June 23, 2024
Can You Buy Travel Insurance After Booking?

Road Trip travel insurance

Berkshire’s roadtrip-specific plan is called ExactCare Lite. This coverage is only offered for trips that venture more than 100 miles from the policyholder’s primary residence, and is designed to help cover costs related to trip cancellations, medical emergencies and travel interruptions. It provides coverage for:

 

Trip cancellation: Up to $500

Trip interruption: Up to $750

Medical expense: Up to $10,000

Emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains: Up to $100,000

Accidental death and dismemberment: Up to $10,000

Adventure travel insurance

The company’s AdrenalineCare plan is tailored for travel itineraries that include activities like skiing, scuba diving and expedition trips. It provides coverage for: :

 

Trip cancellation: Up to 100% of the cost of the trip

Trip interruption: Up to 150% of the cost of the trip

Medical expenses: Up to $50,000

Emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains: Up to $750,000

Lost baggage: Up to $1,500

Trip delay: Up to $1,000

Baggage delay: Up to $200

Sporting equipment delay: $500

Car rental collision coverage (optional): Up to $35,000

Luxury travel insurance

This is the most comprehensive travel insurance offered by Berkshire Hathaway. The plan includes the highest limits out of any of the company’s core plans and an option to purchase a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. It provides coverage for:

 

Trip cancellation: Up to 100% of the cost of the trip

Trip interruption: Up to 150% of the cost of the trip

Missed connection: Up to $500

Medical expense: Up to $100,000

Emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains: Up to $1,000,000

Accidental death and dismemberment: Up to $25,000

Lost baggage: Up to $2,500

Trip delay: Up to $2,000

Baggage delay: Up to $500

Car rental collision coverage (optional): Up to $35,000

Cancel for any reason coverage (optional): Up to 50% of insured trip costs

You’ve just booked an exciting trip, and the countdown to your adventure has begun. While you may be focused on planning the itinerary and packing, you should also consider one other step: purchasing the best travel insurance for your needs. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first journey, understanding how and when to buy travel insurance can provide you with valuable coverage and peace of mind for your upcoming trip.

Why you should buy travel insurance as soon as possible after booking a flight

While the anticipation of exploring new places and creating lasting memories is undoubtedly thrilling, you must also consider the practical side of travel — including protecting your financial investment and your health. You may be wondering if you can add travel insurance after booking. The answer is yes. In fact, the best time to buy travel insurance is shortly after you book your flight. In this section, we’ll cover the reasons why timing is of the essence when it comes to travel insurance.

 

But before we dive in, let’s go over the basics. Travel insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection and assistance for unexpected events, trip delays, disruptions and emergencies that can occur during your travels. Typically, it covers trip cancellation or interruption, lost or delayed luggage, medical expenses, accidental death and dismemberment and emergency medical evacuation, depending on your specific policy.

 

Trip cancellation protection

Life is unpredictable, and emergencies can strike anytime between booking and departure on a trip, putting your non-refundable travel expenses at risk. If you’re forced to cancel your vacation, it’s disheartening to realize you’ve lost money on flight, cruise or train tickets as well as lodging and activity bookings. Buying travel insurance shortly after booking gives you the advantage of trip cancellation protection from the outset.

 

Suppose you’re traveling from the U.S. to Europe and you booked your flight a couple of months in advance for the best deal. If you didn’t get your travel insurance after booking, you would lose most of your investment if something like a family emergency caused you to cancel your trip between the time when you booked and your trip departure. With trip cancellation coverage, you wouldn’t take such a financial hit.

 

Additionally, certain travel insurance policies offer so-called “time-sensitive” benefits like cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage. CFAR lets you cancel your trip for reasons not covered in a standard policy and receive reimbursement of a portion of your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses. There are often restrictions associated with CFAR benefits, requiring you to purchase weeks before your trip begins.

Coverage for pre-existing conditions

Having pre-existing medical conditions shouldn’t hold you back from traveling, but it’s essential to take precautions. In the context of travel insurance, a pre-existing condition refers to an injury or medical condition that you showed symptoms of or received treatment for within a specific period (usually 60 to 180 days) before purchasing a policy. Often, insurance plans will include pre-existing condition waivers at no extra cost, covering claims related to your existing medical issues.

 

However, to qualify for a pre-existing conditions waiver, you usually need to purchase your travel medical insurance policy right after making your initial trip deposit. The timing varies by provider, but if you wait, you might not be reimbursed for any treatments related to your pre-existing condition you receive while traveling.

 

10- to 15-day review period before your trip

Most travel insurance policies come with a review period, typically ranging from 10 to 15 days after purchase. Also called the “free look period,” it gives you time to review the policy terms and conditions in detail. If you realize the policy doesn’t offer the coverage you require, you can cancel it and explore other options without any financial loss.

 

However, the free look period ends when you start your trip. Having ample time to be sure you’re getting the best plan for your travel needs can help you avoid costly omissions in your coverage. The sooner you purchase your travel insurance, the more time you’ll have to adjust or replace your policy well before departure.

 

When is it too late to buy travel insurance?

While some travel insurance providers allow you to purchase a policy after departure, waiting until the last minute will restrict your options. These types of policies may include post-departure benefits such as medical emergencies and lost luggage but could exclude trip interruption, trip cancellation and pre-existing conditions coverage. You won’t have the option to add CFAR coverage either.

 

Further, once certain disruptions or emergencies have occurred, it’s too late to buy travel insurance. For example, if a hurricane is already on its way to your travel destination, it’s too late for you to get travel insurance to cancel your trip. At that point, it’s no longer considered “unforeseen” from the insurer’s perspective and won’t be covered.

How to add travel insurance after booking a flight

Navigating the process of buying travel insurance after booking is simpler than you might think — here’s how to do it.

 

1. Check if you have existing travel insurance coverage with your credit card company

Before purchasing a separate travel insurance policy, check whether your credit card company offers any travel-related benefits. Some credit cards provide limited travel insurance coverage when you use the card to book your trip. Check with your credit card provider to determine if the coverage is sufficient for your upcoming trip. If not, you’ll want to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy after you book.

 

It’s also a good idea to check with your homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance provider, as these sometimes include limited travel insurance benefits.

 

2. Research the best travel insurance providers

Take time to research reputable travel insurance companies. Look for companies with positive customer reviews, a history of reliable coverage and a variety of plans to choose from. Using online comparison tools such as Squaremouth can help you narrow down your options and quickly find a plan that provides the coverage you need.

 

3. Choose a travel insurance plan that aligns with your coverage needs

Just as no two trips are exactly alike, travel insurance plans come in a variety of flavors to cater to different scenarios. Before you commit to a specific plan, get some clarity on the aspects of your trip that matter most to you. Consider factors such as the type of trip you’re taking, your health status and the value of your trip expenses. Are you worried about flight cancellations or changes that the airline might not refund? Are you packing expensive equipment? Have you booked golf or ski days? Do you need medical coverage?

 

Once you’ve identified your priorities, you can select a plan that provides the right coverage. While individual policies vary, most types of travel insurance offer the following forms of coverage and benefits:

 

Emergency medical care abroad

Medical evacuation transport

Accidental death and dismemberment

Canceled flight, cruise or train travel and accommodations

Trip interruption coverage

24-hour medical assistance call center (may also include concierge services)

Delayed or lost luggage (may include sports equipment)

Missed activities, such as golf or ski days

Repatriation of remains

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