Best Travel Insurance: Backpackers


A few years ago, I spent a few months in Phuket. I was walking around Patong one evening, heading to one of my favorite restaurants. To get there, I’d have to walk by Patong Hospital. Every night I’d walk by. One night I wasn’t feeling that great and wandered into the hospital to get looked at. As I approached the door, I had to make my way through a large group of fellow travelers with various injuries, broken bones, concussions and bleeding wounds. It was the same scene inside, injured foreigners scattered all over the emergency room. It looked like a train accident had just happened.

I went over to one girl with her arm in a sling and asked her what was going on. I was amazed to find out that nearly all these casualties were the result of travelers renting scooters they may or may not know how to ride, and bombing around. Many after drinking. I tell you this story because while I was there talking to the injured waiting to be seen, I overheard several of them say they had no travel insurance. I didn’t know this till that night, but evidently this happens frequently enough to fill an emergency room on a weeknight. For a group that concerns itself with being frugal on the road, I find the concept of insurance being too expensive counterintuitive. You never know what you’ll need it for. Here’s some good options for travel insurance for backpackers.


Seven Corners: Round Trip

These guys offer several different type of coverage from your basics to covering action sports enthusiasts. For the purposes of this piece, we’ll stick to the basics. This company’s Round Trip plan includes five types of coverage:

Medical – $75,000

Evacuation – $350,000

Lost/Stolen Items – $1000

Trip Interruption – $1,000

Travel Delay (12 hrs) – $500

This one seems to be the best for medical emergencies.


Travel Insured International

Another good option for those who want good medical coverage, Travel Insured’s Worldwide Trip Protector. The coverage isn’t as high for medical as the Seven Corners Plan, but if you’re going into the bush or the mountains, this plans higher evac coverage is a factor.

Medical – $50,000

Evacuation – $500,000

Lost/Stolen Items – $1,000

Trip Interruption – $500

Travel Delay (6 hrs) – $1,000


Travel Guard

For those of you more concerned with lost luggage, things turning up missing, or street toughs absconding with your valuables, the Adventure Traveler plan from Travel Guard is a good way to go as it offers a high limit on these things. The evacuation limit is comparable to Travel Insured Worldwide Trip plan, while the medical coverage is on the lower end of the spectrum, so do your research before deciding on a plan.

Medical – $25,000

Evacuation – $500,000

Lost/Stolen Items – $2,500

Trip Interruption – $750

Travel Delay (5 hrs) – $1,500


This is another one of those times I recommend doing some research. Take your time on this one to make sure you get the best plan for your style of travel.


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