The best travel insurance companies for backpackers
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The best travel insurance companies for backpackers

Once you set to go on a long-term trip, travel insurance is a must-have. 

For us, it has been extremely helpful, especially when our MacBook Pro was irremediably damaged by orange juice on the very first day of our trip.

Table of Contents

While we were planning we have spent a lot of time researching travel insurance policies, therefore we compiled a list of things to consider when choosing your insurance, as well as our shortlist of 3 candidates. Scroll down to find out who was the winner.

There are two important things to know about travel insurance:

  1. The longer you are away, the fewer insurance options you have. But that is a good thing because you should select a travel insurance company that fits your travel needs.
  2. Travel insurance and Health insurance are not the same. Travel insurance covers health expenses but usually only in an emergency. Therefore, if you have a cold, that may not be considered an emergency and you may not be covered.

Most important things to consider when choosing travel insurance

Location coverage

Make sure you read and select the suitable options for your insurance, as you may not be covered everywhere.

Medical expenses, accidental disability, and repatriation cover

Usually, insurance policies cover you in case of medical emergencies. However, this is hugely important as you don't want to find yourself in countries like the United States with a bill that will cost you three times the price of a year-long trip.

Find out what things you should consider when you buy travel insurance and which are our top 3 travel insurance companies.

Trip cancellation and delay

Another important thing to consider when choosing your insurance policy is to cover any delays or cancellations. You have two things to consider here, namely to cover in case your flight or activities are delayed or canceled but also if you must cancel your trip due to unexpected events in your home country. For the latter situation, if you must pause your travels for, let's say, your grandfather passing, some insurance policies cover your flight back home and back to where you were last during your travels

Personal liability

This simply means that you are covered for accidents that may happen at your fault during your travels and you must pay for the damages.

Legal expenses

This means that you are covered in case something happens to you, and you or your representative want to claim for compensation against negligence by a third-party.

Baggage, money, and documents

In most cases, you will be covered for some of the above, within a limit. This comes in very handy if your airline misplaces your luggage, or if your money and passport are stolen during your trip.

Find out what things you should consider when you buy travel insurance and which are our top 3 travel insurance companies.

Other things to consider

  1. It is important to have in mind that most travel insurers will require an excess (or deductible) for the claims that are successful.
  2. Do you plan to take any extreme activities? Whether it is snowboarding or skydiving, you may want to consider cover for these types of activities too.
  3. Are you taking any precious gear with you? Being it a brand-new DSLR camera or a laptop, you want to be insured for those in case of theft or damage. 
  4. Cover for coronavirus. This is a hot topic nowadays, but very important to consider when choosing your travel insurance. For more information on COVID-19 cover during your travels, check our article on insurance policies that cover for a pandemic.
  5. Do you plan to visit dangerous countries like Irak? Then you should consider insurance policies specifically tailored for this.
  6. Are you already traveling? Some insurers may allow you to purchase insurance even after you started your travels.
Find out what things you should consider when you buy travel insurance and which are our top 3 travel insurance companies.

The cost of travel insurance

Each travel insurance has different plans you can choose, depending on your nationality, age, destinations, and trip length. Some of them may also cover extreme sports, equipment, and other extras at an extra cost.

The best travel insurance companies on the market

World nomads

This is probably the most popular option among long-term travelers. World Nomads is the market leader in terms of long-term insurance.

Pros of World Nomads:

  • The insurance covers you for dental treatment.
  • You get to have gear insurance included.
  • It includes cover for a lot of extreme sports.
  • You can return back to your home country in case of an emergency, and resume your travels afterward.

Cons of World Nomads:

  • The policies offered are quite pricey
  • Extension of your cover in case you decide to travel for longer than the duration of your insurance is more difficult to make.
  • It doesn't cover insurance for the coronavirus pandemic.

World Nomads Pricing

For a 27-year-old US resident who wants to travel to Asia, Europe, and South America for 4 weeks, World Nomads offers two plans.

  1. Standard, which starts at $129.97, or $4.65 per day
  2. Explorer, which starts at $231.16, or $8.25 per day

The difference between the two is the policy cover sum, and the Explorer plan also offers coverage for Rental Car damage (where permissible)

Safetywing

Another very popular option right now is SafetyWing, backed by one of the biggest insurance companies, Tokio Marine.

Pros of Safetywing

  • It the most affordable option.
  • The website is very user-friendly, which makes it easy to apply.
  • It is easy to renew your cover.
  • The insurance covers dental emergencies.

Cons of Safetywing

  • It doesn't cover for gear or lost luggage.
  • It doesn't cover for some extreme sports.
  • There is no cover for cancellation.
  • It doesn't cover personal liability.
  • The policy does not cover for coronavirus.

Safetywing pricing

For a 27-year-old US resident who wants to travel to Asia, Europe, and South America for 4 weeks the price is only $37, or $1.32 per day. However, if you also want to cover for travel within the US, the price goes up to $68, or $2.43 per day.

True Traveller

True Traveller, our personal choice, is another great option as it offers a lot of extras that you may or may not want to include in your cover.

Pros of True Traveller

  • It offers a wide range of cover personalization options
  • You can opt for $0 excess on your plan
  • It offers the option to buy insurance if you already started your travels

Cons of True Traveller

  • it is only available to European residents

True Traveller pricing

For a 27-year-old UK resident who wants to travel Worldwide except for US and Canada for 4 weeks, True Traveller offers three plans:

  1. True Value, priced at $81.69, or $2.91 per day. You can also opt for $0 excess for an extra $155.65.
  2. Traveller, priced at $99.38, or $3.55 per day. The $0 excess option costs an extra $93.39.
  3. Traveller Plus, priced at $110.51, or $3.95 per day. You can add the $0 deductible for only $43.58.

Heymondo

Heymondo is a newly discovered travel insurance company that is really appealing for travelers.

Pros of Heymondo

  • It is available for travelers from any country
  • A 24/7 Travel Assistant App comes with any policy you get
  • It covers those already traveling

Cons of Heymondo

We didn't find any for Heymondo.

Heymondo pricing

For a 27-year-old US resident who wants to travel to Asia, Europe, and South America for 4 weeks, Heymondo offers two plans.

  • Top, which starts at $86.37 ($82.02 if you use this link), or $3.12 per day
  • Premium, which starts at $99.90 (94.90 if you use this link), or $3.56 per day

Conclusions

We have chosen True Traveller due to the wide range of personalization options, most importantly because we have been able to cover our equipment that was older than 1 year, something most gear insurers don't accept.

However, if you don't need as many personalization options, we would definitely recommend Heymondo travel insurance, as it is both affordable and offers great cover.

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