Volunteering abroad travel insurance

Coverage for your big adventure

Traveling is often a gratifying and life-enriching experience. But traveling abroad to volunteer can be a profound life experience you’ll never forget. Whether it’s for environmental conservation activities, human rights work, or an animal welfare cause, there are numerous fulfilling and valuable volunteer opportunities available around the world. Volunteering abroad is a great way to visit a country for a longer period of time. It can place you at the heart of local communities so you can get a real sense of what life is like in another culture while helping in a meaningful way.

As with any travel opportunity, purchasing travel insurance before you volunteer abroad is essential. Your volunteer trip may be much longer than a regular vacation, and your travel details or itinerary may be less certain, so you’ll want to take this into account when deciding which insurance provider to buy a travel insurance policy from.

What does volunteering abroad insurance cover?

Flexible travel insurance is perfect for travelers heading off to volunteer abroad. Because if and when unanticipated events happen while you’re away, your volunteering abroad travel insurance policy can help protect the hard-earned money you’ve spent on the trip. And if you are taken ill or injured in an accident, it can help get you the medical treatment you might need.

Keep in mind that when you stay abroad for an extended period of time, there is a higher likelihood that you might need to seek medical treatment, be it for something serious or minor. In these situations, you can’t necessarily rely on your private health insurance from your home country. So you need to be sure your travel insurance for volunteering abroad provides ample medical coverage that can provide reimbursement for any medical expenses you may incur while abroad. Some policies may even provide a hotline that will help you locate a medical practitioner in an emergency.

Volunteering abroad travel insurance policies should include a few key coverages:

  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay: despite the best-laid plans, sometimes things go wrong when you’re traveling. Volunteering abroad travel insurance protects you if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip unexpectedly, or if your trip is delayed as a result of a wide range of reasons
  • Lost, stolen or delayed baggage: when traveling in planes, trains, buses, and automobiles, lost, stolen or delayed baggage can become an unfortunate reality. Your travel insurance ensures you can reimburse the cost of your most important belongings, without having to go home early
  • Travel medical coverage: in case you are taken ill or get injured while traveling you will have coverage for medical expenses and medical emergencies. After all, your regular private health insurance may not cover you when you’re traveling outside the country
  • Emergency medical evacuation: if you get seriously ill or injured during your time away, local medical facilities may not be adequate to treat your condition. That’s when emergency evacuation coverage comes in — it can pay for medical transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility, or, if necessary, to your home. An air ambulance can easily cost $100,000, so you can see how important this coverage can be

Top opportunities for volunteering abroad

Conservation work

If you’re passionate about wildlife and the environment, then working in a reforestation project or regenerative farming initiative may be a perfect fit for you.

Animal sanctuaries

Whether you want to work with large mammals, reptiles, or birds, there are all kinds of animal care opportunities available around the world.

Working with children

If you’re passionate about education and childcare, then working with children on early education initiatives may be the right choice for you.

Home building

If you are practical and interested in renovation and building projects, then perhaps you can apply your passion for construction into a volunteer opportunity abroad that can directly help other people.

What is not covered?

As usual with travel insurance, you will not be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions or ongoing medical care you need to seek while volunteering abroad. However, travelers with pre-existing conditions may be able to get coverage with many travel insurance plans. Comapnaies may offer a pre-existing medical condition waiver for customers who meet certain purchase requirements, such as buying the policy within a certain time frame, such as 15 days of initial trip deposit and insuring the full trip cost.

Your travel insurance for volunteering abroad can provide you with coverage for any unforeseen, emergency medical treatment you may need to seek while in a foreign country. If you do experience an emergency, remember to call the battleface 24/7 travel assistance hotline as soon as you can — the experts there can offer guidance to help in just about any situation.

Good to know

Do I need specialist insurance for volunteering abroad?

It depends on the activities you plan to do while volunteering abroad. Most travel insurance policies cover you for the basics including travel medical insurance. Some travel insurance policies can include coverage for adventure sports such as scuba diving and mountain climbing, or offer it as an optional upgrade.

Will my regular insurance cover me if I get injured or need medical attention while volunteering abroad?

It may not. You should consider travel medical insurance coverage for any medical expenses from accidents or incidents that occur while traveling. Relying on your regular insurance to get medical care may result in large out-of-pocket expenses.

Will travel insurance protect my baggage and gear?

Your travel insurance policy’s baggage loss and delay benefit protects your baggage and personal belongings and covers you if your airline or carrier loses your baggage during your journey.

What if I travel to additional countries during my time abroad?

Check the specifics of your policy. Your policy may offer coverage for an entire region or only the countries named in your travel insurance documents. If you plan on going to other countries not named on your policy, then you may need additional coverage. Call battleface if you need to change your trip parameters while you’re volunteering abroad.

What if I need to be evacuated?

You can be reimbursed for medical expenses if your battleface policy includes the Travel Medical package and you need to seek medical treatment because of an accident or injury while on your volunteering abroad trip. In a worst case scenario, emergency medical evacuation is included as part of the Travel Medical package.

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