Compare our best gap year travel insurance

Compare gap year travel insurance quotes if you’re planning to travel, study or work abroad. Find cover for you and your belongings while you travel during your gap year.

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Compare gap year travel insurance from leading providers

Looking through a range of options gives you more chance of securing a great deal. You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.


How to compare gap year travel cover


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Let us know what you need so that we can find our best gap year travel cover policies for your trip. Declare any medical conditions and also any extras such as extreme or winter sports cover.


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Have a look through the options as cost can vary significantly between providers. The cheapest travel insurance option might catch your eye however check the terms to ensure you're fully protected if you need to make a claim.


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Many insurers offer discounts for applying online, while some only ever operate digitally, so to make sure you find the best travel insurance deals comparing quotes on the internet is a must. Once you've decided on the provider you want, simply apply.

What is gap year travel insurance?

Gap year travel insurance provides cover during an extended period of travel after you finish your studies or during a career break.

There’s no legal requirement for gap year insurance, but it offers peace of mind and financial security if you encounter specific problems while you are away.

What does gap year travel insurance cover?

Gap year travel insurance includes some common types of cover, such as:

  • Lost baggage: reimburses you for lost or stolen items. Make sure you have enough cover to replace everything you’re taking

  • Medical insurance: covers the cost of medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident while abroad. Overseas medical treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, so having gap year health insurance as part of your policy is a must

  • Cancellations and delays: provides financial compensation if you have to cancel or cut your trip short due to emergency medical treatment. You can also claim if your trip is significantly delayed

  • Personal liability: pays for damage caused by you while away, including injuring others

  • Repatriation: covers the cost of bringing you home if you are seriously ill or injured while abroad

Can I use regular travel insurance or do I need gap year insurance?

If you plan to travel for an extended period of time and visit different countries, gap year insurance is a better solution. Compared to standard travel insurance, gap year insurance may:

  • last longer – you usually get 12 to 18 months’ worth of cover

  • cover you for a minimum of 60 consecutive days away

  • protect you in a range of countries, rather than just one

  • continue if you come home between different countries 

  • include some activities and sports that aren’t covered by standard travel insurance 

  • cover working holidays

Do you need gap year health insurance even if you have an EHIC card?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows EU citizens to access necessary state-provided healthcare anywhere in the bloc in the same way as a local resident. This could mean it’s free or costs less.

Nonetheless, we recommend having gap year health insurance too.

While Brexit negotiations are ongoing, UK residents can still use their EHICs when travelling to Europe. It is unknown what the situation will be once the UK leaves the European Union.

Even if you can still use an EHIC, there are things it won’t cover– such as private hospital treatment, repatriation and mountain rescues. The best gap year health insurance offers extra protection so you won’t have to pay more than your excess even if the worst happens.

How can I find the best gap year travel insurance?

You can do a few things to help find the best gap year travel insurance. Before you take out a policy, you need to:

1. Decide what you need to cover

Choose what you want to be insured for – lost baggage, medical expenses, personal liability, repatriation, cancellations or delays. Go for the highest level of cover you can get for gap year health insurance – often around £10 million.

2. Work out how long you will be abroad

Calculate how many days you’ll be abroad, then check which policies will cover you for that time. Most insurers will cover you for 365 days, but others can cover more extended periods.

3. Compare quotes for gap year travel insurance from different insurers

Check the quotes you get to ensure the cover you need is included and the amounts are adequate. If you don’t get the insurance you need, you may find yourself in financial difficulty if there’s a problem during your travels.

4. Check the small print

Look out for any policy exclusions before you purchase your insurance, including:

  • Age limits: gap year travel insurance is aimed at younger people, so make sure your policy covers your age

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: your insurer needs to know about these so they can quote accordingly

  • Trips over a specific duration: the maximum length allowed varies on different policies, so make sure you check it

  • Restricted countries: some policies won’t cover you for travel in the USA, the Caribbean and Canada because medical treatment is so expensive there

  • Extreme sports: not all sports and activities are covered

  • Working abroad: some policies won’t cover manual labour

  • Return visits home: some policies allow you to return home between countries, but not all

When getting quotes, make sure you choose an excess you can afford, as you need to pay this if you make a claim. The higher the excess, the cheaper the policy will be, but if you can’t afford to pay it, your claim is likely to be rejected.

Some insurers have a compulsory excess that you need to pay in addition to the voluntary excess you choose. Compare several quotes to find the right policy for your circumstances.

Pre-existing medical conditions

You can still get a quote through if you have a pre-existing condition, including cancer or severe heart or respiratory complaints. People who have had strokes or are terminally ill can also get a quote.

Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a severe medical disorder or a number of conditions, and others may only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you’re unable to find suitable cover, talk to the Money and Pension Service (MaPS). It has a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can contact the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) through its website or telephone the team on 0800 138 7777.

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What you need to know to get as much holiday for your money as you possibly can - from where to go, how to get there, the best way to spend while away and your rights if anything goes wrong

Last updated: 29 March, 2022