What is a Departure Date?

Your Departure Date is the date that you leave home for your insured trip. Unless you purchase a policy with cancellation benefits, this date will likely coincide with your policy’s effective date.

A common misconception among travelers is that a departure date refers to the date their flight or cruise is scheduled to leave. However, travel insurance providers see your departure date as the date your journey to your destination begins.

As an example, let’s say you booked a flight for Oct. 11 at 6:00 AM, but plan on staying at a hotel near the airport the night before for peace of mind. You would enter Oct. 10 as your departure date because that is the date you physically left home for your trip.

How Your Departure Date Impacts Your Premium

When purchasing travel insurance, you will be asked to provide basic trip information, such as your destination, age, departure date, and return date. It’s important to include an accurate departure date, as it lets your provider know when you will need coverage and for how long.

Your trip length is one of the three main factors that determine how much your travel insurance policy will cost. Generally, longer trips will result in higher travel insurance premiums.

Is Travel Insurance More Expensive Closer to the Departure Date?

Unlike airfare or hotels, travel insurance premiums do not typically increase as you get closer to your departure date. While the cost of some plans may change slightly, quotes will stay relatively stable leading up to your trip. It’s important to note that there is no penalty for purchasing a policy at the last minute.

With that said, it’s recommended to purchase your policy soon after making your initial trip payment, such as a flight or hotel booking. Doing so can open the door to time-sensitive travel insurance benefits and provide you with coverage for a longer period of time.

How Your Departure Date Can Impact Your Coverage

Most comprehensive single-trip plans include pre-departure and post-departure travel insurance benefits. Your departure date will dictate when certain benefits provide coverage.

Pre-departure benefits, like Trip Cancellation, will offer coverage up until your departure date. Once you’ve left for your trip, the rest of your plan’s coverage will kick in, such as your plan’s medical coverage.

How To Update Your Departure Date On An Existing Plan

Mistakes can happen and plans can change. Most travel insurance providers will allow you to update your trip information, including your departure date before you leave for your trip.

If you have already purchased a policy and wish to update your travel dates, you may do so by contacting your travel insurance provider directly to make changes to your plan. If the changes to your travel dates increase your premium, you may need to pay an additional charge for the changes to your coverage. If your new travel dates lower your premium, you will be given a prorated refund.

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