When to Buy Cover

When to Buy Cover

When should you buy travel insurance? The simple answer to this is ‘when your money is at risk’, in other words, as soon as you have made a financial commitment towards your trip.

If you’ve purchased a flight, put a deposit down on a holiday or paid out for accommodation, now’s the time to get travel insurance in place. Think of travel insurance as a backup if things don’t go to plan – it’s your security if you have to cancel!

When to Buy Single Trip Insurance

If you’re buying single trip travel insurance, providing the policy includes cancellation cover, you will be protected from the moment you pay!

This essentially means, that if you are forced to cancel your trip between the time you purchase your cover and your holiday departure date, you can turn to your insurance policy to recover your holiday costs (minus any excess applied to the policy).

When to Buy Annual Multi Trip Insurance

Annual Multi Trip travel insurance works a little differently. Unlike single trip insurance where the cancellation cover becomes active the moment you pay for the policy, the cancellation cover on annual multi trip kicks in from the policy start date instead.

So for instance, if you pay for your policy today but don’t start it until 4 weeks’ time, you actually have no protection in place for those 4 weeks. This isn’t necessarily a problem providing you have not already booked and paid out money towards a holiday. If you have, it’s wise to start your annual policy on the same day you pay for it!

When to Buy Cruise Cover

Again, you should get cruise travel insurance in place as soon as you’ve booked the cruise to protect you in case you have to cancel.

If you’re booking your cruise holiday well in advance, say a year to 18 months, the cost of travel insurance can be a bit more to insure against cancellation, as of course there is a long period before your departure date. Some providers don’t like to insure too far in advance, so it’s worth seeking quotes before you book.

When Should Travel Insurance Start?

There’s a common misconception that your travel insurance policy should come into effect from the very first day of your holiday.

In fact – for annual trip policies only, your policy start date should always be weeks in advance of your departure date – should you need to claim for cancellation (but, as mentioned above – some insurance companies won’t be comfortable offering insurance too far in advance).

Buying Cover for UK Holidays

If you’re planning a staycation, whether it be a week away or a weekend, the same rules of travel insurance apply.

Once you have paid towards a hotel or accommodation you need to consider how much you stand to lose if you were to cancel, and if the amount is significant, then it’s time to get travel insurance in place! With Medical Travel Compared, you can compare quotes for specialist UK travel insurance if you need to.  

On the other hand - when booking last minute breaks outside the UK, or if you’re travelling soon and have yet to arrange your travel insurance, whatever you do, don’t forget to buy it before you leave.

Once you depart, it will be too late and you won’t be able to get insured, leaving you vulnerable for the time you’re away without protection for emergency medical costs due to accidents and illness and other unforeseen eventualities.


When arranging holidays think Travel Insurance, it’s just as important as your suitcase and passport! 




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We’re a specialist comparison website that provides people with pre-existing medical conditions an easy way to find suitable travel insurance. You’ll find a range of guides, articles and tips across our site. Whilst we always aim to provide the most accurate information and guidance, we can’t always guarantee that the information contained in the pages of our website is correct. Because of this, we can’t accept liability if things go wrong and you use the information at your own risk.

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