Long-stay travel insurance

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Covid-19 (coronavirus) – important information

From 17th May 2021, a travel traffic light system is being introduced and trips to green list countries will be legally permitted if you live in England. Strict border control measures will remain in place for your return to the UK.

Before you buy, you should consider the implications of your destination moving from a green list country to amber or red as you may incur additional costs and/or face travel restrictions that will not be covered by your travel insurance.

The traffic light rules only dictate what you have to do on returning to England – so even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase.

A few insurers do offer cover If you are an essential traveller, however if you are in doubt or have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing.

Until dates have been set to permit non-essential international travel from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it is important that you follow all the rules that apply to your country of residence.

Cover for long-term holidays

Long-stay travel insurance covers you for trips lasting longer than a month - usually up to 18 months.

It's perfect for backpacking, extended stays with friends or family, or if you just need to get away from the British winter.

What does long-stay travel insurance cover?

Long-stay travel insurance should include cover for:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Repatriation
  • Cancellation and curtailment
  • Baggage claims
  • Cash
  • Legal protection

You might be able to add on cover for adventurous activities, watersports, a cruise or a business trip.

There’ll be exclusions on your policy. For example, you might not be able to get cover for destinations The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has advised against and claims might be rejected if your claim’s the result of taking illegal drugs or being drunk.

Age limits and long-stay travel insurance

Some policies have upper age limits.

The length of time you’ll be covered for will probably reduce as you get older, but there are some providers who specialise in covering older travellers and don’t have an upper age limit.

It's not uncommon for long-stay travel insurance to have a minimum age too. It's usually 18, but some are available for 17 year olds.

Annual versus long-stay insurance

Annual travel insurance might seem like an alternative to long-stay insurance, they actually cover very different things

Annual trip

Annual or multi-trip insurance will cover you for two or more trips within a 365-day period.

Each individual trip can’t be longer than 31 days.

Your policy start date must be within 30 days of the day you compared travel insurance - but your trip can start later.

This cover is only for multiple, short trips. It isn’t suitable for extended holidays.

Long-stay cover

Long-stay cover - sometimes called extended or backpackers insurance - will cover you for a single trip that lasts at least a month or more.

This type of policy doesn’t cover multiple trips, it just covers one long getaway.

You might already have travel insurance

Sometimes it's included as part of a packaged bank account, or a credit card deal. Check before buying travel insurance, because having more than one policy can complicate claims.

Remember your home insurance

Most home insurance policies have a clause stating you can’t leave your property unoccupied for more than a month or so.

Read your home insurance policy to find out the specifics and give your insurer a call to let them know about your trip.

You might need dedicated unoccupied property insurance if you plan to be away for a long time.

Frequently asked questions

  • Will I be able to visit multiple countries?

    Yes, so long as your insurance covers all your intended destinations under its worldwide or European policy.

  • Can I extend my long-stay travel insurance while I’m away?

    Yes, some providers will adjust your cover for free, others will charge. Not all will let you extend your stay though.

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