Getting the proper insurance is important for when taking a traditional gap-year. You can take out a good year or nine-month policy that will be specifically tailored to backpacker’s needs.

It’s important to take out comprehensive travel insurance, however long you are travelling for, and to check that it covers you for everything that you want to do while you are away. Should something go wrong while you are overseas, costs can quickly escalate with average prices ranging from £15,000 to over £100,000 (in Europe and America respectively) for treatment and re-scheduled flights back home.

As a backpacker your luggage is probably only going to consist of a rucksack with a few clothes in it, so most policies don’t insure your luggage for a huge amount. However, the medical cover that you receive is the most important part as you may be travelling in developing countries where the medical services are not up to western standards.

It is worth noting that even in developed countries, health services work differently and you may have to pay more for certain things. Medical treatment is very expensive wherever you are, and if something really drastic happened to you whilst you were abroad, the costs could be astronomical. Most gap-year insurance packages cover repatriation costs, meaning that they would pay for you to be flown home if you were seriously ill. Some will cover the cost of having a family member flown out to you in an emergency.

It is therefore vitally important that when you take out a policy for your gap-year that you are covered for most eventualities so that you have peace of mind to really enjoy your year out.

There is more information about insurance services in the gap-year guidebook, but try the search box below for companies who will make sure you have everything covered.

Big Cat Travel Insurance


0333 003 3161

Big Cat specialises in affordable worldwide travel insurance for Backpackers, Adventure Travellers and anyone on a Gap-Year. Our policies are specially designed to offer cover up to two years… read more.

DU Insure


+44 (0) 800 393 908

DownUnder Insurance – The Best Cheap Backpacking Insurance Providers The most important tip we can offer travellers is to take out insurance with us to ensure they are covered in… read more.

True Traveller Insurance


0333 999 3140

Travel insurance may not be the most exciting part of planning your gap year, but it doesn't have to be a pain to organise. True Traveller Insurance is straightforward,… read more.

ACE European Group Ltd


0800 028 2396

Offers gap year/backpacker/student traveller insurance to anyone aged 14-44 and traveller plus insurance for those aged 45-55 years.

Adventures Travel Insurance


02392 419 070

Adventures is a tailor-made insurance for almost any activity or occupation including amateur sports, manual work and hazardous pursuits. With a wide range of activities to choose, from Abseiling to Zorbing, Adventures travel insurance can cover you for peace of mind travel.

Alpha Travel Insurance


0203 829 6764

Alpha Travel Insurance provides backpacker and gap year travel insurance for up to 24 months, including over 100 sports and activities free of charge.

American Express


0800 028 7573

Provide cover 18-49 year olds wishing to take a gap year, sabbatical, or career break up to 24 months.

Blue Insurance


+353 0818 444449 is a domain name of Blue Insurances, offering competitive prices to anyone less than 45 years of age on back-packer insurance for trips up to 12 months in length .

Boots UK Limited


+44 (0) 845 125 3810

The Boots UK Limited website has an area dedicated to gap-year insurance and offers policies to 18-34 year olds for 3-12 months.

British Mountaineering Council (BMC)


+44 (0)161 445 6111

BMC travel insurance covers a range of activities and is designed by experts to be free from unreasonable exclusions or restrictions, for peace of mind wherever you travel.

Campbell Irvine Ltd


+44 (0)20 7938 1734

Campbell Irvine specialises in arranging travel insurance for the adventurous traveler. We provide cover for over 75 activities including trekking, safaris, sports and overseas volunteering work.

Citybond Suretravel


Citybond Suretravel offer a Young Traveller policy for people planning to travel the world or study abroad, with cover available for temporary return trips home, computer equipment and course fees. It also covers you for over 120 sports and activities and jobs including office work, bar/restaurant work and fruit picking.

Columbus Direct


0845 888 8893

Columbus Direct offer backpacker insurance for anywhere in the world for 2-12 months. Also offer sports and activities cover.



+44 (0)20 3198 1890

From a lost or stolen passport to liaising with authorities and family back home in the event of an incident, we'll be there for you; so you can sleep easy.

Cover-More Insurance Services Ltd


01245 272408

Cover-More have been a travel insurance specialist for 30 years, and globally insure over 2.2 million travellers each year. Our service, commitment and experience make us a top choice for travel companies and affiliates.

Direct Travel Insurance


+44 (0) 845 605 2700

Direct Travel Insurance provide basic or comprehensive insurance cover to 18-36 year olds for 3-12 months.

Dogtag Ltd


+44 (0) 8700 364824

Dogtag Ltd offer insurance cover for 'action minded' travellers aged 18-55 for up to 18 months.

Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd


+44 (0) 800 028 3571

Endsleigh has tailored gap-year cover to suit travellers for up to 12 months, with over 100 sports and activities covered as standard.

Essential Travel Ltd



Special backpacker travel insurance for anyone aged betwen 19-45 years old.

Globelink International


+44 (0)1353 699082

Globelink provides coverage for almost any type of journey and age group (up to 84). Our Globetrekkers travel insurance provides excellent cover for student, gap year travellers, backpackers and over 65 travel insurance.



0845 658 0570

Holidaysafe is a travel insurance provider based in Kent, UK. They have a range of cover options such as backpacking, sports, and long stay.

Insure and Go


+44 (0) 844 888 2787

Insure and Go provide backpacker travel insurance for up to 18 months. Free cover for many sports and activities.


0330 024 9295 provides backpacker travel insurance for travellers planning trips of 12 months or less, including a baggage and personal possessions cover of up to £500.

Jackson Lees


0151 282 1700

Whatever form your gap year is going to take, whether it be working abroad, volunteering or travelling, we have a TIP for you. Our Traveller Insurance Package can provide a sense of relief should anything happen whilst you are away.



0800 032 3499

LetUsFixIT provides a computer protection service that allows you to safeguard up to three devices against accidental damage, theft, and mechanical failure, as well as access 24/7 remote technical support.

MB&G Direct


0191 258 8199

MB&G Direct offers car breakdown cover that gets you back on the road quickly and efficiently, whether you’re in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

Mind The Gap Year


+44 (0) 845 180 0059

Mind The Gap Year offers a low cost economy package or the fully inclusive standard package back packer insurance cover.



0333 123 1983

MoneySuperMarket are a price comparison website enabling consumers to compare policy prices from a range of travel insurance providers.

Navigator Travel Insurance Services Ltd


0161 973 6435

Navigator Travel Insurance Services Ltd offer specialist policies for long-stay overseas trips with an emphasis on covering adventure sports. These policies also cover casual working.

P J Hayman & Company Ltd


02392 419 050

With over 20 years experience in travel insurance, we have created specific products to cater for specific needs. Whether you require cover for a medical condition, hazardous activities, round the world trip, Gap year, etc., we have a policy for you.

Post Office Travel Insurance


0800 294 2292

Provides cover to 18-35 year olds wishing to take a career or study break.

ROCK Insurance Group


+44 (0)333 202 5670

We provide smart and agile travel, gadget and commercial insurance products through our own direct brands and leading brands of our Affinity partners. We're fast growing and developing a reputation for doing things differently and that's why we say, you're better with us.

Round the World Insurance


+44 (0)1273 320 580

Round the World Insurance provide specialist travel insurance designed for people on round-the-world or multi-stop trips.

Sainsbury's Travel Insurance


0800 316 1453

Sainsbury's Extended Trip Travel Insurance have a policy tailored to those between 16 and 45, providing cover for up to 12 months.

Snowcard Insurance Services Limited


0844 826 2699

An all-round activities insurance covering winter, general mountain and water sports as well as the standard travel risks. The unique 'Snowcard' gives 24 hour access to Assistance International.

SportsCover Direct Ltd


01494 484800

Whether you need to protect your income, are travelling abroad or wanting protection at home, we cover for most eventualities. Our products are tailored to amateurs or semi-professionals taking part in sports and activities including competitions.

STA Travel


0333 321 0099

As well as offering fantastic travel opportunities, STA also provide single trip insurance policies from 37p a day, or annual multi-trip policies from 22p a day

Taurus Insurance Services


+350 0207 183 6081

Taurus Insurance Services provides worldwide travel insurance.

Top Dog Insurance


0800 093 6686

Providing gap year travel insurance which covers many extreme sports and activities, including bungee jumping, scuba diving etc. The flexible policy allows you to return home for short periods of time.

Travel Insurance Direct


0800 652 9944

The Discovery policy is designed for anyone travelling on a budget, backpacking or travelling light. Whilst being a low cost option it still maintains excellent levels of medical insurance, including vital medical emergency repatriation cover.

Travel Insured


0800 092 4383

Travel Insured offer a backpacking and young traveller insurance policy for 16-45 year olds, covering non-manual work, sports and recreation, and innocent incarceration/kidnap.


0844 888 2757

Provides cover for up to 18 months travelling. Cover can be arranged for medical expenses, personal accident to repayment of student loan.

Voyager Insurance Services


01483 562 662

Voyager's Responsible long stay travel insurance policy gives you cover for up to 18 months, so it can be ideal if you're a backpacker, or if you're planning a gap year or sabbatical.

World First Travel Insurance


0345 90 80 161

We are the worldwide travel insurance specialists and have 40 years of experience providing holiday insurance cover for all kinds of people, going to all kinds of places and doing all kinds of wonderful things.

World Nomads Ltd


+44 (0) 1543 432 872

World Nomads Ltd offer an insurance package specifically targeted at independent travellers under the age of 60 for up to 18 months.

Worldtrekker Travel Insurance


0843 208 1928

World Trekker Travel Insurance offers four levels of cover from Standard to Ultra to UK resident travellers up to the age of 45 years.