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Gap year insurance

You're young, free and out to have fun - it won't happen to you - will it? Unfortunately it can. Things can go wrong for anyone.

Gap year insurance

You're young, free and out to have fun - it won't happen to you - will it? Unfortunately it can. Things can go wrong for anyone. When you're in a foreign country where you may be faced with language and culture barriers, things can also seem even worse. It's best to be sure that you are covered for any eventuality - just in case!

When you're abroad on your travels, you never know what's round the corner. Whether you're the adventurous type and into trying anything or just want to get away from it all for some rest and relaxation, make sure you've got the right insurance to cover the type of activity you're planning. Remember, insurance is a lot cheaper than having to replace stolen items or fork out on expensive medical bills!

  • Always make sure that you have insurance, and that it provides adequate cover (including for an air ambulance to evacuate you if necessary). Without it, you risk your own life and face bills upon your return of tens of thousands of pounds.
  • Some handy tips on shopping for an insurance policy:
  •  Is your insurance cover comprehensive? Make sure it gives you adequate medical cover including for any medical evacuation, and covers you for personal injury as a result of terrorist activity
  •  Where are you going and how long are you going for? Make sure you're covered for every destination and for the whole of your trip
  •  If you're going to be involved in any activities, make sure that these are covered
  •  If you have any current or pre-existing medical conditions, be sure to disclose these to your insurer. This includes those of anyone you are travelling with - if you don't, it could affect your claim
  • Declare any medical conditions of close relatives, whose failing health might cause you to cancel a trip. Be honest - or you risk invalidating your policy
  •  Declare and get extra cover for any very valuable items you are taking with you such as watches, cameras or laptops and other equipment etc.

If you're travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland make sure you get a free  European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)  which entitles you to some reduced or free emergency care - but you will still need travel insurance.

Some other things to think about:

  • Personal liability for injury or damage to others and their property
  • Your cancellation cover which starts as soon as you make a booking
  • Cover for all your possessions - money, tickets and passports etc.
  • Personal accident cover which will pay out for death or permanent disability
  • Cover for legal expenses to help you get compensation or damages
  •  Exemptions - look carefully at what you're not covered for.

Other helpful tips

  • Keep a copy of your insurance policy details saved in your secure email account as back-up. Keep any paperwork, such as tickets, receipts, medical bills, police reports, etc, in case anything goes wrong
  • If something goes wrong and you need to make an insurance claim, you should be aware that your insurance policy could be invalidated if you are deemed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Make sure you have the name of your insurance company and their 24-hour international emergency telephone number. Consider programming it into your mobile phone with your policy number, it is also useful for your family and friends to have this too
  • Check the FCO website for country specific country advice. If you go to an area which the FCO advises against travel to, make sure your travel insurance will be valid.


  • Date published: 13th April 2013
  • Written by: David Ruiz