When to Buy Travel Insurance and Assistance Services: Timing is Everything
Read below for more about timing your travel protection purchase
During the complications of trip planning and booking, the last thing you should have to worry about is when to buy travel insurance and assistance services for the trip. We’ll help you answer that question, so you can focus on having a great trip.
In this post, we break down the best time to buy travel protection and when it's possible to get a plan, including buying last minute and details on when you should buy in order to qualify for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and Trip Cancellation for Any Reason.
Some coverages and features of our travel protection plans include time sensitive factors that are important to understand in order to get the most out of what you pay for. At Generali Global Assistance, we try to make our plans easy to understand.
Imagine.... you set up your trip way in advance, paid for it all and even shopped around for travel protection. You didn't buy a plan right away, thinking you had plenty of time before you leave. But, when you get around to making the purchase to help protect your trip, you realize it's too late to qualify for coverage for your pre-existing medical condition! You can avoid this kind of situation by considering a key factor—timing when to buy travel insurance and assistance services.
When is the best time to buy travel protection?
We suggest you buy a travel protection plan when you make your first trip payment, like airfare or a cruise. That way you maximize your coverage period in case you need to cancel your trip.
For cruises and tours, it may not be an issue until cancellation penalties start to kick in. That could be at six months prior to departure.
Later on, you can add coverage to the same plan for your hotel, tours and other pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. It’s best to contact us to add coverage as soon as possible after you make new trip payments to be sure you have coverage for your full trip cost.
When can you buy travel insurance and assistance services?
Generali Global Assistance travel protection plans can be purchased online up to 18 months before the trip departure date and up until the day prior to departure.
Often travelers will pay for a trip in installments, and they wonder when they can buy travel protection, since they haven't paid fully yet. Rest assured—you can. When getting a quote, simply enter the total trip costs that you will be paying and you can modify the plan if those costs change, as long as you have not left on your trip, filed a claim or incurred any losses.
When is it too late to buy travel insurance and assistance services?
You are not able to buy a Generali Global Assistance travel protection plan on the day you are leaving on your trip or once you are on your trip. At 12 a.m. the day you depart for your trip it becomes too late to buy travel protection.
Can you buy travel protection after booking a flight?
Yes, you can buy travel protection once you've booked your flight. In fact, you should wait to buy it until you book your flight and know the ticket price.
Generali Global Assistance travel insurance can be purchased up to 18 months before the trip departure date and up until the day prior to departure.
Often times travelers will pay for a trip in installments, and they wonder when they can buy travel insurance, since they haven't paid fully yet. Rest assured—you can. When getting a quote, simply enter the total trip costs that you will be paying and you can modify the plan if those costs change, as long as you have not left on your trip or incurred any losses.
When is it too late to buy travel insurance?
You cannot buy a Generali travel insurance plan on the day you are leaving on your trip or once you are on your trip. At 12 a.m. the day you depart for your trip it becomes too late to buy travel insurance.
Can you buy travel insurance after booking a flight?
Yes, you can buy travel insurance once you've booked your flight. In fact, you should wait to buy travel insurance until you book your flight and know the ticket price.
Last Minute Travel Protection
Procrastinators are welcome here. While we don't suggest waiting too long before insuring your trip, you can get a last minute travel protection plan from Generali Global Assistance. The last chance for you to buy a plan from us is the day before you leave on your insured trip. Sorry—you won't be able to buy a plan at the airport as you're leaving, when you leave your home or once you arrive at your destination.
Trip Cancellation coverage starts the day after purchase at 12:01 a.m. We'll email your plan confirmation, so you'll have all of the information you need when you leave in case you need to contact us for assistance on your trip.
One downside to buying last minute travel protection is that certain coverages are dependent on when you buy your plan and may not be available if you buy last minute. Read the next section for more details.
Top Reasons to Buy Early
Life is unpredictable, so it makes sense to be covered for as much time as possible before you start traveling. All sorts of things can throw a wrench into your travel plans after you've paid for the trip, forcing you to cancel. Why wait to insure your trip until the week before you leave?
When travelers can’t go on their trip due to a covered reason, Trip Cancellation coverage pays for forfeited, pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements. Travelers can get maximum coverage for Trip Cancellation if they purchase their plan as soon as they make their first trip payment, like airfare.
If you're interested in Trip Cancellation for Any Reason*, an available add-on coverage with our Premium Plan, don't wait to insure your trip. Your plan must be purchased within 24 hours of the initial deposit for your trip in order to qualify for the coverage. Learn more about Trip Cancellation for Any Reason and other requirements that must be met.
Some travelers may need to look for plans that offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions when they insure their trip, and it’s important to understand the purchase window to qualify for that feature. If you don't buy a plan during the right timeframe, you might not be covered for Trip Cancellation, Medical and Dental and other claims related to that pre-existing condition.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions is included with our Premium Plan, but coverage must be bought prior to or within 24 hours of the final trip payment, travelers must be medically able to travel at the time the coverage is purchased and they must insure 100% of their pre-paid trip costs that would be subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions. Coverage for pre-existing conditions isn’t available with all our plans.
An important advantage offered by our plans is that the exclusion for pre-existing conditions does not apply to non-traveling family members. In other words, if a family member who is not traveling with you has a pre-existing medical condition, and you must cancel your trip because their illness unexpectedly arises, you can still be covered.
Travel Protection Review Period
Another reason to buy travel protection soon after booking is how easy it is to get a refund of the plan cost if you review the details and decide it’s not right for you.
Travelers who have bought a plan but wish to cancel it and receive a full refund of their plan cost, may do so within a designated number of days from the date of purchase as long as they haven’t left for their trip or filed a claim. This is referred to as a “free look” period and is available with all Generali Global Assistance travel protection plans.
While the timeframe for the free look period varies from state to state, it is generally 10 days from purchase. Travelers should refer to their Plan Documents to determine the number of free look period days available in their state of residence.
When you’re ready to buy, what do you do first?
The first step to get travel protection is to give us some information about your trip so you can compare plans and prices. It’s easy and you can jump right into it at our Get a Quote page. We’ll take you through the step-by-step process of choosing and buying a plan and if you need more guidance you can follow our How to Buy Travel Protection Guide.
Other Timing FAQs
The Trip Cancellation coverage included with your plan goes into effect the day after you purchase travel protection at 12:01 a.m. Coverage ends on your scheduled departure date and once you begin your trip, you can no longer be reimbursed for Trip Cancellation.
As soon as you depart, the other coverages in your plan become effective, including Medical and Dental, Trip Interruption, Travel Delay, Emergency Assistance and Transportation, Baggage and more. Those coverages end as soon as one of these occurs: You return from your trip, the trip is completed, your scheduled return date arrives (unless you qualify for extension of coverage), or your arrival at the destination on a one-way trip.
Once you’re home, you can continue to claim for covered Medical and Dental costs that occur within one year from the date of your Sickness or Injury that occurred during your trip.
A variety of Travel Services are included with your plan. Concierge Services are available to use as soon as you purchase your plan and end when you return. Travel Support Services can be used during your trip. ID Theft Resolution Services are also available for a full 180 days starting on the scheduled departure date.
If you buy travel protection after a storm is named, your plan will not provide coverage for storm-related claims. See our Storm Coverage Alerts for more information.
We suggest you buy travel protection when you make your first trip payment, like airfare or a cruise. That way you have a long coverage period in case you need to cancel your trip, and if you need to file a claim related to a storm, you will have bought the plan well before the storm was forecasted.
Generali travel protection plans can be purchased online up to 18 months before the trip departure date and up until the day prior to departure.
Learn more: How does travel insurance work?
No surprise, the best time to buy travel protection is usually as early as possible, just in case you need to cancel your trip. But, no matter when you decide to help protect your trip, travelers should remember to consider travel protection from a reputable provider such as Generali Global Assistance.
If you have other questions about travel insurance and assistance services, we're here to help.
* This coverage is not available to residents of New York.