What you should know about long stay travel insurance

Written by: Deepak Yohannan

What you should know about long stay travel insurance
Also known as backpackers insurance, long stay travel insurance is what you need when you decide to use your gap year travelling across Europe, spend several months with a close relative in America, or go looking for inner peace in the remotest and most exotic corners of the globe. Long stay travel insurance can be a great protection against the risks of travelling overseas for an extended period.

How 'Long' a Period Does Such a Policy Cover?

Long stay insurance plans are known to provide insurance to travellers for trips of varied length. Most policies will cover you for trips ranging anywhere from three to 18 months. If you are pushing the upper limit, check with the insurance company. Some policies will insure you for a maximum of 12 months. Nevertheless, most long stay Travel insurance policies come with an extension option - usually a period of 90 days.

You could also consider 'single trip' policies. These typically provide coverage for shorter stays, generally valid for three months, although some offer extensions for an equivalent period.

What Kind of Coverage Would You Need?

The types of coverage that you need when travelling over an extended period will not differ all that much from those required for shorter holiday trips. Coverage for the following aspects are essential regardless of the length of your holiday:

1. Medical Coverage - Getting sick while on holiday can be a big dampener. But sufficient medical coverage will at least prevent you from stressing about it.
2. Baggage Loss Coverage - Loss of baggage can be a huge headache when travelling abroad. It is a common problem too.
3. Cancellation Coverage - What if you cannot make the trip eventually? Cancellation cover ensures that you are reimbursed adequately.

When your travels take place over a longer period, the following insurance covers become even more important:

1. Personal Liability - It is advisable to protect oneself against possible legal suits resulting due to cultural differences, particularly when travelling overseas.
2. Holiday Cash - You could easily run short of cash while holidaying. Work that into your policy as well.
3. Money and Personal Effects Cover - Insure your money, valuables and other possessions if you plan to stay in hostels - remember, the risk of theft is high in such places.
4. Search and Rescue Cover - Travelling to remote areas? Insert a 'search and rescue' component into your policy.

Factors that Will Affect Your Insurance Cover

The kind of coverage that you require for your trip will be determined by your travel itinerary and other factors. Insurers will take into consideration several factors such as your travel destination, the duration of your trip, any customization requirements that you might have and the activities that you are planning to try out in the course of your trip.

In order to find a long stay travel insurance policy that fits your travel needs perfectly, you should first prepare a detailed outline of your trip. It may not be possible to list out exactly what you are planning to do from day to day, but you may have already decided to try out skydiving or to sign up for a skiing package. If you require special medical coverage, mention that to your insurer as well. Keeping your insurer informed about your travel plans and requirements will help you find the ideal insurance plan.

The author is the CEO of MyInsuranceClub.com, an online insurance price & features comparison portal.

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