When is the best time to buy travel insurance?
In general, it’s best to purchase your travel insurance well before the start of your trip. This gives you time to look into your options and, if you need to complete a medical questionnaire, consult your doctor or insurance broker. It also makes sure that, in the case of trip cancellation coverage, you are insured for any potential cancellation expenses.
There are times, though, when it pays to wait until a little closer to your departure date to purchase your travel insurance.
If you are purchasing medical insurance and have a pre-existing medical condition, insurance companies will require that condition to be in a stable state before they will cover it. This means that there must have been no changes to your condition, your treatment or medication for a specified period of time. The policy you purchase will define the stability conditions.
If your condition is on the threshold of that stability period, it may be wise to wait until closer to the date of your trip to make the purchase, if it puts you in that stable period.
Speak to an insurance broker or travel agent who can help you understand these restrictions and advise you on the best time to buy your travel insurance.
What if I decide to extend my trip?
If you decide to extend the length of your trip while you are already away, you can extend your travel insurance as well to ensure that you are covered for your entire trip.
To do this, you must extend the coverage before your existing policy expires. If your policy expires many insurance companies will not allow you to purchase an extension while you are already out of your home province.
All you need to do to extend your protection is call the person you bought the insurance through and ask to extend your coverage for the duration of your trip.
What if my credit card travel insurance expires before my trip ends?
If you are travelling on insurance provided by an employer policy or a credit card and you decide to extend your travels beyond their coverage limits you might also be able to purchase a policy from a private insurer while you are away. Some credit cards don’t allow for trips longer than what the card provides, so be sure to read over any conditions before you leave to make sure you can be covered for your entire trip.
Be sure to take the contact information of an insurance broker or travel agent with you so you can call them of needed.
Just like the preceding example, though, you need to buy this coverage before your existing coverage expires.