What is a Return Date?

Your scheduled return date is the date that you expect to return home at the end of your trip. Unless unforeseen events arise that impact your travel plans, your return date will also be the day that your travel insurance coverage comes to an end.

It’s important to note that when buying travel insurance, your return date is not necessarily the date that your flight or cruise arrives back to your home country. Rather, this is the date you plan on physically arriving back at your home.

How Your Return Date Impacts Your Premium

When purchasing travel insurance, you will be asked to provide various details about your trip including your age, your travel dates, and any trip costs you plan on insuring. Your return date, along with your departure date, will help travel insurance providers determine your coverage period.

The cost of your policy will be heavily influenced by your trip length. Generally, the longer your trip, the more you should expect to pay for a travel insurance policy.

Changes to Your Return Date

No trip is risk-free, and there’s a possibility that unforeseen events prevent you from returning home on your scheduled return date. If that happens, it’s possible that your travel insurance policy will provide coverage in the event you need to return home earlier or later than anticipated.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you won’t be returning home as scheduled, it’s important to contact your insurance provider as early as possible as they may be able to adjust your coverage as necessary.

Returning Home Earlier Than Expected

If you need to come home early or cut your trip short, you may be covered by travel insurance – just make sure your policy includes Trip Interruption. This benefit is usually part of most comprehensive plans, and it will pay you back for any prepaid, unused trip expenses if you were forced to end your trip early for a covered reason.

Most plans that include Trip Interruption will cover you if you end your trip early due to:

  • Unforeseen injury and illness
  • Death of a family member or travel companion
  • Extreme weather or natural disaster
  • Terrorism
  • Loss of employment while traveling

Returning Home Later Than Expected

Unforeseen events may prevent you from returning home on your originally scheduled return date. If this happens, your travel insurance provider may be able to extend your coverage.

Your travel insurance provider may allow the extension of coverage for one of the following reasons:

  • Travel Delay: If your return flight is canceled or delayed, resulting in you arriving home a day or two late
  • Inclement Weather: If inclement weather or natural disasters halt travel and extend your trip past your original return date
  • Injury or Illness: If you or a traveling companion gets sick or injured and is unable to travel home as planned

Traveling With an Unknown Return Date

It can be difficult to find travel insurance if your return date is unknown. Many travel insurance providers will require that you enter a return date when getting a quote.

If you are planning a trip with an unknown return date, but you have a rough idea of your return date, you should enter it when looking for policies. Once you know your actual return date, you should let your provider know immediately so they can adjust your coverage.

Keep in mind that most travel insurance plans won’t cover trips that last longer than 90 days. For trips that could exceed three months, you may want to consider other forms of travel protection.

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