What type of travel insurance should I take out for a long trip?There are so many travel insurance policies out there that it is nigh-on impossible to know what to get. However the first piece of advice is to make sure you personalize your insurance policy and don’t just purchase a ready-made package which sounds like a good deal but ends up including a lot of cover that you don’t need! Most policies should include medical cover, loss of possessions and expenses incurred when your trip is cancelled. If you want cover for your holiday money, legal expenses and the like, you should look to get a policy adapted for your requirements: make sure you consult a reputable insurance company before you do this.
Particularly for long trips, you should definitely make sure you have decent medical cover (expect to pay double if you are travelling to the USA) which will cover the cost of getting you home again if you are seriously ill, personal liability cover, cancellation cover (this should be the amount you paid for your trip) and personal possessions.
If you are travelling a lot in Europe, then make sure you carry your European Health Insurance Card with you as this will give you at least reduced, if not free, medical care. However you should remember that this is not instead of travel insurance as not all medical costs will be taken care of by your card and it will certainly not enable you to be taken home again if you are too unwell to travel back yourself.
For long trips, just remember that ‘annual travel insurance’ is a bit of a misnomer. Annual insurance will not cover you for a year, but rather for a month. This cover is therefore more suitable for those taking several month long trips throughout the year rather than one long trip all at once.
Your best bet is therefore to opt for Backpackers Insurance which will cover you for 18 months whilst abroad. Backpackers Insurance tends to be very flexible and will cover a range of countries, activities and unexpected returns home to the UK. However as with all travel insurance, check the Terms and Conditions so you are fully aware of what’s included!
Latest update: July 20, 2012