How to Buy Travel Insurance After Departure

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Can I buy travel insurance after departure? Yes, you can but only with a few insurance companies. 

Finding travel insurance when you’re already travelling is challenging. As digital nomads, we started out with a one year long term travel insurance policy, like many round the world travellers, but unlike them, after a year we carried on travelling.

We discovered that we couldn’t extend our travel insurance and new policies required us to be living in the UK at the time of purchase. As we were overseas, we didn’t know what to do and went uninsured for months—not a good idea. 

Thankfully, we discovered it is possible to buy travel insurance when already abroad—whether you forgot to buy insurance before departure or you want to travel for more than a year. 

While most companies don’t allow you to buy travel insurance after departure, there are a few reliable insurers that do.

The best we’ve found (and used ourselves) are SafetyWing (available worldwide), Heymondo (worldwide), True Traveller (for UK and EU residents), and World Nomads (worldwide except EU).

We now always make sure we’re insured because if anything went wrong it could cost us thousands to be treated or evacuated in a medical emergency. 

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Post Departure Travel Insurance Comparison Chart

This chart compares the companies reviewed in this post that offer the best travel insurance when already abroad.

It is difficult to do a direct price comparison for every traveller as costs depend on where you are from, where you are going, age, and level of cover needed.

The prices in this chart are for the standard/ basic packages with quotes for a 30 and 40-year-old from California, USA and from the UK. For True Traveller the quotes are for a 30 and 40-year-old from UK and France.

It’s always best to do your own quote for accurate pricing.

SafetyWingHeymondoTrue TravellerWorld Nomads
Cost 4 weeks
worldwide
for 30 yr old
(Excl. US)
$42/ £35$120/ £92£89/ €71$207/ £120
Cost 4 weeks
worldwide
for 40 yr old
(Incl. US)
$127/ £106 $120/ £92£119/ €114$207/ £120
Purchase After Departure?Yes
(effective immediately)
Yes
(after 72 hours)
Yes
(after 48 hours)
Yes
(after 48-72 hours)
AvailabilityWorldwideWorldwideUK & EUWorldwide
(excluding EU)
Covid-19 coverYesYesYes
(must be fully vaccinated)
Yes
Excess/
deductible
$250/ £210None£125/ €145None
Medical Cover$250,000/£210,000$250,000/
£3 million
£2.5 million/ €3 million$100,000/
£5-10 million
Baggage CoverUp to $3000/ £2500 (1)$1700/ £1400£1000/ €1200 (2)$1000/ £1000
Other featuresFree cover for kids under 10/ Some coverage
in home country/ Pay monthly
Dedicated app with 24/7 doctor chatWide range of activities included High coverage/ many activities included
Best forBudget travellers, young families, digital nomadsOver 40s, comprehensive coverLong-term travellers from EuropeComprehensive cover
  1. SafetyWing only covers lost checked luggage, not stolen baggage.
  2. Baggage cover is an optional extra on True Traveller’s most basic plan.

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Covid-19 Update 2022

The pandemic has made travel insurance more important than ever.

Will your travel insurance cover coronavirus? Here are the policies of four companies that allow post departure travel insurance (more general details on them are found below). 

All now cover COVID-19 to a certain extent. Always follow local rules (such as vaccinations and masks) to make sure your policy is valid.

SafetyWing Covid-19 Policy

SafetyWing nomad insurance does cover COVID-19 as long as it was not contracted before your policy start date. 

Testing for COVID-19 will only be covered if deemed medically necessary by a physician. The antibody test is not covered, as it is not medically necessary.

Their Remote Health plan also covers Covid. 

These are both monthly insurance plans designed for long term travellers from anywhere in the world. See below for more details. 

SafetyWing also covers quarantine outside your home country ($50 a day for up to 10 days) if it is required because of a positive COVID-19 test or if you are symptomatic and are awaiting test results. 

Heymondo Covid-19 Policy

Heymondo will cover medical, repatriation, and quarantine expenses if you contract COVID-19 abroad.

You need to follow any local rules such as social distancing, wearing a mask, getting a pre-travel test, and being vaccinated (if required by the destination).

True Traveller Covid-19 Policy

True Traveller is only available for UK and EU residents. 

True Traveller will provide medical and curtailment cover for COVID-19, but only if you have been vaccinated and are not travelling to a country that the FCDO advises against “all but essential travel on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

To find out, go to the FCDO Travel Advice page and search for the country you plan to visit to see the latest restrictions.

True Traveller also covers the cost of accommodation if you are required to quarantine after being diagnosed with Covid.

You can check the True Traveller coronavirus page for more information.  

World Nomads Covid-19 Policy

Coronavirus coverage with World Nomads depends on which country you are resident in.

You can check whether you are covered for Covid by going to the World Nomads coronavirus FAQ page and choosing your country of residence from the dropdown. 

Most nationalities are now covered for emergency medical coverage and repatriation due to Covid. In addition, their Explorer plan includes quarantine costs if you test positive.

Cover is not included for travel bans or border closures or if your government warns against travel to your destination.

World Nomads has paused all insurance sales to EU residents and it’s unclear when they will restart.

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What to Look For In Your Travel Insurance Policy

  • Read the small print before buying a policy or you could be wasting your money if they don’t pay out.
  • When you are starting out in your home country you can buy any long term travel insurance policy for the first year. Just check they don’t require you to have a return ticket home.
  • When you need to renew make sure you are allowed to buy the policy when already travelling. Sometimes the policy must be purchased 48 or 72 hours in advance. SafetyWing does not require this waiting period so is a good option if you need immediate cover.
  • Medical coverage is the most important—make sure it includes emergency evacuation and repatriation.
  • Check which activities the policy includes if you are going to be doing things like scuba diving, white water rafting, and horse riding. You often need to pay extra to include high-risk activities.
  • Most policies charge extra for skiing and snowboarding. You might just want to purchase a winter sports policy for the time you are in the mountains.
  • It’s unlikely that it will cover valuables like cameras and laptops (or the limit will be low) so you may need to get extra insurance for these (see below).
  • We don’t worry about baggage cover (our clothes and toiletries are hardly valuable), but you need to decide if it’s important to you and check the per item limit.
  • Cancellation cover is not available for travel insurance mid trip after you have left your home country.
  • Choose a worldwide policy if you don’t know where you’ll be travelling to. Otherwise, it’ll be cheaper to exclude the US or to focus on one region like Europe.
  • Check the excess/deductible (the contribution you’ll have to pay towards a claim). The higher the excess the cheaper the policy, but make sure you can afford it.
  • No travel insurance covers pre-existing conditions. If you need this, SafetyWing’s Remote Health plan is your best option.

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SafetyWing

The Best Travel Insurance When Already Abroad For Nomads Worldwide. 

SafetyWing travel insurance home page
SafetyWing website

SafetyWing is the world’s first travel medical insurance developed specifically for nomads, by nomads. They cover people from all over the world while they are outside their home country. 

We used SafetyWing Nomad Insurance last year and loved having the ability to pay monthly and cancel at any time as we didn’t know how long we’d be away from the UK (our home country). 

They also cover COVID-19 (see above). 

They offer two products: 

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance

SafetyWing insurance for nomads can be purchased while travelling and there’s no cap on the duration of travel.

Unlike the other insurers on this list, cover can start immediately, even if you are already abroad (as long as you haven’t already had an accident).

It includes travel medical cover such as emergency doctor and hospital visits and medical evacuation. They also cover travel delay, lost checked luggage, and personal liability. Stolen baggage isn’t covered. 

It’s the most affordable long term travel insurance I’ve found for most nationalities. The standard policy costs a flat rate of US $42 per 4 weeks which is automatically charged every 4 weeks until you cancel.

This is for ages 18-39; other ages are available but will cost more (up to age 69). Travel to the US adds an extra $35 per 4 weeks.

There’s a $250 deductible and a $250,000 maximum limit on payouts.

Another unusual bonus is limited coverage in your home country. For every 90 days, you can use your medical coverage for 30 days in your home country (15 days in the US) if something happens while you are there.

Other benefits include free coverage for children under 10 (up to 2 per family). 

The policy covers many sports and activities, but it’s best to check their website if you are interested in a particular activity.

Unusually, they do cover moped or scooter accidents as long as the accident does not fall under any exclusions, such as the exclusions for racing and intoxication.

Visit the SafetyWing website for a quote or see my SafetyWing insurance review for more details including a comparison with World Nomads and True Traveller.

Remote Health

SafetyWing also offers a global health insurance plan called Remote Health. This is aimed at individuals and teams of remote workers. 

It does not exclude pandemics, so it’s a good option if you are looking for a policy that will include coverage of COVID-19 medical expenses.

It offers more comprehensive health coverage than the SafetyWing Nomad Insurance including cancer treatment and pre-existing conditions (subject to approval). 

Note that this is not a travel insurance policy, so there is no coverage for non-health expenses such as lost baggage, travel delay, etc. 

It is significantly more expensive than the Nomad Insurance and you need to commit to a year contract.

Costs depend on the extras you decide to add, but a standard policy for one person aged 18-39 costs $153 a month or $287 including USA, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Visit the Remote Health website for more details. 

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Heymondo

Comprehensive Post Departure Travel Insurance Available Worldwide.

Heymondo post departure travel insurance quote

Heymondo is the most recent company I’ve discovered that offers travel insurance after arrival. Their policies are very comprehensive and we used them on our last US and Europe trips.

Note that their policies are only valid 72 hours after purchase.

Here are some pros of Heymondo travel insurance:

  • It’s available worldwide with similar coverage for all nationalities.
  • They cover COVID-19.
  • Comprehensive coverage including high medical payouts (€3.5-10 million), although this is lower for US residents ($250/500,000 USD).
  • You can add electronics and adventure sports coverage.
  • Prices are the same for all ages and are available up to 69 years. This makes it better value for older travellers.
  • There’s no deductible/excess except for the long stay policy (for trips over 90 days) and the new basic policy.
  • You don’t need to pay upfront for medical expenses—contact them to take care of payment. This only works if you go to an emergency room first though (not direct to a doctor’s clinic).
  • There’s a dedicated app with a doctor available for 24-hour online chat (we found this really useful when Simon had a minor health issue).

The main downsides are higher prices and limited activity coverage (including no ski cover).

If you’ll be doing lots of adventure sports, check what they cover—you might have to pay extra to include your activity. For example, horse riding isn’t in the basic plan.

A 4-week trip worldwide (with or without the US) costs €96 for their Top policy and €99 for Premium.

This is much more expensive than other options for younger age groups, but for over 50s travelling to the US, it becomes significantly cheaper than SafetyWing.

In 2022, they added a new Basic policy for some nationalities, which is cheaper if you don’t need cancellation cover or mind an excess of $250.

Click here to get a Heymondo quote (with a 5% discount for Never Ending Voyage readers).

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True Traveller 

The Best Post Departure Travel Insurance for UK and EU residents. 

True Traveller insurance website
True Traveller website

We used True Traveller insurance for eight years and it’s the best value, most digital nomad and backpacker-friendly policy we’ve found for UK and EU residents.

True Traveller covers COVID-19 as long as you have been vaccinated (see above).

True Traveller allows you to buy travel insurance when already travelling and they don’t require a return ticket, so it’s ideal for digital nomads, long term travellers, or anyone who has forgotten to buy insurance before leaving. 

If you are already abroad, cover does not start until 48 hours after purchase.

They really understand the needs of long term travellers and you can tailor the policy to suit you, choosing the most basic medical insurance or adding extras like baggage, electronics, cancellation, activities, and winter sports cover. This helps keep costs down as you only buy what you really need. 

Their site is user friendly and easy to understand. True Traveller was originally an adventure travel company, not an insurance company. Their policies are designed by travellers for travellers and it shows.

Making a claim with True Traveller was quick and easy. After visiting the doctors in Bali all I had to do was fill in a simple form, take photos of the doctor’s report and receipts, and send it all by email. Just three working days later I received the money in my bank account!

You can read our detailed True Traveller insurance review here including the claims process. 

How Much Does a True Traveller Policy Cost? 

Currently, a one year True Value worldwide (excluding North America) policy without baggage costs £337 per person for a 39-year-old.

Although this policy excludes the US and Canada, you are covered for 14 days there without any additional cost. 

To include the US for the whole year, the policy would cost £401 for a year. 

It’s the best value insurance I’ve found for Brits on longer trips.

For shorter trips, it’s significantly more expensive (but more comprehensive) than SafetyWing—from £89 for 4 weeks for a 39-year-old travelling worldwide (excluding US).

We used to buy the most basic policy (only available for those under 40) to keep costs down and as we’re only interested in the medical coverage (£2.5 million is covered).

There’s a £125 excess (deductible) but you can pay slightly more to reduce this to zero (which I recommend).

91 activities are included as standard so we didn’t need to purchase the Adventure or Extreme pack to include high-risk activities like scuba diving at lower depths or black water rafting. Check their list to see what activities you are likely to be doing.

If you are over 40, you’ll have to purchase the Traveller or Traveller Plus policies which are more expensive but provide more coverage and a lower excess.

Unfortunately, they don’t insure those over 65. 

Click here to go to True Traveller for a quote.

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World Nomads

Comprehensive Travel insurance When Already Abroad for Most Nationalities. 

World Nomads travel insurance already abroad quote

World Nomads is a well-respected travel insurance company that we used on our round the world trip in 2007-8.

They allow you to get travel insurance while abroad so are popular with many digital nomads and long term travellers we know.

For some nationalities, there is a waiting period of 48 or 72 hours before the insurance takes effect if you are away from home when you purchase. Check the terms for your country, but currently this applies to UK, Canada, and others.

Their policies are some of the most comprehensive on the market with high maximum amounts for medical cover (£5-10 million) and lots of extras like rental car excess insurance (in the Explorer plan). They also cover many adventure activities.

World Nomads is available for most nationalities, but since August 2021, they have temporarily suspended cover to residents of all EU countries except Ireland. It’s still available for UK residents.

The main downside is that they are more expensive than both True Traveller and SafetyWing. World Nomads cover and price also varies depending on your country of residence.

Currently, a one year standard policy for a 39-year-old Brit travelling worldwide (excluding US) costs £497, which is much more expensive than True Traveller.

For shorter trips, it can be better value than True Traveller—a four-week trip costs £50.20. This is still much more expensive than SafetyWing, though.

The World Nomads policy is more comprehensive and includes baggage, but these aren’t things we really need. You’ll need to decide your own priorities.

You can see a detailed comparison in my SafetyWing review

Click here to go to World Nomads for a quote.

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Electronics Insurance for Travel

Most travel insurance policies don’t cover valuables and electronics or have a low limit.

If you want to include electronics in your policy, Heymondo is the best option. With their Premium plan your electronics are covered for 50% of the baggage limit ($2500/€2500) or you can pay extra to extend this to 100%.

We used to have a separate policy with Photoguard that covered our cameras and laptops for accidental damage and theft. 

They only cover UK citizens and the cost depends on the value of your items—when we last renewed ours was £263 a year. 

We stopped using Photoguard as they no longer cover long term travellers, so it’s only a good option for shorter trips.

We struggled to find an electronics insurance policy that would cover us for a whole year, so we no longer have insurance for our camera and electronics. We make sure we have savings to cover their replacement if necessary. 

Another option we’ve heard of is to get your electronics added to a family member’s home insurance policy.

What’s the Best Travel Insurance While Abroad?

The best post departure travel insurance for you depends on your age, nationality, length of trip, and the cover you need.

If your budget is limited or you want to pay monthly, SafetyWing is best for most travellers, especially those under 50.

True Traveller offers more comprehensive cover and can be good value for Brits and Europeans on long trips.

For all nationalities, World Nomads and Heymondo provide high levels of cover, but they can be pricey.

If you are over 40, check out Heymondo as it can be more affordable than the others. They also have the best electronics cover.

Whatever you decide, make sure you do buy travel insurance. If the worst happens you’ll want to be covered or it could end up costing you more than you can afford.

I hope this post helps if you forgot to buy travel insurance or need a new policy for travel insurance while already overseas.

Let us know if you’ve heard of other companies that allow you to buy travel insurance whilst already abroad. 

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Other Travel Insurance Reviews

If you enjoyed this post, pin it!

Learn how to choose travel insurance and the best travel insurance when already abroad for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

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60 Comments

    • Yes it is needed. If anything goes wrong on your travels it could cost a fortune, so it’s always safer to have insurance.

      Reply ↓

  1. Thank you so much for this article! I thought I’d spend all day trying to find a travel insurance that will provide COVID-19 cover AND accept me as someone already travelling. This made it totally hassle-free! You are absolute legends, thanks!

    Reply ↓

  2. I am curious if you have a good/reliable option for flight insurance (medical not needed)? We are booked in Kauai end of summer but there are four of us flying and don’t want to pay $5000 for tickets on top of the resort cost in order to fly there just to be able to have the money refunded if we have to cancel for local coronavirus restrictions (Hanalei Bay Resort allows full refund up to seven days prior). We can purchase much more reasonable tickets for us four costing us about $2300 currently, however, wouldn’t be afforded the refund if we cancel. We would only cancel if ‘quarantine restrictions in room’ are in place at the time because we don’t want to spend half the trip in a resort room, especially since we have all had Covid, I am vaccinated (ER nurse and boy I need a vacation), and hopefully the other three in my family will be soon as well. We are hopeful at that point they will only ask for proof of vaccination instead of negative testing prior to/after arrival (which we would also do if needed), especially since Kauai has opted out of the acceptance of negative testing prior to/after arrival and currently still requires visitors to quarantine for 10 days (understandably since they only have 9 ICU beds on the island with a pop. of 55K). With all of this in mind, we want to purchase tickets BUT also want peace of mind that we can cancel and be refunded since it is such a chunk of change to fly there. To me it doesn’t make sense to pay double what the cost of tickets would be just to ensure we can be refunded, especially if there are insurance options for refund coverage. Thoughts?

    Reply ↓

    • That’s a tricky one. I haven’t heard of flight only insurance I’m afraid (although it could exist). I would be tempted to either wait until the last minute to book your flights or to purchase full travel insurance that covers cancellation due to covid restrictions (it’ll still be cheaper than fully refundable flights).

      This might also be a situation where it’s worth talking to a travel agent (who specialises in Hawaii) as everything is changing so fast and maybe there are some new options.

      Good luck and I hope you get your much-needed break!

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    • Also, I’ve just seen that Hawaiian Airlines won’t charge change fees for tickets purchased between now and end March, so I’d recommend seeing if a flight with them works for you.

      Reply ↓

  3. My personal items insurance with State Farm covers my 4K+ worth of electronics for $60 per year. Give them a bell. The quotes you list above for cam/electronics are a bit beastly.

    Reply ↓

    • Yes, if you have home insurance (which we don’t as we don’t have a home :) ) it’s worth asking them for cover.

      Reply ↓

  4. Thank you SO much for this super helpful post! My 21 year old son is abroad for a month and I just discovered that he doesn’t have health insurance. I was searching everywhere online to figure out where I could get insurance post-departure and was getting nowhere (and panicking of course!). Then I came across your blog. Thankfully, SafetyWing has provided the insurance that he needs. I doubt I would’ve found them if it hadn’t been for your post. Thanks again…it was super helpful! I’ll be sure to keep following you for more awesome travel info!

    Reply ↓

  5. Hello
    We are also long time travelers has been for almost 6 years. We had a good travel insurance from New Zealand that covered us all those years. When we needed a letter from them for getting our Russian visa we had got an message that they will not renew us because of age. When you are 70 plus they don’t insure you anymore. We have been trying to get insurance all over the world but 70 plus is the limit. We found one in New Zealand while we were still in the Netherlands but you had to be in the country. So that we did flew back to New Zealand to get the insurance activated. We arrived just in time before they closed the borders so we are b ack in New Zealand lucky we are in our own house. Our Abel(1957 Mercedes) and Zambezi (Tent trailer) left in the Netherlands not sure when we can get back. Take care love from Fred and Elisabeth, Classicstriders. Facebook, Classicstrider.

    Reply ↓

    • That’s annoying that it’s hard to find insurance when you reach 70. It sounds like it’s just as well you returned to New Zealand though. We’re also here right now and it seems to be one of the safest places to be.

      Reply ↓

  6. For those who suspect the UK insurance companies don’t tell you all up front.
    Thank you for making this info available.
    03 04 20 I have just found that SAGA travel and health insurance does not cover me for cancellation – they refer to pre paid trips. Abandonment seems to refer only to going back home before the holiday is due to finish.
    I cannot make another insurance contract whilst I am abroad.
    The 2 month insurance that I had finished yesterday it cost about £400 AUE, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Last year was about £600 for two months. I had also put China and Singapore on that one. Years ago it was Europe, middle east and far east one did not specify which countries. SAGA does NOT have an email contact. The phone number is NOT FREE from overseas. My home number is blocked and the local sim is pay as you go so it could easily run out whilst they ask me questions. Some years ago I used STAYSURE and found that their prices changed even though it was much the same trip.
    I am denied access to the Middle East and British Isles, the airline has cancelled the flights and I cannot enter the place where I live.
    Seems to me it’s cancellation and abandonment. A few weeks ago I could not access the BARCLAYS bank account due to a new requirement. I have been offered help to get money but I need to transfer money which I cannot do due to the bank wanting me to use a debit card and a machine to get a number so as to make a new payee. The bank messages cannot be accessed without the machine.

    Reply ↓

    • I’m sorry for everything you are going through, Frank. That sounds very stressful. Unfortunately most insurance companies are not covering pandemics which is leaving many travellers in difficult positions.

      Reply ↓

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