Travel isn’t always meticulously planned. While many of us like to take the scrupulous approach of scheduling things months in advance, making sure each hotel is booked, each flight secured, each detail firmly in place well ahead of our anticipated departure, there’s no denying that some trips just don’t work that way. Sometimes travel opportunities sneak up on us quite unexpectedly — whether from sheer spontaneity or something more serious that requires us to make hasty arrangements — and just because the planning phase has to be shortened considerably, doesn’t mean that travelers should be any less proactive about buying a travel insurance policy to cover them in the event something goes awry. We’re fond of reminding travelers to purchase their travel insurance immediately after making their first trip deposit, so they’ll have access to all the potential benefits and options available. But what happens if the initial trip deposit and the trip itself go practically hand-in-hand?
If you’re in a time crunch and need travel insurance quickly, here are some tips to help you make an informed, though snappy, decision:
Don’t worry about fancy benefits. While Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policies are extremely popular with many travelers, for good reason, they’re probably not where you want to focus your search if you’re about to depart. CFAR is intended to help you out if you choose to cancel your trip for any reason that’s not stated as being covered on your travel insurance policy. However, if you’re putting together a last-minute itinerary, chances are you won’t be changing your mind. Also, since CFAR policies require you to cancel — and notify all of your travel suppliers of your decision — a minimum of two days prior to your departure, last-minute travelers may not have time on their sides.
Do keep up with the news. If you’re planning to depart quickly, you should scan the news and weather for any events that may disrupt your trip. It’s likely that anything you find will not be covered by your travel insurance policy; since travel insurance is only for unforeseen events, any hurricane threats, possible airline strikes, or other threats to your travel experience that are already being discussed in the media will more often than not be considered “known perils” and won’t be covered. Obviously, if you’re determined to travel, you should still purchase a travel insurance policy to protect you against any and all other disruptions, but it’s best to enter into your travel insurance purchase having a realistic expectation about what benefits are truly available to you.
Take advantage of time-sensitive benefits. The good news about being in a hurry is that, since you’ll be purchasing your travel insurance soon after you’ve made your first payment on the trip, you’ll probably be eligible for some very helpful benefits that aren’t offered to travelers who wait. Items like pre-existing conditions waivers offer valuable coverage, but are only available if you buy travel insurance within 10-30 days of your initial trip payment. That’s good news for last-minute travelers.
Use resources wisely. While it’s our goal to make it easy for travelers to buy their travel insurance from us online, we also offer personalized Customer Care assistance 365 days a year. If you’re stumped, it may help you come to a more timely decision if you contact our licensed experts via phone or live chat. You might also find that our Ratings and Reviews forum is a good resource to help you narrow down your options, so you can check “travel insurance” off your to-do list and get on with your last-minute trip.