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image of a plane and passport signifying travel insurance, Worldwide Travel Insurance: A Beginner’s Guide

First-time travellers are often discouraged from finding travel insurance as it’s time-consuming, complex, and expensive. In this guide, we’ll provide our top travel advice regarding securing the best, worldwide travel insurance policy.


  • The Potential For Risk
  • Conditions of a Worldwide Travel Insurance Policy
  • What Type of Insurance Do I Need?
  • What is Insurance Excess?
  • Conclusion

The Potential For Risk

‘Risk’ is the foundation of any travel insurance policy. Understand the risks and finer points of each one, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert!

What is a risk factor in insurance?

Risk factors are the potential occurrences that an insurer will cover you against should they happen during your holiday. Given the many things that can happen during time away – risk factors are often plentiful and highly detailed.

Every risk factor will come with its own terms and conditions. The more possibilities you’re insured for, the more expensive your policy will be. The most commonly-seen risk factors are detailed below.

  • Loss or theft

An insurer usually covers the loss or theft of your items in multiple ways. There may be options to insure against airlines losing your baggage and having a passport, wallet, or money stolen. Policies will rarely cover you for high-value items. If you wish to travel with anything of great value, speak with your insurer to see what level of coverage you’ll need.

  • Health

You could fall ill and have to cancel your entire trip. You may need a doctor after a particularly-large oyster disagrees with you. In the worst-case scenario, you could need airlifting to a hospital following a road accident requiring emergency medical care. There are many instances where your health could spoil your holiday, and all of these are risk factors.

  • Liability

‘Liability’ covers damage to property or a person that’s deemed to be your fault. It may come to fruition in a car accident or accidental damage to a hotel room.

  • Other potential risks

Other potential risks may include freak weather patterns, the outbreak of war, or political instability within a country or region. You should pay attention to any risks outlined by insurers and research any country or countries you plan on travelling to.

Conditions of a Worldwide Travel Insurance Policy

The conditions of a comprehensive travel insurance policy could be very lengthy. Ensure you understand the full details of your policy or quote and question anything unclear with your insurer. Below is our guide to travel insurance; we’ll detail three significant conditions that it pays to be aware of. However, you should read every part of your travel insurance documents.

  • What is a covered reason?

Covered reasons are the accepted factors behind a cancellation. For example, you might be able to claim reimbursement on a cancelled holiday. This is if it’s down to genuine ill health, and your policy covers this. However, you won’t be able to claim a cancellation because you overslept and missed your flight.

  • What is a pre-existing condition for travel?

A pre-existing condition can be a long-term health issue such as asthma or arthritis. It could also be related to a problem you’re awaiting an operation for. It’s best to declare any pre-existing conditions at the start. This is because your policy may not cover you for health issues like these.

  • The importance of personal responsibility

The notion of personal responsibility is an important one when it comes to insurance, travel or otherwise. If an unfortunate event occurs that’s deemed your fault, an insurance policy is unlikely to cover you.

Examples of this might include;

  • Personal accidents caused by intoxication
  • Theft due to leaving a bag unattended
  • Healthcare required following an activity that’s not covered by your contract.

What Type of Insurance Do I Need?

Travel insurance is intended to be useful for lots of different types of people. That is why there are a number of options available:

  • Single-trip

Unsurprisingly, single-trip insurance covers you for one trip and one trip only. Most single-trip insurance will cover a holiday with a duration of several weeks.

Backpacker travel insurance can vary. Those planning to visit multiple countries over several months may need specific insurance for their needs. This can depend on where they’re travelling to.

  • Annual

Annual travel insurance or annual multi-trip insurance is for travellers who plan more than one holiday over 12 months. You’ll likely need to advise an insurer of your planned destinations in case different risks are involved. If you reside overseas permanently or semi-permanently, read our article Living Abroad: Do I Need Travel and Health Insurance? for more information.

  • Family

33% of those who buy travel insurance have children, so it’s often cheaper to take out a family policy rather than individual ones. The best deal will depend on the size of your family, the activities you have planned, and the ages of the travellers in question.

What is Insurance Excess?

Insurance excess is one of those terms it truly pays to understand. You’ll be expected to pay this amount in the event of any claim, with the rest being covered by your insurer. Be sure to check the excess against every potential risk – this can differ wildly depending on the unforeseen event in question. Some travel insurance providers like GasanMamo will allow travellers to waive the excess by paying a small additional fee. This means, you may opt to waive the policy excess against the payment of an additional premium, resulting in any claims to be paid, without the deduction of the standard policy excess. 

It’s also well worth knowing what to do if you need to make a claim. See our article on How to Make a Travel Insurance Claim for further info.


The world of travel insurance can appear a complex one. However, with a little knowledge, any traveller can secure a policy that’s right for their needs. Put some time aside to research and arrange insurance as part of your holiday planning. Time invested now could make all the difference should you have to make a claim in the future.

GasanMamo offers both single and annual-trip insurance for all travel starting or ending in Malta, so take a look at our competitive and comprehensive benefits, optional extras, and annual offer on our travel insurance page.

GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.