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.