21 Jun Travel Insurance: Extending While Abroad
So I’m an idiot. Amongst all the excitement of TBEX and my epic trip around the USA, I totally forgot that my annual travel insurance was due to expire.
About 2 weeks into my trip when I was on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, I suddenly thought about my travel insurance policy. Looking through my emails, I realized it had expired on 11th June. I was two days late.
After my scooter accident in Bali where I wasn’t insured, I vowed to myself I would NEVER travel without insurance. So suddenly I felt rather nervous when I realized I wasn’t covered. It’s the moments when you aren’t insured that something happens.
After doing some research on Google, I soon discovered this: If your policy hasn’t passed the expiration date, sometimes your travel insurance provider will let you extend while abroad. If it has already expired, you have to purchase a new policy.
This is where I got stuck. Most travel insurance providers WON’T let you purchase a new travel insurance policy once you have left the UK or your home country. You can’t purchase travel insurance while you are already abroad.
What I felt most uneasy about was medical expenses. I’m in the USA for another 6 weeks, and if anything happens to me, their healthcare could cost me thousands of dollars. I don’t worry so much in Europe because I have my EHIC card, and in Asia I can buy most essential medicines over the counter. The USA, however, is notorious for its expensive healthcare system. So I really didn’t want to be traveling uninsured.
Thankfully there is a travel insurance company who will insure me after leaving the UK: World Nomads.
World Nomads will let you purchase travel insurance once you have already left for your travels, and you don’t have to be in your country of residence. You can also extend the policy if you plan traveling for longer, as long as you do this before the policy expiration date.
Now I have travel insurance with World Nomads to cover me for the rest of the trip, I can relax knowing I am covered for any emergencies. There is a waiting period of 3 days before it comes into effect, but in the event of serious injury resulting from an accident, I am covered from the date that the cover commenced, as long as the accident is witnessed and verified by an independent third party. That’s good enough for me.
So the moral of the story: when you travel, always make sure your travel insurance is going to cover you for the entirety of your trip. If for some reason you forget to purchase insurance before you leave the country, or it expires whilst you are away, then you can purchase insurance wherever you are with World Nomads.
You can buy, extend and claim online even after you’ve left home.
Recommended by Lonely Planet, World Nomads travel insurance is available to people from over 150 countries and is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.