Travel insurance is an excellent way to protect vacation or holiday bookings. It provides peace of mind that unforeseen events while travelling have coverage. Not everyone prefers to have travel insurance, however, some people do find it beneficial. It really all comes down to personal budgets and preferences.
Whether someone always chooses to get travel insurance or someone is getting it for the first time, it is important to know about some specifics concerning such insurance. The biggest question behind travel insurance is how late can it be purchased?
For those people who might have forgotten to get it or have decided at the last minute to try it out, knowing when to purchase it is key!
It’s recommended that travel insurance be purchased somewhere between 10 and 15 days prior to making a trip booking. The latest that travel insurance should be booked would be around the 15-day mark. This isn’t to say that insurance can’t be booked any later than that but it isn’t really advisable.
The whole purpose of booking travel insurance to make sure everyone attending the trip is covered. Waiting too long could result in less coverage. Sticking within the 10 to 15 days prior to booking really is the best approach. This ensures that the best possible coverage is available and that claims to the travel insurance are less likely to be denied.
When Is It Too Late To Buy Travel Insurance?
As previously expressed, it may be too late to buy travel insurance once it is over the 15-day mark for a booking of a trip. Bookings made after the 15-day mark are subject to travel insurance coverage becoming quite narrower. When thinking about investing in travel insurance, you want to get the best possible coverage.
It is important to really think about the needs of yourself and your travel group when making the decision to buy this type of insurance. Travel insurance covers a wide scope of scenarios depending on the company and its offerings.
This can include coverage for medical events, loss of personal belongings, or cancellations. Picking and choosing what types of insurance coverages might be needed is critical to ensure that the coverage is actually available.
In fact, there are some coverages that require early bookings (typically within the 15-day period prior to booking). Below are some of the coverages that might require early booking.
Travel Insurance Coverages That Might Require Early Bookings
Can You Cancel For (Any Reason Coverage)
Cancellations of big vacation or holiday bookings can be costly. There are options for travel insurance to cover cancellations due to any reason. However, it is important to note that there might still be a service charge of some sort.
Additionally, it is crucial to remember that the purpose of travel insurance is to cover events that haven’t happened yet. Insurance in general is used to cover events that haven’t occurred to prepare assistance with certain life situations. Travel insurance is no different.
With this in mind, the “cancel-for-any-reason” coverage is not going to apply to a situation that is already taking place. Claims processed for events already occurring will be denied by the travel insurance companies. Having this coverage early on in the stages of making a booking is very helpful in case you decide that you can’t make the trip after all.
Considering that this coverage’s purpose is to cancel for unforeseen events, not current happening events, booking it earlier is beneficial.
Travel Insurance For Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Medical insurance is always a hot topic of conversation. If travelling abroad, health insurance doesn’t typically transfer country to country. In this case, having medical insurance coverage is really important. This ensures that you and your travel group have help available if something were to go wrong on a trip.
Anything is possible and perhaps the medical coverage part of travel insurance is the most important of all.
Unlike the “cancel for any reason” coverage, medical coverage through travel insurance heavily relies on pre-existing knowledge of medical conditions. It is important to be upfront and honest with travel insurance agents about any pre-existing conditions in the travel group so that there is coverage if something goes wrong.
Typically, medical coverage will not apply to pre-existing conditions that cause a need for medical help if they weren’t already announced. This might seem petty to some people, however, realising that making a pre-existing condition known to a travel agent could help save a life in the event of an emergency.
This is in addition to having any medical bills potentially covered as well.
Are You Covered For Weather-related Events Or Natural Disasters
Weather is only predictable up to a certain point. There are some truths behind knowing the weather to come, however, mother nature is a beast and things can change. Weather-related event coverage will generally cover pre-paid costs for a vacation or holiday booking due to natural disaster events.
This is the primary reason why purchasing it early is critical so that any pre-paid costs can be applied in the event this coverage is needed.
This type of travel insurance coverage is not going to apply to weather that is scheduled to occur. Cancellations due to predicted weather aren’t seen as natural disasters, so they will not be covered. Once again, because travel insurance is meant to prepare for unforeseen events, not known events.
This is linked to the “cancel for any reason” coverage because predicted weather does not fall into the “any reason” category. Even though cancellations cannot be processed under this type of coverage, having this coverage is a good idea if you are travelling to parts of the world that see extreme weather.
In the event that an actual natural disaster occurs, this coverage will provide true peace of mind.
These are three main types of coverage that require earlier bookings. Due to the nature of what they cover, the requirement for early booking isn’t unfair. It is simply providing customers with essential coverage for big-ticket claims that might need to be processed.
Another important thing to keep in mind when choosing travel insurance, specifically concerning the pre-existing medical condition coverage, is that everyone in your travel group should be covered. Only providing travel insurance for one person within a travel party will not completely cover the entire party.
Insuring all persons that are headed out on vacation or holiday with you will ensure that no one receives any surprise bills in the mail. As expressed, medical coverage is the most important one to consider when covering all persons. While it might appear to be an expensive investment, it truly is an important one that is worth making the up-front investment.
Can You Purchase Travel Insurance After Booking?
The short answer to this is yes. While it is smart to consider booking travel insurance between 10 to 15 days prior to booking, it can be purchased after booking. Oftentimes, third-party booking websites might even suggest travel insurance options during the booking process.
Ideally, travel insurance that is made after booking should be done immediately after the booking. Taking care of it all at once is the best approach to ensure that any coverage that might be needed is available.
Waiting too long after booking a trip may result in significantly less coverage being available. To give a good frame of reference, holiday or vacation bookings are generally processed 6 months in advance of the actual trip. This provides certain perks like discounts and access to the availability of things like hotel rooms, rental cars or certain activities.
Due to this, there is plenty of time to consider getting travel insurance prior to booking or immediately after. It is not recommended to attempt to get travel insurance on a booking that was made well in advance. Once again, this is because the insurance companies will reduce the amount or availability of coverage that is offered.
Can You Get Last Minute Travel Insurance?
Everyone makes mistakes. Humans can be forgetful or simply change their minds at the last minute. When it comes to getting travel insurance at the last minute, it is possible. Travel insurance agencies aren’t going to turn away a potential customer.
You could book travel insurance up to the day before a trip. But why would you want to? At this point, travel insurance agencies might be taking advantage of your desperate need for travel insurance.
Planning ahead is essential to avoid a lack of coverage or unforeseen up-charges that could occur due to late inquiries for travel insurance. However, things happen. If you happen to decide at the last minute that someone else is joining your travel group or that you want additional coverage, it can be done through some companies.
It is just crucial to know that some coverages, such as medical, might not be covering all the needs you might require. This is why thinking about travel insurance at the initial time of booking or prior to booking a trip is so helpful.
Travel insurance is an important way to cover unforeseen events during travel, especially trips made abroad. It can be affordable (always get multiple quotes before picking an option!) and provides true peace of mind that everyone in your travel group is going to be protected.
While not everyone will choose to get travel insurance, it is nice to know a little more about it overall!
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