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Not Just What to Buy, When to Buy Travel Insurance

Savvy travelers are always looking for the best value planning a trip, and this includes the travel insurance.  Of course, finding the right coverage for a good price is a priority, but your timeliness purchasing a policy will have a large impact on how well you are covered.   Remember to compare travel insurance plans soon after booking the trip to get the most bang for your buck.Clock and Calendar

  1. Pre-Existing Conditions Can Be Covered

Many travel insurance plans will cover pre-existing conditions if you purchase the policy within 14 days of making your first payment towards the trip.  Whether the first booking was a flight, cruise, hotel, or other travel arrangements, the date of the first payment starts the clock.  After that time passes, you can still purchase a policy, it just won’t cover Pre-Existing Conditions.  Also, there is no additional cost associated, you will pay the same rate whether within the required time or not.

Don’t make the mistake of only thinking of your traveling party’s medical needs.  The most commonly claimed reason for cancelling a trip is an illness or death in the family.  Covering Pre-Existing Conditions can be critically important if you are concerned about an elderly relative, for example.

  1. Cancel For Any Reason Coverage is Still Available

Travel insurance includes the standard Trip Cancellation coverage, which means you are cancelling the trip because of a covered reason written in the policy.  But there is another coverage that is the catch all category, Cancel For Any Reason.  Like Pre-Existing conditions, Cancel For Any Reason requires the insurance to have been purchased within 14 days of the initial trip deposit date.  Again, waiting too long to purchase a policy means this coverage won’t be available.

Cancel For Any Reason is important for the traveler that values choice.  You may choose to cancel the trip, without explaining why, and still be reimbursed a portion of your loss.  This is ideal for travelers worried about hurricane season or traveling to an unstable region.  You can make the decision on your own, even if it is just fear of something happening.

  1. Cover More Time at the Same Price

Cancellation coverages begin the day after purchasing travel insurance.  Travelers are covered from that effective date until the trip departure.  Getting the insurance 6 months in advance of the trip means there is 6 months coverage for unexpected events that may cause the need to cancel.  Waiting until one week before the trip removes most of the value from the cancellation coverages, since you are likely to take the trip at that point.

Most importantly, the cost of the insurance will be the same, regardless of how far in the future the trip is scheduled.  If you know travel insurance is on your travel planning to-do list, acting early is a no brainer.

  1. Waiting is the Risk

It may seem obvious, but if something happens before you buy insurance, it is too late to buy a policy to cover that situation.  All too often, travelers forget to buy travel insurance and are only reminded when an unexpected event impacts the trip.  There is no value in waiting to purchase insurance.

Overall the best suggestion is to make travel insurance a part of booking your trip in the first place.  By taking care of this early, you will get the most coverage out of any policy without spending a penny more.