YOU ASK:

I will be going abroad as an exchange student? Will I need travel insurance to cover my long stay?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, you need long stay travel insurance, as your travel insurance protection requirements will increase with one day or one week more that you are abroad. This kind of insurance comes by many names. This is often called Gap Year insurance, student insurance, adventurer insurance, backpacker insurance or extended stay insurance.

Long stay travel insurance may be applicable for those who plan to do extensive traveling and who plan to stay abroad for a longer holiday. This is commonly bought by exchange or international students, volunteers for mission or charitable organizations or those who want to go on an extended adventure.

In some cases, this is for those who also plan to visit more than one country within a single trip. For instance, those who want to spend a year exploring the beauty of Europe can have themselves covered with this insurance.

This insurance will protect you from expenses you may have to face, like huge medical bills, forfeited airline tickets and emergency transport in case of a medical emergency.

Long Stay Travel Insurance Characteristics

As the name suggests, this kind of insurance can be effective for as long as up to 12 months. This is in contrast with single trip travel insurance which is only allowed to be in force for up to 6 months. Long stay travel insurance can provide benefits like baggage insurance, emergency medical and dental insurance and optional cover for sports. It also may cover for a long list of sports and other activities.

Long stay travel insurance premiums may depend on the countries or continent you plan to visit. The insurance company may have different rates and plans for travel worldwide (include the United States and Canada), worldwide (excluding US and Canada), Europe or Australia and New Zealand.

This kind of insurance will usually impose an age limit, commonly set at 35 to 40 years old. Those who are over the maximum age can still buy this insurance, as some insurance providers sell this to those over 40 for a higher premium. The insurance plan may also exclude certain countries or areas which are considered dangerous.

The advantage with this kind of insurance is that there are a lot of plans designed to suit a variety of needs. If you are on a budget, you can do away with insurance you feel you don't need. For instance, if you plan to backpack your way throughout Europe, you probably would not need insurance for luggage, as well as for money and personal effects. You can also choose to have a higher excess level. This is another way for you to reduce the premiums due.

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