Liba Cohn, Types of Travel Insurance
williamromsay at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 00:18:18 PST 2008
Liba Cohn, Types of Travel Insurance
Lillian Sarah Lyustiger
lillian sarah cohn
When purchasing a travel insurance policy you will need to consider the type
of policy to buy.
There a basically only two types of travel insurance, the first is a policy
that only covers one specified journey, known as a single trip policy, and
the other will cover all journeys made within a specified 12 month period,
known as an annual multi-trip policy.
There will, however, be a requirement to meet with respect to length of
residence and registration with a local GP in order to qualify for cover
under either policy. I don?t know of any full travel insurance policy
available to a UK resident that doesn?t require you to be registered with a
local GP, although there are some limited policies, limited both in the
amount of cover and the scope of the policy that can be bought without
having being registered with a local GP. The length of residency criteria
can vary from no restriction, through 6 of the last 12 months, to the
strictest of them being the last 6 months continuous residence prior to
purchase, although short holidays are permitted to have been taken during
the 6 months.
Single trip policies are sub-divided into short stay and long stay versions,
short stay travel insurance policies have a maximum duration of around 3 or
4 months depending on the insurer and long stay policies have a maximum
duration of 18 months usually, although this is often reduced based on age
and destination. However, it is the norm that regardless of how long a
duration you have paid for, if you return to your home country during the
insured period then the policy ends, so if you are a UK resident, you can?t
book a 3 week policy for a trip within Europe and spend a week in France,
then return to the UK en-route to Ireland for 2 weeks, as the policy ends as
soon as you set foot back in the UK, you would need two separate travel
insurance policies, or travel directly to Ireland from France. Having said
that, it is possible to purchase a long stay policy that has the option, at
additional cost of course, to return to the UK twice during the insured
With single trip policies, both versions, the cancellation coverage within
the policy, in most cases, comes into force on the date of purchase,
however, there are some policies designed to cover pre-existing medical
conditions where there is a delay of around a month before the cancellation
cover becomes active.
Long stay policies themselves are sub-divided into two types, there are the
ones aimed at gap year students, backpackers and other relatively young
travellers with no commitments, and these have a maximum age limit of around
40 or 45 and are generally not intended for families, as there are no
discounts for children and may be restricted to a maximum of traveller and
partner. The level of cover tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum in
order to keep the price down but it is not always the case. Other long stay
policies for older travellers or families are available, with a common age
limit being 75, although it is possible to buy a policy for a stay of up to
6 months with no upper age limit.
Annual multi-trip travel insurance policies are intended to cover all trips
you make within a 12 month period, beginning on the specified start date.
There will be a limit, specified at the time of purchase, on the length of
each trip you make, these can range from around 3 weeks up to around 100
days, although the limit will likely decrease as you get older. There may
also be a limit on the number of days you can spend abroad during the policy
period such as a maximum of 183 days, or in other words, 6 months.
Cancellation cover in an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy works
differently than for single trip travel insurance policy in that the cover
does not begin until the start date of the policy and only applies to trips
starting within the 12 month period of cover.
Another aspect to consider when purchasing an annual multi-trip travel
insurance policy is whether you can get continuous cover from one policy to
the next, by this I mean, if you renew your annual travel insurance policy
with a start date the day after the current policy ends, so that there is no
break in cover, are you covered for a trip that spans the two policies such
as one that starts a week before the current policy ends but does not finish
until a week into the new policy period, another possible expectation is
that cancellation cover would come into force immediately for a trip booked
to take place wholly within the period of the new annual multi-trip policy
if there is no break in cover. Both of these assumptions are not always
correct, cheaper annual multi-trip policies may not offer continuous cover
and in fact be standalone policies where only trips that start and finish
within the policy period are covered. It is quite possible that the policy
wording itself does not spell this out, so if in doubt ask the retailer if
continuous cover is available.
If you travel regularly or are planning to take a relatively long short stay
trip of say around 1 to 3 months, you may find that an annual multi-trip
travel insurance policy is the most cost effective solution.
As well as the basic type of policy you will need to consider other aspects
such as pre-existing medical conditions, whether you intend to participate
in sport or other potentially hazardous activities during your trip, if you
are pregnant will you be travelling relatively late in the term, I say
relatively late but cover for complications of pregnancy can end at 24 weeks
in some travel insurance policies, and few go beyond 28 weeks, but cover is
possible up to 36 weeks of pregnancy in certain circumstances.
So when thinking about buying your travel insurance policy you will need to
consider the following: How often will I be travelling in the coming year?
What is the maximum length of any one trip? If the trip extends beyond 3
months do I need the option to return home? Do I have any special
requirements, either medical or sporting pursuits? If I opt for an annual
multi-trip policy do I need the option of continuous cover? If you have
children, I would suggest you shop around as the rates charged for children
on a family policy varies with the insurer and some don?t charge at all.
Also the maximum age of dependent children allowed on a family policy
differs between the insurers.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide to selecting your travel insurance
policy, I have merely tried to supply you with some pointers on what to
consider before parting with your hard earned cash.
Author about Greath Owen is a writer for PHA Travel. PHA Travel provides
our best selling, value for money and cheap travel insurance policies,
available for online purchase from a range of reputable travel insurance
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