Gap-year travellers advised to check insurance0 comments
With A level results out soon, many young people will be about to fly off on a gap year adventure. However, not all of them will have given proper consideration to the type of insurance policy they need.
Here are some of the things to consider in order to make an informed choice:
- It may seem obvious but make sure that your policy covers the whole period of your absence from the UK. Insurance policies are not necessarily restricted to a year’s duration; it is possible to organise cover for a longer period if your gap “year” is likely to extend beyond twelve months. Watch out for policies which only provide cover for 360 days if you are going to be away for a full year.
- If you think there is a chance that you may want to come home during your travels e.g. for a family crisis, check to see whether this is covered because half of all gap year policies would be invalidated if you were to do this.
- If you are planning on working abroad (paid or voluntary) make sure your policy allows this. In particular, manual work or work with machinery may well be excluded.
- Almost two-thirds of gap year policies exclude stop-overs, so if you are planning on spending time in a different country en route to your destination, check the wording of your policy.
- As far as sports and other “hazardous” activities are concerned, read the small print. Policies vary wildly: some exclude activities which you would not necessarily think of as being hazardous, others provide cover only for activities arranged in the UK, and some allow only a one-off adrenaline-fuelled adventure.
All the usual caveats for travel insurance apply e.g. always declare pre-existing medical conditions, make sure that the limits for things like valuables are sufficient and take responsibility for looking after your belongings.
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