What Are The Best Student Travel Insurances?

antoine fruchard Antoine Fruchard  updated on March 26, 2020

Your are student and you would like to buy the right travel insurance that’s tailored to your age range and kind of trip?

You’ve come at the right place. 

In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about student travel insurance: is it compulsory, which cover should you get, what travel insurance terms you should pay attention to, etc.

Why does students need travel insurance?

Students need travel insurance just like anybody else to be covered for unexpected event that can go wrong such as:

  • medical treatment abroad
  • lost or stolen baggage
  • repatriation in emergency
  • accident while practicing sport etc.

Additionnaly, students are frequent travellers and are therefore even more likely to need assistance abroad.

Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during an example holiday:

How much will you have to pay if you’re travelling in the USA without travel insurance?How much will you have to pay if you’re travelling in the USA without travel insurance
(but with an EHIC card)?
How much will you have to pay with travel insurance?
Air rescue in a winter skiing station£5000£3300£0
until medical expense limit is reached
4 days at the hospital during a student exchange program£32 000£0 in a public hospital only*£0
until medical expense limit is reached
Repatriation to the UK for a student travelling abroad£100 000£38 000£0
usually real fees
Bagage lost at the airport£1000£1000£0
until personal belongings limit is reached
Cash or money stolen£300£300£0
until cash limit is reached
Trip cancellation due to exam report£10000£5000£0
until cancellation limit is reached
Laptop stolen£800£800£0
depending on personal belongings disclosure
Expenses abroad students could face without travel insurance

Did you know that a survey conducted by Which in 2018 showed that of 10 000+ UK travellers of all age ranges, 64% had medical treatment while they were travelling abroad? The average medical spend abroad is around £1300 but it can be much more.

Depending on your trip destination, the medical expenses or trip cancellation fees you may have to face as a student could really leave you out of pocket. This is why a comprehensive travel insurance – providing you with financial compensation and assistance – is a must-have.

Compare best travel insurances for students

In order to save you time (and money!), we’ve came up with a non-exhaustive list of companies to help you finding the right student travel insurance, that is tailored for your age range and kind of trip (study abroad, gap year, single trip to discover the world with uni friends etc.):

InsurerStudentsReviewsSee offer
logo world firstFor any student
  • Provides all travel insurance types with 4 levels of cover (all rated 5 stars by Defaqto)
  • Very good customer care according to reviews
  • No credit or debit card fees guarantee
  • Possibility to apply 12 months in advance
  • UK-based customer service and claim team
  • Reimburse within 14 days
Get quote
logo explorer travel insuranceFor any student
  • 4,58/5 rate on Reviews
  • Provides all types of travel insurance with 2 level of protection: Gold and GoldPlus
  • Dedicated customer service according to reviews
Get quote
logo travel insurance 4 medical 2For students with pre-existing medical condition
  • Competitive insurer for students with pre-existing medical conditions
  • 4,8/5 consumers reviews rate on TrustPilot / 5 stars on Defaqto
  • UK based-call center
  • 24/7 assistance team
  • Medical compensation limit minimum is £3M and max £10M
  • Also provides cover for cruise and winter sports
Get quote
logo insure and goFor backpackersBackpackers
  • 4 levels of protection: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Black
  • Covers you for up to 18 months
  • Repay student loan option
  • 50 sports included as standard
Get quote
logo post office money 1For backpackersBackpackers Travel Insurance
  • Adventure sports included as standard
  • Optional Excess Waiver option not to pay the excess
  • Temporary returns home allowed
Get quote
logo flexicoverFor backpackersGap Year Travel Insurance
  • Cover available from 16 to 45 years old
  • Temporary returns home allowed
  • Max trip duration of 18 months
  • 150 sports activities covered (winter sports as option)
  • Discount for 2 people travelling on the same policy
  • Gold Plus level: £2000 for course fees and £1000 for laptop as standard
Get quote
logo direct lineFor backpackersDiscoverer travel insurance
  • Trips must be between 3 to 12 months
  • For under 54s only
  • Dedicated covers for around the world trip

Get quote
Student travel insurance comparison

Always carefully check insurers’ policy booklets before leaving your child alone on a trip. Understand the exclusions of the travel insurance you applied for.

Which student travel insurance policy should I go for?

It depends on what you are planning to do:

  • your destination(s)
  • the length of your stay
  • your activities abroad.
If..Good to know
You are going backpacking abroad, visiting several countries and doing many activities /
or you are planning to spend a year abroad studying
You should definitely go for specific backpackers travel insurance plan (or gap year travel insurance plan) offered by many insurers.
  • Covers you for a period of 12 to 18 months abroad
  • No limit in number of days per single trip
  • Covers adventurous activities and gadgets often as standard
  • May allow some returns home
You are going for a summer road trip to France with your uni friendsYou should go for single trip travel insurance.
  • Covers you for one-off holidays from the start of the journey until the end
  • Maximum number of days limit that can be up to 365 days
You are planning to visit several European capitals within a yearYou should go for an annual multi-trip policy.
  • For frequent travellers going away several times a year
  • Covers you for a period of 12 months with a limited duration for each trip (usually varies from 10 to 90 days)
  • Check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.
Student travel insurances types

What travel insurance should I get for backpacking around the world?

As mentioned above, if you are a student leaving UK to discover the world, you should get a specific backpacker travel insurance plan.

If you are a student backpacking, you may want to use your money in booking flights rather than hotels and fancy restaurants. You are more likely to stay in hostels, order affordable foodtrucks meals etc. You may want to get flexible travel insurance in line with your flexible itinerary. You therefore represent a higher risk than standard family travellers for example.

Backpackers dedicated travel insurance plans usually take that into account offering extras such as flexible cancellation cover, gadget cover or adventurous activities cover as standard.

Many insurers offer dedicated plan tailored for this kind of trip as mentioned above.

How much is student holiday insurance?

Student single trip travel insurance are often very affordable policies. For as cheap as £1 per day, you could let your child travel alone with peace of mind.

The table below shows indicative quotes for students travel insurance:

Worldwide (incl. USA)*To Europe*
Single trip of 7 days£37,18£12,80
Annual multi-trip£48,23£31,27
Backpackers / Gap year£372£130
Students travel insurance prices on average

*Prices above are for a 25 years old student.

It is, however, quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much a travel insurance will cost as prices are based on a wide range of criteria. It will mainly depend on:

  • If you are travelling alone on a single trip or as a couple, as a group, on multi-trips etc.
  • If you’re subscribing to students upgrades such as gadget cover
  • If you have pre-existing medical conditions (epilepsy travel insurance for example)
  • The duration and destination of your stay
  • The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
  • The excess amount you’re willing to pay
  • What you will be doing abroad (winter, extreme sports).

Is student travel insurance compulsory?

No, travel insurance is not a legal requirement no matter your age range. 

However, although not compulsory, we strongly advise you to apply for a travel insurance policy to cover any trip cancellation, repatriation expenses, loss of baggages you may have to face while travelling. 

What travel insurance for students should cover?

Each travel insurance policy is different, since it is the insurer who determines the content of the contracts it offers: guarantees, compensation limits, deductibles, travel insurance prices, etc. 

However, all contracts on the market must include at least the following guarantees, applicable in Europe or worldwide:

  • Medical expenses: compensation by the insurer for your health expenses during your stay (consultation, analysis, emergency treatment, longer hospital stay, etc.)
  • Repatriation assistance to the UK: financial and logistical support by a dedicated 24/7 team for your early return to your country of residence if it proves necessary 
  • Trip cancellation and cover for delayed or missed departure: compensation if you need to cancel your trip for whatever reason or if you missed your departure
  • Personal liability: compensation for any damage or injury made to a third party (consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover)
  • Baggage: compensation for any lost or theft of baggage while travelling(consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover)

Most of the time, travel insurers offer different formulas. Cover types involved are usually the same but the compensation limits and deductibles vary. 

When applying for under 16s holiday insurance abroad, you should pay close attention to: 

CompensationAverage amountGood to check
Medical expenses compensation amountAverage of £5M to £10M
  • Are surgery and stays in private hospitals included in medical compensation?
  • Will I need to pay for medical fees upfront?
  • Will any ‘accompanying person’ fees be reimbursed (extra travel, accomodation, car rental)?
  • What is the excess you’ll have to pay for a medical claim?
  • Is there a 24/7 free-of-charge and UK-based assistance landline?
  • Is unlimited overseas assistance provided?
Repatriation compensation amountReal fees
  • Is any transportation mode included (by alternative schedule flight or by air ambulance)?
  • Is repatriation under the supervision of a nurse /doctor or adult supervision taken into account?
Trip cancellation / curtailment£5000 – £10000
(depending on your destination)
  • Is trip cancellation included as standard or as an option?
  • Which reasons exactly are included to get compensation for your trip cancellation (e.g. medical appointment postponed)?
BaggageMinimum of £1500 limit
  • Is it only valid during return transport or during the entire stay?
  • Do you need the receipts for any belongings for baggage claims?
  • Is the limit fixed by value?
Missed departure, delay Minimum £500 limit 
(minimum £200 limit for delay)
  • Are all justified reasons for missed departure covered? 
  • How many hours of delay to qualify for compensation?
Personal liabilityAverage £2 million limit 
  • What is the limit by article and valuables?
  • Don’t focus on overall limit only
Legal expensesAverage £15000 limit
  • Does it cover any lawyer fees (including appointment fees)?
What should student travel insurance should cover

Always carefully check the age limit and compensation amounts as well as deductibles you’ll have to pay in case you need to make a claim. For medical expenses, always get your insurer to accept them before paying if you need to advance fees.

As nice-to-have features, you may want to get:

  • dental emergency treatment abroad
  • money and cash stolen (although it is often included in standard policies)
  • loss of passport or official documentation.

What does student travel insurance not cover?

Most student travel insurers will not give financial compensation for: 

  • Any claim made as a result of a pre-existing medical condition or pending diagnosis undeclared at the time of purchase
  • Any claim made as a result of you being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Difficulties due to natural disaster, war, civil unrest (look out for strikes)
  • Any claim made as a result of a terrorist act (except if you took out this cover as an option)
  • Any claim made as a result of extreme sport practice not disclosed at the time of applying.

We would strongly advise you to carefully check your policy booklet for the main exclusions before leaving home. 

What travel insurance options for students can I get?

We’ve noticed that insurers emphasizes on the following extras for the under 16s age range:

ExtrasWhat it will cover you for
Gadget coverCovers your gadgets (laptops, smartphones, tablets) from theft, accident, loss, liquid damage, unauthorized calls, etc.
Single item coverCovers a specific item (for example a camera).
Sport coverCovers your sport activities, any emergency fees you may have to face during practicing it, etc.
Music instruments coverCovers your music instruments against damages or thief.
Winter ski coverCovers you against anything that could happen in skiing station.
Students extras for travel insurance

Tips for students travel insurance

  • Always pay attention to destination, maximum number of days and exclusions (sports, strike, cancellation trip due to carrier default, etc.) in your insurer policy booklet before choosing one.
  • If you are away practicing sport, always check that the activity you’re doing is covered by your travel insurance policy.
  • Always take with you your European Health Insurance Card if you are travelling to Europe. It will cover you for any routine medical treatment as a local resident. That is not, in any case, a substitute for travel insurance though.
  • Carefully check the claim process of each insurer before choosing one: do you have to pay fees upfront? How many days does it take to be reimbursed? Can I claim online?
  • Protect all your items (gadgets, laptops, smartphones, camera, sunglasses, music instruments etc.) and check the valuable limits for each included in your travel insurance.