Travel insurance can protect your financial investment in a trip by offering reimbursement if your travel plans are canceled or interrupted due to covered reasons, as well as providing emergency medical care and other benefits. Generally speaking, you can expect travel insurance to cost between 4% and 10% of your total prepaid, non-refundable trip cost. Younger travelers will usually pay less for comparable coverage than older travelers. Benefits also vary by plan, and you’ll pay more for comprehensive coverage with higher limits.
We’ll cover the cost of travel insurance from six popular companies, the factors influencing the cost of travel insurance, and the best companies to consider.
Cost of Travel Insurance
The cost of travel insurance varies based on your age, trip cost, and the company and plan you select. To give you an idea of what you might pay for a travel insurance plan, we collected quotes for two ages and trip costs for an eight-day trip to Costa Rica booked the day of the query and departing from Florida in three months. Quotes are per traveler and do not include optional upgrades.
|Company||Trip Cancellation/ Trip Interruption||Emergency Medical/ Emergency Transportation||Baggage Loss/Damage||Starting Premium for 35-Year-Old, $1,500 Trip Cost||Starting Premium for 65-year-old, $3,000 Trip Cost|
|HTH Travel Insurance||100%/125%||$75,000/$500,000||$750||$68||$171|
|Allianz Travel Insurance||100%/100%||$10,000/$50,000||$500||$65||$165|
|Seven Corners||100%/100%||Up to $100,000/Up to $250,000||$500||$58||$173|
|Travel Guard by AIG||100%/100%||$15,000/$150,000||$750||$51||$144|
Emergency medical coverage in a travel insurance policy is often secondary to your primary health insurance. This means you must first file a claim with your primary insurance company to determine how much your travel insurance policy will cover.
Other Companies to Consider
- World Nomads
- GeoBlue (medical only)
Factors Influencing Travel Insurance Costs
When purchasing travel insurance, your trip length may impact which policies you can get, and the timing of your purchase might impact whether pre-existing medical conditions are covered—but these factors don’t typically impact your premium. Your destination also doesn’t influence your premium. Costa Rica travel insurance will cost the same as travel insurance for a trip to Europe, provided all other factors are equal. Instead, the cost of travel insurance is based on the following factors.
Travel insurance is more expensive for people who are older, since they’re at a greater risk of having medical problems. Travel insurance companies charge a higher premium to account for that risk. However, even if you’re traveling in retirement, you probably can find low-cost travel insurance that meets your needs.
Premiums are also calculated based on your total trip cost. Since it costs more to reimburse a $10,000 canceled trip than a $1,000 trip, insurance companies charge higher premiums for more expensive trips.
The higher your coverage limits and the more benefits you add (e.g., cancel for any reason, adventure sports coverage, pet medical), the more expensive your premium will be. Companies often present a selection of plans at different tiers or benefit levels.
Top Travel Insurance Companies
- Travelex: Travelex offers plans with trip interruption coverage of up to 150% and emergency evacuation coverage of up to $500,000. Optional upgrades include adventure sports coverage, cancel-for-any-reason coverage, pet medical, pet return, and additional medical coverage of $50,000 for medical expenses and $500,000 of medical evacuation coverage. Travelex policies are underwritten by two reliable companies, Berkshire Hathaway and Zurich Insurance Group, which earn an A++ (Superior) and A+ (Superior) AM Best financial strength rating, respectively.
- Allianz Travel Insurance: Allianz offers a variety of single and multi-trip plans, and you can opt to buy medical coverage or travel cancellation coverage separately. The company offers high coverage limits, and most plans include epidemic coverage for COVID-19. Cancel anytime coverage and rental car coverage are available as optional upgrades. Also, the two underwriters for Allianz, Jefferson Insurance Company and BCS Insurance Company, earned financial strength ratings of A+ (Superior) and A- (Excellent) from AM Best.
- HTH Travel Insurance: HTH offers short and long-term medical plans along with full trip protection plans. Plans offer high medical coverage limits, with at least $75,000 in emergency medical coverage, and reimburse up to 200% of the trip cost due to interruption. All plans also include at least $500 in trip-delay coverage and $250 in missed-connection coverage. Plans are underwritten by Nationwide, which has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best. Also, more than 90% of customers on travel insurance marketplace InsureMyTrip recommend the coverage.
- Nationwide: Nationwide offers single- and multi-trip plans along with a package designed for cruises. Plans are comprehensive, covering at least $75,000 in emergency medical and reimbursement for up to 200% of the trip cost due to interruption, depending on the plan. Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) and rental car coverage are available as add-ons, and COVID-19 diagnosis may be covered as part of your trip-cancellation coverage. Nationwide has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best.
- Seven Corners: Seven Corners’ offerings include travel medical, trip insurance, and annual plans. Trip insurance plans offer at least $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, but the basic plan doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Add-ons include rental car coverage and optional cancel-for-any-reason and interrupt-for-any-reason coverage. COVID-19 diagnoses are treated the same as other illnesses that trigger coverage. Trip interruption and cancellation policies are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance (USFI), which has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best. Travel medical policies are underwritten by USFI if you live in Colorado, Maryland, New York, and South Dakota, and either Lloyd’s of London or Crum & Forster SPC if you live in other states.
- Travel Guard by AIG: Travel Guard offers some of the cheapest premiums we could find, especially for young people, but medical limits on the basic plan may not be sufficient. COVID-19 is treated like other illnesses under the plan. The company offers few upgrades, but rental car coverage is available. AIG has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best.
How To Save Money on Travel Insurance Costs
- Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need: Check what’s covered by your credit card, health insurance, homeowners insurance, and, in some cases, car insurance, and try to get a policy that fills in the gaps.
- Compare premiums across companies: While the cheapest plan isn’t necessarily the best, some companies may offer better rates than others for the same coverage. For example, some companies are more affordable for older travelers. It’s a good idea to compare quotes for the coverage you need.
- Consider an annual plan: If you travel frequently, you may save money by purchasing an annual plan. But you should compare a plan’s benefits and make sure you’re getting more bang for your buck vs. a trip-based plan. Also, keep in mind that annual plans may not be available in all states.
- Avoid cancel-for-any-reason coverage if possible: You might think you can rest easier with cancel-for-any-reason coverage, but these policies typically cost significantly more and often provide inferior coverage. You should avoid this coverage type unless it’s necessary for your trip.
How To Choose the Best Travel Insurance
Decide Which Coverage Types Are Important to You
Travel insurance is a package of coverages that may include some or all of the following:
- Travel cancellation and interruption: Provides reimbursement if your trip is canceled or interrupted for certain reasons, like an injury or unforeseen natural disaster
- Travel medical coverage: Provides temporary health insurance if you become sick or injured while traveling
- Emergency medical evacuation: Pays to evacuate you to the closest adequate medical facility if necessary
- Accidental death & dismemberment: Pays a sum to you if you lose a limb or to your beneficiaries if you die in an accident
- Baggage loss or damage: Reimburses you for lost or damaged baggage and personal items
- Cancel-for-any-reason coverage: Allows you to cancel in any circumstance and receive partial reimbursement, but it’s more costly.
Some travel insurance packages may also include extras like car rental coverage, baggage delay, pet medical, and missed connection coverage. Most travel insurance plans also include some form of travel assistance. Decide which coverages you want, then check to see what’s already covered by your credit card and your existing insurance policies before purchasing a travel insurance plan.
Evaluate Company Ratings
In the process of comparing companies, you’ll want to consider more than just the price of the policy and the coverage offered. You should also check that the insurer has an A- (Excellent) financial strength grade or better from AM Best, and evaluate customer reviews from third-party companies like TrustPilot, ConsumerAffairs, and the BBB.
Depending on your age and trip cost, some travel insurance companies may offer a lower premium than others. That’s why it’s important to compare quotes. You can collect quotes directly from each insurance company’s website, or you can use an insurance aggregator site that allows you to view quotes from a handful of companies with just one application.
Review Policy Limits and Exclusions
When comparing premiums, look at the policy details and compare limits and exclusions. For example, some insurance companies won’t reimburse you if your trip is delayed, and some may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Additionally, medical coverage may exclude injuries from certain activities, like scuba diving.
Some insurers offer commonly excluded coverages as endorsements to your travel insurance plan for an additional premium or as an included feature in certain packages. Pay attention to what’s available if you’re looking for an extra layer of protection. For example, while travel insurance plans commonly exclude pandemics and epidemics, most plans from Allianz include an epidemic coverage endorsement that will cover cancellation, interruption, medical care, and more in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Buy As Soon As Possible
To get coverage for pre-existing conditions, you typically need to buy travel insurance soon after purchasing your trip or making a deposit on the trip. Furthermore, travel insurance typically only provides coverage for unforeseen circumstances, so if you wait until a weather event has been announced to buy coverage, that weather event may not be covered. The sooner you buy travel insurance after purchasing your trip, the fewer exclusions you’ll have to worry about.
What Is Travel Insurance?
The term “travel insurance” typically refers to a package of coverages that helps protect against a variety of things that can go wrong before and during your trip. The best travel insurance will reimburse you for the total cost of your trip if it gets canceled or interrupted for certain reasons, like an injury or the death of a family member. It also provides temporary major medical coverage and emergency evacuation coverage should you become injured or ill while traveling. Many plans also offer additional benefits or optional endorsements, such as cancel-for-any-reason coverage.
Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
It’s up to you. You’ll need to weigh the risks of forgoing travel insurance against the cost of a policy. You may have sufficient coverage from a travel credit card or other insurance policies that make travel insurance coverage unnecessary. However, if you’ve purchased an expensive vacation that’s nonrefundable, or if your health insurance plan won’t cover you where you’re traveling, then travel insurance is likely worth it.
How to Get Travel Insurance
If you’re looking to buy travel insurance, a good place to start is with company reviews. Then get travel insurance quotes to compare costs and coverage. Almost all travel insurance companies allow you to buy coverage instantly online, and it’s best to pay for the coverage as soon as possible after you book your trip.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
While coverages vary from one plan to the next, most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellation and interruption, short-term major medical coverage, emergency evacuation, and lost or damaged baggage. Most also offer additional benefits, such as cancel-for-any-reason coverage, pet medical, and adventure sports coverage.
InsureMyTrip. “How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?”
Insuremytrip. “Travel Insurance Reviews HTH Worldwide.”
DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking. “Taking a Trip? Information About Travel Insurance You Should Know Before You Hit the Road.”