff tends to break down on the road.
Find a good price but scrutinize mercilessly
You shouldn’t skimp on your insurance policy. Then again, you shouldn’t empty your savings account to pay for it either. Finding the right coverage for a fair price might seem like a tricky task, but that’s why you should start planning your backpacking journey well in advance, so that you have enough time to scour the web for the best deals that fit your needs and your travel plans. Get in touch with multiple insurers, don’t be afraid to ask the important questions, and don’t settle for the first offer that lands in your inbox.
Backpacking is the most popular form of travel in Oz, and for a number of compelling reasons. If you are to travel in a stress-free way, though, you have to make insurance one of your top priorities in the preliminary stages of your journey, so use these tips to find the right insurance and ensure (pun intended) a backpacking adventure of a lifetime.
Author: Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s in love with good coffee, croissants, and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.