Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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If you’re trying to travel inexpensively, you might be hesitant to add the expense of travel insurance to your trip budget. But travel insurance — even low-cost travel insurance — can offer value far beyond its cost.
With coverage for unexpected incidents on your trip, such as delays, interruptions, or medical emergencies, travel insurance can give you a safety net when you’re far from home — without paying all that much.
Let’s explore how much travel insurance costs, how to get the best deal, and some of the best-priced travel insurance policies.
These travel insurance plans offer a good balance of cost and value. As comprehensive travel insurance, these policies cover unexpected travel costs such as trip cancellation, delays, and travel medical coverage.
Consider some of your options for budget comprehensive travel insurance:
|Travel Insurance Plan||Best For||Sample Cost|
|Aegis Go Ready Choice||Young travelers||$29 for a 23-year-old|
|WorldTrips Atlas Journey Preferred||Families||$139 for a family of 4|
|Nationwide Annual Travel Pro Plan||Multi-trip coverage||$145 annually for a 35-year-old|
|Aegis Go Ready Choice||Cruises||$30 for a 30-year-old|
|Seven Corners Trip Protection Basic||Seniors||$130 for a 70-year-old|
Young, single travelers have the best shot at cheap travel insurance. You only need to purchase coverage for yourself; your age is an advantage for medical coverage compared to older travelers.
We quoted a 23-year-old traveler visiting Japan, and the cheapest comprehensive travel policy was the Go Ready Choice policy $29 from Aegis Insurance. Coverage includes trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, baggage loss or delay, missed connections, COVID-19, and medical emergencies and evacuations. You’re even covered if you’re laid off from work.
If you’re traveling as a family, getting a travel insurance policy that covers all your family members is best. For a family of 4 with parents in their 30s and 2 kids visiting Germany for 2 weeks, the WorldTrips Atlas Journey Preferred policy is $139.
This policy covers the entire family and offers coverage for COVID-19, trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses, and medical evacuation.
While the WorldTrips Atlas Journey Preferred policy isn’t the absolute cheapest family travel insurance, it is the cheapest comprehensive travel insurance plan for families. Lower-cost policies were missing key coverage, such as COVID-19, trip interruption, and medical evacuation.
Buying an annual travel insurance plan to cover multiple trips within a year can offer savings compared to buying a new policy each time. Nationwide’s Annual Travel Pro Plan covers all your travel for a year.
For a 35-year-old traveler from Florida, the Nationwide Annual Travel Pro Plan is $59. That offers loss and delay coverage for your baggage, trip delay, emergency medical coverage and evacuation, and 24-hour emergency assistance. However, it doesn’t cover trip cancellation or interruption.
For more comprehensive coverage, you can opt for trip cancellation and interruption coverage starting at a $1,250 limit, with a total policy cost of $145 for an entire year.
The Aegis Go Ready Choice policy is a good option for cruises, offering trip cancellation and interruption coverage, medical emergencies and evacuation, and COVID-19 coverage. A single-trip policy for a 30-year-old from Florida traveling to Mexico is $30.27.
Age is a major factor in travel insurance policy costs; seniors generally pay more for coverage than younger travelers. Still, it’s possible to get affordable travel insurance for seniors.
A Seven Corners Trip Protection Basic plan is $130 for a 75-year-old traveler from California visiting Mexico. It offers coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, medical emergencies and evacuation, and COVID-19.
If you’re looking for cheap travel insurance, you might consider not getting travel coverage at all. But if you have nonrefundable travel costs at risk, or your regular health insurance doesn’t offer coverage at your destination, it could be a costly mistake to skip out on travel insurance coverage.
Forfeiting nonrefundable travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip could cost far more than a cheap travel insurance policy. And getting medical care, especially emergency medical treatment or evacuation, can be particularly expensive. Even a budget travel insurance policy can protect you from catastrophe when the unexpected happens on your travels.
A travel insurance policy could be as cheap as $30 for a single trip or $59 for multiple trips throughout the year, which is far less than you could lose from trip cancellation or unexpected medical expenses.
Expect to pay between 5% to 10% of your total trip cost for a comprehensive travel insurance premium. Generally, that’s about $250, though factors such as your age and destination affect how much you’ll pay for your premium.
For example, a 35-year-old traveler pays an average of $122 for travel insurance, while a 95-year-old pays an average of $415.
The main factors influencing your travel insurance premium include:
Learn more about travel insurance costs in our guide to the average cost of travel insurance.
Travel insurance usually covers all or most of the mishaps that can affect your travel. It can cover you whether you need to cancel your trip before leaving, if you head home early, or if you get emergency medical care at your destination. You can also get coverage for trip delays, lost or delayed baggage, rental car coverage, and more.
But all travel insurance isn’t the same, and you can often customize plans to meet your needs. For example, if your bookings are refundable, you might not worry too much about trip cancellation and interruption coverage. However, you may still want medical coverage because your health insurance isn’t accepted at your destination.
Generally, there are 2 types of travel insurance: comprehensive travel insurance and travel medical plans. Comprehensive travel insurance tends to cost more than travel medical plans because it offers more extensive coverage, though your actual cost depends on your chosen plan.
Comprehensive travel insurance often covers:
Travel medical insurance often covers:
Comprehensive travel and medical insurance are available as single-trip or multi-trip policies. A single-trip policy covers just 1 trip, while a multi-trip policy covers all the trips you take within a defined period. It’s common to get a multi-trip policy for a full year, so these policies are often known as annual travel insurance policies.
With a travel insurance policy, you may be able to add optional coverages, including:
You can’t control all factors, such as your age, that influence the cost of your travel insurance policy, but there are a handful of things you can do to get the best deal on travel insurance:
Adding the expense of travel insurance might give you pause if you’re seeking budget travel. But the value that cheap travel insurance can offer extends beyond its cost. Travel insurance, even low-cost travel insurance, can protect you against costly financial burdens and travel disruptions.
Understanding your coverage needs, adjusting your deductibles and coverage limits, and shopping around for the best quote can go a long way to helping you secure the best deal on travel insurance.
The cheapest travel insurance generally only covers medical emergencies. Known as travel medical insurance, this type of travel insurance policy is typically not comprehensive and doesn’t cover common travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation and interruption. But it is often available at a very low price and can offer value if you’re concerned about emergency medical costs while traveling.
The cheapest travel isn’t necessarily the best — or the worst. Travel insurance with good coverage may be low or moderately priced. It’s a good idea to compare coverage levels for policies within your budget to find the best travel insurance at any price.
Travel insurance policies frequently include COVID-19 coverage, including low-priced travel insurance. Still, you should always verify your coverage to know what’s covered and what’s not.
Travel insurance generally has 2 types: comprehensive and medical insurance. Within those types, you can choose to get a single-trip or multi-trip policy that covers you for multiple trips, usually over a year. These travel insurance policies may have additional coverage options, such as Cancel for Any Reason, preexisting condition, or adventure sports coverage for an extra cost.
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