Find out more
If you’re heading abroad to study or travel, find out what travel insurance you’ll need and how the right cover can protect you against unexpected situations while you’re away.
Student travel insurance, sometimes known as study abroad travel insurance, covers you against unexpected costs when things don’t go to plan on your trip.
Your policy can provide protection for a number of unforeseen situations while you’re away. This includes covering the cost of replacing or repairing your belongings if they were to get damaged or stolen.
And it’ll cover any urgent medical treatment you might need on your trip, which could end up costing you thousands of pounds without travel insurance in place.
Your university or college may even advise or request that you take out travel insurance. And in some countries, having medical cover is compulsory as part of your visa application.
There are three main types of travel insurance that are suitable. Which one you choose will depend on the length of your trip and the amount of travelling you plan to do:
This covers you for one trip that can last up to a set amount of time, usually 31 days. But with some student single-trip policies, you might be covered for much longer than this - as long as you don’t come back to the UK during that time.
Useful if you’re planning more than one trip away. For example, if your studies require multiple field trips abroad or if you’ll be studying away for a short time and also taking a holiday in the same year. Each trip needs to last less than a month.
This provides continuous cover for a longer-lasting single trip that can span several months up to two years. It can cover visiting several countries and is ideal for a gap year or studying abroad. It also usually covers one trip home of up to 14 days.
A student travel insurance policy can include cover for:
While travel insurance tends to only cover low-risk sporting activities, if you want to pack a little more adventure into your trip, you can usually tailor your policy to include this.
An adventure or extreme sports policy add-on will cover adrenaline-fuelled sports, like rock climbing and skydiving.
And if you fancy hitting the slopes while you’re away, you can add on winter-sports cover.
Whatever activity you’re planning, it’s important to make sure it’s covered. Check your policy wording carefully and contact your insurer if you want more information.
Some common exclusions to look out for on student travel insurance include:
It’s also worth checking whether coming back to the UK will end your policy. Some policies allow you to come back for a certain number of days during your trip, but others won’t.
When you’re taking out travel insurance, you’ll need to declare any medical conditions you have. You may be able to get cover for these, but it will often cost you more.
Not telling your insurer about a serious health condition can invalidate your policy and any claim you make relating to it is likely to be rejected.
For more serious medical conditions, you may need to get specialist travel insurance. Moneyhelper lists a number of providers on their travel insurance directory that cover a wide range of health conditions and disabilities.
You’ll need to make sure all the countries you’ll be visiting are included in your travel insurance. Even if it’s just somewhere you’ll be passing through.
If you’re not travelling too far afield, you can take out a European policy. This will cover you for visiting all European Union (EU) member states, as well as European countries not in the EU.
In EU countries, you can use a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access free or reduced-cost emergency healthcare. But this isn’t a replacement for travel insurance as it won’t cover private healthcare or repatriation to the UK.
The alternative to a European policy is worldwide cover. This is more expensive but will cover you for destinations around the world.
This will depend on the type of policy you take out. If you only have a European policy, you won’t be covered to travel outside the EU.
And if you travel to any country that the FCDO has advised against visiting, your policy will become invalid.
Check your policy carefully to find out if there are any destinations that aren’t included in your cover.
Some insurance providers may offer you a discount if you’re registered as a student.
But the cheapest policy won’t always provide the best cover, so do your research when you’re shopping around.
Your university should tell you about this when you start the course. But if you’ll be studying abroad as part of your degree, you may automatically be covered by your university’s travel insurance policy.
However, if you’re covered by your uni, you should read the policy wording carefully.
There may be exclusions around healthcare and cover for your belongings, as well as any personal trips you take during your time away.
So it may still be a good idea to take out your own travel insurance to make sure you have the right level of cover.
Find out more
Find out more