Last Updated on April 20, 2020 by Michael J. Branco
We all love to travel the world and visit places we only see on TVs and the internet. With the unpredictable nature of life, it is advisable to have travel insurance when travelling the world. Travel insurance protects your trip and also yourself from unpredicted occurrences. It also protects travellers who have underlying medical conditions. It is important to buy travel insurance if you like travelling.
Therefore, before you travel, buy yourself a travel insurance cover to ensure your trip goes smoothly. However, the timing of your purchase can affect the quality of the cover you will get. Several companies offer time-sensitive policies which if not bought early a traveller will not get the most out of the cover.
This raises the question of when is it too late to buy travel insurance?
This article will give you a brief but informational breakdown of why you should purchase a travel insurance plan, the best time to purchase a travel policy plan; including the best time to buy a plan if you have an existing medical condition when a plan is available for purchase, and details of last-minute travel insurance covers. It will also look at the details of trip cancellations and reasons why it is advisable to buy early.
Reasons Why you Should Buy Travel Insurance?
One of the best reasons to buy travel insurance is to protect yourself from losing money in case you are forced to cancel your trip. It protects money spent on the trip from unpredictable events that might lead to trip cancellation.
Injury or Sickness before or During the Trip
Travel insurance covers medical and health issues that might occur before you begin your trip or during your trip.
- Coverage if you are forced to cancel your trip in case your child or partner falls sick and is unable to travel. Travel insurance reimburses non-refundable and prepaid payments.
- If unfortunately, you are injured during your trip, travel insurance covers the medical expenses and might also include an ambulance ride.
- If you cannot continue with your holiday because of a serious injury, insurance covers for travels reimburse the cost of the remaining part of your holiday that you did not get to enjoy.
Natural Disasters and Adverse Weather
We do not have any control over the weather. Therefore, it is important to have a travel insurance plan that will cover you in case weather or a natural disaster leads to delays, flight or cruise cancellation, or trip cancellation.
Interruptions and Delays
A lot can happen between the moment you start planning for your trip and your departure day. Delays and interruptions are such occurrences that regularly affect travellers.
Travel insurance will cover delays and interruptions caused by transport delays, transport cancellation, missing passports, traffic, accidents, or security enforced delays. Therefore, you will not lose money because of misfortunes that are out of your control. However, it is difficult for an insurance agency to reimburse for a self-inflicted delay.
Read the terms and conditions of a plan to have prior knowledge of the type of delays and interruptions that are covered.
Delayed, Lost, or Stolen Baggage
Statistics in the US show that over twenty million bags were either lost, damaged, or delayed by airlines in the year 2015. Travel insurance ensures that you are reimbursed for damaged, lost, or stolen luggage. It can also cover money used to purchase necessities such as clothes when your luggage is delayed by an airline.
Frequently Asked Question
When is the best time to buy a travel insurance plan?
Insurance companies advise travellers to buy travel insurance after making the first payment of your trip. This payment may be in the form of an air ticket, cruise ticket, or train ticket. This ensures that you enjoy coverage for the whole trip period.
Purchasing a plan after making new travel payments also makes sure you do not lose money after the cancellation of a trip. You should call your travel agency after making non-refundable payments such as airfare or hotel. This makes sure that your travel plan covers the entire cost of your trip.
When can you buy travel insurance?
This depends on which type of travel insurance you want to purchase. For general travel insurance, a purchase can be done up to one and a half years before the actual trip date up until the last day before your scheduled trip.
Travellers who make trip payments in instalments can also purchase travel insurance even before making the full trip payments. All they need to do is indicate the total cost of their trip. The total trip cost can be adjusted in the plan if any of the costs change in time. However, you cannot modify the plan once you begin your trip.
When is it too late to buy travel insurance?
Many travel insurance agencies do not allow purchase on the day the traveller is supposed to leave or once the trip has already begun. Therefore, once it reaches midnight, then it becomes too late to purchase a travel insurance plan.
You can also purchase a plan once you have booked a flight. It is even advisable to purchase a plan after booking a ticket so that you can be aware of the price of the ticket and include it in your total trip cost. Just remember not to buy the plan during the trip day as it might not be viable depending on how nice your agent is.
Last Minute Travel Insurance Plans
Those who wait till the last minute are lucky in some of the available travel insurance agencies. You are however not advised to wait till the last minute to purchase a plan. some policies cannot be covered after a certain date such as medical covers for pre-existing health conditions.
Your last chance to purchase a plan in many agencies is a day before you leave for your travels. You cannot purchase a plan on the trip day, once you are on a flight, or after you arrive at your travel destination.
Remember that trip cancellation coverage begins the next day after purchasing a plan.
Why you Should Buy Early?
The unpredictability of life, it is only logical to cover much of your trip and if possible, the entire trip period. the world can throw things your way that will force you to cancel your trip. It might be a work emergency or a political situation in your travel destination. A good example is the current pandemic of the coronavirus which has led to flight bans in several countries.
This is why you should buy a travel insurance plan early since it will cover the non-refundable, forfeited, and pre-paid payments in case of a trip cancellation. When you buy a plan as early as when you make your first trip payment, you get coverage for all the unpredictable things that might occur between the first trip payment up to when you travel back home.
Trip cancellation cover is available only if you purchase a plan 24 hours after the first trip payment.
Medical Covers for Pre-Existing Illnesses
Travellers have pre-existing medical conditions that require frequent checkups. These types of travellers need travel insurance plans that provide coverage for their medical needs. However, it is critical that they understand most of these medical covers have purchase windows after which they become unavailable.
If you fail to purchase the coverage within a certain timeframe, you might end up travelling without a medical cover which is with no doubt, very risky. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should make a planned purchase within 24 hours after making your first trip payment. You are not allowed to purchase the medical cover if you are not medically cleared to travel.
Freelook period is a trip cancellation service offered by several travel companies. It allows a traveller to cancel a trip and receive a full refund of the total cost of their plan. However, this is only possible if the traveller cancels the trip within a specified timeframe. The common timeframe is several days after purchasing a plan but before you begin your scheduled trip or making a claim.
The free look period timeframe varies from company to company, and state to state. Generally, the free look period is ten days from the day you purchase a plan.
You should research well and go through all the terms and conditions, and the description of the policies before purchasing a plan. Proper research allows you to know the free look period available in a plan and protect yourself from losses.
Generally, it is wise to have a travel insurance plan when planning to go on a trip. It is also wise to buy a plan as early as you can to make sure that you get the most out of the cover and preferably from the time you make your first payment up until you return home. Remember to carefully read the terms and conditions of a plan before purchasing it. You should also purchase travel insurance from reputable insurance agencies.
Alix johnson Romi is the head Product Marketing Manager of Easy Trip Guides. She researches one of the best products from Amazon.com with good customer feedback and writes authentic reviews of those products.