One-way travel insurance

Heading off on a one-way ticket to ride? Find the right travel insurance policy to cover you.

Maybe you’re leaving the UK to to take up a job overseas or you’re going backpacking around the world and you don’t know when exactly you’ll come back.

If so, you might look to take out a one-way travel insurance policy, which will cover you for an outbound journey. Our guide explains who this type of cover is for, what it covers and key exclusions and need-to-knows.

When would I need one-way cover?

You would look to get one-way travel insurance if:

  • You’re going overseas and you’re not sure when you’re coming home. For instance, if you’re heading off to backpack around South America and you haven’t decided when you’ll return home, then you’ll need this type of cover to keep you safe and secure.
  • You’re moving overseas and you need to be covered until you organise insurance in your new country. Maybe you’re heading over to Australia for a new job. Well this type of policy will have you covered for cancellations, luggage problems and medical expenses before you arrive.
  • You already have insurance organised in your new country and you only need cover for the flight over. Potentially you’re an expat returning to your home country from the UK and you need cover for getting you and your belongings back home in one piece. If so, a one-way policy might be what you’re looking for.

What does a one-way policy cover?

Typically, one-way travel insurance will cover you for the same things as a standard policy, although there are a few key differences. Here’s what you can expect to be covered for:

  • Cancellation and amendment fees. If you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, like a medical emergency or family bereavement, you’ll be reimbursed for cancellation fees and any money you’ve spent on flights, accommodation, meals or activities.
  • Travel delays. Should your prepaid flight or transport be delayed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ll get money back for any extra accommodation, meals or transfers you have to get as a result.
  • Medical costs. Getting treatment abroad can be expensive, so it could be crucial that your one-way travel insurance covers things like medical and hospital fees and emergency dental costs.
  • Repatriation expenses. If you become unwell your one-way travel insurance could pay to get you home or to send you on to your destination country.
  • Loss or theft of personal possessions. Should you lose your baggage or personal items, or should they get damaged, then one-way insurance will cover to repair and replace. If you have expensive items with you get a policy that will pay out large sums for fixing or replacing them.
  • Personal liability. Your policy will cover you if you injure or damage someone or their property.
  • Natural disasters and terrorism. Your insurer will help you with getting home and any additional costs should you need help following a natural disaster or terrorism incident.

What’s not covered?

If you’re emigrating then you may well be looking to take your pets with you when you go. Sadly, a one-way policy won’t cover them.

However you can get a separate insurance policy for any furry, feathery or leathery friend you might have.

Plus if you’re shipping any items separately then you’ll have to take out a specialist insurance policy for that too. Like if you’re moving furniture to your new and distant home.

One-way travel insurance exclusions

Having travel insurance doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want unfortunately. There are several reasons why the insurer may refuse to pay out, should you make a claim.

  • If you have a few drinks some insurers refuse to pay out should you hurt yourself or lose or damage any possessions.
  • If your claim results from being under the influence of drugs.
  • If you make a claim after acting recklessly or unlawfully.
  • If you make a claim after taking part in a high-risk activity or sport, like sky diving or rafting (unless you’ve added this to your policy).
  • If your claim is the result of attempted suicide or an act of self-harm.

Anything else I need to know?

  • Do I need to tell the insurer I’m going on a one-way trip? Yes, you’ll need to tell your provider you’re heading off abroad on a one-way ticket otherwise your insurance could be deemed void.
  • How long am I covered? Many one-way policies will only cover you for a day or week from the moment you leave the UK. Some can last for as long as a year or two though and can be extended as you go.
  • Can I extend my cover from overseas? Some insurers will let you top up and extend your policy as you travel, with some letting you go for as long as two years with coverage.
  • Age limit. Many insurance policies won’t cover older travellers. So if you’re older than 70 or 75 you might have to get a specialist travel insurance.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. When signing up to any insurer you need to let it know about any previous medical issues you’ve had. Unfortunately, depending on the nature of your condition, some insurers might refuse to cover you.

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