When Is It Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance: A Helpful Guide

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Guide to Buy Travel Insurance – Planning your trip is almost as fun as the actual vacation itself. 

It’s exciting to plan what you’ll be eating, where you’ll be touring, and who’ll you be meeting or not meeting on your trip abroad.

However, you shouldn’t forget to consider travel insurance ahead of time. 

We say ahead of time because, yes, there will come a time when it will simply be too late to do so. 

Since you can potentially benefit from early purchasing and have to be aware of the deadline, buying as early as possible could lead to even more benefits for you long-term.

Travel insurance should be among the very first things to look into if you plan on flying to a different country. 

So, when is it too late to buy travel insurance?

When Is the Perfect Time to Purchase Travel Insurance?

Every traveler has different needs, but when it comes to travel insurance, the most seasoned travelers recommend purchasing shortly after you book the first part of the trip. 

In this way, early purchase benefits are a lot more likely to be received by the buyer.

The timing determines how great your experience with travel insurance is, so make sure to keep that in mind for your next adventure.

Trip Deposit Dates

The trip deposit date is what determines the eligibility of travelers for the benefits of an early purchase. 

Take note that this comes from the travel insurance providers themselves.

The trip deposit date is the day you make your very first payment for your trip. 

What you paid for doesn’t matter for as long as it’s related to your soon-to-be adventure. 

It can be either a partial or full deposit in your hotel room, car reservations, or flight arrangements.

Types of Coverage You Need to Purchase Early

The coverage type is determined by a number of factors related to the provider, the plan, and the state. 

Some of the types of coverage frequently purchased early are those related to cancellation upgrades and the exclusion waiver for pre-existing conditions.

Let’s discuss in detail the different coverage.

Cancellation Upgrade

It goes without saying that when “life happens”, all our travel plans take a back seat. 

If you’re flying somewhere anytime soon, you’ll want to be covered for as much time as possible until your trip.

Uncertainties can drive a wrench into your travel plans, which forces you to cancel your trip altogether. 

Anything could happen in between the time you start booking and the day you start traveling, so it would make sense to get insurance right away.

The cancellation upgrade pays for any prepaid, forfeited, and nonrefundable arrangements you’ve made for travel, given that the policy covers your reason for doing so. 

Again, you can get maximum coverage if you purchase the plan at the same time or within 24 hours of the first payment.

The cancellation upgrade also has a premium version, which provides add-on coverage that you can benefit from in so many ways. 

For this coverage, make sure to purchase your plan within a day of your first payment; otherwise, you won’t be able to qualify for this specific upgrade.

Pre-Existing Conditions

This particular coverage deals with any pre-existing medical conditions a traveler may have.

When looking into this type of travel insurance plan, you must understand the purchase window for qualification. 

If you fail to purchase this plan during the right time frame, then you lose your chance to benefit from its features, which include trip cancellation as well as medical and dental claims related to your current health condition.

A premium plan is also available for pre-existing conditions. 

However, this coverage should be bought either before or within 24 hours after you made the final payment for your trip. 

Plus, during the time of purchase, travelers must be medically able to travel.

To avail of the premium coverage benefits, a traveler must also have the complete cost of their prepaid trip subject to restrictions or cancellation penalties insured. 

Depending on the provider, pre-existing conditions may not be available for all insurance products.

There are, however, some providers that still offer pre-existing conditions to family members who are not traveling. 

In a nutshell, these service providers will still honor coverage for flight cancellations that occur because of a loved one’s medical condition.

Free Look Period

Travelers who wish to cancel their plans and receive a full refund may get their request granted for as long as they make it within a designated time frame from the date of purchase and have not made any claims or abandoned their trip.

Some insurance providers offer the “free look period” service, which, more or less, fits the above description. 

The time frame for this particular product usually differs from one state to another and is generally valid within 10 days from the date of purchase. 

To be sure of this number, you’ll want to go over the insurance policy documents of your specific provider.

When Is It Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance?

In most cases, you won’t be allowed to purchase travel insurance on the day of your trip or if you’re already on your trip. 

When midday arrives on the day of your trip, and you haven’t bought insurance yet, you’ll no longer be allowed to so.

when is it too late to buy travel insurance

The Latest You Can Purchase Insurance

If your travel day is drawing near, and you haven’t bought an insurance plan yet, worry not because some providers can come to your rescue. 

While you shouldn’t wait this long to purchase coverage, you can still do so as far along as 24 hours before your trip.

Take note, though, that this is as good as your last chance. 

Any later than that, you’ll have to travel without your trip being insured.

If you’re planning to wait until you get to the airport or once you’ve arrived at your destination before getting that coverage, then it’s just not going to happen. 

Since benefits of travel insurance are heavily dependent on the qualification window, you’re unlikely to get great coverage for last-minute insurance.

That’s all fine and dandy for as long as everything goes according to your plan, and life starts giving you the break you deserve and want. 

But the thing about life is that it can pull the rug from under you all of a sudden and, instead of having insurance to break the financial fall, you’ll be forced to accept the truth of the aftermath. 

That is you spent a good deal of money for a plan that didn’t come to fruition!

Travel Insurance Coverage

Generally, travel insurance covers the uncertainties that could take place in the life of a traveler. 

We’re talking about unforeseen events brought on by “life” and other occurrences we never saw coming.

“How about hurricanes or storms?” you may ask.

We all know that terrifying storms or hurricanes can put a huge damper on your travel plans, and, naturally, you want to have insurance in case they happen during the day you leave for your trip. 

Ultimately, when hurricanes are formed, they are no longer considered an unanticipated event; thus, not fits the description of travel insurance coverage.

Nonetheless, you should still be covered for as long as you purchased your insurance before the hurricane developed.

Our Recommendation to Buy Travel Insurance

Frequent traveler or not, you should always prioritize travel insurance when planning for a trip

The type of coverage and time of purchase greatly impacts how much travelers will benefit from their plan.

So, when is it too late to buy travel insurance?

It is always best not to wait until the very last minute to purchase insurance. 

Although you can, thanks to the last minute insurance option, by that time, it is no longer as beneficial to you as it potentially could have been.

Always keep in mind that it is better to maximize travel insurance benefits because that’s really when insurance makes you feel most at peace.