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Travel insurance for students

Students need travel insurance when they go away just as much as anyone else – if you become ill or injured, how will you settle the potentially significant medical bills; if you experience travel delays and cancellations, would you be able to afford the expense of making new travel plans; and what would you do if your expensive possessions such as cameras and phones were lost or stolen?

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How do student travellers differ from regular travellers?

If you are a student traveller, some of the ways you might be different from other travellers include:

  • You may go away for longer periods, such as several weeks during the summer vacation. You may be away for a whole year in the case of a ‘gap year’ before or after university, or if your course involves a year studying abroad
  • You may want to work while you are away, whether this is on a paid or a voluntary basis
  • You may engage in more daring activities than the average traveller, such as skiing, mountain climbing and water sports.
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What travel insurance options are available for students?

Students who are heading away for an extended period may need Backpacker or Gap Year insurance, which could include the following features:

  • Around half (52%) of backpacker policies offer cover for one trip that lasts up to 18 months, while 30% of insurance providers limit cover to 12 months – so be sure to check before you buy.
  • Gap year insurance is designed to make it easier for you to travel through several countries on the same trip. Standard single-trip or annual policies may not offer as much flexibility if you intend to visit several countries on the same extended holiday
  • Extreme sports in some cases may be covered as standard on a gap year policy, whereas standard policies may not cover you for these activities at all, or may require you to pay an extra premium. However, don’t assume that all gap year/backpacker policies will routinely cover you for skiing, climbing, waters sports and the like – if you intend to engage in any of these activities, check the policy small print before you buy
  • Some gap year policies allow you to return to the UK on a few occasions during your trip and still be covered under the same policy when you go back abroad. This could allow you to come back and see family and friends on occasions, and to attend family events such as weddings and funerals. Again, don’t assume this facility is automatically included, as some gap year policies will immediately become invalid if you return to this country
  • Gap year and backpacker policies usually provide some form of cover for incidents, such as illnesses and injuries, which occur while you are working abroad. However, not all policies will cover manual labour.

However, you should also consider the following before you purchase student travel insurance:

  • Gap year insurance may still exclude travel to the USA, the Caribbean and Canada, or require payment of a higher premium if you are heading to that part of the world.
  • Some backpacker policies have a very low maximum age for acceptance, which may be as low as 35. So if you are a mature student, or you are someone who has left their job to go travelling, then you need to look for policies that will cover you, given your age.

General tips for students travelling abroad

Please bear in mind the following if you are planning a gap year or similar adventure:

  • Ensure you have all the necessary vaccinations before you go – seek advice from your doctor as to what jabs are needed for the countries you are visiting
  • Book your accommodation for at least the early part of the trip before you leave
  • Your insurance provider is unlikely to pay your claim if you were affected by alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident for which you are claiming. The authorities in some countries can also be very severe if you commit any drug-related offence.
  • Ensure you have enough money to fund your trip
  • Find out if you need a visa
  • Look at whether the Foreign Office cautions against travel to any of the regions you are planning to visit
  • Know the local customs and respect them
  • If English is not widely spoken where you are going, consider if you could get by with your existing knowledge of the local language

Why not start a travel insurance quote with us today. Tell us a bit about you and where you plan to travel to and how long for, and we’ll do the leg work for you. 

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