When Should I Purchase Travel Insurance? | Travelers Insurance (2024)

When Should I Purchase Travel Insurance? | Travelers Insurance (1)

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 canceling the trip. Your policy will likely cover up to 100% of your trip cost as long as you’re canceling 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 abouttravel insurance before you book your trip so you can choose the right policy for you.

When Should I Purchase Travel Insurance? | Travelers Insurance (2024)

FAQs

How far in advance do you buy 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.

When should I start travel insurance? ›

It's best to buy travel insurance right after you've booked your holiday to ensure you're covered for any unexpected events that might force you to cancel or change your travel plans.

Does travel insurance get more expensive closer to the trip? ›

Unlike other aspects of your travel experience like airfares or hotel-room rates, the price of travel insurance doesn't increase the closer you get to your travel date. There's no financial penalty if you wait to buy travel insurance (except for those bonus coverages, of course).

What is the effective date of travel insurance? ›

The “Effective Date” is the Day After You Purchase the Policy. One key in any travel insurance policy is the fact that the policy only goes into effect the next day after you purchase it.

Do credit cards provide travel insurance? ›

Credit card travel insurance is a benefit included with certain travel credit cards. You'll often see this perk with travel rewards credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

What is the best travel insurance company? ›

The Best International Travel Insurance Providers in Detail
  • Faye. OUR PICK FOR ALL-ONLINE EXPERIENCE. ...
  • Travelex. Our pick for families. ...
  • Nationwide Travel Insurance. Our pick for most coverage reimbursed. ...
  • Tin Leg. ...
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. ...
  • Seven Corners Travel Insurance. ...
  • AIG Travel Guard.
Apr 19, 2024

Is it better to buy travel insurance early or late? ›

It's smart to buy travel insurance immediately after booking for two reasons. One: You won't forget! Far too many travelers postpone buying travel insurance and then realize, too late, that they forgot to buy it at all. And two: The earlier you buy insurance, the bigger your coverage window.

What does travel insurance not cover? ›

Most travel insurance policies won't pay out if you're negligent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and have an accident or have property stolen.

Can you claim Cancelled flights on travel insurance? ›

Cancellation cover is a common inclusion with most standard travel insurance policies, but you can take it out separately if it doesn't offer enough cover. Alternatively, if you only want cancellation cover to protect you against cancelled flights rather than baggage protection, you can get it for that.

What percent of a trip should travel insurance cost? ›

Travel insurance is not one-size-fits-all, so the price and conditions of a plan will vary. However, it may be useful to understand pricing guidelines to plan your travel insurance purchase. In general, you should expect a plan will cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost.

Is Allianz good travel insurance? ›

We at the MarketWatch Guides team awarded Allianz Travel Insurance 4.1 out of 5 stars based on our provider review methodology. Named our pick for concierge services, Allianz offers 24/7 travel assistance through a multilingual team, which can help policyholders with travel and coverage issues while abroad.

Does AARP offer international travel insurance? ›

While there are no AARP travel insurance products or discounts available for seniors, members can use the AARP website for trips and tricks on how to plan for international travel and information regarding how to choose the right insurance plan for older travelers.

Should you pay for travel insurance? ›

If you've spent money on nonrefundable airline tickets, tours and hotels, you could be at a loss if something goes awry. Travel insurance covers numerous scenarios, from a medical emergency to a tropical storm. It could be particularly useful if: You've spent a lot on prepaid, non-refundable expenses.

Can you buy travel insurance after booking a flight? ›

You absolutely can buy travel insurance after booking your trip. However, it's always best to purchase insurance as early in the process as possible. If you procrastinate, you may miss out on certain benefits.

Can I buy travel insurance the day of? ›

Some travel medical plans are available for purchase after you have departed, but comprehensive plans that include medical coverage must be purchased before departing. However, you can't buy any medical coverage once you recognize a need for medical attention. The same applies to all travel insurance coverage.

Can I buy travel insurance right before departure? ›

Most travel insurance companies will sell trip protection policies until you depart. However, they won't cover any events or illnesses starting before you buy coverage.

How long can you wait to make a travel insurance claim? ›

You should notify us of a claim as soon as possible. You can do this online or by calling 0333 333 9702 (1). All claims, however you make them, should be submitted within 60 days of returning from your trip. The exception is when you need 24-hour emergency medical assistance.

Does travel insurance cover a cancelled flight? ›

Cancellation cover is a common inclusion with most standard travel insurance policies, but you can take it out separately if it doesn't offer enough cover. Alternatively, if you only want cancellation cover to protect you against cancelled flights rather than baggage protection, you can get it for that.

Does travel insurance cover leaving early? ›

If your reason for coming home is one of those covered reasons, you could be covered. If it's not, then you're not. In other words, you can't just decide you'd like to go home earlier than planned and be covered for any lost deposits or fees charged for an early return. That part of things is pretty cut-and-dried.

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