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UK backpackers urged to check that they’ve got the right insurance

UK backpackers urged to check that theyve got the right insurance    Capture

A leading travel insurance company is urging backpackers to make sure they pick a travel insurance policy that covers all their needs.

Unlike annual travel insurance, which provides cover for a number of shorter trips over a 12 month period, gap year and extended travel policies provide cover for trips abroad lasting typically a year or more. These policies may include, as standard, cover for casual (non-manual) work or voluntary work and a range of basic sporting and other activities, including elephant or camel riding or a one-off balloon flight or bungee jump.

However, Travel Insurance analysed over 200, gap year and extended travel policies and found a wide variation in the duration of the trip covered, from whether policies permitted travellers to return to the UK for short periods, to the level of cover provided for baggage and valuables:

Trip duration: Policy lengths varied from 31 days to two years. While 57% of policies provided cover for trips lasting over a year, 31% only covered travellers for a year, and 12% covered journeys lasting 360 days or less.

UK return: Half of the policies reviewed allow you to return to the UK for a short time during your travels – for example, for a family emergency, to attend a wedding or just for some home comforts at Christmas – while for the remainder re-entering the UK would invalidate the policy.

Age limits: Minimum ages varied between 16 and 19 but most (85%) policies set the minimum at 18. The maximum age range was much wider – between 34 and 99.

Baggage and valuables: Policy limits for lost or stolen possessions varied considerably. Total baggage covers ranged from £200 to £3,000, while 9% of policies didn’t include cover for baggage at all. The amount payable for a single article ranged from £100 to £2,000 but most policies (80%) limit pay outs to between £100 and £300. For valuables (e.g. watches, jewellery, photographic, video, gaming and audio equipment, computers, ebooks, spectacles) the majority of policies (67%) provided between £100 and £300 worth of cover, 17% provided between £350 and £1,000, and 15% didn’t provide any cover at all.

Stop over cover: Only 38% of policies provide ‘stop over cover’ for travellers who want to stop over in a different area en route to their destination.

Caroline Lloyd from Travel Insurance commented: “If you’re heading off for an extended holiday, whether it’s a gap year or a sabbatical from work, then it’s important to choose the right insurance policy for your trip – one that covers all the destinations you want to visit, the length of time you wish to be away, as well as all the activities you want to undertake.

“Policy terms, conditions and exclusions vary from policy to policy, so it’s important to take the time not only to read-up on all the places you want to visit during your travels, but to go through the policy small print to make sure you don’t do anything to invalidate your cover.”

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  1. Ngaire
    1 Jul 14
    10:41 am
  2. It’s also worth checking up if you’re doing a one-way trip and what your nationality is. Some policies allow you to pay extra to ‘name’ items on a policy so that they don’t loose value also. It can be really tricky to find the right one that ticks all the boxes.

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