Most holidays are likely to extend for a few weeks or a month or so at most. Standard forms of travel insurance, therefore, are likely to reflect this limitation and provide cover only for that duration – the precise period of cover varying to some degree from one insurer to another.
Longer stay travel
There are occasions, however, when you choose to stay away for longer and need specialist insurance cover to remain adequately protected. Examples might include:
- an extended visit to friends or relatives who live a long way from home;
- a gap year between periods of education before taking up employment;
- a backpacking adventure, following wherever the trail may lead you;
- a period of study abroad;
- a sabbatical;
- travel in order to do voluntary work overseas; or
- a temporary work placement overseas.
If your travels are likely to take you away for longer than a month or so, therefore, the Association of Insurance Brokers (ABI) recommends that you arrange a specialist form of cover called long stay travel insurance.
Typically, this gives you a considerable extension on the period of cover – generally for up to 18 months.
What is covered?
Specialist insurers recognise the wide range of reasons for customers seeking long stay cover and typically tailor levels and scope of travel insurance accordingly.
Thus, a basic level of cover might be designed for the backpacker travelling on a tight budget, a medium level of cover for those wanting rather more cover and a fully comprehensive level of long stay travel insurance for those wanting maximum security and protection.
Against this background and apart from the extended duration of cover, long stay insurance covers pretty well the kind of risks and perils addressed by other forms of travel insurance, notably:
- cover for medical emergencies and their appropriate treatment;
- repatriation to the UK in order to further or as a result of that treatment;
- emergency dental treatment;
- compensation for having to cancel or curtail your travels for reasons beyond your control – the sudden illness of a close family member, for instance;
- missed flights or travel connections – again, for reasons beyond your control;
- theft or loss of your personal belongings, cash, credit cards or documents; and
- public liability indemnity – in the event of your actions, or failure to act, resulting in the injury of or damage to the property of a third party.
Hazardous sports and activities
Perhaps more than any other holiday, when you are away from home for a long time you might be tempted to engage in more hazardous or dangerous activities – of which there seem to be an increasing number these days.
Whether it is white water rafting, bungee jumping or more extreme forms of winter sports, therefore, you might want to ensure that your long stay travel insurance covers the activities in which you plan to indulge. The better, more specialist insurers, for instance, might include 300 or more such activities in their standard form of long stay travel insurance.