Timing is Everything: When You Should Really Buy Travel Insurance
Though some Americans may still be clearing remnants of New Year confetti out of furniture and carpets, many are already starting to make their summer vacation plans. In doing so, they are faced with a decision—when to buy travel insurance.
“The financially prudent thing to do is to buy insurance when you have money at risk. If you buy nonrefundable airfare, which most of us do, your money is at risk right away,” said Bob Chambers, vice president of operations at Generali Global Assistance. “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.”
When travelers can’t go on their trip due to a covered reason, Trip Cancellation 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. Then, they can add coverage to the same plan for additional trip arrangements, such as hotel stays, tours, cruises and other forms of transportation.
Free Look Period
For travelers who have bought a plan but wish to cancel it and receive a full refund, they 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 insurance plans. While the timeframe for the free look period varies from state to state, it is generally 10 days from purchase. Travelers should always refer to their Description of Coverage/Insurance Policy documents to determine the number of free look period days available in their state of residence.
Some travelers may need to look for plans that offer coverage for pre-existing conditions when they buy travel insurance. It’s important to know how pre-existing conditions are defined and the purchase window for covering pre-existing conditions. 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 of 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 have to cancel your trip because of their illness, you can still be covered. Generali is one of the few travel insurance providers to offer this,” Chambers added.
No matter when the plan is purchased, travelers should remember to consider travel insurance from a reputable provider such as Generali Global Assistance. With the right travel insurance plan and a summer vacation already in motion, travelers are poised to enjoy the rest of winter and spring looking forward to their next adventure.
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