Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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How close to the travel date should I buy travel insurance?

If you are preparing to go on vacation out of state or out of the country, then you should purchase travel insurance at least two weeks before the date you are going to travel.

While you can purchase travel insurance up to the day before you travel, you are leaving yourself open to something happening that isn’t covered by the insurance.

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Because you can purchase travel insurance that covers the cancellation of a trip, if you don’t have insurance already in place then you will not be eligible for reimbursements of fees charged by hotels and airlines.

In addition, some airlines do not reimburse you for a cancelled trip if the cancellation occurs within 48 hours of the trip. This means that you could lose your entire trip purchase price if you don’t have insurance already in place.

You can also purchase travel insurance when you plan your trip, meaning you could purchase it months in advance of your actual trip. This option is going to cost you more than if you wait a bit to purchase your travel insurance, especially if you are choosing comprehensive travel insurance.

Before you purchase your travel insurance, determine what the cancellation, fee and reimbursement policies are for both your airline and your hotel stay. Don’t purchase travel insurance during any periods of time that you are able to get all of your money back upon cancellation.

Do I need travel insurance at all?

Look, you know that even the best laid plans can be ruined by an unexpected event. This could occur while you are actually traveling or before your trip actually occurs. Travel insurance can prevent serious financial loss from these unexpected events.

There are different types of travel insurance that you need to consider when you travel. If you are traveling domestically you may only need to purchase trip cancellation or airline travel delay insurance and lost baggage or baggage delay insurance. You can also consider death or loss of limb insurance if you don’t have a life insurance policy already in place to offer you that protection.

Whether you need medical travel insurance will depend on where you are traveling and whether you have private health insurance already. Many insurance policies cover emergencies anywhere in the world, others only cover medical emergencies within the United States and there are a handful that only cover medical emergencies in the state you live in.

Once you are aware of what your medical insurance covers, then you can make a decision about buying medical travel insurance. Some experts suggest purchasing medical insurance if you are traveling overseas because many plans include flying you home as part of the benefit.

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Can I purchase different types of coverage at different times to save money?

The answer to this is yes, you can. In fact, you may find that you can save some money if you purchase the travel insurance that you need at the time you need it. For example, two weeks before your trip, you can purchase trip cancellation insurance and then purchase the rest of your insurance products the day before you make your trip.

You may want to purchase your other insurance products a couple of days before the trip just to ensure that everything is in place and if there are any issues you get them resolved before your trip. While you can buy insurance once the trip begins the coverage will be much more limited.

What types of travel does travel insurance cover?

Many people don’t think about travel insurance for any type of trip except for one taken by flight. The truth, however, is that you can purchase travel insurance for any type of traveling that you do.

If you are taking a trip in your vehicle, then you need to be aware that most travel insurance policies don’t cover loss of luggage in your vehicle. If, however, you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, then it does cover loss of luggage due to an accident, theft, natural disaster and so on.

Homeowners or renters insurance will typically cover your baggage if you lose items on a flight as well, however, if you have to make a claim though your insurance company and then your rates can increase. That is something to keep in mind when making a decision about luggage insurance.

For a road trip, however, you can utilize trip cancellation insurance to cover the cost of fees for your hotel stay. In addition, medical travel insurance will still provide you with the same protection that it would if you were taking another mode of transportation.

Another way to travel that travel insurance covers is when you take a cruise. Many people don’t think about cruises when they purchase travel insurance, but the truth is that if you stop in a lot of ports, the risk of something happening to you or your belongings is higher than if you were to travel by plane.

The bottom line is if you are planning to travel, then you need to consider some type of travel insurance. In order to get the lowest price on travel insurance, you need some travel insurance quotes. You can start comparing prices by using our free quote tool.

Enter your zip code and compare travel insurance quotes and options now!