Can you buy travel insurance while travelling?
In the past, travel insurance has required you to return home in order to extend insurance. If you are a nomad who might be travelling for one, two, or even three years abroad, you need to be able to extend your travel insurance without making a costly flight home. Some travelers on extended stays have been forced to travel completely uninsured due to the difficulties and costs of renewal.
However, there are more and more options for longterm travelers sprouting up.
For those under 40, True Traveller is a godsend for longterm travel. It is designed for the longterm, nomadic backpacker and offers both single and multi-trip coverage. But one of the biggest selling points is that it is available if you are already abroad.
Why do travel insurance companies refuse to offer insurance while abroad?
The main reason that insurance companies are hesitant to offer insurance for travellers already on vacation is fraud. Anyone who has lost a valuable item or got in an expensive accident while abroad thanks their lucky stars that they have insurance. But what happens if they don’t? Often, fraudsters will attempt to get a policy after the fact and claim items lost or stolen before the insurance policy, or pretend that a medical emergency occurred after the fact.
How does buying travel insurance while abroad work with True Traveller?
Forget to buy travel insurance in the rush to leave the country? Want to extend a year long trip to be even longer? True Traveller has your back. The travel insurance is limited to a single trip once you have been travelling already. The way that it works to counter the fraud associated with buying travel insurance while abroad is that it explicitly does not cover anything that happens before the coverage has been purchased. It is available for resident’s of the UK or EEA countries.
You are limited in that you cannot claim anything two days after renewing. This is to prevent fraud, and to stop injured people from buying the insurance and then visiting a hospital. As well, if you are in an accident in the two day period, you must have a witness willing to testify that the incident occurred while under the coverage period.
Are there other options for buying travel insurance while already abroad?
UK citizen’s are quite fortunate in that they have more than one option. World Nomads is an insurance agency which allows you to purchase additional travel insurance policies while already travelling, whether it is for leisure, work, or study. The waiting period is longer than with True Traveller. Rather than a two day period, there is a 72 hour period before coverage kicks in. They also have the anti-fraud device of requiring a witness to any medical emergencies within the three day period.
Those who are not citizens but only permanent resident’s of the UK are not so lucky. UK and Irish resident’s who do not have citizenship status must return to their country of residence in order to extend, renew, and book travel insurance.
I forgot to buy travel insurance, what can I do?
If you are not a longterm traveller and you simply forgot travel insurance, there are some additional options for you. If you are within a generous 17 days of departure, you can get a maximum of 31 days of insurance from Tower Gate Insurance.
Read the fine print!
Buying insurance while abroad is more tightly managed than buying before your trip as companies must face higher risks of fraud. Therefore, the fine print is likely to be more onerous. Make sure that you take the time to fully read through your policy before you book it.