Erica Lamberg – Forbes Advisor
Savvy travelers know to include travel insurance in their vacation budget and purchase a policy when booking their trip. This provides the longest period of coverage and allows you to take advantage of coverage that must be added shortly after paying your first travel deposit.
But a lot can change before you leave, like your itinerary. You may decide to revise your itinerary by swapping excursions or wish to stay longer than originally planned. Or, you may have simply made a mistake when filling in the prices or dates when purchasing your plan.
It’s relatively easy to change your travel insurance details if your trip changes. Here’s how.
Types of travel insurance changes you can make
Here are some examples of changes you may want to make to a travel insurance plan after purchasing it.
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- You can correct errors, change travel costs, destinations, travel dates and number of travelers up to approximately one day before your departure.
- Errors in your policy information can result in denied claims.
- If you make changes before departure that increase the cost of your trip, your premium increases.
- You can change your itinerary during your trip and be fully covered as long as the changes do not exceed the original cost of your trip.
Changes you can’t make
- You cannot change insured travel expenses during your trip, so if you revise your itinerary with more expensive hotels, flights, or excursions, you likely won’t be fully covered for prepaid, non-refundable deposits.
- You cannot extend your travel dates after departure and be covered, unless it is an emergency covered by your plan. For example, you may only be able to extend travel coverage if you become ill or injured, or if you have a plan that specifically allows for extended coverage, which is rare.
Correctional officer: changes made to travel insurance before you leave
Most travel insurance companies allow you to change travel costs, destinations, number of people on the policy and travel dates up to the day before departure.
Even if you don’t have any changes to make, it’s a good idea to review your travel insurance policy as soon as you get it to make sure the information you provided is accurate.
“Travelers most often change their policy to update their personal information or fix minor issues like a misspelled name or incorrect birthday,” says Sarah McWilliams-Guerra, spokeswoman for comparison provider Squaremouth. travel insurance.
Another common change before departure is to add optional coverage or upgrades, she says.
The following optional coverage and upgrades must generally be added within 15 days of booking your trip:
- Upgrade “Cancel for any reason”: You can cancel your trip for reasons other than those listed in your policy with ‘cancellation for any reason’ cover, which typically reimburses 50% of 75% of trip costs.
- Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Exemption: If you purchase your travel insurance shortly after your first travel deposit, you may be eligible for a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver. This coverage covers health problems you have had in the past.
- “Interruption for any reason” upgrade: If you want to cut short a trip and get home earlier for whatever reason, you can sometimes take out ‘Interruption for any reason’ cover and be reimbursed 75% of your trip costs. Currently, only a few travel insurance companies offer this option.
Related: Benefits of getting travel insurance early
Re-routing: modification of travel insurance dates before your departure
You can make changes to travel insurance before you travel, as long as they are within the scope of the policy.
“If we receive your request before the start date of your trip, we may adjust travel dates in some cases,” says Angela Borden, spokesperson for Seven Corners Travel Insurance.
Keep in mind that the cost of the travel insurance plan increases if you make changes that increase the amount of coverage, such as a longer coverage period or higher travel cost.
Can you change a travel insurance itinerary during your trip?
If you are already on a trip, you can exchange tours, activities and excursions. But you won’t be fully covered for prepaid, non-refundable expenses that add to the total cost of your trip.
“You cannot change the amount of your insured travel expenses after the scheduled departure date of your trip. If you swap a cheaper excursion for a more expensive one while you’re already on your trip, you may not have full coverage for the excursion cost difference,” says Borden.
Can you extend the dates of your travel insurance policy?
If you are having a good time on your vacation and decide you want to stay beyond your original travel date, you probably won’t be able to extend the dates of your travel insurance coverage unless you have purchased a optional extension upgrade.
“In most cases, you can’t extend a plan unless you haven’t gone on a trip yet,” Borden tells Seven Corners.
But, she says, Covid-related quarantines may be an exception. If your travel insurance plan covers Covid and you need to quarantine after testing positive, your plan can extend coverage for up to five to ten additional days. Be sure to check your policy for specific time rules.
“In addition to benefits for Covid, many plans allow you to extend coverage for a set number of days – seven days and 10 days are common – if your return home is delayed due to unavoidable circumstances that you cannot control or due to a covered reason stated in the plan document. Most travel protection plans, because of the way they’re designed, don’t just allow you to add extra days of coverage if you decide to extend your trip for no unavoidable reason,” says Borden.
Travel insurance plans that will extend coverage dates past the start of your trip are not common. However, Allianz’s OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan offers post-departure benefits for more spontaneous travelers who don’t have a lot of prepaid, non-refundable activities planned and who may want the freedom to stay longer at their destinations. , said Daniel Durazo, spokesman for Allianz.
What happens if you don’t update your travel insurance plan?
Borden says it’s essential to update your travel insurance policy details to accurately reflect who is traveling and when they are travelling. Otherwise, a claim may be denied.
You may also end up with reduced refunds if you make a claim. For example, your trip cancellation and interruption benefits offset a percentage of your trip costs, so it’s essential that you have the right amount of coverage. Making changes is crucial if you are traveling longer or adding destinations that were not originally planned and listed on the policy.
What is the deadline for canceling a travel insurance policy?
Most policies — not all, and this can vary depending on state regulations — have a “free consultation period,” says Borden, during which you can take the time to review the policy. If you decide you don’t want it, you can cancel it for a refund as long as you haven’t filed a claim or left for your trip.
“The free search period begins on the date of purchase, and the length may vary by plan and provider,” she says. “Refer to the plan document to learn more about the free consultation period or ask before you buy. A typical free consultation period is 14 days.
How to change a travel insurance policy
You can make changes to your travel insurance plan by:
- Call the customer service number listed on your policy.
- Using your travel insurance company’s app if they have one.
- Make changes online on the company’s website if it provides this service.
“Contact the provider who sold you the travel insurance policy as soon as possible and let them know what you need to change,” says Borden of Seven Corners.
What to look for in a comprehensive travel insurance plan
A comprehensive travel insurance plan bundles valuable benefits that can protect you, your travel investment and your belongings. A Forbes Advisor analysis of travel insurance costs found that travel insurance accounts for around 5% to 6% of the cost of your trip. Here are the types of coverage you can find in a solid travel insurance plan:
- Trip cancellation : If you need to cancel for a reason covered by your policy, Trip Cancellation Insurance will refund your non-refundable prepaid deposits.
- Travel delay: In the event of a delay caused by a problem covered by the policy, trip delay insurance covers the additional expenses you pay for hotel stays, meals and other additional expenses. It can also compensate you for non-refundable deposits you lose due to the delay, such as a non-refundable hotel night.
- Trip Interruption: If you cut your trip short for a reason covered by your policy, Trip Interruption Travel Insurance reimburses non-refundable fees for missed activities and unused accommodations. It can also cover the cost of a return flight in the event of an emergency.
- Medical expenses and medical evacuation: If you become ill or injured while traveling, travel medical insurance can pay for doctor and hospital costs, medications, X-rays and more, up to your policy limits. Emergency Medical Evacuation can pay to evacuate you to the nearest adequate medical facility.
- Baggage and personal effects: If your baggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip, baggage insurance can compensate you for the depreciated value of your personal effects, up to the limit of your policy.