Insurance, as boring as it sounds, is a must-have when travelling abroad. Not only will it cover your medical expenses should the unthinkable happen, but it will also help if those travel disasters strike like losing luggage, missing a flight or being mugged. It’ll also cover any accidents that may happen during travel activities, anything from snorkelling to zip lining and even llama riding.
Finding travel insurance is easy. If you prefer the human touch you can pop into your local travel company to chat with an advisor face to face. For convenience, there are plenty of online comparison websites that will do the hard work for you. Try comparethemarket.com, gocompare.com and moneysupermarket.com to get started.
Here’s our quick and simple guide for finding the right insurance policy for your trip:
- Look out for Backpacker travel insurance. Traditional policies may only offer you Single or Multi-trip cover. That is, one 31 day or less trip or multiple short trips throughout the year. Your work abroad trip or gap year doesn’t fit either of these. However, many companies are beginning to offer Backpacker Cover as an alternative type. This will allow you to purchase cover for a long term trip, often up to 18 months, which can span several countries. On top of this, if you’re travelling as a group or as a couple, look out for these options for an even better deal.
- Cover the basics. The amount you can claim and the amount of excess you’ll have to pay will depend on which type of insurance you’ve selected. These are usually structured into Bronze, Silver and Gold options, with Gold offering the most compensation and least excess but being the most expensive. Which level of cover you choose is entirely up to you. If you’re accident prone and heading on a dare-devil type adventure, go for Gold. If you’re on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with the lowest level of cover, as long as you’re covered for all the activities you’ll be taking part in.
- Adventure travel. If you’re the adrenaline junkie type you may be looking forward to bungee jumping, scuba diving and elephant trekking your way round the world. Be aware though, these types of activities aren’t always covered in standard policies. You may want to consider adding an adventure package or editing your policy details to include cover for these risks. Then, if something does go wrong, your hospital fees will be covered.
Jetsetter Jobs Top Tips for Insurance:
- Read the small print. No seriously, you really should read the small print when it comes to travel insurance. Make sure you know exactly what your insurance does and doesn’t cover and you’re happy with it all. Double check the specifics on activities you may partake in. For example, if your policy covers you to go scuba diving, is that to 18 metres or 30 metres? It may sound arbitrary now but you’ll be glad you know the nitty gritty ins and outs when you’re in hot water.
- Print out a copy of all the paper work and take it all with you. This way, if disaster does strike, you won’t have to find wi-fi to start routing through your emails to get the information you need. You’ll have your policy, important phone numbers and how to claim all to hand. To be super safe, consider giving the parents or a friend at home a copy as well. You never know what’ll happen and who’ll need to call up the insurance companies to claim.
- No cheaters. As tempting as it is to tell a few white lies to get cheaper insurance, it really isn’t worth it. If you fail to mention a medical condition, you could end up with a nasty hospital bill. If you shorten your trip by a few days, you won’t be covered should something happen on those missing days. If you’re not covered to go water-skiing – you get the idea. When it comes to travel insurance, honestly really is the best policy, promise.