What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers common problems when traveling. From trip interruptions to full cancellations, they can help protect the money you put down for your travel experience.
Common coverage includes more than just an unexpected trip stoppage. It can also cover lost or damaged luggage and changes to your itinerary for covered reasons, among other benefits.
Medical coverage is an important factor to consider, as your current health insurance may not work away from home. The best travel insurance includes coverage for medical treatment, dental emergencies, and medical transportation. If you have any pre-existing conditions or are at risk, it’s important to make sure your policy covers these, too.
What Does Travel Insurance Typically Include?
Travel insurance may include many different benefits. Here’s a look at some common situations covered by many travel insurance plans:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Trip delay
- Missed connection
- Baggage and possession loss, damage, and theft
- Delayed luggage
- Emergency medical treatment
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
There are additional specialty coverages as well, such as customized policies for cruises. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare before making a final decision.
What Does Travel Insurance Typically Exclude?
Just as homeowner’s insurance often excludes things like earthquakes and floods, travel insurance has common exclusions you need to know about. Here are some types of coverage you may not get with travel insurance:
- Weather-related cancellations and delays
- Trip cancellation or changes due to acts of terrorism
- Trip cancellation or changes due to a pandemic
- Injuries from extreme sports and high-adventure activities
- Cancellation for any reason
While most policies have limits and exclusions around these circumstances, not all do. In fact, some insurers on this list have special coverage for these exact causes or include them in standard plan terms. Again, this is why it’s so important to read your policy documents before paying for and locking in your policy.
What Are the Expected Costs of Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance costs vary widely by coverage and insurer. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars a day to over 10 dollars a day for short-term and single-trip coverage. The cost of your trip is another major factor in the insurance rate.
That means insurance for a single trip could cost anywhere from around $20 to hundreds of dollars. Annual policies cost around $500 per year for high levels of coverage.
There are many inexpensive travel insurance plans available, but most travelers are best protected with comprehensive coverage. It costs a bit more, but if you need to file a claim, you’ll be glad you have it.
Is Paying for Travel Insurance Worth It?
Travel insurance premiums can cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide if it’s worth the cost. It might not be worth it on lower-cost trips and low-risk vacations. However, expensive international trips or large family vacations can make additional travel insurance a reasonable investment.
If you spend thousands of dollars on a trip, it is probably worth a couple of hundred to make sure you get your money back if the trip doesn’t go as planned. If something goes wrong, which can lead to expenses valued at tens of thousands of dollars, it’s good to have a financial backstop so you don’t have to pay for everything out of pocket.
How We Chose the Travel Insurance Companies
To come up with this list of the top travel insurance providers, we looked at more than 30 different travel insurance companies and plans. Major areas of focus included coverage options, claim and policy limits, what’s covered, and typical insurance policy costs.
The biggest focus was on insurance coverage limits and what each policy covers. Cost is important, but a difference of $20 for much better coverage is often negligible. The most important features examined in this review are the ones that make your policy valuable and easy to use if you ever need it.