You can buy travel insurance up to the day before you leave on your trip, but depending on when you made your first trip payment (for airfare, a tour, or lodging, for example), you may not have some of the coverage listed in your plan.
Many travel insurance coverages require that you purchase the plan within a specified number of days (usually between 10 and 14) of making your initial trip deposit. The issue is that you’re buying a travel insurance plan for a certain amount of money and you don’t have all the coverage offered in that plan. In fact, buying travel insurance too late is one of the most common reasons for claim denials.
These are the coverages that require early purchase:
Remember that travel insurance can only cover events that haven’t occurred yet, so if you’re buying your travel insurance in the hopes of being able to cancel and get a refund in the event that the hurricane brewing off Puerto Rico you to cancel your trip in a couple of days, your travel insurance provider won’t cover that cancellation because the hurricane is a known event already.
See When should I buy my travel insurance? for more information.
As long as you purchase your trip insurance no later than the time frame listed in your policy, you’ll have all the coverage listed in your plan.
Specifically, if you found a great airfare to Hawaii for a trip next weekend and you bought it, then booked your hotel and excursions, you can buy your travel insurance and all of the coverage is available to you unless another exclusion is in effect. For example, coverage pre-existing medical conditions requires that you are medically stable at the time you made your travel plans.
See Can I get Travel Insurance with a Medical Diagnosis? for more information.
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.