Prefer long travels? You cannot afford to ignore long term travel insurance
There are many reasons why people choose to buck the trend and take an extended break. You may own a property abroad where you can escape the cold winter months or you may be looking to embark on a round-the-world cruise. Alternatively, you may just feel that a standard two week holiday is not enough to fully immerse yourself in the culture of different countries.
Longer trips can require more organisation than that fortnight in the sun and sometimes the need to get travel insurance gets overlooked in an almost never ending to-do list. However, purchasing a good travel policy should be at the top of your list of priorities as soon as you start booking your trip, to ensure that you have the necessary cover in place in the unlikely event that you have to cancel your plans.
There is a strong argument that travel insurance is more important if you’re away for months rather than weeks. After all, more time away is more potential for the unexpected… and the cost of medical treatment abroad can be punitive.
Most insurance providers offer long stay cover starting from three months up to twelve months. Some insurance companies even offer longer term policies, possibly up to eighteen months, so your options for length of stay are broad.
However long your planned trip is, it's important that the insurance covers the entire trip duration. It’s also a good idea to check with your provider that it can be extended if needed; after all, if you’re on that trip of a lifetime, it's highly plausible you may not want the fun to end...
If you think you’ll only be travelling in and around Europe, don't forget your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which will offer free or reduced treatment in state medical facilities in most European countries. And if you do incur costs most travel insurers will even waive the excess when picking up the bill, if EHIC has been used. Of course, if you change your mind and want to go further afield, generally insurers will allow you to upgrade your cover if you contact them.
Top tips for long stay trips
Do your research – Preparing an itinerary and even using maps to get to know the area or areas you plan to visit will allow you to book your insurance straight away. Also, if you travel to a non-English speaking country, learn a bit of the lingo - the words for "please", "thank you" and maybe how to order a drink or food can be very helpful.
Plan well ahead – There’s nothing worse than embarking on a long stay trip and realising you’ve forgotten something important. Checklists and double-checking are your friends here.
Consult your GP – It’s important to get full details of any existing medical conditions in advance and to declare these to your travel insurance provider. Also if you need tablets or such, make sure you have enough of a supply to get by.
Get necessary travel inoculations – You should arrange necessary vaccinations well ahead of your trip to give them time to take effect. Remember, not having the recommended inoculations could invalidate you travel insurance. Certain countries may even refuse embarkation without proof of vaccinations.
Contact your mobile provider – Roaming charges on a standard mobile phone contract can really rack up if you need to make calls. Most providers offer special upgrades for international travel, which can save you money in the long run. The other alternative, if you’re staying in a particular country for an extended period, is to obtain a SIM card with a local provider.
Contact your bank - If you need to withdraw money abroad, it's a good idea that you give your bank a heads up that you'll be away; this ensures that transactions don't get red flagged and you always have access to your funds without have to make expensive international calls to your bank to convince them it was you who withdrew you money thousands of miles from home.
Further details about Long Stay Travel Insurance can be found at www.flexicover.co.uk/Long_Stay_Travel_Insurance.
Flexicover, a division of Citybond Holdings Ltd., 109 Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 4SY, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to transact general insurance business. Citybond’s Firm Registration Number is 312208. You can check this information by visiting the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk.