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Do international students in the UK need insurance?

April 25, 2016

Whether you’re going on a brief city break or a two week holiday, it’s always wise to purchase insurance for the trip. Travelling to a new country as an international student is no different and you may wish to have some assurance in case something goes wrong.\r\n\r\nSo, what insurance do you actually need? In this post we’ll look at the most important types of international student insurance to consider.\r\n\r\n

Travel insurance

\r\nTravel insurance can cover a host of situations from lost items to medical cover. Most travel insurance products are only designed to give you a few weeks of cover so be sure to find one that will protect you for the duration of your study in the UK.\r\n\r\nIt’s best to purchase insurance before you travel but if this isn’t possible or you forget, there are plenty of deals tailored especially for international students in the UK.\r\n\r\nTravel agents usually provide this type of insurance, so enquire with them when you purchase your ticket.\r\n\r\n

Health insurance

\r\nIn the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) provides UK residents with a wide range of health care services. Everyone is entitled to emergency treatments, the diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases, and compulsory psychiatric treatment.\r\n\r\nHowever, as an international student it may be difficult to access affordable treatments that don’t fall into the above categories. By purchasing health/medical insurance for the duration of your stay you can increase the number of treatments and services available to you.\r\n\r\nOur advice for international students looking to study in the UK is that if you already have health insurance in your home country, check with your provider before you travel to the UK to see if your cover already protects you when living overseas. You may not need to purchase additional health insurance at all.\r\n\r\n

Contents insurance

\r\nMany universities in the UK provide those living in student accommodation with contents insurance to protect their belongings from theft. Usually there is a limit to the amount they will reimburse you, so if you own very expensive items, you may have to purchase additional insurance to cover the full cost of your belongings.\r\n\r\nBefore buying a contents insurance product, be sure to familiarise yourself with the full terms and conditions. Some providers will protect items that are stolen or go missing outside of your room at university, but others won’t.\r\n\r\n

Personal possessions insurance

\r\nLike contents insurance, personal possessions insurance protects your belongings. However, personal possessions insurance will cover the cost of your items in the event of loss or theft outside of your accommodation.\r\n\r\nIf you bring high-cost items such as laptops, iPads and mobiles with you rather than purchasing them in the UK, it could be worth protecting them from the unlikely event of them going missing during your journey. Lost luggage is rare but it can be upsetting for those that lose expensive items that are costly to replace. We recently provided a comprehensive guide on how to pack as an international student.\r\n\r\nBefore purchasing an insurance product, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you’re getting the cover you need. Insurance policies vary between providers and while some might provide you with the financial protection required, others may charge a similar amount but offer you less.\r\n\r\nTo learn more about international student health insurance, please get in touch with the team at IEC abroad.