If you plan to travel the globe – or spend time across multiple regions – you’re likely to need a worldwide travel insurance policy to make sure you’re covered.
What is worldwide travel insurance?
Worldwide travel insurance is split into two categories: excluding Canada, USA, and the Caribbean, and including Canada, USA, and the Caribbean. It’s important to understand the distinction, and to choose the correct one.
Worldwide travel insurance is cheaper if you don’t need cover in Canada, USA, or the Caribbean – on average, it costs £6.50 less for this kind of policy, according to quotes run on MoneySuperMarket between January 1 and May 31, 2018.
But don’t get caught out by these definitions – make sure you check the policy wording to check how the insurer classifies certain countries.
According to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, British passport holders can visit 186 destinations visa-free
What does worldwide travel insurance cover?
Worldwide travel insurance offers the same benefits as standard insurance policies, which includes cover for:
- Possessions: if your belongings are lost, damaged, or stolen while you are abroad
- Medical treatment: if you become ill or are injured on holiday, or you have a previous medical condition that you’ve told your insurer about
- Repatriation: if an injury or illness means you need to return to the UK
- Holiday disruptions: in case anything goes wrong with your travel or accommodation
Worldwide travel insurance exclusions
While worldwide insurance provides cover for a wider range of destinations, the policy will still carry certain exclusions that you should be aware of before claiming. Your policy may be voided if you:
- Travel outside of guidelines –if your government has advised against travel to certain locations you may not be covered for visits to these places
- Don’t get your vaccinations – if you fall sick while abroad to a disease where you haven’t had the recommended medication then your claim may be rejected
- Don’t declare medical conditions – if you haven’t told your insurer, your policy could be invalidated
- Take part in illegal activity or malicious behaviour – if you make a claim as a result of your own reckless or illegal actions, your insurer is unlikely to accept it
- Use drugs or alcohol – but if you need to claim for anything that happened while you were under the influence, you may find your claim rejected
These are general exclusions commonly found on many travel insurance policies, however all insurers can differ on the specific level of cover they can provide. Therefore it’s important you check the terms of your policy carefully to understand exactly what you can and can’t claim for – so you can avoid any nasty surprised when you’re travelling.
34.05% of travel insurance policies are bought one or fewer days before the policy start date, according to 774,739 quotes run on MoneySuperMarket.com between January and May 2018
When should I buy worldwide travel insurance?
You should take out your worldwide travel insurance policy as early as you can – ideally as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. This is because you may have to cancel your trip due to circumstances such as:
- Illness or injury
Taking out travel insurance means you might be able to claim reimbursement for your flights and accommodation costs – however you should check the terms of your policy to be certain.
How much does worldwide travel insurance cost?
Worldwide travel insurance starts from £19.45. That’s how much it would cost an 18-year-old to take out a worldwide policy for a year, according to MoneySuperMarket data. If the same person were to choose worldwide (excluding USA, Canada, and the Caribbean), it would drop to £16.45.
There are other factors that affect the cost of travel insurance, including:
- Age: a worldwide policy for someone in their 60s costs an average of £51.65, according to MoneySuperMarket data.
- Duration: if you buy a single trip policy, you’ll pay more for longer durations
- Pre-existing medical conditions: if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it’s likely that you’ll pay much more for your worldwide travel insurance
- Activities: you may need extra cover to get insured for certain activities, like winter sports or extreme sports.
- Destinations: choosing worldwide is more expensive than worldwide (excluding Canada, USA, and the Caribbean), but this can’t be avoided if you want a truly worldwide policy
- Extra cover: you’ll pay more if you need extra cover
MoneySuperMarket data from January to May 2018, showing the average cost of travel insurance for Europe, worldwide, and worldwide excluding USA, Canada, and the Caribbean.
How long will I be covered by worldwide travel insurance
The length of time your worldwide insurance policy will last depends on how long you’re away for. You can take out the following:
- Single trip insurance for the duration of the one trip you’re going on. While this is useful if you only plan on one or two holidays, keep in mind that some insurers may have limits for how long a single trip can last.
- Annual trip for as many trips as you like during a whole year. Many policies place a limit on the duration of each trip taken during the time you’re covered, so check this.
- Extended stay for longer visits.
Compare worldwide travel insurance
To make sure you have the best worldwide travel insurance policy for you, it’s important to make sure you don’t over-insure yourself and pay too much, or under-insure yourself and get left in a difficult situation. You should keep in mind what you’ll be doing while you’re away, as well as how long you’ll be gone for, and whether you should include anyone else on your policy.
When you compare worldwide travel insurance, you can review quotes by a number of features including the level of medical cover you’ll require, the price limit on single items you’ve insured, and the excess, amongst much more.
This kind of comparison helps you to build a more accurate picture of the kind of cover you’ll get, but you should always read the policy documents before you buy travel insurance.