When to Get Travel Insurance
When you’re planning a vacation, you’re probably thinking about booking a flight, a hotel and maybe a rental car. While you’re in the process of all that planning, it’s a good time to consider another important piece of the vacation planning puzzle: protecting your trip with travel insurance. Purchasing travel insurance is a smart, inexpensive investment that can provide financial protection in cases of covered trip or flight cancellations, unexpected medical expenses while traveling and costs incurred due to baggage delays, loss or theft.
When should you buy travel insurance? Here are some commonly asked questions along with answers to help you decide:
When Is the Best Time to Get Travel Insurance?
If you’re wondering when you should buy travel insurance, the simple answer is, “as soon as possible.” Ideally, you’ll buy coverage no later than 15 days prior to your trip. But figuring out the type of coverage you need, how much you need and what supplemental coverage will help protect your trip, requires thoughtful consideration of what you’ll be doing on your trip and what risk factors you may encounter along the way.
If you don’t purchase insurance by that 15-day marker or you had to book your trip on short notice, you’ll still be able to buy coverage. Just understand that, typically, the coverage will cost a little more.
Should I Purchase Travel Insurance Before or After Booking?
Though you can buy travel insurance before you book your flight, it’s actually better to wait until after you reserve your seat on the plane. This way, you’ll know your ticket price and can make sure your travel insurance will cover the full cost of the ticket, in case you need to file a claim later.
Typically, the more information you have about your trip and your estimated expenses, the easier it will be to buy coverage that best suits your needs.
When Is It Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance?
In general, you can buy coverage any time before the date of your trip. That said, it’s always best to buy coverage as soon as you make your reservations. The sooner you buy travel insurance, the sooner you’ll be protected and the more benefits you may be eligible to receive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Travel Insurance
Before you buy coverage, it’s helpful to understand the basics of how travel insurance works, why you need it and what to look for in a policy. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you make a better, more informed decision:
Is Travel Insurance a Waste of Money?
The short answer is no. Many people pay for a vacation by setting aside money to save up for it. Think about how you’d feel if you were forced to cancel your trip due to an emergency or if your possessions were stolen while on vacation. You’d have to pay to reschedule your trip or replace your items out of pocket.
Travel insurance policies can help provide peace of mind and protection if anything unexpected happens on your trip. For example, if your trip gets interrupted for a covered reason or you get injured while you’re away, the policy is designed to help cover those costs. Things happen, but with travel insurance, you can relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that you’re protected.
As you’re reviewing your options for travel insurance coverage, be sure to understand any exclusions that are relevant to your trip. You’ll want to know what risks or situations will not be covered.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Pandemics?
As “global pandemic” became a term that the world learned and experienced in 2020, it ushered in new challenges for those who travel. What that means for you as a potential traveler is that you’ll want to consider whether COVID-19 or any other potential pandemic presents a risk for your trip. Some travel insurance policies provide protection against cancellations related to pandemics. When you’re looking for travel insurance, take the time to read the exclusions in the policy, and make sure it provides both coronavirus and general pandemic protection if you want to be covered for those events.
How Far in Advance Can I Purchase Travel Insurance?
Buying travel insurance before your trip is a smart move, but how long before your trip can you buy it?
Typically, you can only buy coverage up to 12 months in advance. This gives you protection should you need to cancel your trip for any covered reason during that year. Buying coverage sooner than that probably isn’t necessary.
When you buy coverage in advance, you won’t have to worry about cancellation fees if you end up cancelling the trip. Your policy will likely cover up to 100% of your trip cost as long as you’re cancelling for a covered event.
Learn More About Travel Insurance
Keep in mind that travel insurance policies will vary based on your unique needs and the type of trip you’re planning to take. When travel uncertainties abound, the cost of travel insurance is a small fraction of the potential costs of trip cancellation or travel mishap. Learn more about travel insurance before you book your trip so you can choose the right policy for you.
More Prepare & Prevent
ID Fraud is the fastest-growing white collar crime. Learn what to do if your identity is stolen, including who to contact in case of ID fraud.
No house sitter? Smart tech can help keep your house safer. See how the CNET Smart Home® helped this man
control all of his smart home security tech with one simple command.