Although some travelers think travel insurance is only available while they book their trip, travelers can actually purchase travel insurance at any time, even after they have started a trip. Those who purchased insurance directly from a travel supplier before may be under the impression that insurance is only available through the supplier at the time of booking the arrangements. However, travelers still have options available as they near or begin their trip.
The earlier a traveler buys insurance, the more options they will have. Specific benefits are time-sensitive, and may only be available to travelers for a short time after their initial booking date. For example, those who are looking for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions or who want Cancel For Any Reason coverage will need to purchase their insurance within 14-30 of their first booking date.
Those looking for cancellation coverage can purchase travel insurance up until the day before their departure, because the policy will go into effect the day after purchase. Therefore, the sooner a cancellation policy is purchased, the sooner coverage will begin. In order for travelers to protect themselves from unforeseen events causing a cancellation, such as an illness to the traveler or a family member, it is recommended that travelers purchase a travel insurance policy soon after they begin booking their trip.
For travelers who have already left for their trip, international medical policies will still typically be available. These policies will provide Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation coverage, and some may have coverage for Trip Interruption. Many times, these policies will also provide coverage for an unforeseen recurrence of a pre-existing medical condition.
Squaremouth’s Buying Tip: For travelers who want a fully comprehensive policy with as many benefits as possible, it is recommended that they buy a travel insurance policy within 14-30 days of making their first trip payment. However, if they miss that window, or even forget until they have already left, it is likely not too late to find a policy.