What if you want to take an extended holiday? Often we find a week or two simply isn't enough to properly unwind, or see all the sights, but if you're planning a long trip, what are the insurance implications?
This might be a gap year adventure, for example, and so these policies are sometimes known as 'backpacker insurance'. However, there are other cases when you might opt for a long trip - simply because you feel like it and have the cash, or are in retirement and have the time.
Long stay travel insurance policies are often for terms of as long as 18 months so you can take a trip around the world if you like, and be covered wherever you land.
What do these policies cover?
As with standard policies, you'll get cover for medical expenses, cancellation, and baggage, etc, under the policy terms. However, long-term travel insurance may include other cover given the various activities people undertake on extended trips, such as working abroad.
What details of the policy are important?
It's important to consider all the activities you might take part in on an extended trip, and check the cover for these. While you can't cover for every situation, as plans can and do change - particularly on a long trip - you want to make sure your insurer is aware of your general plans. This way, you'll get the right level of cover for you.
As with standard travel insurance policies, the level of cover you'll get will vary significantly between providers, so make sure to read the small print. For example, are you planning on indulging in adrenalin activities while away, such as bungee jumping, or white water rafting? These are considered to be 'adventurous sports' that are higher risk for an insurer, so while some will cover a wide range, others won't.
Also, check whether the policy is single, or family cover depending on whether you're travelling with kids or solo - or perhaps as a couple. Different insurers offer various options.
At TravelSupermarket.com, we recommend this as the minimum level of cover you should look for in a policy:
Medical expenses - Medical cover should be around £2million, and should also cover the cost of emergency repatriation.
Personal liability - Cover for personal liability should amount to around £1million.
Cancellation Cover - Cancellation cover should be either £3000 or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday, including the cost of any prepaid excursions.
Baggage Cover - Minimum level of baggage and possessions cover should be £1500.
Holiday Money - Minimum cover will usually allow for £250 worth of cash, if you plan to carry more with you ensure your policy reflects that.
Policy Excess - This should ideally be under £100.
Scheduled Airline Failure - Cover for this should be included, along with end supplier failure if you are not travelling on an ATOL backed package holiday
Delay Cover - For example, this could be £20/hour for first 12 hours.
Search and rescue cover can also be included in a long-term policy. However, be aware that if you are planning on becoming an intrepid explorer and venture far off the beaten track, you may find you're not covered.
What is usually excluded in a long-term policy?
Where do you plan to travel? You need to check that the countries you plan to visit aren't excluded on the policy you pick. Some policies, for example, only offer European cover, while others are worldwide. However, countries that are excluded from worldwide policies will also typically be the countries that the Foreign Office considers dangerous to visit. Like with any aspects of cover, if in doubt, ask the insurer.
As with standard policies, you'll find you're not covered for pre-existing medical conditions - and make sure to disclose these when you apply for cover.
How can I find the best cover at the right price?
While a cheap policy might appear the preferable option, it isn't always the wisest if you don't buy a policy that fits your needs. So make sure to compare the policies for your situation, and check the cover details carefully.
If you are over 65, and planning on an extended trip, you will find policies are much more expensive than for young age groups - making it even more important to compare to find not only the best price, but the right cover for you.
TravelSupermarket's free and independent travel insurance quotation service is designed to help you find the right policy at the keenest possible price so you can have precious peace of mind while you embark on your extended trip.