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When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?
Mar 31, 2021

Should You Buy Travel Insurance In Advance Or After Booking?

Pondering on what is travel insurance? Travel insurance is like the friend who helps you exactly when you need it. Most families and tour operators plan a lot about the travel, the itinerary, and the expenses. If they just do a little more research, they will see that travel insurance plans can help them save more money if something goes in an unplanned manner. Most insurance plans for travelling tend to cover medical expenses, cancellation expenses, emergency cash requirements, deportation expenses, and a whole range of other expenses. The question is- how far in advance should you buy travel insurance? Is there a perfect time to buy it? Will you get reimbursement if you buy it after booking your tickets? To find the answers, read along!  

When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Generally, people tend to buy travel insurance a little after making the bookings for their flights, hotels, and other touchpoints in their journey. The question is – how do you define ‘little’?  
  1. Early Booking and Long Gap Between Booking Date & Travel Date.
The answer depends on the gap between the day you have booked everything and the day you set out to travel. If you are making the travel bookings a few months in advance, you can wait for some time and then book the travel insurance. This makes sense because early bookings also give you the advantage of early cancellation without paying hefty penalties. So, you can work without insurance in this particular scenario.  
  1. Late Booking and Lesser Gap Between Booking Date & Travel Date.
Most of us do not book a travel plan months in advance. We might have an idea early on, but we make the bookings closer to departure date. In this case, it makes sense to buy travel insurance as soon as possible, ideally within days of having booked the tickets and accommodation. The reason for doing this is very simple – you get the benefits of pre-departure coverage. It is advisable to compare travel insurance plans before making a haste purchase as this would help invest in the best plan with all necessary inclusions and added benefits. Travel insurance policies also tend to include trip cancellation clauses. If your trip gets unfortunately cancelled for a reason stated in the policy documents, you can cancel the trip while getting a good enough reimbursement. The answer can also depend on how frequently do you plan to travel:
  1. For people who plan to have multiple trips in a year, a plan covering 90, includes multiple trips, and extends for a year will offer the maximum benefit.
  2. For people who take only one or two trips in a year, an individual travel insurance plan covering one trip will suffice.

Should You Buy Travel Insurance Early?

If you are planning to take a trip, it might not seem intuitive to buy travel insurance. Here is an example to help you understand better: Priyanka and her husband Mayank had been planning a trip to Prague for a year now. Both agreed to get leaves from their work by the end of December and had also saved enough for the trip. Being the initiator in the relationship, Priyanka made all the bookings – the right sight-seeing tours, hotels, flights, and even cabs. She was happy with the planning! Mayank told her to get travel insurance like the date of departure approached. Priyanka thought she is sure they will go, and she can anyway buy the insurance a few days before leaving. Two days before they were about to leave, Priyanka got staffed on the biggest project. The file landed on her desk at the end of the day, and she couldn't refuse the opportunity. She came home, and Mayank was very supportive of her professional commitments. However, as she started cancelling all the bookings, she saw that she was way past the last date of free cancellation for everything. She ended up paying penalties in six figures. Is there a way Priyanka could have avoided these costs? Yes. She could have bought travel insurance as soon as she made the bookings. Several insurance policies cover work commitments as plausible reasons for cancelling trips.  


  1. Can You Purchase Travel Insurance After Booking?
Yes. In most cases, travel insurance is bought right after the bookings are made. This will give you a clear idea about the extent of coverage you need and any add-ons you should include in your policy.  
  1. Can You Get Trip Cancellation Insurance After Booking?
Yes. If the reason for cancellation is acceptable as per your policy, it will be taken care of.   To know more about how a travel insurance plan can save your trip, explore Bajaj Allianz Blogs.

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