- Travel insurance covers medical emergencies and financial losses while on a trip.
- It’s best purchased right after booking your trip, as some coverage options are time-sensitive.
- Purchasing early is smart if you may need to cancel or want coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Travel insurance protects you against financial losses and medical emergencies while on a trip. If you want the highest level of protection, it’s generally best to book this coverage as soon as you know your trip details.
However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, and there may be times when you want to wait to purchase your policy. Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance and when you should buy it.
When to buy travel insurance
Travel insurance provides medical coverage and will reimburse you for things like lost luggage, trip delays, and sometimes even trip cancellations. It’s typically a smart option if you’re going somewhere your health insurance won’t cover you or if a lot of your charges are non-refundable.
Though you can buy travel insurance at any time before your trip, it’s generally best to purchase shortly after booking, once you have a good gauge on your total costs.
Buying quickly after booking also allows you to:
- Purchase cancel for any reason coverage, which reimburses you for 60% to 75% of your costs if you back out on your travel plans. This must be purchased within 15 to 21 days of putting down the first deposit on your trip.
- Guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. Many travel insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions unless you purchase coverage within two weeks of booking your trip.
- Cancel your travel insurance if you’re not happy with it. Most plans allow you to cancel your insurance and get a refund — as long as you do