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The Average Cost of Travel Insurance – Facts & Statistics [2024 Data Study]

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Alex Miller
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Alex Miller

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Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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As a result of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wider geopolitical events of the last few years, Americans have changed the way they travel and the way they book their travel experience. Planning a trip without travel insurance may have been something you did pre-2020, but is not a risk many are willing to take now.

Booking a trip away is an investment, so it makes sense to protect that investment by budgeting a little extra for travel insurance. With tourism back to pre-pandemic levels¹, travel insurance is more important than ever. In fact, the average payout is 6 times bigger than the cost of the average premium, according to Squaremouth² – showing that when it matters, a travel insurance policy is very much worth it.

Travel insurance will not only protect you from changes and cancellations before your trip but also from any unexpected incidents that could happen during your trip. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about travel insurance, from prices to what impacts premiums, different types of policies, and how to find a carrier. 

4 Quick Statistics on Travel Insurance

  1. $301.79 was the average travel insurance premium between May 2023 and May 2024.³
  2. Travel insurance typically costs 5% to 10% of your total trip cost.
  3. At age 30, the average premium for travel insurance sits at about $228.
  4. Travel insurance gets more expensive with age. The average cost for an 80-year-old is $907.

What Is Travel Insurance?

You can think of travel insurance as a version of health insurance for the duration of your booked trip. Travel insurance is meant to help protect you from things that could go wrong while traveling, such as lost luggage, flight delays that lead to missed connecting flights, and even illnesses. Some policies will cover flight accidents, rental cars, and more. Exactly what your travel insurance covers will depend on the type of plan you buy and how much you want to spend.

Types of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all plan. There are varying levels of insurance, depending on many different factors. The 2 main travel insurance types are Comprehensive and Travel Medical Plans.

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What Is Covered

Comprehensive

Travel Medical Plans

Cancellations and Interruptions

 

Hurricanes

 

Medical Emergencies

Evacuation

 

Ambulance Services

 

If you are traveling for a long period of time or to a place where you feel like you may need a more specialized plan, some insurers do offer cover that entails protections such as:

  • Medical Evacuation: Medical evacuation insurance will cover the cost and coordination of emergency transportation to the nearest adequate treatment center if you become seriously ill or injured while traveling and require immediate care. It can also pay for you to be transported back to a hospital back in the U.S. 
  • Accidental Death: Accidental death travel insurance plans are very similar to life insurance policies. When purchasing an accidental death insurance plan, you would name a beneficiary at the time of purchase, and in the event of your death while traveling, that person would receive the benefit. 
  • Flight Accident Coverage: Flight accident insurance covers accidents that may happen when flying on a commercial flight, such as death and dismemberment. 

Talk to your travel insurance provider to confirm that the plan you chose covers everything you want and need. It is also a good idea to confirm what is not covered in the fine print.

Hot Tip: Our introductory guide to travel insurance covers policies, common exclusions, and more

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

Just like car insurance and health insurance, the cost of travel insurance will vary depending on multiple factors, and in general, you can plan to spend between 5% to 10% of the total trip cost for a comprehensive policy.

Research by Squaremouth found that the average cost of travel insurance in the U.S. is $308 as of April 2024. This estimation can be further broken down by the level of coverage your policy might fall into:

  • Medical only — $97
  • Comprehensive coverage — $403

What Factors Influence Cost?

Factors For Travel Insurance Cost
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

There are 5 main factors that will determine the cost of your travel insurance policy:

  1. Total trip cost
  2. Age of travelers
  3. Policy type
  4. Length of travel
  5. Total coverage amounts

When looking at the cost of travel insurance by age, you can see major shifts in the pricing. According to Value Penguin, the average cost of travel insurance from ages 1 to 30 hovers around $104 to $107 for the premium, but when you start to get above the age of 30, prices start to spike.

At age 35, the average premium sits at about $122, but that price drastically increases by the time you reach age 95, with an average premium of $415. This is thanks to the increased risk that you might have an accident or get ill while you’re abroad. In fact, Value Penguin suggests that this risk starts to increase when you reach age 50.

How To Pick a Travel Insurance Plan

So, how do you know what the right plan is for you? Picking a travel insurance plan will depend on a few different factors and what you are looking to protect, but a few tips for picking the right coverage:

  • Think about your main concerns when traveling. Are you worried about getting hurt, losing luggage, or missing a flight? Deciding on these priorities will help you pick a plan that is right for you.
  • Think about the financial risk of your travels. If something happened, could you cover the cost?
  • Check to see if any parts of your trip are refundable.
  • Take a look at what kind of coverage your credit cards offer.
  • Check what kind of coverage your health insurance has for traveling.
  • Get quotes from multiple travel insurance providers to find the best rates.
  • Read all disclosure statements before buying a policy.

Bottom Line: Learn how to find the best travel insurance policy for your situation in our ultimate guide to buying the best travel insurance.

Final Thoughts

With travel back in full swing and airlines struggling to keep up with demand, make sure to protect your trip with a travel insurance plan. Whether you are planning a weekend trip out of your home state, going on a beach vacation in Mexico, or backpacking around Europe, there is a travel insurance plan that will allow you to travel stress-free.  Read our guide to find some of the cheapest travel insurance policies currently available.


References

¹ World Economic Forum. (2024, May 21). Tourism is Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels, but Challenges Remain. Retrieved on May 24, 2024, from https://www.weforum.org/press/2024/05/tourism-is-back-to-pre-pandemic-levels-but-challenges-remain/.
² Squaremouth. (2024, April 2). Travel Insurance Claims Paid Out 6X Policy Premium in 2023. Retrieved on May 24, 2024, from https://www.squaremouth.com/press-room/travel-insurance-claims-paid-out-6x-policy-premium-in-2023.
3 Squaremouth. (n.d.) Live Travel Insurance Data. Retrieved on May 24, 2024, from https://www.squaremouth.com/live-data?date_range=last_365_days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is travel insurance really worth it?

World events can make travel unpredictable, so investing in insurance is worth the extra money. Travel insurance could save you hundreds or even thousands on travel-related expenses.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

It is best to check with your provider on what is not covered by your plan. Typically, travel insurance plans do not cover things like changing your mind about traveling, lost tickets, weather that limits activities, etc.

How much should I plan to spend on travel insurance?

Travel insurance will cost about 5% to 10% of your total trip cost. The price will vary depending on factors such as age, length of trip, and total cost.

Will my travel insurance cover COVID-19?

It is always best to check with your insurance provider, but most standard travel insurance plans will cover trip cancellation due to sickness. What it will not cover is the “fear” of traveling because of COVID-19.

Find out more with our guide to Travel Insurance With COVID-19 Coverage.

Alex Miller's image

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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