Compare Long Stay Travel Insurance

Travelling for months at a time can be an amazing experience. But in far-flung locations you'll want to know you've got your medical expenses covered at the very least, not to mention your possessions. So, make sure you've got travel insurance in place before you set off.

Travelling for months at a time can be an amazing experience. But in far-flung locations you'll want to know you've got your medical expenses covered at the very least, not to mention your possessions. So, make sure you've got travel insurance in place before you set off.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Josh Daniels
Head of Travel Insurance
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Posted 1 OCTOBER 2021

What is long stay travel insurance?

Long trip travel insurance covers you for 3-18 months (and can potentially be extended if you're not quite ready to come home). It's sometimes known as backpacker travel insurance. But it's also useful, if for example, you hate British winters and prefer to seek the sun and spend them abroad, or want an extended stay with relatives overseas. It can also sometimes be used for overseas stays that are clearly temporary, even if you are working – for example with a working holiday visa – but you will need to check the exclusions to make sure you're covered.

It can be really useful for anyone spending a gap year or career break abroad.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

What does long stay travel insurance cover?

The level of cover you get can vary considerably between providers, so keep an eye on the details and check how much excess you'd need to pay if you did make a claim.

If you don't want to shell out too much but want to be confident you've got a reasonable level of cover, you might want to consider:

  • Medical expenses – medical treatment abroad, particularly in countries like the USA, can climb into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. With your medical limit, it’s best to be overly cautious, to avoid potentially crippling medical bills that will only make a bad situation worse.
  • Holiday cancellation cover – make sure this is at least equal to the cost of your holiday.
  • Flight cancellations and missed connections – make sure the level of cover is enough to cover the cost of your trip. Cover for things like a missed connection isn't included in all policies, so make sure you check the policy T&Cs
  • Damage, loss or theft of your baggage – make sure you've added up the cost of your belongings and include any expensive items too – check the maximum value for any single items too, so you cover your needs

Choose your voluntary excess carefully, as you need to make sure you can afford to pay it in the event of a claim. A voluntary excess is the amount you’re willing to pay for your claim, and is often on top of a compulsory excess.

What affects the cost of long stay travel insurance?

There are several things that can affect the cost of a long stay travel insurance policy. The main things include your age and health, where you’ll be travelling, how long you’ll be there and what you’ll be doing while away.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that older travellers, those with pre-existing medical conditions, or people who will be taking part in extreme sports will be a higher risk to insurers, which means you should expect to pay more for cover. Likewise, if you’re travelling to a destination with particularly high medical costs, you could also pay more for that.

Can you get long stay travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

You can still get travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You may just need to take out a specialist type of cover, depending on your condition. Common examples include diabetes, respiratory conditions like asthma and even chronic illnesses like cancer.

During your application, you may be asked for details about your medical history, including any existing condition(s). In some cases, you may even be asked to complete a medical exam. It’s best to be as accurate as you can during your application, as this will ensure that you get the relevant cover and reduce the likelihood of any eventual claim being denied. If you fail to disclose accurate information, you may find that your policy is invalid when you attempt to make a claim.

Does age affect my travel insurance policy? 

Age does typically affect your travel insurance. You’re usually expected to pay more on your premiums, because you’re seen as a greater risk to insurance providers. With travel insurance in particular, the older you are, the greater medical risk you are perceived to be. With the cost of medical treatment abroad potentially running into the tens of thousands of pounds, providers look to recover their costs. 
You can find policies specific to certain age groups however, which offer different benefits that may be useful for you on your trip. 
Over 50s travel insurance policies are fairly standard, but you can get specialist cover for over 50s that can include a wider range of medical conditions. 
Over 70s travel insurance is a separate type of cover, and is designed specifically for any concerns you may have while travelling, with a greater focus on medical treatments. 
You may find that some insurance providers have an upper age limit of 79, but you can still find travel insurance for over 80s. You might just have a smaller pool of providers to choose from. 

Can I get long stay travel insurance cover as part of an annual policy? 

Although annual multi-trip travel insurance policies cover you for a year, you’ll normally find that there’s a limit to the number of days you can travel consecutively. This is usually capped at 31 days. If you’re looking for stays longer than this, you should consider taking out separate long-stay travel insurance. 

What else do I need to look out for with a long stay travel insurance policy?

Keep an eye on what's excluded with long stay cover:

  • Check the country you're going to is covered by your chosen policy. As a rule-of-thumb, the countries that probably won't be included are the ones the Foreign and Commonwealth Office considers too dangerous to visit – if in doubt, always ask your insurance provider before you take out a long stay policy. You may also want to find out what happens if the advice changes while you're on your trip and you need to change your plans
  • Check what activities are covered – if you're planning on doing nothing but sitting and meditating on a beach for three months, you probably won't need the same level of cover as you would do if you're heading to do some extreme sports like bungee jumping, white-water rafting or climbing. Again, always check in advance. You want it to be your insurance provider and not you who has to sort out the rescue helicopter bill when you twist your ankle in a remote part of the world
  • Check your gear and gadgets are covered by your policy too. If you're using super hi-tech kit, then it's probably not standard cover and additional gadget cover could be considered

Should I consider my home insurance while I’m away?

Yes, don't forget that if you own your own home then you'll need the right home insurance cover while you're away. Some insurance providers will have exclusions regarding how long your property can be unoccupied for. (Not something you want to worry about while you're travelling.) If you're renting out your property while you're away, you will need landlord's insurance.

Where can I compare long stay travel insurance quotes?

We've made searching for long stay travel insurance quotes quick and easy, so you can compare travel insurance policies across the board to find the one right for you, with minimal fuss.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I add extras to my cover?

Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, you may want to consider adding a few extras to your policy. Here are some common examples: 

  • Sports travel insurance – this generally covers you for lower-risk sports activities. 
  • Water sports insurance – this can cover diving, sailing, canoeing and more. 
  • Winter sports insurance – if you’ll be skiing or snowboarding. 
  • Extreme sports cover – this can cover you for bungee-jumping, paragliding and skydiving. 
  • Golf insurance

Can I visit several countries with long stay travel insurance?

Yes, you can get long stay travel insurance that covers you for more than one country. Travel insurance is generally split into European and worldwide policies, so you’ll just need to confirm where it is you’ll be travelling between. If you’re visiting lots of places in one trip, you might want to consider backpackers insurance.

Can I extend my insurance while I am away?

Yes, most travel insurance providers will allow you to extend your policy while you’re away. Just make sure you get in touch with them before your existing policy expires, otherwise you’ll need to take out a new one.

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