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Travel insurance for students

How to choose the right type of cover

Student travelling

The long university or school holidays are an ideal time to take a break and see the world. But before you head off on your adventure, make sure you have the right type of travel insurance in place.

You've worked hard all term, so now it's time to kick back and have some fun. Whether you're spending six weeks travelling Vietnam and Cambodia, flying off on a round the world ticket or taking a gap year break, you need travel insurance.

What does travel insurance cover?

Student travel insurance helps you out of a hole if your trip doesn't go according to plan. So if you:

  • Have an accident or become ill and need emergency hospital treatment, travel insurance will usually cover the cost, minus any excess you need to pay. And it can help you get back home if you‘re too unwell to continue your holiday.
  • Lose your bags or have your cash and passport stolen, travel insurance can reimburse you for the cost of replacing these things.
  • Have to cancel or cut short your holiday because you become unwell or a close family member dies, then you can claim some of the cost of the holiday back.
  • Accidentally damage property or another person, travel insurance can help cover the cost of the damage if you are legally responsible.

Travel insurance policies differ wildly in the type and level of cover they offer

What type of cover is available?

Single trip travel insurance

If you're planning a one-off holiday travelling through Australia and New Zealand, this insurance is probably suitable.

Just check that the policy covers you for the full length of the trip. LV= provide cover for up to 366 days, but not all policies provide cover for as long.

Annual multi trip insurance

With this travel insurance you can take multiple trips in one year without having to take out separate insurance for each one. So, if you go skiing in January and then inter-railing round Europe in the summer, with a city break later in the year, this type of insurance could be the cheapest way to cover your trips. Again, check that the policy covers you for the length of each trip.

Gap year and back packing insurance

If you're travelling for a year or more, you should consider gap year insurance. These policies will sometimes let you return to the UK temporarily without having to take out another policy when you leave again and can also include cover for voluntary work and adventure sports.

Family travel insurance

If you're aged between 16 and 22, you may already be covered for travelling on your family's existing travel insurance policy. Some insurers, like LV=, allow children to travel independently if this is chosen as an option when the policy is taken out.

How do you choose what's best?

Travel insurance policies differ wildly in the type and level of cover they offer. So to help you decide what's best for you, ask yourself the following questions:

Where do I plan to travel?

Check that all the destinations you plan to visit are covered by your insurance. Travel insurance is usually split into Europe, Worldwide excluding the Americas, and Worldwide including the Americas, but each insurance company will have their own breakdown of the countries they cover.

What do I plan to do when I get there?

Are you lying on the beach, working, volunteering, skiing, scuba diving, hiking the Inca Trail – all of these things? Most travel insurance won't cover you if you're taking part in manual work and some won't cover you for volunteering. You can get cover for adventure sports, but read the small print to check whether you're limited to diving to 30 metres for example. If in doubt, ring your insurance company.

How long will I be away for?

Some single trip policies only cover you for 30 days or so, so if you're away for longer, make sure your policy covers the full duration of your trip. And if you plan to travel back and forth to home during your trip, check that your travel insurance doesn't end when you re-enter the UK the first time.

What to look out for when choosing travel insurance

  • Check the maximum amount you can claim for each damaged or stolen item. If you have a camera worth £800 but the maximum claim for each item is £500 you could be out of pocket.
  • You must tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions, otherwise the insurance company may not cover your medical costs if the claim is related.
  • You won't be covered for alcohol or drug related accidents or if you leave your bags and gadgets unattended.
  • Check that the full cost of your trip, including pre-booked excursions is covered by the cancellation insurance.
  • Don't travel to countries that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise not to. You won't be insured.
  • Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is no substitute for travel insurance, but you need one to claim for medical expenses in Europe. LV= will also waive any excess if you use your EHIC for medical treatment.

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Buying LV= travel insurance is quick and easy