The Importance of Purchasing Visitors Insurance for the Full Trip Duration
For trips to the USA that are longer in duration, people often purchase visitors insurance coverage incrementally. For example, if you parents are planning to visit you in the USA for six months, you might only initially purchase insurance for them for two months, with the intention being to extend their coverage later in their stay
While you can extend many insurance plans, it is typically a better option to purchase insurance for the full duration of the trip up front.
Why Not Just Extend Coverage as You Go?
First off, it's important to remember that some visitors insurance plans are not able to be extended at all. Others have rules that if you do not extend them for a set duration, such as three months, it is assumed that you will no longer need the plan after the shorter duration, and is therefore no longer extendable. Depending on the plan you choose, you may not have the flexibility to extend the coverage exactly as you wish. It could also cost you more to extend your coverage than if you were to have purchased coverage for the full duration of the trip, as many plans have an extension fee included each time it is extended.
You also have to take age into consideration. If the insured is going to be celebrating a birthday during the trip, you could get charged a higher rate for the same coverage if you extend it after that birthday has passed. Some visitors might even reach an age where they are no longer eligible for certain important benefits, such as acute onset of pre-existing condition coverage, if you opt to extend the coverage after they've reached an age where they no longer qualify for it. This situation may be able to be avoided if you purchase coverage for the entire trip up front.
Essentially, electing to extend visitors insurance coverage as you go, rather than buying it all at once, could cost you more money and leave you with fewer benefits.
The Advantages of Purchasing Insurance for the Full Duration of the Trip
In addition to the above mentioned reasons, you also need to take budgeting into account. If you plan to extend the coverage as you go, you will need to set aside money to pay for it. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation with a financial shortcoming, having to choose between paying for the insurance coverage, or something else.
This worry goes away when you purchase visitors insurance for the entire trip duration ahead of time. The money you budget for the visit after the insurance is purchased will be yours to spend how you choose. Buy gifts, go sightseeing, treat your family, and have the peace of mind of knowing that the insurance needs are covered, rather than worrying about the many incidences that can occur away from home.
Finally, it's one less thing to remember. On a longer trip, or if your parents are visiting for months at a time, it can be easy to forget things. We get taken out of our normal routines, and things we typically remember, such as extending insurance coverage, get overlooked. Are you 100% sure you'll remember to extend the coverage after several months?
If you do not and the coverage lapses, you could leave yourself open to all sorts of financial problems if there's an illness, injury, or some other sort of mishap. For example, consider what would happen if you allowed the coverage to lapse and one of your parents had to be admitted to the hospital. Purchasing a new insurance policy would not cover this, since it occurred after the old policy ended, and before the new one went into effect. You would therefore be responsible for paying the entire cost of treatment yourself, which could be a massive bill.
Buying visitors insurance for the full duration of the trip ahead of time eliminates the possibility of this happening, so you will not have to worry about a lapse in coverage.
When it comes to insurance coverage for an international trip, paying a little more now could stand to save you a lot down the road. Purchasing insurance for the full trip duration can cost less, provide access to benefits you may miss out on otherwise, make budgeting easier, and prevent the coverage from inadvertently lapsing if you forget to extend it. It's the sensible way to provide maximum protection for your finances, and the health of yourself and your loved ones.