Can I buy a travel insurance policy if I'm already overseas?

For information relating to policies purchased prior to 18 May 2022, please check the Policy Document provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again. For policies purchased on or from 18 May 2022 please see below.

Getting ready for a trip is exciting and busy and there’s so much to do! If you’ve arrived at your destination and realised that you’ve forgotten to organise travel insurance, don’t panic, we can help you get covered.

I’m already overseas – can I get travel insurance?

Yes, the good news is that you can buy a World Nomads policy while you’re already travelling, working, living or studying overseas.

Are there any special conditions?

If you buy a policy while you’re already travelling, you will need to wait 72 hours after purchasing before your cover will start. This is called a waiting period.

How does a waiting period work?

  • If you buy a policy when you're overseas and the policy start date is within 72 hours of issue of your certificate of insurance, you'll need to wait 72 hours for cover to begin.
  • If you purchase a policy when you're overseas and the policy start date is 72 hours or more after issue your certificate of insurance, cover for Cancellation or Trip Interruption expenses will begin 72 hours from the time we issue the policy, with all other benefits commencing on your departure date.

If you aren’t sure of anything, or have questions, be sure to check out our comprehensive FAQs or you can also contact us.

Cover for medical emergencies

Whilst there is a 72-hour waiting period if you purchase your travel insurance after you’ve started travelling, both our Standard and Explorer policies offer cover if you suffer a serious injury as the result of an accident after the policy departure date and before the end of the 72-hour waiting period.

If something goes wrong and you suffer a serious injury as the result of an accident, there's cover for emergency overseas medical and dental expenses, and emergency evacuation and repatriation expenses, without having to wait 72 hours.

All other cover and benefits still begin 72 hours from when your certificate of insurance is issued, and only for events first occurring after the 72-hour waiting period.

Traveller tip: our 24/7 emergency assistance team is here to help if things go wrong. They can help organise medical transport, payment of hospital bills and assist with medical emergencies.

Get a quote and buy online 24/7

With World Nomads you can get an instant quote anytime, anywhere, before you leave home or while you’re on the road.

Why is there a waiting period?

A waiting period reduces the likelihood of travellers making claims as soon as they purchase insurance. It also helps to keep the price lower for everyone.

Need to extend your policy?

If you’re travelling and decide you want to travel for longer, we can help you stay covered by extending your existing policy for up to 12 months. It’s easy! Simply sign into your World Nomads membership to check eligibility and extend your cover before 11:59pm NZST/NZDT on the return date shown on your certificate of insurance. Check out our Helpdesk guide for more information on how to extend your cover.

Left home without travel insurance?

This is only a summary of coverage and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document in full, so you understand what is and isn’t covered. That way there won’t be any surprises if you need to use it. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

The information provided is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute financial advice in any form and should not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining professional advice that is specific to your circumstances. You should seek advice from a financial advice provider if you would like further information about whether a particular product is appropriate for you and your circumstances.

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Our contact details

We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance. We’re available:

  • Monday to Friday 11:00am - 8:00pm (NZST/NZDT)
  • Saturday to Sunday closed (NZST/NZDT)

Contact us


Within New Zealand:
0800 666 237

From anywhere in the world:
+61 2 8256 1542

Within Australia:
1300 787 375