With the rise of budget airlines and cheap accommodation, the world really is within reach of more and more people every year. What could be more exciting than planning an adventure in far flung countries and exploring new cultures. Provided that you’ve got the budget, holidays that before were impossible are now becoming more and more accessible to a wider range of people. How can you make sure you are covered no matter where you are? A worldwide travel insurance policy will protect you - no matter where you end up!
Worldwide Travel Insurance
Statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) state that in 2017 there were 72.8 million visits overseas - a rise of 3% from 2016. People are jetting off not only more often but to a greater variety of places. Spain, Italy and the U.S.A top the popularity charts but countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Japan are quickly crawling up British holiday makers favourite destinations.
Although you would assume that worldwide cover would be just that, worldwide, in this case you would actually be mistaken! You have to be careful to choose the right worldwide cover to make sure that your trip goes without a hitch.
When choosing worldwide travel insurance you have two different options: worldwide travel insurance and worldwide travel insurance including Canada, the U.S.A and the Caribbean.
Why are they different? Well, medical care in Canada, the U.S.A and the Caribbean are much more expensive than in any other place in the world. So, to make sure you have the right level of medical care the premiums which include these countries tend to be more expensive. However, the cost is worth it when you consider the difference in the price of medical care. The International Federation of Health Plans recent research shows the stark difference in the price between the UK, Spain and the United States.
What Does Worldwide Insurance Cover?
Worldwide insurance covers the same things as if you were to take out any other kind of insurance policy covering, Europe, Canada, Japan or the United States. The only difference is where you are covered. A worldwide policy will be valid in the countries which you have specified when you buy your insurance policy. Insurers will usually ask you where you plan to travel on your holiday and adjust your premium accordingly. Of course, this works a little differently if you have an annual worldwide policy.
As a general rule as a minimum you should make sure that you are covered for the following things:
Evacuation and full medical coverage: The main reason for having travel insurance is to have medical coverage while you are abroad. This couldn’t be more important than when you are travelling worldwide in countries which may not have the same standard of care or system that we are used to in the UK.
Lost, stolen or damaged gear or luggage: A worldwide policy should cover your luggage and belongings in case they should sprout legs and walk away while you are on holiday. Whether the airline has lost your bags or a light fingered friend has taken a liking to your wallet your insurance policy should be there to compensate you.
Full medical coverage and evacuation coverage: The plan should cover all potential medical expenses, including ambulance transport. Make sure that the level of medical coverage is high enough and that if there is an excess on the policy that you are able to pay it. You may not expect the potential cost of medical treatment. Be aware that many medical procedures and hospital stays in the US easily bankrupt an american middle class family unless they are covered by insurance.
Lost, stolen or damaged gear or luggage: The U.S.A is generally safe although safety can vary hugely depending on where you are. Tourists need to be cautious and follow general safety guidelines.
Cancellation or curtailment: Your holiday is an investment and especially if you are planning a trip to far flung places you’ll find that the cost soon add up. What would happen if for some unexpected reason you weren’t able to go? LIfe is unpredictable and the best way to protect your investment is to have travel insurance that has protection against cancellation, curtailment and abandonment.
Legal protection: Most worldwide insurance policies will cover you for personal liability. So, if you hurt someone else by accident or destroy someone else’s property then you will be able to pay for their treatment and defend yourself in court should someone decide to try and sue you or blackmail you.
Worldwide Travel Insurance Exclusions
Travel to some countries isn’t covered: Even though your policy is worldwide this does have some exceptions. You won’t be covered if you are travelling to a country where at the time of buying your policy there is a war, threat of terrorism, civil disorder or political unrest. As a general rule if there are travel warning issued by the British Embassy then a travel insurer probably isn’t going to cover you for that trip.
Length of your trip: You may be covered all over the world but you won’t be covered for just any old length of time. Check your insurance documents carefully to make sure your trip isn’t outwith the length permitted by your insurer - this is especially important when it comes to annual policies.
Dangerous activity coverage or exclusion: The range of activities and sports you can do worldwide is of course almost endless and you definitely won’t be covered for all of them if you have a worldwide travel insurance policy. Remember that if you are going on a skiing holiday in the mountains, trekking, golfing or scuba diving you will most likely need special coverage for sports. In the majority of cases this doesn’t come covered as standard.
Pre existing medical conditions: Don’t automatically assume that your pre existing medical conditions will be covered. Especially if you will be travelling to somewhere like the caribbean, where medical care is limited, you might find that there are restrictions on which conditions certain insurers cover. You may have to take out a specialist insurance for people with preexisting medical conditions.
How Much Does Worldwide Travel Insurance Cost?
There is no one size fits all worldwide travel insurance and so there is no one size fits all price. However, in this illustrative example you can see the difference between an annual policy for Europe, Worldwide and worldwide excluding Canada, the U.S.A and the Caribbean.
£38.49 Worldwide (Excluding Canada, U.S.A and the Caribbean)
£44.99 Worldwide (Including Canada, U.S.A and the Caribbean)
Remember, the cost of your policy will different depending on your age and health conditions.