It is something that we have on our pre-departure to do list but an amazing number of travellers actually forget to buy travel insurance before leaving their home country.
This can be a real problem of course but fear not there are still ways of covering yourself when you reach your destination even if you are away a long time and a long way from home.
What could happen if I don’t have any travel cover?
OK, worse case scenario here, you could end up with a big medical problem and an even bigger bill. Medical bills around the World are pretty much very high where the standard of care is good.
If something bad happens to you when you in a country or location without such good medical care then you may have to be medically evacuated, and this is where you could end up with a bill in the £/$ 10,000. Here is a brief run down of some medical expenses that you really don’t want to incur yourself!
An air ambulance in the USA can cost USD 70,000
Evacuation off a mountain in the French Alps EUR 20,000
Medical evacuation from Bali to Singapore or Perth with a health worker USD 30,000
Leaving medical aside there are still lots of reasons why you should take out cover including personal liability, baggage cover, cancellation and curtailment.
I have left home now and just remembered I don’t have any travel insurance
Fear not! Some insurance companies will still consider you but most mainstream insurers will only cover you if you managed to buy it before you go through the departures gates.
There is one company called World Nomads who will cover most citizens or most nations at any time. We wanted to make sure that they are true to their word, for instance what would happen if you forgot your insurance and then suddenly needed cover when you discovered your baggage was missing or if you are involved in an accident soon after you took out the cover?
From the Worldnomads website we found the relevant section in their terms and conditions…(these terms are for UK citizens)
‘If cover is taken out after you have left home to commence your trip, there is a waiting period of 3 days before the insurance takes effect. In the event of serious injury in connection with an accident, you will be covered from the date cover commenced subject to the accident being witnessed and verified by an independent third party.’
So it appears that you will be covered if you have taken out travel insurance late and not had an accident within three days. This is obviously meant to prevent travellers deliberately not buying insurance before they go and using these companies in case something happens while they are away.
It should also be noted that your insurance quote is inevitably going to cost a lot more once you have left your own home country. Worldnomads in the UK is probably not the cheapest travel insurance company but they are competitive. Their quotes are bound to go up more once you have left home so the message here is always buy travel insurance before you leave your home country!
Link to World Nomads