Studying abroad? Make sure you're insured
Getting insurance might not be the most glamorous thing to think about when considering studying abroad - but if you want to have fun without worrying it’s something you’ll definitely need to invest in.
Getting ready to head abroad to study? You’ve probably already sorted the visa, the money and somewhere to live. Next you’ll be thinking about phrase books and what clothes to pack. However, there might be one important thing you’ve forgotten – your insurance policy.
Why get insurance?
When you’re heading abroad to study insurance should be an important part of your preparation. It can literally be a life-saver. For example, life saving surgery in foreign country can cost upwards of £100,000 – not something you want to risk having to fork out for. A broken arm that needs resetting and a cast can run into the thousands. Even simply seeing a doctor can cost more than £100. With a study abroad insurance policy you can be sure that whatever medical care you need, it won’t break the bank.
It’s not just medical insurance that is important. Most study abroad insurance policies will cover you for a number of problems that might arise, from missing a flight to losing your baggage to potentially costly travel delays.
Study abroad insurance can also cover your personal items. Taking a laptop, iPad and mobile phone on your trip? What happens if you break them or they get stolen? If you have insurance and proof of ownership, you can claim back your money if something goes wrong.
Where can I get study abroad insurance?
It’s worth shopping around to see who offers the best deal. However, don’t simply go for the cheapest option. Check the policy wording and what it covers and make sure it works for you. For example, if you’re heading to the Alps and think you’ll need winter sports coverage, make sure it’s included. If electrical equipment is only covered up to £100 but you have a £1,000 MacBook, look for extra cover.
You should consider the following places for study insurance:
- Banks – some banks offer study insurance with student bank accounts
- Internet insurers – There are several online sites dedicated to study abroad insurance
- Universities and colleges – some universities offer insurance for students coming to study with them
- Private insurers – there are several dedicated insurers who can offer study abroad insurance. Try travel agents and high-street insurers
Another factor to consider is how easy it is to make a claim if things go wrong.
- Will you have 24 hour access to a claims line?
- Will they speak your language?
- How quickly can claims be processed?
Insurance isn’t the most exciting part of a study abroad program, but it is one of the most important. Never start your trip without it – you never know when it might be needed.