Can You Insure Travel on the Spot? When to Buy Your Travel Insurance
Whether you’re planning a getaway across the globe or a family vacation around the country, there’s no denying the cost of travel is increasing. From inflation to rising gas prices and airline tickets, Americans are spending more on their vacations, and Squaremouth expects this trend will continue in the years to come.
As the cost of travel reaches new heights, savvy travelers are purchasing travel insurance to protect themselves from financial loss in the event an unforeseen circumstance disrupts their plans. As travel experts would agree, insuring travel plans on the spot, at the time of booking your trip, is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best coverage for you and your group.
Why You Should Insure Your Travel On the Spot
When booking a trip, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning process, from researching restaurants to uncovering the destination’s hidden gems. With so much time and effort going into organizing a memorable trip, it’s important that you are also taking the steps to protect yourself financially if things don’t go according to plan.
One of the best times to buy travel insurance is directly after an initial trip payment has been made. It’s at this time that travelers will have the most policy options available to them, increasing their chances of getting the best coverage that meets their specific needs.
Purchasing travel insurance on the spot also opens the doors to other potentially important, time-sensitive travel insurance benefits, including Cancel For Any Reason insurance and Pre-Existing Condition insurance.
The Best Time to Purchase Travel Insurance
When it comes to buying travel insurance, timing is crucial. Waiting weeks to purchase coverage can significantly limit the types of coverage a traveler is eligible for. That’s why many insurance professionals strongly urge travelers to insure their travel at the time they make their first trip payment.
Benefits of Buying Travel Insurance Early
In general, it’s strongly recommended that travelers insure their trip within 14 days of their initial trip payment. Buying travel insurance early provides travelers with the optimum purchase experience, maximizing the coverage types and benefits available to them. Below are a few of those key benefits:
Maximize Coverage Period
According to Squaremouth data, roughly 70% of travelers that insure their trip purchase a policy that includes trip cancellation benefits. Such benefits can provide reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if a trip is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, including illness, injury, or death. Other covered cancellation reasons can also include sudden loss of employment, terrorism, inclement weather, and natural disasters.
When a trip cancellation policy is purchased, it goes into effect at midnight of the next day. This means that the longer travelers have the policy, the longer they have protection in the event something goes wrong.
Eligible For Time-Sensitive Coverage Options
When it comes to travel insurance, there are some policy benefits that are time sensitive. After a certain period of time has elapsed, usually a couple of weeks, travelers would no longer be eligible for such benefits.
Both Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-Existing Condition coverage are time-sensitive, and are only available for 14-21 days after you make travelers make their first trip payment. By making it a priority to purchase insurance within that time-sensitive period, travelers can ensure that they’re eligible for the maximum amount of coverage options available to them.
Time to Update Policy
It’s important to note that not every detail of a trip is required in order to buy travel insurance. As long as a traveler has made some payment towards their trip, whether it be a flight, cruise, hotel, or even just a deposit toward the trip, a policy can be purchased.
Keep in mind that travelers can only insure that they have already paid for, and cannot get travel insurance on purchases they intend to make in the future. Having said that, policies can be updated closer to the trip’s departure date if additional trip payments are made.
Peace of Mind
Lastly, but certainly not least, buying travel insurance on the spot gives travelers the peace of mind that they got the best coverage for their trip, and that they can proceed knowing that they are protected from financial loss if unforeseen circumstances occur.
Does Buying Travel Insurance Early Make it Cheaper?
Unlike concert tickets or hotel stays, travelers do not receive discounted prices for buying travel insurance early. Prices will also not increase just because a policy is purchased last minute.
Instead of the purchase date, the cost of a travel insurance policy is instead dependent on a few factors relating to the trip itself. Factors such as the age of travelers, destination, the total trip costs, the length of the trip, and coverage amounts all play a role in determining a travel insurance policy’s premium.
When is it Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance?
For those looking to get a policy that includes Trip Cancellation coverage, the last day to purchase would be the day before the departure date. In other words, once you reach your departure date, you are no longer able to purchase cancellation insurance.
With that said, almost 30% of travelers opt for a policy without Trip Cancellation coverage. Such travel medical insurance policies can be purchased at any time before you depart, and select policies can be purchased during a trip.
Act Early For the Best Coverage
There’s really no better way to sum it up. The only way for travelers to guarantee they are getting the very best policy for their trip is purchase travel insurance within the first two weeks of their first trip payment. This ensures that all policy options and coverage types are available to them.
However, if for whatever reason this is not a possibility, travelers can rest assured knowing that the price of insurance will not rise significantly if a policy is purchased at the last minute. Travelers can also have peace of mind that they can still purchase medical insurance if they are already on their travels.