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When to Buy Your Travel Insurance Plan


Updated January 3, 2024

You’re all ready to book your next trip, or perhaps you’ve booked already… but when is the best time to buy a travel insurance plan to protect your trip? That likely depends on your specific situation and your needs, so we’ll break down the timing below.

Additional Benefits for Those Who Purchase Early

Almost all comprehensive travel insurance plans (single trip plans that include Trip Cancellation coverage) include some early purchase advantages if you buy your plan within a specified window after making your initial trip deposit. At USI Travel Insurance Services, our Travel Insurance Select plan is our most popular comprehensive plan. If you purchase this plan within the early purchase timeframe (21 days from the date your initial trip deposit is received), you may have access to:*

  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) optional upgrade**
  • Interruption For Any Reason (IFAR) optional upgrade**
  • Waiver of the Pre-existing Medical Conditions Exclusion

These early purchase benefits are common on travel insurance plans from other companies too. Depending on the company and plan, the early purchase timeframe may vary, but 14-21 days after initial trip deposit is most typical.

What exactly does this early purchase timeframe mean?

If you would like to have the early purchase benefits included in your plan, you’ll need to buy your travel insurance within 21 days of your initial trip deposit, even if you’re only making a small deposit upfront and paying the majority of your trip cost later. For example, if you put down a $200 deposit on a hotel but plan to book the rest of your trip later, the date you pay the $200 hotel deposit counts as your initial trip deposit.

Once you buy your travel insurance plan, you will need to follow up with our Customer Service team within the same early purchase timeframe for any subsequent trip payments (within 21 days of any subsequent payments) to adjust your travel insurance coverage accordingly. If you don’t add your subsequent trip costs to your plan within 21 days of payment, you will lose all of your early purchase benefits, so it’s important to stay on top of your travel insurance as you plan your trip! For example, if you book your flight for $1,500 after you make the $200 initial hotel deposit, you’ll need to call within 21 days of booking the flight to increase your insured trip cost amount to maintain your early purchase benefits, including CFAR coverage if selected.

What if I’m already outside the early purchase window?

If you’re already past the early purchase timeframe based on when you paid your initial trip deposit, it’s still important to buy your travel insurance plan as soon as possible. Your plan is effective the day after purchase, and your Trip Cancellation benefit goes into effect immediately, meaning you could be reimbursed if you experience a covered event and need to cancel your trip.

If you’re concerned about hurricanes or other weather impacting your travel, be sure to buy the plan before a storm might form. Once a hurricane, blizzard or other storm becomes a named event, you can no longer have coverage for that storm if you buy your plan after that date, as the storm is then considered “foreseen.”

And if you’re not one to plan ahead, keep in mind you can usually buy your plan up until a day before departure.

If you have questions about when to buy your plan, or which plan will best suit your needs, please contact our Customer Service team at [email protected] or 800.937.1387.

*Early purchase benefits are available on the Travel Insurance Select Plus and Elite plan levels. The Basic plan level does not offer these benefits.
**Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) is not available to residents of NY. Interruption For Any Reason (IFAR) is not available to residents of  NY and WA. CFAR and IFAR are optional upgrades offered at an additional premium. Terms and conditions apply. See plan for full details.


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