Thursday, August 7, 2008

Student Travel Insurance

Article Index:

1) What is the difference between regular and student travel insurance?

2) Why consider maximum claims and policy excess?

3) What age is a student defined as?

4) What must students consider for different travel destinations?

5) Who supplies student travel insurance?

Student Travel Insurance:

1) What is the difference between regular and student travel insurance?

Primarily the length of cover leans toward long stay and multi-destination possibilities. A popular period for this, stretches over a student gap year (and sometimes beyond!). Insurers recognise the nature of backpacker travel is different to many tourist's conventional summer break of perhaps a few weeks.

One interesting point for students, is when suffering an unfortunate event claimable under the personal accident section, some insurers will actually pay off the remaining student loan, for example to a maximum value such as £5,000.

Student travel insurance overall tends to have a basic level of cover, and the maximum value of claims are aggressively restricted. However, this is understandable because the concept of a student backpacker does not suggest suitcases full of designer jewellery, business suits, and expensive watches. However, by the same token, watch out for low maximum claim values and high policy excesses:

2) Why consider maximum claims and policy excess?

Policies for students have a focus on affordability. In order to offer savings compared to standard policies, the student versions are typically stripped of certain benefits, and often have ungenerous maximum claim limits, per category insured.

An important point to look out for is the level of policy excess. This will be a fixed sum which is paid every time a claim is made. Do bear in mind that this can apply for each category of item insured, this means that the policy excess can be demanded more than once.

Now for a brief case study: Imagine somebody is by the sea; they get wild and jump in fully clothed.

During this spectacular party-piece, this backpacker lost an item of jewellery, soaked their foreign currency, and injured their foot on a submerged rock. Not a good day.

If the policy excess is £65, then it must be paid for each claim; once for the cash, once for the jewellery, and again for the medical costs. Thereby deducting £195 from the total value of the payout. So it is crucial to know what the policy excess is, before committing to a provider of student travel insurance.

Some examples of policy excess costs:

  • Essential Travel = £70

  • Insure and go = £60

  • Navigator Travel = £50 to £75

  • Go Travel Insurance = £75

3) What age is a student defined as?

Note that many companies specify the cut-off age to be 18. Therefore, students aged 17 are technically considered children!

Many insurers will also specify a maximum age to qualify as for their student travel insurance, for example not beyond age 40 in some cases. Other insurers stick to the age 65 benchmark, which is applied across their insurance products. In the marketplace it is now very accessible to obtain specific products for mature students aged over 21.

There is an argument that anybody in education should be entitled to student provisions, and people of older generations embark on courses too. However, this industry relies frequently on stereotyping in order to quantify risk on a large demographic scale. In this case, the assumptions are that students are younger, and statistically should be carrying fewer health complaints than older customers.

4) What must students consider for different travel destinations?

Whether backpacking, touring, or holidaying, students sometimes chose adventurous and challenging destinations for their travels.

Student travel insurance policies will not pay out any claims if the Foreign Office has issued advice against travelling to that location.

For higher-risk destinations and countries with volatile political climates, it is worthwhile contacting the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office by phone (020 7008 0233) or see the FCO’s website before travelling:

5) Who supplies student travel insurance?

Insurance companies frequently tailor their products to this huge market of backpackers and students, covering the essentials of healthcare, repatriation, and loss. Applying the above information and advice will assist in choosing the best student travel insurance.

Companies offering relevant products include:

In conclusion, the market for student insurance customers is competitive.

Technorati tags; backpacker insurance, travel insurance, student travel insurance

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