If you are planning a long-term trip then you are probably starting to wonder whether you need travel insurance, and if so what sort of cover you need. It can be tempting to forget about it, and it is not compulsory to get travel insurance but for an, often small, cost you can cover yourself against risks that would be costly and damaging if worst comes to worst.
Travel insurance packages often vary, but there are some policies that you will invariably want to consider, such as medical insurance, personal liability, losses and damages, and flight cancellations. There are also many different policies that you can choose, largely depending on the length and nature of your trip.
When you need 12 month travel insurance there are several main options open to you, such as an annual or multi-trip package which covers you for several trips. These types usually insure you for 12 months, but with a maximum number of days included, ideal for those returning to the country in between holidays or trips. You can also take worldwide cover for a year, or 12 month travel insurance specific to a certain place, like Europe or Australia. Finally, you could consider backpacking insurance to cover long and unbroken travel ventures. If your trip is a bit short it’s worth checking out a 6 month travel insurance as you could save some money with that.
If you are planning a long trip to Australia then travel insurance is a wise idea. You should at least get a decent medical insurance policy, as the costs of medical care in Australia can be very high. There is no point taking the risk when you are on the other side of the world, and an accident or medical issue without cover would pose serious problems, and probably bankrupt you. You could also consider cover against loss of luggage, flights, thefts, and personal belongings if they are of high enough value to be considered to be insured.
The type of travel insurance that you purchase on your trip to Australia will depend on what you are doing and for how long. If you are staying for a long time, then a 12 month travel insurance plan is for you. If you are combining travel in Australia with other countries, then you should consider backpacker insurance. Remember that if you plan to take part in extreme activities then a normal policy will not cover you. You will need to mention activities such as scuba-diving, bungee jumping, motorcycling and bush-trekking specifically to your insurers.
Travel within Europe is very easy for EU residents, with limited borders, and an easy transition into public services. This does not mean that travel insurance is not necessary, and again you should be considering the nature of your trip, and whether the risks are really worth the cost.
The EU health card provides EU citizens with the healthcare standards of the country that you are visiting; in some cases there are costs equivalent to what a resident would pay, and sometimes it is free. Travel insurance can give you a much fuller medical cover, so consider where you will be travelling and see whether an EU health card is really enough. Non-EU citizens should make sure they are medically insured.
If you are taking part in extreme sports, or enjoying the frozen mountains for skiing in the winter, then you will have to take out a plan that covers these activities, such as a winter-sports insurance plan. Again, for a 12 month continuous trip backpackers insurance is a great option, but you are staying within Europe then you should make this clear, as it may be cheaper.
Unfortunately, finding good value travel insurance can be difficult when you are over the age of 70. This is because insurance companies would rather not take the risk, as health issues are more likely to arrive. As harsh as this reality sounds, it may be better for an over 70 to seek travel insurance from a specialist company to get the best deal.