Fancy some time out or thinking about a gap year? You’ll need more than a bikini. If someone nicks your stuff or you get ill, you’ll need insurance to help you out.
- Don’t rely on existing policies (like those with credit cards). They are usually limited to 45 days. You need specialist backpacker or gap year insurance that runs for longer.
- Find a policy that allows you a quick visit home if needed.
- There are limits on how much the insurer pays out for theft. The baggage allowance may seem generous but it doesn’t include cameras, mobile phones or laptops. These are “valuables” which might have a smaller limit. Check you’ve enough cover or leave the tech at home.
- If you’re already ill before your trip (called pre-existing conditions) and you don’t tell the insurance company, they might not pay up if the worst happens while you’re away.
- Expect to party but, if you’re off your head and you hurt yourself, see above.
- Get an EHIC card if you’re going to Europe so you can get medical treatment in most European countries for low or no cost. This card is free from https://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card. Don’t buy it from rogue websites which charge.
- Planning a bungee-jump? Make sure that’s allowed. Ditto working or volunteering.
- It’s simple to buy the insurance online. Use a comparison website such as www.moneysavingexpert.com. You put in your details and the dates/location of your trip and the site highlights the best available policy from its panel of insurance firms. To find the best policy in the whole market, go to www.defaqto.com/star-ratings and click on travel insurance.
- Expect to pay around £250 for a year’s policy from firms we like such as Insure & Go, Endsleigh, Top Dog and Virgin Money. Prices vary depending on your age, destination and length of travel.
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