Kiwis travellers are leaving it to the last minute to book their insurance putting themselves at risk of losing money should something happen before they go away on holiday, experts warn.
Research by Warehouse Money Travel Insurance - part of The Warehouse group - found in the last six months 44 per cent of those who bought its travel insurance did so within a week of traveling and 15 per cent bought it either the day before or the same day they traveled.
Hadyn Halls, executive general manager for Warehouse Money, said leaving it to the last minute could see people out of pocket should an event occur before they travel.
"Things such as a death in the family, a close family member falling ill, or even suffering a broken leg or something similar.
"These sorts of things do happen and can prevent travel - which may then leave you out of pocket.
Halls said buying travel insurance ahead of time did not cost anything extra and could provide cover should something happen before the trip.
"Most comprehensive travel insurance policies provide cover not just for things that might go wrong during time out of the country, but also for the myriad of very real things that can occur before leaving."
Brent Thomas, commercial planning director at House of Travel, said the best time to book travel insurance was when booking the travel itself.
"People do book it too late sometimes. Their risk starts from the time of the booking. You never know when something will happen."
Thomas said 37 per cent of its claims by number were made before people left to travel.
"We strongly recommend taking it out at the time of booking. The cost is no greater so why would people not do that?"
Halls said Kiwis were being exposed to more non-refundable travel as more flight and accommodation deals were being sold in flash sales by travel and accommodation providers, and also on a growing number of daily deal sites.
Often these purchases were non-refundable which could leave Kiwis out of pocket unless they had travel insurance.