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Pre-existing medical conditions

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Often, we find a week or two simply isn't enough to properly unwind, or to see all the sights of the place we're visiting. But if you're planning a trip of more than one month, there are a number of insurance implications to consider. Here are some things to think about when comparing long-stay travel insurance policies.

When travelling for an extended period of time it’s likely you’ll need a specialist policy to cover your travel. For example, long-stay travel insurance – not to be confused with backpacker cover

Long-stay travel insurance policies are often for terms from around one month up to six months. However, those taking trips of a year – perhaps on a gap year adventure, for example – will need to look for 'backpacker insurance'. This applies even if you are looking to stay in luxury.

As with standard policies, a comprehensive long-stay travel insurance policy should cover you for medical expenses, cancellation, and baggage, etc. However, long-term travel insurance may include other cover, given the various activities people undertake on extended trips, such as working abroad.

What is usually excluded in a long-term policy?

Reading the terms and conditions of your policy is vital to ensuring you don't fall foul of any clause that you were not aware of...

For a start, 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; countries that are excluded from worldwide policies will also typically be the countries that the Foreign Office considers dangerous to visit. As with any aspects of cover, if in doubt, ask the insurer.

As with standard policies, you'll find you're not usually covered for pre-existing medical conditions – but be sure to disclose these when you apply for cover.

You should also look out for activities that may not be covered on your policy. Many people taking extended trips use the opportunity to try out something new and exciting. However, the last thing you want is to discover your insurance doesn't cover you after you've been involved in an accident.

Don't forget to check whether your gadgets and possessions will be covered under your policy. Don't forget that you could be travelling away with more baggage than normal or with high-tech kit that's too valuable to lose.

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides valuable up-to-date travel advice for British citizens abroad. It is the best resource for reliable safety and security information. You can also find other important details, such as local laws, passport information and visa requirements. Stay safe abroad – check the FCDO before you travel.

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