To help you choose the right cover and save you hours of research, we looked at different long stay travel insurance providers and created a list of the best long stay travel insurance policies. In addition, we’ve provided useful information and insights to help you make an informed decision.
Here is our list of the best long stay travel insurance policies:
- STA - Single trip (up to 24 months)
- GoWalkabout – Long stay (up to 24 months)
- Voyager – Long stay (up to 18 months but can be extended to 24)
- Big Cat – Gap Year Standard (up to 24 months)
- Staysure – Long stay Comprehensive (up to 18 months)
- Flexicover – Gap year Gold Plus (up to 18 months)
- Cover for you – Backpacker (up to 18 months)
- LG Leisure Guard – Single trip (up to 18 months)
- Direct Line – Discoverer (up to 18 months)
- www.longstaycover.co.uk – Long stay and Backpacker (up to 18 months)
- Worldwide Insure – Long stay Super (up to 18 months)
- Globelink International - Single Trip or Backpacker (up to 15 months but can be exteded to 18
- Direct Line - Discoverer (up to 15 months but can be extended to 18)
Read on to learn more about:
- How we created our list of the best long stay travel insurance policies
- What is long stay travel insurance and what does it cover?
- Long stay travel insurance comparison
- How to choose the best long stay travel insurance
- Does long stay travel insurance cover sports and activities?
- What makes the best gap year insurance?
- What makes the best long stay travel insurance for expats?
- Is there long stay travel insurance for over 60s?
- Working abroad and long stay travel insurance
- Can I get long stay travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?
- What’s a good cheap long stay travel insurance policy and how much does long stay travel insurance cost?
How we created our list of the best long stay travel insurance policies
To come up with our list of the best long stay travel insurance policies, we identified the insurers that offer travel policies longer than 365 days. Then we ranked them based on the length of the policies they offer. We also took into account the comprehensiveness of each policy. Finally, we searched the web for customer and expert reviews and ratings to determine which providers are the most popular amongst travellers.
Most of the above providers also offer policies specifically aimed at backpackers. Many backpacker policies do not exceed 18 months and might have lower limits or only offer the most essential levels of cover.
If you are planning a backpacking trip, you might want to look at our list of the best backpacker insurance. You can also join our backpacker travel insurance group and get a 10% discount with a selected provider.
What is long stay travel insurance and what does it cover?
Most long stay travel insurance policies offer protection similar to standard travel cover, but for much longer. Long stay travel insurance can provide cover for up to 24 consecutive months.
Interested in a standard travel insurance policy? Check out our list of the best travel insurance policies here.
Most long stay insurance providers offer 18-month policies. Some, like Big Cat offer up to 24 months. Many long stay travel policies include as standard cover for activities such as abseiling, water skiing, canoeing, etc.
Long stay travel insurance comparison
A lot of comparison sites provide quotes for backpacker policies of up to 18 months, however, most do not provide quotes for long stay travel policies longer than 18 months, so it can be difficult and time-consuming to unearth the insurers that do it, and even more laborious to get an idea of how they compare to one another.
Interested in backpacker insurance? Go on confused.com to compare different backpacker policies.
How to choose the best long stay travel insurance?
The ideal long stay travel insurance policy would include:
- Medical emergency & repatriation cover of at least £5m
- Personal accident cover of at least £10,000
- Personal liability cover
- 24-hour emergency medical assistance
- An allowance for the travel and daily expenses of one appointed person flying over to look after you in the event of your incapacitation or medically necessary extended hospital stay
- Curtailment cover to pay out if you have to cut your trip short due to illness or sudden tragedy
- Cover for at least one return trip home
- Cover for sports and activities
Most of the policies that made our list include many of these features as standard; some, like STA's Standard and Premier, include all of them.
Does long stay travel insurance cover sports and activities?
Most insurers like, GoWalkabout, Big Cat, longstaycover.co.uk, Top Dog offer an activity pack that includes a wide range of sports as standard. Some providers, like longstaycover.co.uk, even cover adventurous sports, such as abseiling and white water rafting in their standard activity packs.
You won’t be covered for sports or activities not included in your pack. Additionally, you may not be covered for personal liability claims arising from any sports or activities. So, take a good look at what’s listed in your policy before you buy. If your sport is not listed in the standard activity pack you’ll have the option to get a more comprehensive activity pack as an add-on – higher premiums will apply.
If you're planning a sports- and activities-heavy vacation you might want to check out our article on travel insurance for sports activities.
What makes the best gap year insurance?
That depends on how you’re planning to spend your gap year travels.
For example, if you’re looking for the right gap year insurance for Australia or North America, you might want to consider a substantial cover for emergency medical expenses and curtailment cover in case you suffer a medical emergency and need to cut your trip short.
Similarly, if you’ve decided to travel light and do not intend to pack any expensive items, you might want to consider a policy that offers to cover you for longer but has a low baggage & valuables limit. Big Cat’s gap year policy can insure you for up to 24 months and baggage cover is only available as an add-on.
The most important thing to do when choosing your long stay travel insurance policy is to evaluate your situation and, most specifically, your particular needs. Read the policy document to become aware of any exclusions or limits that do not correspond to your criteria.
If you’re travelling around Europe and taking your own car, make sure you’ve got the right car insurance. Check out our list of best young drivers insurance policies here.
What makes the best long stay travel insurance for expats?
If you’re a British expat living abroad finding the right long stay cover might be difficult. Some insurers, like Staysure for example, offer covers specifically designed for expats. However, they tend to be a lot shorter than long stay covers. If you’re planning on living in another country for longer than a year then a long stay policy with a high medical emergency and dental cover might be helpful.
Direct Line offers cover for emergency medical and travel expenses with a limit of £10m. In addition, in the unfortunate event of a traveller passing away, Direct line & Big Cat offer a cover of £7,500 to transport bodily remains back to the traveller’s home country – a relatively high limit compared to a general average of £5,000.
Additionally, if you left the country on a specialist expat insurance that does not cover you for longer than say 120 days, some insurers, like Big Cat and Globelink, offer long stay insurance that can be purchased even if you’ve already left the country.
If your home country is not the UK, and you’re say a USA expat living in Europe, you might want to check insurance providers in your home country and find out what they can cover you for.
Globelink International offers expat insurance for all European residents.
Is there long stay travel insurance for over 60s?
Every insurer has different age restrictions on their policies. Most travel insurance providers don’t offer long stay travel insurance for travellers over the age of 60.
Finding long stay travel insurance if you’re over 60 might be difficult. We managed to find two providers that offer to cover over 60s for long stay travel. Big Cat will insure all travellers under 69 but higher premiums apply. Longstaycover.co.uk will insure all travellers under 70 years of age, if they’re travelling worldwide, and up to 76, if they’re travelling within Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
If you’re over 65 you can join our group for travel insurance over 65 and get access to fairer travel policies.
Working abroad and long stay travel insurance
Most long stay travel insurance policies we looked at do not offer cover for employment and specifically state that any injuries sustained during paid or un-pain unemployment are not covered. Some insurers, however, do provide cover for certain types of employment.
- Flexicover will cover you for archaeological digging, administrative or clerical jobs and for bar and restaurant work.
- Big Cat will cover you for non-manual or clerical work on their standard pack and for manual work on their activity pack 1.
- Globelink offers a 15-month work abroad policy that can be extended to 18 months.
- Holidaysafe will cover a wide range of administrative and manual work.
- GoWalkabout offers a wide range of specialised working abroad policies such as farm work travel insurance, ski instructor travel insurance, teaching English abroad travel insurance; and its standard working holiday policy involves an extensive list of jobs covered as standard.
Bear in mind that being covered for manual work does not always mean you’ll be covered for manual work involving heavy machinery or for personal liability claims arising from your employment.
Make sure to read the policy documents and find out what jobs, if any, you can get cover for before you buy. If the purpose of your long stay trip is working in a high-risk area you might need a different type of cover.
Most standard travel insurance policies will not cover countries that the FCO advises against travelling to, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. We list travel policies that cover terrorism and natural disaster here.
Can I get long stay travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?
Most travel insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing medical conditions and most of the ones that do, come with higher premiums. It’s always best to contact providers individually to find out if they will cover your exact condition and what terms would apply. Globelink says it’ll cover a wide range of pre-existing medical conditions.
We’ve ranked the best travel insurance for medical conditions here.
What’s a good cheap long stay travel insurance policy and how much does travel insurance policy cost?
Some of the policies on our list offer Budget, Standard and Premium levels of cover. Naturally, the more comprehensive the policy, the higher the cost.
That said, the important thing to remember when shopping around for a long stay travel insurance policy is that the longer you’re away for the more likely you are to suffer a material loss, an injury or to have to seek medical assistance; so, a cheap long stay insurance policy might prove to be insufficient.
Other factors that will impact the cost of a long stay travel insurance policy are your destination, any pre-existing medical conditions and, the length of your trip.
A quote for a 32-year-old person going on a 24-month trip to Costa Rica from GoWalkabout’s Long stay cover, obtained on the 24th of August offered a policy of around £580. Included in the policy as standard were: personal accident cover of £15,000; medical emergency and repatriation cover of £10m, free activities pack cover and missed departure cover of £1000.
A quote for the same trip from Big Cat showed prices that ranged between around £352, on their budget policy, to £550, for their premier policy. Bear in mind that baggage cover is optional and not included in the prices above. Big Cat’s premier gap year policy includes a cover of £10m for medical expenses and repatriation, personal accident cover of £25,000 and cancellation and curtailment cover of £5,000.
Policies that cover worldwide trips tend to be more expensive than policies that cover trips within Europe.
The costs of healthcare in certain countries can also impact the price of your premium. For example, policies for trips to the USA or Canada tend to be more expensive as both countries are notorious for their high healthcare costs. Based on the costs and quality of healthcare, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst places to get injured while travelling.
Wherever you’re going and however long you’re going for, long stay travel insurance is not the thing to skimp on. Having the right protection can save you a lot of money and trouble.
Long stay travel insurance reviews
Finally, to help you get a better idea of the long stay travel insurance providers that made our list, we have reviewed some of them individually.
- Review: Alpha Travel Insurance
- Review: STA Travel Insurance
- Review: Big Cat Travel Insurance
- Review: Staysure Travel Insurance
- Review: Flexicover Travel Insurance
- Review: Cover For You Travel Insurance
- Review: Globelink International Travel Insurance
Plus, coming soon:
- Review: Direct Line Discoverer
- Review: Holiday Safe Travel Insurance
- Review: Worldwide Insure Travel Insurance
- Review: LG Leisure Guard Travel Insurance
- Review: Voyager Travel Insurance
- Review: longstaycover.co.uk Travel Insurance