When is the best time for me to buy travel insurance?
Here’s the insider secret: you can buy travel insurance up until 24 hours before you leave on your trip. However, it could become “too late” to purchase travel insurance. If you’re looking for the best time to buy travel insurance, the sooner always wins! Here’s everything you need to know about the “right time” to purchase travel insurance for your trip.
It’s time to buy travel insurance when you know…
1. Your trip dates
2. If you’re taking a single trip or multiple trips within the next year.
3. You have already paid some money toward your trip**
Travel insurance can get divided into short-term and long-term coverage plans. One plan may only cover you for a single trip up to 60 days, while another will cover you for multi-trips up to 180 days. Make sure you check the fine print of each policy, so you get the coverage during the time you need it.
Many travelers get insurance 30 days before departure, or after they make their first trip payment. If you only need your name and trip dates to buy travel insurance, why wait? Make sure you get coverage as soon as you can, or it might become “too late.”
**This only applies if you’re planning to add Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance.
When is it too late to buy travel insurance?
Unfortunately, there are circumstances when it may be too late to buy travel insurance for your trip. Here are a few instances where it may be too late to purchase travel insurance:
❌ You’re already traveling
If you’re already traveling, you cannot buy travel insurance to cover your current trip. You need to buy travel insurance before leaving home.
❌ You’re already sick or injured
You can’t buy travel insurance after you get sick or injured and expect to get money back if you have to cancel your trip or open a claim in regards to that illness or injury. Travel insurance is meant to protect against “unforeseen” emergencies, so if something already happened, you can’t get insurance to protect against that reason.
Travel insurance companies maintain a look-back period where they will check for pre-existing conditions. Make sure you read your description of coverage for details on any pre-existing conditions you may plan on traveling with.
❌ Civil unrest precedes your arrival
In the case a political or security event such as civil unrest or a natural disaster occurs in your destination preceding your arrival, you will not receive coverage for a security evacuation that results from that event. However, travel insurance will still cover you for an unforeseen emergency unrelated to the political or security event.
❌ A natural disaster gets declared**
Just like how you can’t buy homeowners insurance after a house fire, you can’t get or add Trip Cancellation to your travel insurance policy after a destination declares a national emergency. For example, if your destination predicts a category eight hurricane during your intended travel dates, you will not receive coverage if you buy Trip Cancellation insurance after the official announcement and attempt to cancel your trip.
Are you a volunteer in need of travel insurance? Don’t wait until it’s “too late”!
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