Yes, typically travelers will wait to buy a policy until they’ve made at least one insurable payment toward their trip, which can include booking a flight, hotel, tour, or other prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. Travelers can purchase travel insurance with comprehensive coverage anytime up until the day before they leave for their trip.
Buying Travel Insurance After Booking a Trip
While you can buy travel insurance at any point leading up to a trip, the best time to purchase a policy is shortly after making a trip booking. This can be a flight, hotel stay, rental car arrangement, or other type of reservation.
Squaremouth recommends buying shortly after making your first trip payment. This will ensure you have coverage for any unforeseen occurrences between booking and departing. If you buy travel insurance within 14-21 days, you may also qualify for the time-sensitive benefits, such as Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-Existing Condition coverage.
You should be aware that travel insurance is designed to cover unexpected events. If an event occurs before you’ve purchased a policy, such as an illness that would cause you to cancel your trip, it will be too late to get coverage for that sickness.
How to Add Travel Insurance To Your Booking
With hundreds of policies to choose from, purchasing travel insurance can be overwhelming, especially for those buying for the first time. Below are a few things to consider when buying travel insurance after booking your trip.
Assess Your Needs
The first step in purchasing a travel insurance policy is to assess your needs as a traveler. Think about your upcoming trip and itinerary, and the types of activities you’d like to cover through travel insurance.
The most important thing to determine up front is whether or not you need to insure your trip cost. The majority of travelers have non-refundable trip expenses, and therefore opt for a comprehensive policy that offers reimbursement in the event of delays, cancellations, or injuries abroad. However, some travelers are only interested in travel medical insurance, and save money by opting for a policy without cancellation coverage.
Another important consideration is the coverage amounts you’d like to see in a policy. For example, some travelers heading to remote destinations may need higher medical evacuation coverage in the event they need to be transported to a hospital. Travelers with expensive gear may need a policy that offers higher reimbursement in the event their luggage goes missing in transit. Determining your desired coverage limits will come in handy when shopping for policies.
It’s also recommended to check if your destination has any travel insurance requirements.
Narrow Your Search
Shopping around for travel insurance is daunting, with hundreds of policies offered through third party providers, credit cards, airlines, and cruise lines. Squaremouth always recommends comparing policies from different sources to make sure you find the best coverage for your trip for the lowest price, however reading through the details and exclusions of every policy would be extremely time consuming.
Luckily, there are now more resources and tools available to help travelers compare travel insurance policies and make a more informed decision. With your trip’s insurance demands in mind, you can start eliminating policies from your search that don’t need your requirements, narrowing your search down to policies that make the most sense.
Select A Policy
Once you’ve narrowed your search, making a smart purchase decision becomes much easier. When making a purchase, you’ll need your trip information, such as destination information and trip costs, on hand.
You’ll receive confirmation of your purchase shortly after along with a copy of your policy certificate. It’s important to hold onto this information during your trip, as it has the provider’s 24-Hour Assistance number and other important support information should you need it. If you have second thoughts about your policy, you are able to cancel for a full refund within the policy’s Money Back Guarantee window, which typically lasts for 10 or 14 days.
What Should I Include In My Trip Cost?
Before you buy a policy, you will need to know which trip costs you plan to protect. You can insure all prepaid, non-refundable costs associated with your trip, including flights, hotels, cruises, or tours. If you haven’t made all of your trip payments when you buy your policy, you have two options:
- Insure your entire estimated trip cost up front
- Insure only the portion you’ve paid so far, and add additional trip payments to your policy as you pay them
If you choose to estimate your entire trip cost up front and you enter too high of an amount, you only have the free look period to guarantee a refund for the additional premium you paid. Outside of that period, each provider will handle it on a case-by-case basis.
If you choose to insure your trip payments as you make them, you can add to your trip cost up until the day before your departure. You will pay any additional premium due as you add to your total trip cost. You can also contact your provider to make changes to your trip itinerary or travel dates.
Can I Buy Travel Insurance After Departure?
If today is your departure date, or you’ve already left for your trip, it is too late to buy a travel insurance policy from Squaremouth. However, there may be some policies available directly from providers that can provide medical coverage. These policies will not cover your trip costs, but can provide Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation coverage for the remainder of your trip.
Travelers who have already departed for their trip will need to contact the provider directly if they are looking to purchase this coverage. There are select providers who offer this option, including Seven Corners and Trawick International.