Can You Buy Travel Insurance After Departure

Written and researched by Michael Kays (Travel Insurance Expert) | Fact Checked by Danya Kristen (Insurance Agent).

You’re already on your trip, and you suddenly realize, “Oh no, I forgot to buy travel insurance!”

It’s an understandable oversight, with the excitement and stress of travel planning. But the question is, can you still secure that crucial safety net, or did your ship sail when your plane did?

Let’s dive into the nuances of obtaining travel insurance after departure.

What is Post-Departure Travel Insurance?

Typically, travel insurance is something you arrange before embarking on your journey. It’s designed to protect against a variety of unforeseen circumstances, like trip cancellation, travel delays, lost baggage, and most importantly, medical emergencies abroad.

However, there exists a form of coverage called post-departure travel insurance. As the name suggests, these policies can be purchased after you’ve begun your journey.

They may not offer as comprehensive a safety net as pre-departure policies, but they can still provide valuable coverage in certain situations.

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Can I Really Get Travel Insurance After Departure?

Yes, you can, but with caveats. Not every travel insurance provider offers post-departure coverage, and those that do will have their own set of terms and conditions.

Often, these policies will not cover pre-existing conditions or events that have already occurred. For example, if you’ve caught a cold on the plane and then decide to purchase insurance, your policy likely won’t cover any medical expenses related to that cold.

The scope of coverage may also be limited compared to regular travel insurance. For instance, post-departure policies may primarily cover medical expenses and emergency evacuations, excluding things like trip cancellation or interruption.

When Should You Consider Post-Departure Travel Insurance?

If you’ve already embarked on your journey without insurance, purchasing post-departure coverage is better than being uninsured. This is especially crucial if you’re traveling to a country with high medical costs or partaking in potentially risky activities.

It’s also an excellent option for long-term travelers and digital nomads. If you don’t have a set itinerary or you plan to be on the move for an extended period, post-departure insurance allows you to acquire coverage as and when you need it.

How to Buy Travel Insurance After Departure

If you’re already traveling and decide to purchase travel insurance, follow these steps:

  1. Research Providers: Start by researching insurance companies that offer post-departure coverage. Websites with insurance comparison tools can be helpful.
  2. Understand the Terms: Read the policy details carefully. Ensure you understand what’s covered, what’s not, and the process for making a claim.
  3. Purchase Your Policy: Once you’ve decided on a policy, you can typically purchase it online, even while abroad.

Do All Insurance Providers Offer Post-Departure Insurance?

Unfortunately, not all providers offer post-departure insurance. Therefore, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to find a company that provides this kind of coverage.

Also, consider reaching out directly to insurance companies to ask about your options. They might be able to offer a solution tailored to your needs.

Why Isn’t Post-Departure Insurance More Widely Available?

The reason post-departure insurance isn’t universally available is because it presents more risk for insurance providers.

The possibility of someone buying insurance when they need it immediately — say, after an accident or falling ill — is much higher when the person is already on their trip.

This could potentially lead to higher payouts from the insurance company, hence their hesitancy.

This largely depends on the insurance provider. Some may offer coverage for medical expenses related to COVID-19, while others might exclude pandemic-related costs altogether.

Always read the policy wording carefully and reach out to the insurance provider for clarification if needed.

Key Takeaways

The ability to purchase travel insurance after departure offers a safety net to those who forgot to buy it before leaving, or to long-term travelers who might not have had a firm travel plan in place.

While it may not offer as broad a range of coverage as standard pre-departure travel insurance, it is undoubtedly a better option than having no coverage at all, particularly if your travels involve high-risk activities or destinations with high medical costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I extend my travel insurance if I decide to stay longer?

Yes, many travel insurance providers allow policyholders to extend their coverage if they decide to extend their trip. The process and conditions for extensions would vary among providers, so it’s best to check with your specific company.

2. Is it more expensive to buy insurance after I have already left?

The cost of post-departure insurance depends on several factors such as your age, the length of coverage, your destination, and the specifics of the policy. It could be more expensive than pre-departure insurance due to the increased risk for the insurer.

3. Can I buy post-departure insurance if I’m not in my home country?

Yes, you can typically purchase post-departure insurance from anywhere, as long as the insurance company offers it and you have access to the internet to complete the transaction.

4. Can I buy travel insurance if I have already left home?

Yes, certain insurance providers offer post-departure travel insurance that can be purchased after you’ve already started your journey.

5. What does post-departure travel insurance cover?

Coverage varies by provider, but post-departure insurance primarily covers medical expenses and emergency evacuation. It likely won’t include trip cancellation or interruption.

In conclusion, post-departure travel insurance can be a real lifesaver for those who’ve forgotten to purchase a policy before their trip or for long-term travelers.

It’s an excellent reminder that while you can’t plan for everything, it’s never too late to secure some peace of mind.

Just make sure you understand what your policy covers before you hit that “purchase” button! Safe travels!