Top travel insurance tips for your backpacking trip
Backpacking is a fantastic way to emerse yourself in new cultures and see the world, however, there are many risks involved in backpacking. Quite often you will stand out as a tourist and be easy prey for the experienced criminal. As well as this you are more likely to try out new exciting activities such as moped riding, scuba diving, white water rafting, skiing or mountaineering just to name a few. These activities are great fun but exceptionally high risk. You are also away for a long period of time and therefore it is more likely you will have to make a claim on your travel insurance.
Travel Insurance providers are very crafty and if you have to make a travel insurance claim providers make you jump through many a hoop before they will accept a claim and give you your money back to cover the claim.
The main reasons providers decline travel insurance claims are as follows:
• Lost or stolen items were not reported to the local authorities,
• Or no evidence was produced to suggest the local authorities were informed.
• Customers fail to contact their insurance provider to make the claim within the time period stated on their insurance policy (often this is only a few days).
• Injuries occurred while the backpacker was taking part in an activity not covered by the travel insurance provider.
The best way to avoid a travel insurance provider from declining your claim is to be as prepared as possible before you go away and have a small knowledge about what to do if you have to make a claim.
Before you go away
• Shop around for a decent policy before you go. Do not do what a lot of backpackers do and take out the cheapest travel insurance policy available. Cheap policies often have a huge excess which you have to pay if you need to make a claim and they also do not cover you for important items like personal possessions or emergency evacuation.
• Buy a policy that covers all of the activities you are planning on doing while you are away. Most providers offer you the opportunity to customise your policy to cover various activities at a slightly higher cost so consider what activities you want to do before you go and add them to your policy if they are not already included in the policy.
• Make a copy of your travel insurance documents and take one copy and leave another copy with a friend or relative at home. If you have a secure email account email a copy to yourself along with a copy of your passport and any other important documents.
While you are away
• Do not take part in any risky activities unless you know your policy covers you for such activities.
• Do not take part in any illegal activities. If you have an accident or lose your belongings while doing something illegal your insurance will not cover you for any assistance you may need.
If you need to make a claim
• If something has been lost or stolen contact the local authorities as soon as you are aware the item is missing.
• Contact your insurance provider immediately and inform them of the situation.
• Collect up as much evidence of the incident as possible to present to your insurance provider. This includes photos, Doctor reports and signed police reports. The more evidence you have the easier it is to make a claim on your insurance.
• When you are home send your insurance provider a copy of all of the evidence you collected.
• Keep a record of every time you have contacted the travel insurance provider.
• Try and contact your travel insurance provider by email so you have written evidence of your communications with them. If you spoke on the phone drop them an email confirming what was said on the phone.
• Get the name of the person you correspond with regarding your claim and try and speak to them every time.
• Be persistent, keep contacting your travel insurance provider until the money for your claim is securely in your account.
For further information and advice on travel insurance visit the travel insurance guide http://www.travelinsuranceguide.org.uk/know-before-you-go.html