The ins-and-outs of travel insurance can be quite intricate so even the most seasoned travelers run into trouble once in awhile. If you are unfamiliar with travel insurance, you may find it hard to understand and you may have a lot of questions about it. What is it for? How long does it cover me? What does it cover? However, one of most common questions doesn’t have anything to do with what is covered in a travel insurance policy, but people want to know when they can obtain it.
Most experienced travelers choose to obtain travel insurance before they leave on a trip. This makes sense because they know how long their trip will last, who will be coming on the trip, what kind of coverage they are likely to need, and many other important factors. On the other hand, some travelers – especially inexperienced ones – don’t think to obtain insurance until their trip is underway and then they wonder: is it too late? Can I still obtain insurance even though I’m already on the trip?
The simple answer is: Yes, you can obtain travel insurance after you have officially begun your trip. Nevertheless, you should realize when you obtain a travel insurance policy after a trip has begun, it is never retroactive. It does not cover anything that occurred before the policy went into effect. If you are having a medical emergency, none of those bills will be covered until the policy goes into effect. While you can definitely find policies that go into effect immediately once they are obtained, some take awhile to become official. This is why it’s better to obtain insurance before you leave on a trip. If you find yourself suddenly needing insurance on a trip, surely, you’re already facing some problems.
There isn’t really a difference in policies when it comes to obtaining one on a trip and all the usual rules still apply. You must reveal all pre-existing conditions – conditions that occurred between 90 to 180 days of the trip – to the insurance company. Payments must be made accordingly. Then, you should know that single trip insurance covers only a single trip, annual insurance covers multiple trips, and long stay travel insurance covers trips between 3 and 18 months. The only thing that’s truly different is when you obtain insurance. In some cases, obtaining insurance whilst on a trip can be a bit more expensive, especially if you consider lost deal opportunities.
Sometimes, a trip may get extended unexpectedly and you realize that you need insurance for the duration of the trip. For instance, a family member may fall ill during the trip and the stay has to be extended. In this situation, a policy with longer coverage is needed to ensure everyone is covered for the extension.
To be safe, it’s always best to get travel insurance before you leave on a trip. In case you forgot to obtain your travel insurance policy or in situations where you need it whilst on your trip, you only need to know it’s possible.