Worldwide travel insurance

Whether you're a frequent flyer or plan to travel the globe, worldwide travel insurance could get you covered for less.

If you’re planning on taking a round the world trip or you’re heading to several different regions outside of Europe, worldwide travel insurance can be the most affordable option. Read on and we’ll explain just what it is and its benefits, but also any reasons why you shouldn’t bother using worldwide travel insurance.

What is worldwide travel insurance?

As the name suggests, worldwide travel insurance covers you for travelling outside the UK and Europe.

Perhaps you’re looking for a single-trip worldwide travel insurance policy? This would be suited to anyone who isn’t going away for too long and has a set start and end date for their trip. Say, if you’re heading to South America for a month and you’re planning on checking out several countries.

Or maybe you’re after an annual multi-trip policy before you set off on your dream round the world trip. You know you’re going to head to a few different regions over the next year but you don’t have any exact dates.

Well, in either case, worldwide travel insurance is for you.

What countries does worldwide travel insurance cover?

First things first, it’s important to understand there are two distinct types of worldwide travel insurance.

One, which includes USA, Canada and the Caribbean; and the other which excludes these three areas.

Essentially, worldwide travel insurance is more expensive with the North America region included because healthcare can be a bit pricey there.

What does worldwide travel insurance cover?

  • Medical expenses: Should you have an accident or fall ill abroad, then at the very least you don’t have to worry about emergency ambulance and hospital bills – just make sure you’re covered for a minimum of at least £2 million.
  • Repatriation: Make sure your policy includes this in its medical coverage too. It can be incredibly expensive to get flown home from a far away land.
  • Stolen, lost or damaged luggage: Should the unthinkable happen and your luggage goes missing, at least you can claim money back on your lost clothes and valuables.
  • Cancellation costs: If you have to cancel your flights or accommodation unexpectedly, because of a bereavement for instance, you can get the money back.
  • Flight delays: While you should demand compensation from the airline, if it doesn’t and your flight is delayed more than 12 hours then the insurance will have your back. Make sure you keep receipts of anything you purchase though!
  • Personal liability cover: This covers you if you’re liable to pay someone for causing them an accidental injury, or losing or damaging their property. Certain policies can cover legal costs too.

Common exclusions

Yet, signing up and paying for an insurance policy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re covered. Most providers will probably refuse to help you out if you don’t live up to the terms of your agreement. Below are some common exclusions.

  • Use of drugs or alcohol: Depending on how strict your provider is, even a drop or a tipple of alcohol might be enough to exclude you from claiming.
  • Dangerous countries or areas: If your government has advised against travelling to a certain area, you may not be covered if you choose to visit these places.
  • No vaccination: If you contract a disease while travelling and you hadn’t got the recommended vaccination, your claim might be rejected.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: You might lose any insurance coverage should you fail to tell the provider about a pre-existing condition.
  • Reckless behaviour: Engage in any illegal or reckless activity and you might find your travel insurance won’t cover any injury or damages.

What can impact the cost of worldwide travel insurance?

  • Age: Travel insurance costs jump up once you’re in your 60s.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: From heart and respiratory problems to diabetes, pre-existing conditions will unfortunately increase your insurance premium.
  • Trip length: If you buy a single-trip policy, you’ll pay more the longer you’re away.
  • Destination: Not heading to North America? Then don’t bother getting a comprehensive worldwide travel insurance policy.
  • Activities: Anyone planning activities like skiing, surfing, hiking or scuba diving might need to take out extra cover.

How long will I be covered by worldwide travel insurance?

It depends on what type of worldwide travel insurance you get.

With single trip insurance you’re covered for the duration of one trip. If you’re only heading to one or two places this might be a better value option. However, insurance companies will generally have a limit of days one trip can last.

An annual or multi-trip option will probably be more cost-effective if you’re gallivanting around the world. However, once again, there will be limits on the number of days you’re covered for each trip.

Or, you can opt for extended stay or backpacker worldwide travel insurance. With these types of policies you can be covered for a rolling period of up to two years.

How to get worldwide travel insurance for less

  • Buy online. Airline and travel agents can add commission fees. So cut out the middlemen and shop online. It’s faster and lets you compare several quotes in a matter of minutes.
  • Pay for what you need. If you know you won’t be skiing or scuba diving, then don’t pay for any extra insurance to cover them.
  • Adjust your excess. Many insurers let you vary the excess payable if you end up making a claim. Yet, bear in mind that you’ll need to foot more of the bill should anything happen.
  • Discounts. There are plenty of discounts and deals online. From online promo and coupon codes to multi-policy discounts, these could be a way to reduce the cost.
  • Joint policies. Travelling with a friend or a relative? Getting a joint insurance policy can help cut the costs.
  • Group policy. Some providers can offer special discounts if you get travel insurance as a large group.

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