Best time to buy travel health Insurance

The best time to buy travel health insurance is immediately after booking your trip to ensure maximum coverage and benefits. Purchasing insurance early reduces the risk of unexpected circumstances and allows for additional coverage options like coverage for pre-existing conditions. Buying travel insurance early guarantees comprehensive protection and avoids missing out on key benefits.

Compare and buy US travel insurance, Tourist visa health insurance USA

Age & Citizenship
Start date
End date

Buying travel insurance

travel Health insurance Dear Cautious Traveler,

Today I am going to talk about the timing of getting your travel health insurance. We get many calls from people who are already on their trip (here in the US or abroad) and wonder if they can "now" purchase visitors medical insurance or travel insurance international.

Of course, we recommend that you purchase your visitors insurance after you have your tickets and travel dates in order so that you are covered from the moment you leave until the time you return (for tricky time zone issues note that all policies begin and end using Eastern Standard Time). However, you can still purchase insurance once you are on your trip.

BUT, we also get a number of calls from people whose loved ones are “already” in the Emergency Room or already not feeling well. In that case, I'm afraid, that your insurance plan (even if you purchase it right away) will NOT cover what is already going on. Remember: you need to buy the visitor medical insurance “before” you need it.

To buy a plan and then lie about when symptoms started is not only potentially dangerous to the patient, but would also be constituted as fraud which is a serious crime. Of course, we cannot recommend any such course of action. Better to make your purchase to include all your travel. However, there are sometime reasonable circumstances for not making your purchase until after you or your loved ones have arrived at your destination.

Some people have other coverage that covers them until a certain point, or they change their travel plans and cannot extend a policy they already purchased. People have insurance through universities or an employer and sometimes changing paths may leave without insurance coverage. Or must have just forgotten to purchase it due to the covid19 travel requirement arrangements.

Here is a good news, you need not worry! In most cases, you can still purchase a policy. The soonest a policy can start coverage is the following day after the purchase, so if you do have a policy that is expiring or you change dates, here are some top rated insurance companies we work with who do not mind that you are already in a mid-trip when you start your policies, most of their forms are set up with terms like: trip start date, trip end date, date of arrival in US, etc..

Generally, you can put the date you want the policy to start (even if it was not your actual start date) and end (even if you may have other plans afterwards). However, if they specifically ask for a date you entered the US, you will have to give it as best as you can remember (if it was 5 years ago in Aug, just give a good guess... Aug, 15, 2014, since you cannot do less than give a particular date). If the form asks if you are already in your destination country, you will have to answer "Yes". That answer may restrict what you can purchase, but there are other options for you.

Answering covid related questions need to be completed carefully and accurately.You must always answer the questions honestly and straightforwardly.

Here are some plans that do not care how long you have been at your destination country: Patriot America Lite or Patriot International Lite, Atlas America or Atlas International, Travel Medical Insurance, Diplomat America or Diplomat International, and Safe Travels plans (although they prefer to cover your whole trip).

Here are some plans that “do” care how long you have been in the US (these are specifically for travel to the US), if you are over 65 years, you must purchase Visitor's Care or Patriot Travel plans within 30 days of arrival (these plans are offered by International Medical Group-IMG). However, if you had patriot travel Insurance coverage, you can waive this requirement.

Elite US visitor insurance is not available for visitors who are already in the USA. The Travel Medical USA insurance from Seven Corners must be bought within 12 months of arrival in the USA.

Happy trip planning! Most of these limitations are not an issue at all if you are within 30 days of arrival to your destination. If you are beyond that see what plans are available by using our US Immigrant insurance comparison tool.

Resourceful tourist insurance USA information

Find the best travel insurance

Find out the best insurance for your budget and needs

Click here to read more »

How does travel insurance work?

Claims process for expenses due to injury or sickness

Click here to read more »

How to buy travel insurance?

Guide to buying the best international travel insurance

Click here to read more »

Travel insurance glossary

Commonly used international travel medical insurance terms

Click here to read more »

Travel insurance for specific groups

Tourists, Cruises, Students, J1 visa, OPT status, Immigrants...

Click here to read more »

Compare travel insurance plans

Compare the best travel insurance plan for your needs

Click here to read more »

Testimonials - From Our Customers

Thank you for such helpful information. You've impressed me as I have contacted other companies and haven't gotten half of the information from them that you have sent me. I will take what you've said into consideration and hope to be in touch soon.
Know more »


I recently visited your website for the first time to buy insurance for travel to US. I found the information very good. Your customer support was fantastic and awesome. You were so dedicated to take care of my inquiries. I would rate your service 100/100.
Know more »


I am pleased to say that your company is very professional in the field of Insurance. The customer is happy to get easily connected and then you very patiently explain the difference between various plans to suit each customer's need.
Know more »

Lori Fields

Travel tips for international travelers

Travel tips for international travelers – safety, comfort and wellness.

Click here to read more »

Travel Health Insurance - Frequently asked questions

01. Can you buy travel insurance the day you leave?

Yes. You can purchase the insurance the day you leave. A better day would be the day BEFORE the day you leave since a policy cannot start until the following day, so you will begin your trip without insurance (which we do not recommend).

However, it may make your wait in the airport a bit more productive!

02. Can I buy travel insurance at the airport?

Yes. Nowadays with airports having internet access, you can certainly purchase your travel insurance from the airport. It is not the most ideal situation (be careful of putting your credit card or personal information while on those open networks).

Ideally, you should make your purchase from a more secure location BEFORE you start your travel to get the most out of your policy.

03. Can I buy travel insurance after final payment?

Yes. You can purchase trip cancellation insurance at any point before the start of the trip. Of course, you get the most out of the policy the sooner you make your purchase.

AND, some companies will give you coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as you buy it within 10 or 15 days of your INITIAL trip deposit. So, again, this may not be the most ideal time to make your purchase, but better now than never and safer than sorry!

Travel health insurance information

Travel Insurance FAQ

FAQs about travel insurance.

Click here to read more »

Travel Insurance USA Blog

Blog about travel health insurance.

Click here to read more »

Travel Insurance USA Forum

Customer Queries for USA travelers.

Click here to read more »

US visitors insurance providers

You can find reliable US insurance providers like International Medical Group(IMG), Seven Corners, WorldTrips, Global Underwriters, Travel Insure, GeoBlue, HTH Worldwide and INF insurance.

US visitors insurance providers

Ask me a Question?

Expertise in offering travel insurance
20+ years!

Customers from
All U.S. states!

Customers from over
180 countries!