Gap Year Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance for Backpackers and Travellers
Probably the most important single piece of advice we can give you is that you must have travel insurance. Travelling without it means exposing yourself to unnecessary risks and dangers on your gap year.
Without travel insurance you could find yourself landed with a massive bill of up to £20,000 if anything bad happened to you. Also, you need to insure yourself against having your money or belongings stolen and other potentially ruinous events.
So you need to get wise about cancellation cover, medical and healthcare cover, personal accident cover, personal liability cover and possessions cover. In this section we'll give you loads of advice on gap year travel insurance so make sure you spend the time to read it all.
Your travel insurance should cover the following:
- Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance
- Personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
- Lost and stolen possessions cover
- Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
- Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as jet skiing
The policy should cover the whole time that you’re away.
Your policy may also have:
- personal accident cover
- legal expenses cover
- financial protection if your airline goes bankrupt before or during your trip.
Many insurers will extend cover if you ask them. If not, shop around for a specialist policy.
Of the 250,000 18 to 24-year-old backpackers leaving the UK over the next six months, one in three will travel without insurance. Perhaps they think that it will never happen to them. Like many people, I thought it would never happen to me. Well, I travelled without insurance and it did happen to me.
This guide was written by travel health expert Doctor Seb Kalwij and covers the basic issues that you should know about before you travel. Dr Seb Kalwij is one of gapyear.com's travel health experts. He's been involved with travel health projects all over the World, and is now a GP in London.