You can buy travel insurance with comprehensive coverage anytime up until the day before you leave for your trip. 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.
When Should I Buy Travel Insurance?
Comprehensive travel insurance policies, with the Trip Cancellation benefit and coverage for medical emergencies, travel delays and lost luggage, are available up until the day before you leave for your trip. These policies are no longer available after you leave for your trip because Trip Cancellation is designed to cover travelers who can’t go.
You should be aware that travel insurance is designed to cover unexpected events. So if something occurs before you’ve purchased a policy, such as an illness that would cause you to cancel, it will be too late to get coverage for that sickness.
You can buy travel insurance anytime, even if you haven’t made any trip payments at all. However, 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 14-30 days, you may also qualify for the time-sensitive benefits, such as Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-Existing Condition coverage.
What if My Trip Itinerary Changes?
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 depart. 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 if I’m Already Traveling?
If today is your departure date, or you’ve already left for your trip, it is too late to buy travel insurance with Trip Cancellation coverage, however there may some medical policies available. These policies will not cover your trip costs, but can provide Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation coverage for the remainder of your trip.
To search for these policies, follow these steps:
- On the search form, enter the dates you would like coverage to begin and end, regardless of your actual travel dates. The earliest date you can enter is tomorrow.
- Select “No” when asked “Should this search include Trip Cancellation coverage?”
- On your search results page, select the “Medical Deductible” filter on the left side on your screen, and set the amount to $250.
- If there are any policies available, these are the providers that can provide coverage after you’ve already left for your trip: Trawick International, HCC, and USA-ASSIST. Policies from any other providers shown must be purchased before you leave home.