I am currently insured by my employer but I'm planning to quit and backpack for three months through Asia and Europe. I am relocating from Asia to the UK. At the end of my trip, I will be insured again under the NHS. I'd like to purchase travel insurance for this period. Does the fact that I have no "home" insurance matter?

Along these lines, is there a difference between a globally valid medical insurance and the travel insurance with worldwide coverage? The latter seems cheaper, which is a bit counterintuitive.

TL;DR I have no insurance but want to travel. Will just travel insurance suffice? I'm looking at a policy like this one - https://www.allianz-assistance.com.sg/media/documents/20170802-B2C-PW.pdf

Edit: To provide context, I'm an Indian citizen, legally resident in Singapore and insured here by my employer and moving to the UK for graduate school.

  • Assuming you're a UK citizen with a history of UK residence and can prove an intent to permanently return to the UK, you may be eligible for NHS coverage the moment you return to the UK - even if this is early as a result of emergency medical repatriation. However, the guidelines are extremely unclear and I have had no personal experience of trying to use the NHS in this situation. I recommend seeking expert advice, if you wanted to rely on that. NHS eligibility info here: gov.uk/government/publications/… Mar 25, 2018 at 15:18
  • 3
    "The latter seems cheaper, which is a bit counterintuitive" The travel insurance probably only covers emergency treatment and repatriation, the medical insurance probably covers non-emergency treatment too. Mar 25, 2018 at 15:23
  • It would be helpful to know which country you have current residence in and which ones you are a citizen as this determines which insurers will do business with you.
    – user16259
    Mar 25, 2018 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


You can’t use most common short-term travel insurances, even just for a lengthy trip like that they may not cover you even with a normal health insurance. There are providers for long-term travel insurance without a home or for long-term travel though, such as World Nomads. I haven’t used them since I use a Dutch one, but I heard they’re nice. You can easily google some alternatives to them too.


Read the terms of any policies carefully.

Generally, travel insurance is designed to deal with unexpected medical problems (whether illness or accident) while abroad by paying for the costs of your acute treatment and ,if nessacery, transporting you back home.

It is not designed to cover the costs of dealing with long-term medical conditions that arise our of said unexpected medical problem. Those are expected to be dealt with by your health cover back home. The problem is it sounds like ,during this period, neither the UK or Singapore will be a home you can be returned to.

You might find some providers who are prepared to insure you based on treating you as an Indian resident. It seems India does have some public medical coverage, but it seems to be pretty poor, and it's not clear to me if it would cover an expat returning home as a result of a medical emergency.

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