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Maximize Coverage, Minimize Cost: The 4 Cheapest Travel Insurance Policies

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Jessica Merritt
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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.

The 4 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Policies by Type

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:

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Travel Insurance PlanBest ForSample Cost
Aegis Go Ready ChoiceYoung travelers$29 for a 23-year-old
WorldTrips Atlas Journey PreferredFamilies$139 for a family of 4
Nationwide Annual Travel Pro PlanMulti-trip coverage$145 annually for a 35-year-old
Aegis Go Ready ChoiceCruises$30 for a 30-year-old
Seven Corners Trip Protection BasicSeniors$130 for a 70-year-old

Best Cheap Travel Insurance for Young Travelers: Aegis Insurance

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. Read our Go Ready travel insurance review for further details.

Best Cheap Travel Insurance for Families: WorldTrips

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 travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, 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.

Best Cheap Multi-Trip Travel Insurance: Nationwide

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.

Read our Nationwide Travel Insurance review for more information.

Best Cheap Cruise Travel Insurance: Aegis Insurance

The Aegis Go Ready Choice policy is a good option for cruise travel insurance, 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.

Best Cheap Travel Insurance for Seniors: Seven Corners Travel Insurance

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.

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

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.

Travel Insurance Costs

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:

  • Policy type
  • Total trip cost
  • Total coverage amounts
  • Travel length
  • Traveler age
Hot Tip:

Learn more about travel insurance costs in our guide to the average cost of travel insurance.

Types of Travel Insurance

Travel Medical Insurance
Choose between comprehensive travel insurance and travel medical coverage. Image Credit: Negative Space via Pexels

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:

  • Evacuation
  • Lost, stolen, or delayed baggage
  • Medical emergencies
  • Rental car damage
  • Trip cancellation, interruption, and delays

Travel medical insurance often covers:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Medical evacuation
  • Unexpected illness or injury

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:

How To Get Cheap Travel Insurance

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:

  • Buy Your Policy Soon After Booking: Purchasing your travel insurance policy right after you book your trip won’t necessarily be cheaper than buying it later. Still, you’ll have more policy options the sooner you book, and you’ll get more value out of your trip cancellation coverage because your nonrefundable bookings are protected once you get your policy.
  • Compare Multiple Quotes: The more travel insurance plan options you can compare, the better. Get quotes from at least 3 travel insurance companies to compare your costs and coverage, and consider using a travel insurance comparison website such as Squaremouth, where you can enter your information once to get policy options from several travel insurance companies.
  • Consider Your Needs: Having a good idea of what coverage you need can help you right-size your travel insurance policy. For example, you may just need basic coverage for domestic trips. In contrast, you might need more extensive emergency medical and evacuation coverage for traveling abroad to a destination with limited medical care.
  • Choose a High Deductible: You’ll pay your deductible before your insurance coverage pays out. The higher your deductible, the more you’ll pay if you need to use your coverage, but your policy premium will be lower with a higher deductible.
  • Choose Lower Coverage Limits: Be realistic about how much you might need your travel insurance to pay out. Do you really need $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage?
  • Consider an Annual Travel Insurance Policy: If you plan to take multiple trips throughout the year, the cost of your premium might be lower if you buy a multi-trip policy rather than a new policy each time you travel.
  • Check Your Credit Card Benefits: Credit cards may offer travel insurance protections as a cardholder benefit. These may include trip cancellation and interruption, emergency medical care and evacuation, trip delay, lost or delayed baggage, and rental car damage.
  • Look for Discounts: Travel insurance companies may offer discounts for students, seniors, or members of certain organizations such as AAA or AARP.

Final Thoughts

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest 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.

Is the cheapest travel insurance the best travel insurance?

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.

Do cheap travel insurance plans include COVID-19 coverage?

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.

What are the different types of cheap travel insurance?

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.

Jessica Merritt's image

About Jessica Merritt

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.

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