14 August 2015
Planning a Gap Year Travel? Here’s How to Protect Yourself
A-levels: done, you’ve got your results, and maybe a year out is on the cards before taking the next step with further studies or a career. Before you take flight, a little bit more homework on the different kinds of travel insurance available could make all the difference to your gap year.
I would imagine that if you’re reading this, you may have already been offered a wise word or two from a parent or experienced backpacker on the potential risks of an accident abroad on a gap year. So we’ve put together a bit of advice as leading travel litigation solicitors, on how you can prepare for the event of an accident that could affect the trip you have in mind.
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of an accident or injury happening on their gap year. For the experiences and adventures to be had, not to mention the culture, the new people and – dare I say – glorious weather, accidents do happen. Taking this into consideration now, regardless of how little thought you’d like to put into it, could protect you in ways you may not have imagined once you’re out on your own.
A quick answer is this: purchase travel insurance and, if travelling in the EU, get your European Health Insurance card (EHIC).
A recent study revealed that many British travellers don’t understand precisely how an EHIC card works. If you are injured in an accident abroad, finding that you’re charged for hospital treatment when you thought you were covered may add insult to injury. Making sure that you understand your EHIC card before you fly could save you a lot of stress if you are injured overseas. For more information on this, read our article on understanding how your EHIC card works.
Whatever your plans and destination, whether you’re going to work abroad, backpack, taking extended annual leave or something more adventurous, travel insurance is essential. What many young backpackers headed out on a gap year don’t realise is that travel insurance is simple to acquire and can be tailored to specifically cover your plans in the event of an accident or injury. It is also worth noting that it could cover you for loss and damages – something that could be very useful to you when your few essential backpack items are all that you have with you.
If the small cost of travel insurance seems too much when putting together your shopping list of travel essentials, the reality of medical costs in the unforeseen event of an accident in a foreign country may well change your mind.
By taking out travel insurance before you go, you are taking the matter of protecting yourself into your own hands. For more information on this, read our guide to the eight ways travel insurance takes care of you.
Joanne Berry is a Principal Lawyer who specialises in Travel Law Claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
Slater and Gordon travel litigation solicitors specialise in Travel Litigation. If you or your holiday party suffer an accident abroad, our No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.
Call us on Freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.
Have you taken out travel insurance for your gap year? Tell us how you’re covered in the comments below.