Guide to Insurance

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Guide to Insurance

Avatar for Oecken
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After spending the best part of a couple of days reading through forums / threads / reviews i decided i would just make a list of most of the insurance companies people have discussed, there are obviously hundreds more but these were mainly mentioned, ive added comments from the other threads (hope people dont mind) about first hand experiences, and if people can comment / add to the list if they have had experience with claiming as this is after all what insurance is for!

Couple of things to bare in mind, and ALWAYS read the policy wording / details / fine print,
<ul><li>Most 12/18 month policies actually require you to be returning to the UK within this timescale</li><li>Only certain companies will let you extend your current plan whilst still abroad</li><li>Few companies will insure you with a new plan whilst actually living abroad</li><li>You need to know how much excess you will have to pay first, what single items are valued at (think about losing your iphone / smartphone, will £150 really do it?!)</li><li>Some companies will not cover you for things like fruit picking / working abroad.</li><li>Some will only cover you to bungee jump once! (most people this is enough, for myself and im sure others this will not suffice the need! lol)</li><li>and the list will go on!</li></ul>
If you are unfortunate enough to actually have to claim, a lot of companies insist on having “original receipts” for everything, I.e. your phone, backpacks etc so make sure that someone in the UK will have these / copies with you, other wise you have very little chance of getting things replaced! Also a police incident number if items have been stolen is also a must, but again, check your documents or speak to the insurance company in question!

Travel supermarket etc are great for comparing similar plans, but it all comes down to the policy details / wording as to what cover you have, and how much ££.


*Update*

This is specifically for people like me that have only a one way ticket, and dont know when they are coming back, but still have then intention to come back!

After e-mailing around 10 of the main companies on this list, (with some amazingly un helpful responses) to find out how their backpacker / longstay insurance works with regards to only having a one way ticket.
The reason i e-mailed is due to most of their sites stating simply “your policy will expire 24hrs after arriving in your final destination (i.e where your ticket ends)

What the majority of companies said was that although you do not have to actually have your ticket booked (and usually you cant as its too far in advanced) it comes down to what evidence the company will accept as proof of your intention to return to the UK (should you actually need to claim)

here is one of the better replies!


Hi the insurers only class one way ticket in the case of emigrating which is why they say your policy will expire 48hrs after arriving if you do not have a return ticket booked before you leave you have to prove you have funds for return flight in the following way:-

An invite to a wedding or family event.

An offer of a job.

The end of a secondament from a job.

Medical appointment.

Visa expiry confirmation (this makes the most logical sense to me, as will apply to most)


Holidaysafe seem to be the best bet for me personally, and if their customer service before i have even bought a plan is anything to go off (and no it wasnt the sales team lol) then they seem very good, you can take out an 18 month plan, and extend for a further 18 months whilst away, and their premiums are no where near as high as the other companies mentioned that also offer a longer extention period.

And then if im still away, will choose D-insure as they will give me a new plan as detailed below, for another 24 months. (and again, very competive in the pricing compared to others comparing whats covered / whats not, and what excess is needed)

For people going away for more than 12 months without returning to the UK, the following companies can extend a plan for you whilst being away:

STA >> 
Are not the cheapest, and from some reviews can be hard to claim from, a lot of people use them as they are very helpful in store, explain everything very well and its the easy option! also they have offices in Australia smile

<hr>
World Nomads >>
I find for myself they are very! expensive for 18 month trips!

review: “Basically the only flight you are covered for is your one out of the UK. Therefore to me they are misselling the policy as if you are a backpacker you are going to be on any number of flights - if these flights are delayed or cancelled, well that’s just tough apparently. However they did handle a claim for lost sunglasses quickly and professionally.

More Reviews >>

Promo Codes:
STPJMS - 6% off (2011)
THOLIC - 6% off (2011)
HWSTORE - 10% off (2011)

Most companies will let you extend whilst away. but usually only a maximum of 18 months, STA and World nomads will extend for much longer, but at a cost!

<hr>

For people going away for more than 12 months without returning to the UK, the following companies can give you a NEW POLICY while your away.  (Be aware, most will ask for proof that your returning to the UK!)

World Wide Insure >>
Dec 2009: “I used them and they are the cheapest insure I found all over the web that can insure you whilst you are already away as I had the same problem as you. Travelled past 12 months”

<hr>
DUINSURE >>

<hr>
Globe Link >>

<hr>

Cheap backpackers insurance companies mainly for 12 month some for 18 months**


<hr>
DIRECT-TRAVEL >>


<hr>
Insure and Go >>
Fairly cheap, they can insure you for most activities if not covered in the standard ones, and you can extend whilst away for a maximum of 18month, so if you get a 12 month, you can only extend by another 6 months when your away. (so not suitable for me for example!)

 

Holidaysafe >>
Remember Skydiving and Bungee jumping needs to be added on, not standard like some other companies (which is another £70 ish)

<hr>
ADMIRAL >>
Fairly cheap, with a lot of things covered - Downsides are Only 1 Bungee Jump on the backpacker policy.

<hr>
ACE INSURANCE >>
Very cheap but mixed reviews:

from 2009:  I went with ACE in the end as I thought it was the best balance between cheapness and coverage and I’m very glad I did. I haven’t got a bad word to say about them at all”

also

2010 “A friend of mine recommended them to me as she used them and had to claim for something and had no problems doing so. It covers a hell of a lot of sports”

But see here for negative experiences (as with every company!):

More Reviews >>

<hr>
24/7 >>
Cheap, won’t cover you for sky diving.  (from a lot of reviews from Google would suggest you can never seem to claim!

2010:
“seemed very cheap but then after talking to them, they won’t cover you for any kind of work you undertake while travelling. Also, they won’t let you add skydiving outside Europe”

<hr>
ATLAS INSURANCE >>
Cheap but….

“i looked at atlas but it doesn’t cover everything (like labour work/fruit picking bar/restaurant work etc) and most other “activities” you had to add on for an extra charge worked out well expensive”


Disclaimer: i do not work in the travel insurance industry, or in no way claim to be an expert,  i just prefer to know where exactly all my money is going for insurance, and how realistic it will be in getting any money should i need to claim.

If any of the above is wrong or has changed since, let me know and il amend the original post.

 

     
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Fantastic post!

     
Avatar for Ballert
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Is the writing messed up for anyone else? The writing goes out of the edge of the box…i really wana read it all too grrr. Could be my netbook as the screen is small but hasnt happened on these forums before, hopefully it will just be a temp glitch!

     
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:(  im in the midst of research for my insurance and this looks invaluable. Can any moderators help?

     
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Tagged

     
Avatar for Onemoretime
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Thank you for this, its very very useful!

Im using insure and go at the moment, they were very nice, i had just been looking at the holiday cover but the next morning one of the guys from the company phoned me to tell me that the backpacker one would save me a lot of money and got everything sorted there and then! Ive only heard good reviews so far but that is only really to do with winter seasons and skiing!

     
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Great post, thanks!!!

     
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Tagged!

Awesome post, will be super helpful. Thanks

     
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nice one

     
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Brilliant post,will help me alot thanks

p.s pat yourself on the back mate. LOL

     
Avatar for Mrpotatohead
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Great post, thanks very much.

what advice would people have for someone who may not return to the UK?

For example, i plan to go to S America and Australia, but stay in Australia and work.

Should i get insurance for the “travel” state of my holiday? And where will I stand regarding making claims etc? Will I need to be back in the UK to actually pursue any claims or how does it work?

     
Avatar for Oecken
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Great post, thanks very much.

what advice would people have for someone who may not return to the UK?

For example, i plan to go to S America and Australia, but stay in Australia and work.

Should i get insurance for the “travel” state of my holiday? And where will I stand regarding making claims etc? Will I need to be back in the UK to actually pursue any claims or how does it work?

Your in the same boat as me buddy, i only have a one way ticket, and no idea when i will come back! ive not yet taken my own advice and actually bought it, but your options really as far as i see it are:

Get insurance through a company that you can extend the original policy for more than 18months, this limits you to people such as STA and worldnomads (STA you can extend for 5 years so i was told in the branch) but the problem with this is they charge around £100-£350 More than any other company depending on what you need covered, but too be fair do cover pretty much everything!

or im leading towards getting a cheap 12-18month one from a slightly cheaper company and then i will get a NEW policy from one of the companies above that will give you one without having to return to the UK, such as D-insure.

i suppose it depends what your going to be doing, as for me i would need the top STA one not just standard to cover all the bungee / skydives / scuba etc that i need.


as for claims, as mentioned above insurance is obviously a nightmare to claim with, just the nature of the business, but things like having the original receipts for any valuables (that are actually covered! on the plan) will “aid your claim” in the words of one of the companies listed above lol police statement within “a reasonable” time frame after any “incident” is a must if anything gets stolen etc and i think claims are quite a lengthy process due to having underwriters involved who would make most decisions, (i work with underwriters most days and they like to take their time lol (unfortunatly not in insurance though!)

My plan is to leave originals and only take copies of things like reciepts, and leave originals with family back home who i will get to start any claim if i need to do so (hopefully not!) Normally speaking things like medical care in an emergency are usually paid for over the phone by insurance companies if it is an emergency, and treatment you couldnt go without.

Really it comes down to each insurance company, who underwriters them and ALWAYS read policy provisions or e-mail them directly with any queries specific to the plans. 

HTH

     
Avatar for Emilyp87
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Can I have some advice, this information was really useful!

I am leaving in April and coming back in September so not going for a long trip but something I am having trouble with is exc. USA, Canada etc. We are stopping in LAX on the way home for all of 3 hours and everyone is wanting to charge me £50+ extra for these 3 hours.

Does any one know of an insurance company that includes Stopovers for USA in their policy without paying the excess! I don’t want to just leave it because sods law LAX will be where my luggage goes missing or something!

HELP, very new to Backpacking :D

     
Avatar for kenny0_3
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Good post

anyone know what this means below, seems quite common across policies.

Personal property - “£1,500; limit for any other single item - £250; total payable for all valuable items - £250.)”

“total payable for all valuable items is £250” does this mean that it won’t cover my camera and Iphone even if my whole bag was worth under £1500?

     
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Many policies actually exclude iphones (or other ‘fancy’ phones), laptops and similar high-end electricals. It’s worth looking in detail at the policy wording to double check whether the £250 valuables / £1500 personal property includes this type of thing.

You can buy travel insurance for these types of electrical items but they usually have to be no older than 2 years old.

     
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I’ve just been lookign through loads of policies and the best I have found is £500 total for valauables and any 1 item being £300 though this insurance was twice as expensive as what I want to pay

How many people must travel with Phone and Camera, never mind the growing number who take laptops/netbooks

I hate insurance companies they try and con you with big headline figures 10,00,000 for medical cover simply isn’t needed outside of the USA, and loads of other big number for various things that even if you do claim for you will likely never need the full amount. But the things you do need such as theft / damage of goods is always a low amount, if my whole belongings got stolen i’d be shafted if you add up the valuables and then things like £100 walking boots, trainers, North Face Fleece and other trekking equipment, watch, sunglasses, decent clothes (sorry I can’t bring myself to have Primark stuff even for traveling).

Insurance companies - scumbags