One of the advantages to shopping for and purchasing travel insurance online is receiving immediate coverage
Travelers can sign up for their policy, use a credit card to purchase, and get an immediate email confirmation.
Unfortunately, not all online companies provide this benefit. If you purchase a travel insurance policy online and do not get “real-time” confirmation, cancel the policy and purchase elswhere.
(By the way, insurance companies are required to offer a “free-look” period, where a customer can purchase the policy and return it for a full refund with a certain amount of time, usually 10 days. There is often an administration fee of around $5 to cancel and get a refund, but it is an option.)
Why is it important to purchase travel insurance real-time?
Let’s say you purchase a travel insurance policy for a trip, and you’re leaving the following day. If you don’t recieve immediate confirmation, your order will sit in an email until someone comes into the insurance office the next day. Then they will enter your information into a computer and issue a policy. It may be too late at that point.
They can also make typing errors or even have further questions about your trip, but cannot get in touch with you in time. There is more room for error, and the policy may not be in effect in time.
When you do buy from a good company and recieve an immediate confirmation email, you will have a policy number, and a copy of the policy details. Print this out and read it. Even though most companies will mail you an actual paper copy of your policy, this email is confirmation of coverage and you are covered as of the effective date.
When buying travel insurance, use a company that actually promotes their “real-time” purchasing
Comparison sites will list policies side-by-side, and you can see how they issue policies; usually by immediate email, as well as a paper copy by postal mail within 10 days.
(see How to Compare Quotes with a Travel Insurance Comparison Site)