For most travelers, looking into travel insurance raises all kinds of questions. What type of insurance will I need? How much will it cost? How much coverage will I really need on a specific policy?
In planning for your trip, you need to arrange for accommodations, air tickets, or car rentals some time before actually going on the trip. Most seasoned travelers would have acquired travel insurance as they are making travel arrangements. Still, other travelers wait and wonder.
The good news is that, in most cases, you can obtain travel insurance up until the day before your trip actually begins. You can definitely purchase travel insurance even after you buy the plane tickets. In fact, it may be better to do this, so the insurance company knows exactly when and where you will be leaving on your trip as well as when you will be returning home.
Keep in mind that it’s always best to make sure you obtain travel insurance as quickly as possible. Most travel insurance policies don’t actually go into effect right away so you’ll end up beginning your trip without immediate coverage and that’s always risky. Since most plane tickets are purchased in advance, the same should be done with travel insurance. Most travel agencies will actually purchase plane tickets and insurance policies almost simultaneously.
This applies to all types of insurance as well so it shouldn’t be a factor in deciding what type you need.
Single trip insurance is designed to cover a single trip like a holiday or a family visit. Usually these trips are planned far in advance so obtaining insurance after buying your plane tickets isn’t usually a problem.
Then you have annual trip travel insurance. This is designed to cover people who make multiple trips per year. Annual trip travel insurance is also suitable for people who go on frequent trips or take more than a few vacations every year. As usual, there should be no issues purchasing travel insurance after you buy a ticket.
Long stay travel insurance is the same. This type of coverage covers trips that are actually quite long – anywhere from 3 to 18 months – and often the traveler does not arrange a return date because they will be staying so long. Some people worry that this will make it hard for them to keep the insurance when they do buy their return ticket, but once again, usually ticket purchases do not affect a policy.
There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to travel insurance even for the most experienced traveler. There’s no reason to worry too much because you can definitely purchase a policy even after you buy plane tickets.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.