How to add travel insurance after booking a trip

If you're planning to book a trip in the near future, especially around the holidays, then consider investing in travel insurance. / Credit: Getty Images

If you’re planning to book a trip in the near future, especially around the holidays, then consider investing in travel insurance. / Credit: Getty Images

Vacations, in general, can get pricey. And when you’re filling in your credit card information to book airline tickets, hotels, cars and more, it may be tempting to cut costs and decline insurance coverage. Who needs yet another added expense?

But declining to buy travel insurance may actually cost you time and money later on. Depending on the type of travel insurance you purchase, you could end up saving hundreds (if not thousands) if you run into certain situations, like a medical emergency, trip delay, cancellation or another unforeseen event.

Travel insurance usually costs between 4% to 8% of your total trip, per the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and financial protection.

If you’re planning to book a trip in the near future, especially around the holidays, then consider investing in travel insurance. Click here to easily compare travel insurance providers and policies.

How to add travel insurance after booking a trip

If you were hesitant to buy travel insurance the day you booked your trip, don’t worry — there’s still time to get coverage. In fact, most companies allow you to buy travel insurance up to 24 hours before your scheduled trip.

“Typically travelers will wait to buy a policy until they’ve made at least one insurable payment toward their trip, which can include booking a flight, hotel, tour, or other prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses,” Squaremoth, a U.S.-based travel insurance comparison site, explains online.

Are you looking to add travel insurance to your booking? The process is easy. Head to a travel insurance comparison site and fill out your trip and traveler information (including departure dates, costs, destination, deposits, etc.) and let the site scour the internet for you and provide you with several options. You simply have to evaluate the offers, compare plans and buy one that fits your needs.

Get started by comparing some of the top travel insurance companies now!

Can I get travel insurance if I’m already traveling?

If you’ve already departed for your trip then it’s too late to get travel insurance in most cases. However, some providers do provide an option to add on Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation coverage. You should reach out to your desired provider directly to inquire as to whether you’ll be able to purchase this insurance during your trip.

Here’s some general guidance on when to buy specific types of insurance coverage. In short, Trip Cancellation coverage you can buy up to a day before your trip in most cases. Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-Existing Conditions coverage will need more advanced notice (14 to 21 days after your initial booking date). Just note that these types of policies will be more expensive.

“If you choose to add Cancel for Any Reason coverage to a policy, the premium typically increases by 40-50%. Additionally, some policies have optional upgrades that can also increase the premium,” Squaremouth explains on its website.

Most travel insurance policies are comprehensive and cover a variety of issues or scenarios (such as trip cancellation, lost luggage, delays, etc.), but you may also want to look for additional add-ons. It depends on your specific needs. Take a look now.

Why should I buy travel insurance?

Travel insurance allows travelers to get reimbursed for a canceled trip, delays, medical care, and potential losses like lost luggage or damaged items or unexpected events (as long as you file a claim for these covered reasons).

Some countries even require or urge visitors to get certain types of insurance coverage, typically Travel Medical Insurance. The State Department also recommends that Americans purchase Travel Medical Insurance when traveling abroad since Medicare and Medicaid generally don’t cover medical costs overseas. Check your current health care plan to see if you have coverage overseas.

Everyone’s travel plans are different and whether or not travel insurance is right for you depends on a variety of factors: your destination, itinerary, health and more. Consider your total trip costs and potential losses if something goes wrong.

“I used to think it was a waste and a little bit of a scam and hardly anybody ever used it,” Kathleen Bangs, an aviation expert for flight tracking website Flight Aware, told CBS News. “Now if a family is going to Disney World or Europe, I would recommend it.”

Travel insurance is not the same as checking that add flight protection box at checkout.

“Don’t just click ‘yes’ on insurance when you purchase your flight,” Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights explained over the summer. “Typically because it’s right there and convenient, it’s not going to be as robust or cover you for as many things, and you don’t always know who you’re buying it from.”

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