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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. 

Arizona State Sign "The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You"

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.

 

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

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.

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4 Responses to Travel Insurance: Extending While Abroad

  1. Ava Apollo June 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    I can attest, medical care in the U.S. is TERRIBLY expensive. You’re smart to stay protected!

  2. Dave June 27, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    I had this same problem a few years back. Was frustrating to find that most insurers would not allow me to take out a policy once I had already left the UK. Thankfully I did eventually find a company that would cover me. #stressfull

  3. John June 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Have you ever clammed through world nomads? I’ve used them but never claimed and some reviews are very scathing of their claim process. Next I’m going to try worldwide insure as they are about half the price and seem to offer the same thing

  4. Nina October 10, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    worldwide insurance it terrible insurance company! They do all the tricks in the book to get out of paying or covering your expenses… Plus if you dont have UK bank account their bank fees to another country are insanely expensive even within EU, or they send you check that is useless in most countries!

    Their customer service will tell you to do something and tell you its ok, you are covered, but when its time to pay, its whole another story!

    If you do decide to have insurance with them, record all phone conversations because you’ll need it later… better have all in writing and many, many, questions before hand!

    Seriously do not buy from them, its a nightmare. I ended up losing lot of money because of bank fees plus calling them on numerous occasions try to fix their problems and issues.

    Too bad there aren’t too many options for overseas insurance – there’s a really a gap in the market here!

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