Backpackers are a special case. Not only do they tend to be younger, they also tend to take the biggest risks.

Luckily, they’re usually in good health and this helps offset the crazy things they tend to do while travelling.

That said, anyone heading on the Big Overseas Experience, or the Big OE, still runs the risk that they’ll become sick unexpectedly or get in an accident (we’re talking mopeds on gravel roads, parasailing, and travelling on dodgy local buses, right?).

Policies and coverage can change at any time, without warning. This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully. Read the terms and conditions of policy wording and description of coverage to decide if the policy you choose is right for you.

So whether you’re heading to Australia to catch some surf, Fiji to catch some sun or backpacking around Europe or in the Americas on your gap year, there’s a backpacker travel insurance plan that’s just right for you.

Out of the 12 travel insurance companies we’ve compared, a few definitely stand out.

Here’s the average prices for a six month long trip for a healthy backpacker in their mid 20’s.

World Nomads

World Nomads is one of the most well known backpacker insurance companies in the world. Often mentioned in the Lonely Planet, the Rough Guides and even Fodor’s, they specialize in the under 55 crowd and cover backpackers from around the world.

Based out of Australia with local offices in New Zealand, you can be sure they know the difference between zorbing and abseiling.

You can read our review of Word Nomads here.

Price for six months of travel worldwide is $481 for the Standard Package, and $681 for the Explorer package. 

The Standard package includes $5 million in overseas medical costs, $3,500 trip cancellation, and $2,000 theft or damage to baggage and personal items.

Includes:

  • $5 million overseas medical costs
  • $3,500 trip cancellation
  • Level 1 adventure sports like snorkelling
  • Can be extended after departure
  • You can make a claim online

The Explorer package includes unlimited overseas medical costs, unlimited trip cancellation, and $10,000 theft or damage to baggage and personal items.

Includes:

  • unlimited overseas medical costs
  • unlimited trip cancellation
  • Level 1 adventure sports like snorkelling
  • Can be extended after departure
  • You can make a claim online

If you’re the adventurous type, you may want to add on extra cover for dangerous sports and activities.

If you want to add coverage for more dangerous activities you’ll need to buy additional coverage. You can add two different levels of cover. Level 3 costs $479 NZD extra on the Standard Package and a whopping $679 NZD extra on the Explorer Package, and covers everything from trapeze to snow tubing to cavern diving to skydiving to skiing and snowboarding. Level 2 covers things like American football, martial arts and indoor ice hockey.

By default, both the World Nomads Standard and Explorer plan automatically include Level 1 Adventure sports, work, study & volunteer coverage. Level 1 coverage includes less dangerous activities like air guitar (we’re not kidding)and snorkelling, and (surprisingly!) also includes bungee jumping.

If you’re bringing an expensive laptop, camera or other expensive item, you can add on additional insurance.

Tip! Check out our World Nomads review for great tips on discount codes for New Zealand backpackers.

How to Get a Quote

You can get a quote from World Nomads on their website, or just use the form below to get a quote directly from World Nomads.

World Escapade

World Escapade (a part of April International) has offices around the world. They offer coverage for everyone from backpackers to seniors.

You can read our World Escapade review here.

World Escapade offers two plans, a basic medical insurance plan for $622 USD (856 NZD at the time of writing) or a comprehensive plan for $1,866 USD (a pretty hefty $2,568 NZD at the time of writing).

Price for the six month basic medical single trip plan: $856 NZD

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • no trip cancellation or baggage cover
  • medical cover for many adventure sports including skiing

Price for the six month all inclusive comprehensive plan: $2,568 NZD 

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • $2,000 USD trip cancellation and $2,000 per person baggage cover
  • medical cover for many adventure sports including skiing

1Cover Backpackers Insurance

1Cover Travel Insurance is one of New Zealand’s most popular insurance companies. It was founded in 2003, and has offices in Auckland. Want to learn more? Check out our review of 1Cover.

1Cover offers two backpackers policies: a basic medical insurance policy for $399 NZD and a comprehensive policy for $521 NZD.

You need to buy the 1Cover policy before you leave on your trip.

Price for the 1Cover Plan C basics medical single trip plan: $399 NZD

Includes:

  • unlimited overseas medical emergency insurance
  • no trip cancellation or luggage cover
  • no rental vehicle excess

Price for the 1Cover Plan A comprehensive plan: $521 NZD 

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • unlimited trip cancellation
  • $15,000 luggage and personal effects
  • $5,000 rental vehicle excess

How to get a quote with 1Cover

You can get a backpacker’s insurance quote with 1Cover on their website or just get a quote below.

Downunder Travel Insurance


Downunder Insurance

Downunder Travel Insurance (DUinsure) is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. They offer travel insurance for everyone from seniors and families to backpackers and students.

DUinsure offers three plans, from a a basic medical insurance plan for $289 to  NZD at the time of writing) or a comprehensive plan for $1,866 USD (a pretty hefty $2,568 NZD at the time of writing).

Price for the six month Plan C – Backpackers International: $289.23 NZD

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • $2,500 trip cancellation
  • $2,000 luggage insurance

Price for the Plan H – Explorer International: $337.86 NZD 

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • 5,000 trip cancellation
  • $3,000 no luggage insurance

Price for the Plan A – Comprehensive International: $348.78 NZD 

Includes:

  • unlimited medical emergency insurance
  • 10,000 trip cancellation
  • $5,000 no luggage insurance

Click here to get a quote on the DUinsure website.


Downunder Insurance