13 Apr Best gap year travel insurance for your globetrotting needs
Of all gap year expenses, travel insurance is among the most contentious. Some claim they’ll get on just fine without it – however, medical bills even in cheap countries can quickly soar into the tens of thousands of dollars if you are bedridden with a serious illness or injury.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than having your bank account emptied by medical expenses, then depending on family and friends to bail you out.
It is better to spend a couple hundred dollars on travel insurance premiums than tens of thousands of dollars on a preventable expense. Unfortunately, the process of buying gap year travel insurance can be a confusing process.
In this post, we’ll help you with your travel planning efforts by highlighting several providers which offer excellent cover at competitive prices.
Of all the gap year travel insurance providers, World Nomads is one of the best-known names in the industry.
Offering cover to travellers even if they are already on the road, it is the company of choice for many perpetual nomads – a definite plus if you are unsure when you are coming home. They also give you the option of contributing a modest sum to charity at checkout, which is a nice touch.
Their higher price points are a downside but it is worth it considering the wide slate of adventure activities covered under their premium policies. If you aren’t going to go bungee jumping anytime soon, there are also basic plans which won’t set you back as much.
However, before you go with their cheaper options, be sure to read the terms carefully so you won’t be left in the lurch if you decide to do anything remotely athletic during your gap year adventure.
Looking for an alternative to World Nomads? Due to the assumed risk of insuring already abroad travellers, they used to be the only provider in this niche, but in recent years, Global Voyager has joined the fray.
Best known to British and Europeans but offering cover to many nationalities around the world, they impose no age limit for single trip cover, they offer comprehensive cover for many adventure and athletic activities, and as mentioned above, policies can be bought while on the road.
However, there are a number of drawbacks – if you purchase the annual multi-trip policy, there is a 31 or 45-day trip length cap, making this offering a bad option for gap year travellers.
Further, any policy taken out while on the road does not cover illness should you fall ill two weeks from its commencement.
However, if you are shopping around for gap year travel insurance while away from home, this company gives you a viable option besides World Nomads.
Allianz Travel Insurance
Not planning on doing anything terribly risky other than going skiing/boarding in the Alps? If saving extra money for more days on the road is your top priority, purchasing a policy from Allianz is something you should consider.
With policies starting from less than $40 for a two-month journey through Europe, the low costs of their plans can be seriously tempting.
However, do take time to think about what you want to get out of your travels before handing over your credit card details.
If you end up in hospital after breaking your ankle while on a hike in the Austrian Alps, you may end up stuck with the bill despite forking over your hard-earned cash for a policy.
Good Neighbor Insurance
Searching for an American based provider for your gap year travel insurance needs can be tough. Fortunately, we waded through a sea of unsuitable plans and found an offering from Good Neighbor specifically tailored for gap year backpackers.
They offer four different plans which give you the option of paying by the month, quarter, or year, giving you plenty of flexibility.
One thing to note in particular: all plans cover terror attacks overseas, provided there was no travel warning for the area within six months of the event.