Let's say you have a flight departing from the foreign country (for which you want to hold travel insurance) on day N, flight which arrive in your home country on day N+1.

Do you specify the return date for the policy as day N (local time, when you actually leave the country) or day N+1 (N+2...) (local time, when you actually land back at your home country)?

  • Doesn't the contract specify when the coverage ends?
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2022 at 11:33
  • The contract I'm eying says it applies only inside the country.ies selected at subscription, I guess this answers it for that particular insurer, it's a waste to grab that extra day. Not turning this into an answer because some general answers are still useful Jul 25, 2022 at 11:48
  • If a coverage only applies within the countries selected, does it cover you on the way home if you have not selected your home country, and all you may have to transfer through? (I am used to home country only for inland holidays, Europe which is schaling up and world, with no other options in coverage, with normal and dangerous sports as further options.)
    – Willeke
    Jul 25, 2022 at 19:13

3 Answers 3


You are covered during the dates that are stated in the contract. Let's say your flight departs on the 18th and lands on the 19th covering multiple time zones and you only book insurance until the 18th. You would be covered during departure but you would not be covered at arrival.

Where exactly the coverage ends is complicated. Airplanes usually use UTC during a flight so there is no easy way to determine exactly when the new day starts in airplane time. The most reasonable rule would be that the coverage ends at 11:59pm (on the 18th) in your home time zone (i.e. the same time zone where your coverage originally started). This will be spelled out in your coverage documents and this was indeed the case for my last insurance.

However, insurances are not exactly famous for being reasonable, so it may vary from policy to policy. If in doubt: read the fine print.

If you want to be safe and are worried about a medical emergency on the plane, take the extra day. In my personal experience it makes almost no difference in terms of price: It doesn't affect the trip cost and associated coverage, which is the most expensive part of most travel insurances.

Medical tends to be very cheap to start with and an extra day will make little difference. Looking at my next trip the difference between 6 and 7 days was just $2. If you see a steep increase for a single day, just shop around a little more.

  • 2
    I would take more than a day extra. What if your plane (or ship, or train) is cancelled, and you have to wait two days for a replacement?
    – gerrit
    Jul 26, 2022 at 7:11
  • 2
    In that case the insurance should cover its own extention.
    – Willeke
    Jul 27, 2022 at 1:55

I have always learned that you book your travel insurance till you are back home, including the day you arrive home.
This is because it also covers your travels, whether plane or car or whatever.

And mostly the cost for one extra day is not much if you book it in one go.

  • 3
    I would go with that usually, but the insurer have special savings if your trip lasts 6 days or less, adding a 7th will double the premium, and I would like to avoid it, might give them a call to try to see if I can keep the 6 days trip discount Jul 25, 2022 at 10:35

The return date should be the day you are scheduled to arrive back at your “final” destination, where you will no longer need travel insurance.

In particular, if you should be delayed because you are already in hospital, otherwise not capable of travel, or because of missed connections etc, the insurance will normally extend coverage until you return to the destination indicated on your ticket.

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