Best Travel Insurance for Bike Packing Trips

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on April 17, 2024

Table of Contents

If you’re a keen cyclist, a lover of the great outdoors, or an adventurer setting off on a bikepacking expedition, securing the appropriate travel insurance is critical. In this article, we will examine the best options for bikepacking trip insurance currently on offer.

Accompanied by my wife Amanda, I embarked on a three-year cycling trip from California to Patagonia, gaining invaluable insights about the kind of insurance to carry, among other essentials. In this guide, we will dissect the crucial elements of travel insurance designed for bikepacking that you need to be aware of, and we will present our top picks for 2024.

For a thorough overview of insurance choices crafted specifically for adventure enthusiasts, make sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Adventure Travel Insurance.

Quick Recommendation

If you want some quick recommendations, here is our infographic to help you choose the best insurance for your next bike packing adventure. 

Best travel insurance for bike packing - infographic

Bike Packing Travel Insurance Overview

Bike-Packing Insurance Explained

Many insurance providers include coverage for bikepacking within their conventional policies, as long as you comply with safety measures such as wearing a helmet and refraining from cycling while under the influence of alcohol; adhering to these guidelines should ensure that you’re adequately protected.

However, if your bikepacking adventure entails more specialized pursuits, like riding at higher elevations (which is common if you’re heading to mountain ranges like the Andes or the Himalayas), you might need to consider adventure sports coverage. It’s also worth noting that some famous cycling roads, such as Bolivia’s Death Road, may not be included in the coverage of all insurance companies.

In the following section, we will explore the specifics of what standard bikepacking trip insurance policies include and the exclusions they may have.

What Does It Cover?

The majority of insurance policies for bikepacking typically provide coverage for the following four categories:

Medical Expenses

In the event that you suffer an unforeseen injury or illness during your bikepacking excursion, comprehensive bikepacking insurance offers coverage for international emergency medical expenses that you might incur at a hospital or medical facility.

This coverage spans a spectrum of potential medical needs, from straightforward treatments to complex medical procedures. Whether it’s immediate first aid or thorough medical care that you require, having a robust insurance plan in place provides financial support for your well-being as you traverse stunning terrains on your bikepacking journey.

Equipment Coverage

In the unfortunate instance of damage, theft, or loss of your equipment, encompassing bike accessories or electronics, comprehensive bikepacking insurance generally provides coverage, with the amount ranging from a small sum to several thousand dollars.

The bike itself is usually not included under this coverage, so you would need to secure a separate policy for your bicycle if you wish to insure it.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If you need to cancel or cut short your bikepacking trip due to an injury, bikepacking insurance allows you to claim reimbursement for the portions of your journey that you miss out on.

Emergency Evacuation

This type of coverage is arguably the most critical for a bikepacking trip. It guarantees emergency medical evacuation to the closest suitable medical facility for necessary treatment or repatriation back to your country of residence.

What Doesn't Cover?

Each insurance provider has particular limitations to their coverage. Here are the most common exclusions for bikepacking trip insurance:

High Altitude: Riding at altitudes exceeding 19,500 feet (6,000 meters) is usually not covered by standard insurance policies, unless you secure an additional rider. While reaching such extreme elevations is rare, even in mountain ranges like the Andes or the Himalayas, where the highest passes are around 5,000 meters, it’s important to be aware of this limitation.

Unattended Equipment: Coverage may not be extended by many policies if your personal items, including your bike and associated gear, are left unattended in public spaces, increasing the risk of theft.

Disregarding Government Travel Warnings: Choosing to travel against the advice of the U.S. Department of State or other governmental bodies could mean that your insurance will not provide coverage.

Remote Locations: Some insurers may not offer coverage for bikepacking in particularly isolated regions, such as the Arctic Circle or Greenland.

Best Insurance for Bike Packing Trips in 2024

Our Pick For

Remote Locations + Independent Trips + Any Nationality

Nationalities: all nationalities are covered.

Pre-existing conditions: Yes.

Seniors Over 65: People aged 65-75 are included in the Individual Plan. Extended Plan memberships are available to those age 75-84 and include all services but are contingent upon completion of a medical form and a physician’s medical verification.

Trip Duration: Short term policies (7, 14 or 30-days) and long term policies (1 to 5 years) available.

Groups: Individual, family and student plans available.

Situations covered: It covers civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies (when purchasing the Security package).

Reasons To Buy

Remote locations coverage. Coverage available for 65-84. Pre-existing conditions accepted. All nationalities accepted​.

Reasons To Avoid

The price is a bit higher than other insurance policies. However, no other company provides the same coverage as Global Rescue. It doesn’t cover trip cancellations or delays. It doesn’t cover equipment.

Worldwide field rescue (up to $500,000) in remote or dangerous environments. Global Rescue’s deployable teams are standing by to rescue their members from the point of illness or injury for any serious medical emergency.

 

Medical Evacuation. Global Rescue’s fully deployable medical teams have unparalleled capabilities to transport our members back to their home hospital of choice from anywhere in the world. This includes global COVID-19 transport.

 

Medical & Security Advisory Services. Global Rescue’s operations centers are staffed by experienced nurses, paramedics and military special operations veterans. Global Rescue also has partnerships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations, Elite Medical Group and Partners HealthCare, the Harvard Medical School affiliate.

 

Security Membership. Global Rescue’s teams of military special operations veterans are available to provide advisory, consultation and evacuation services for events like natural disasters, terror attacks and civil unrest when you are in danger.

 

Destination Reports & Event Alerts. Destination reports for 215 countries and principalities worldwide include entry requirements, COVID-19 travel status and restrictions, detailed health and security assessments and required immunizations. Keep up to date on health and security events worldwide.

 

My Global Rescue Mobile App. Access Global Rescue services in one location. Browse destination reports and alerts, activate emergency assistance, real-time virtual health visits and keep track of the people you care about with GPS tracking and messaging.

Security Package. Physical extraction when you are in danger of bodily harm. It includes civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies.

 

High Altitude Evacuation.. This is for individuals traveling above 15,000 ft (4,600 m) during any part of their trip (excluding airplane travel). It also includes emergency physical transport due to injury or illness.

Global Rescue is the most comprehensive travel protection available worldwide. It has the least restrictions and biggest coverage than any other medical insurance.

It’s a medical-only protection designed for adventure travelers planning to go remote in an independent or organized bikepacking trip. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

Global Rescue is our preferred option for bikepacking adventures.

Our Pick For

Americans + High Medical Coverage + Trip Protection

Nationalities: Only US citizens and residents are eligible.

Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions can be covered for Trip Cancellations and Interruptions, as long as you purchase your plan within 14 days of your initial trip deposit, and are medically able to travel when you purchase your plan.

Seniors Over 65: There is no maximum age limit.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 180 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The prices are very competitive.

Plans are very customizable with plenty of extras available and the option of removing items you don’t need.

Pre-existing medical conditions accepted.

24/7 chat available with the Faye Mobile App

     

Reasons To Avoid

Only available to American residents.

Emergency Medical Expenses: Up to $250,000. If you experience sudden illness or injury in-trip, including COVID-19. We can cover prescription drugs, hospitalization and physician costs.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage of transportation in the case of illness or injury that is acute, severe or life threatening when adequate medical treatment is not available in the immediate area.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to 100%. If you need to cancel your trip for covered reasons, including if you get sick, contract COVID-19, or a travel provider goes bankrupt. We can cover flights, hotel bookings, tickets & activities, and quarantine accommodation.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to 150%. When you must unexpectedly cut your trip short or extend it for covered reasons, including if you contract COVID-19.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $4,500. Up to $300/day, for delays of more than 6 hours. When you’re stranded in transit due to reasons outside of your control such as flight delay or theft of passport.

 

Lost or damaged Belongings: Up to $2,000. Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, including clothing, personal items and professional equipment like a phone or laptop.

Cancel for Any Reason: Up to 75% of Trip Cost. The ability to nix your trip for reasons other than those covered in your plan’s trip cancellation coverage, including fear of contracting COVID-19, as long as you purchase this coverage within 14 days of your initial trip deposit and cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your scheduled departure date.

 

Pet Care: Up to $2,500 in veterinary expenses & 
$250 for kenneling. Coverage of veterinary expenses if you take your furry friend along (including pet sickness or injury), or kenneling costs if you arrive back home later than expected.

 

Adventure & Extreme Sports: Up to $250K (international trips) or $50K (domestic trips) for accidental & sickness expenses. Medical and transportation coverage if you become injured while participating in an adventure or extreme sport, like skydiving, bungee jumping, motocross or free diving.

Faye insurance provides American residents one of the biggest medical coverages on the market at a very competitive price. 

There’s no age limit, and with the Adventure & Extreme Sports Protection, you can get coverage for bikepacking trips.

We recommend Faye for Americans who want a complete travel protection for their bikepacking trip, including high medical coverage, trip protection cancellation & interruption, and some baggage coverage.

Our Pick For

Non Americans + Budget

Nationalities: Most nationalities can purchase insurance from World Nomads, including residents of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, or New Zealand. However, as of the current writing, most European residents are unable to buy a World Nomads policy.

Pre-existing conditions: Not covered.

Seniors Over 65: Travelers aged 70 and over are not covered.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 365 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The price is competitive.

   

Reasons To Avoid

Prices and coverage vary greatly by the country of residence.

Some European nationalities are not covered.

Pre-existing medical conditions not covered

Max age is 70 years old.

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense: Up to $100,000. Coverage is for medical expenses for emergency treatment of an accidental injury that occurs during the trip. Emergency treatment must be medically necessary and performed during the trip. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Emergency dental treatment: Up to $750. Coverage is for emergency dental treatment for accidental injury to sound, natural teeth. The injury and treatment must occur during the trip.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage is for an accidental injury or sickness occurring during the trip that results in your necessary emergency evacuation. An emergency evacuation must be ordered by a physician who certifies that the severity of your accidental injury or sickness warrants your emergency evacuation. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip (after the effective date) due to covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable, unused expenses if you must interrupt your trip (after departure) due to a covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike, or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $3,000. Coverage is for unused portion of pre-paid accommodation or additional expenses, on a one-time basis, if you are delayed en route to or from the trip for 6 or more hours due to a defined hazard as explained in the certificate / policy.

 

Baggage & Personal Effects: Up to $3,000. Reimbursement is for loss, theft or damage during the trip to baggage and personal effects (including sporting equipment) owned by you, provided you have taken all reasonable measures to protect, save and recover the property. Per article limit of $500.

 

Activities covered based on 4 groups. You pay more for higher group. The Explorer plan includes more activities than the Standard Plan. Extreme activities not covered (cave diving, free soloing, etc)

The World Nomads Explorer Plan is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable travel insurance with good medical coverage and some equipment coverage (up to $3,000) under the same policy.

We recommend World Nomads Explorers plan if you’re seeking affordable travel insurance that covers bikepacking trips in areas that are not too remote, if you are not American or want the trip & baggage protection that Global Rescue doesn’t provide.

Comparison Table

Company
Plan
Medical Expenses
Emmergency Evacuation
Trip Cancellation
Trip Delays
Equipment Coverage

Travel

$100,000

$500,000

None

None

None

Adv Sports

$250,000

$500,000

100%

150%

$2,000

Explorer

$100,000

$500,000

$10,000

$3,000

$3,000

Conclusion

Best travel insurance for bike packing

When choosing insurance for your bikepacking trip, an essential factor to consider is how remote your intended path is.

For those venturing into less traveled bikepacking terrains, the top pick is Global Rescue. Its exceptional medical evacuation services set it apart from other insurance choices.

If your bikepacking plans involve less remote areas and you’re a US resident, an excellent insurance option is Faye. It provides extensive medical coverage, includes pre-existing conditions, has no age limits, and covers adventure sports at elevations over 9,000 feet.

For non-US residents setting out on bikepacking journeys that are not as isolated, the Explorer Plan from World Nomads is a strong option. It delivers ample medical coverage and stands out for its affordability in the insurance marketplace.

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Bike Packing Insurance Reviews Online

During your research, you might want to consider checking out articles from various publications that provide insights into the best insurance options for bike packing available.

In my experience, the most honest and valuable reviews are found by real bikers in forums.

Here are some of the most popular threads I found interesting.

Cycle Touring & Bikepacking Insurance: All You Need To Know (& Popular Insurers)tomsbiketrip.com

Health insurance for bikepacking tripReddit.com

About the Author

Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries.

They cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions. Today, they’re still traveling,  currently around the USA with an RV.

Traveling to so many places, remote destinations and by different means taught them a lot about travel insurance, which policies to hold depending on the area and the type of adventure they were doing. Antonio now publishes regular content to help other travelers choose the best travel insurance for adventure trips.

Together, they also run the travel community Summit, the RV site Hitched Up, the boutique accommodation blog Unique Places and the popular newsletter Adventure Fix, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

Antonio Cala

Co-Founder of Adventure Fix

Best Travel Insurance for Bike Packing Trips
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