Looking for gap year ideas and solutions? Take our quiz to find out more.
| +44 1672 519 922|

Gap Year Insurance Guide: Safeguard With Backpacker Coverage

Written by Alice McLeod on 16 / 11 / 2023

Gap Year Advice

Gap years are the time for travel and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but with that comes the risks of travelling and it's vital that you're prepared for any unexpected events. If we have one golden rule here at The Leap, it's that you need good travel insurance. We're all for cutting costs where you can in other places, but not when it comes to backpacker insurance - if you splash out on one thing make it this.

Understanding Gap Year Insurance:

Gap year insurance, also known as long-term travel insurance, is a specialized type of coverage designed for individuals planning extended trips abroad. Unlike standard travel insurance, which typically covers shorter durations, gap year insurance provides comprehensive protection for periods ranging from a few months to a year or more.

Key Features of Gap Year Insurance:

  1. Medical Coverage: Gap year insurance prioritizes health coverage, addressing medical emergencies and unexpected illnesses. This includes hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription medications, and even emergency medical evacuation if necessary.
  2. Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may arise that force you to cancel or cut short your gap year plans. Gap year insurance often includes coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions, offering reimbursement for non-refundable expenses.
  3. Personal Liability: Accidents happen, and personal liability coverage ensures that you are protected in case you accidentally injure someone or damage property, thereby preventing potential legal and financial consequences.
  4. Travel Delay and Missed Connections: Delays and missed connections are common in travel. Gap year insurance can cover additional expenses incurred due to travel delays or missed connections, helping you navigate unexpected changes in your itinerary.
  5. Lost or Stolen Belongings: Given the nomadic nature of a gap year, the risk of losing belongings or having them stolen is higher. Gap year insurance typically provides coverage for lost or stolen baggage, including personal items like electronics, passports, and valuables. You often have to add mobile phone cover onto your package at an extra cost due to how common it is for them to be lost/damaged/stolen.
  6. Adventure Activities Coverage: Many gap year travelers engage in adventurous activities such as hiking, scuba diving, or bungee jumping. Gap year insurance can be tailored to cover these high-risk activities, ensuring that you are protected for every aspect of your activities.
  7. Emergency Assistance Services: In the event of a crisis, having access to emergency assistance services can be a lifesaver. Gap year insurance often includes 24/7 emergency support, offering guidance, coordination, and assistance in critical situations.

Find our recommended insurance provider in the Backpacker Advice Hub

Want to know who we recommend for backpacker insurance? Log into the Backpacker Advice Hub and check the 'travel logistics' tab for more information on insurance.

Sign into the hub

Choosing the Right Gap Year Insurance:

When selecting gap year insurance, it's essential to consider the following factors:

  1. Duration of Coverage: Ensure that the insurance policy aligns with the entire duration of your gap year, including any potential extensions.
  2. Destination Coverage: Confirm that the insurance provides coverage for all the countries you plan to visit, considering any changes to your itinerary.
  3. Policy Limits and Excess: Understand the maximum limits for coverage and the excess associated with various aspects of the policy.
  4. Adventure Activities Coverage: If you plan to participate in high-risk activities, make sure the policy covers these specific adventures.


A gap year is a unique opportunity for personal growth and exploration, but it comes with inherent risks. Gap year insurance serves as a safety net, providing peace of mind and financial protection in the face of unexpected challenges. Before embarking on your journey, take the time to research and invest in comprehensive gap year insurance, ensuring that your adventure is not only unforgettable but also secure. If you'd like our recommendation for gap year insurance then log into our backpacker advice hub to get a link to the insurance company we recommend - remember that when it comes to travel insurance cheaper isn't always better, and you get what you pay for!

Please note that this is all just a guide, and it's important you do your own research on insurance to make sure you find the right one for you and your personal needs.


When should I buy my gap year insurance? It's best to buy your insurance as soon as you book your trip, even though many companies allow you to buy insurance right up until 24 hours before your trip departs. The advantage of buying your insurance earlier is that it means you're protected, and might be eligible for more benefits.

Is backpacker insurance different to regular travel insurance? Backpacker insurance covers you for longer stays in multiple countries. General travel insurance will cover you for usually up to 28 days per trip, sometimes limited to certain countries and regions, whereas with backpacker insurance it covers you for much longer stays and gives more global coverage.

Can you extend backpacker insurance? Yes, you can usually extend your policy from wherever you are in the world, but it's questions like this to ask your insurance provider before you set off.

Related Articles:

Join the Backpacker Advice Hub

Navigating hostel etiquette on your gap year

Plan your gap year with this 10 step guide

Find our recommended insurance provider in the Backpacker Advice Hub

Want to know who we recommend for backpacker insurance? Log into the Backpacker Advice Hub and check the 'travel logistics' tab for more information on insurance.

Sign into the hub

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

Opt in below to help us keep track of your planning, so each time you talk to us you can pick up where you left off.

Yes please, let's keep life simple.