The best travel insurance policies and providers
It's easy to dismiss the value of travel insurance until you need it.
Many travelers have strong opinions about whether you should buy travel insurance . However, the purpose of this post isn't to determine whether it's worth investing in. Instead, it compares some of the top travel insurance providers and policies so you can determine which travel insurance option is best for you.
Of course, as the coronavirus remains an ongoing concern, it's important to understand whether travel insurance covers pandemics. Some policies will cover you if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 and have proof of illness from a doctor. Others will take coverage a step further, covering additional types of pandemic-related expenses and cancellations.
Know, though, that every policy will have exclusions and restrictions that may limit coverage. For example, fear of travel is generally not a covered reason for invoking trip cancellation or interruption coverage, while specific stipulations may apply to elevated travel warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Interested in travel insurance? Visit InsureMyTrip.com to shop for plans that may fit your travel needs.
So, before buying a specific policy, you must understand the full terms and any special notices the insurer has about COVID-19. You may even want to buy the optional cancel for any reason add-on that's available for some comprehensive policies. While you'll pay more for that protection, it allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and still get some of your costs back. Note that this benefit is time-sensitive and has other eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify.
In this guide, we'll review several policies from top travel insurance providers so you have a better understanding of your options before picking the policy and provider that best address your wants and needs.
The best travel insurance providers
To put together this list of the best travel insurance providers, a number of details were considered: favorable ratings from TPG Lounge members, the availability of details about policies and the claims process online, positive online ratings and the ability to purchase policies in most U.S. states. You can also search for options from these (and other) providers through an insurance comparison site like InsureMyTrip .
When comparing insurance providers, I priced out a single-trip policy for each provider for a $2,000, one-week vacation to Istanbul . I used my actual age and state of residence when obtaining quotes. As a result, you may see a different price — or even additional policies due to regulations for travel insurance varying from state to state — when getting a quote.
AIG Travel Guard
AIG Travel Guard receives many positive reviews from readers in the TPG Lounge who have filed claims with the company. AIG offers three plans online, which you can compare side by side, and the ability to examine sample policies. Here are three plans for my sample trip to Turkey.
AIG Travel Guard also offers an annual travel plan. This plan is priced at $259 per year for one Florida resident.
Additionally, AIG Travel Guard offers several other policies, including a single-trip policy without trip cancellation protection . See AIG Travel Guard's COVID-19 notification and COVID-19 advisory for current details regarding COVID-19 coverage.
Typically, AIG Travel Guard wouldn't cover you for any loss or expense due to a preexisting medical condition that existed within 180 days of the coverage effective date. However, AIG Travel Guard may waive the preexisting medical condition exclusion on some plans if you meet the following conditions:
- You purchase the plan within 15 days of your initial trip payment.
- The amount of coverage you purchase equals all trip costs at the time of purchase. You must update your coverage to insure the costs of any subsequent arrangements that you add to your trip within 15 days of paying the travel supplier for these additional arrangements.
- You must be medically able to travel when you purchase your plan.
- The Deluxe and Preferred plans allow you to purchase an upgrade that lets you cancel your trip for any reason. However, reimbursement under this coverage will not exceed 50% or 75% of your covered trip cost.
- You can include one child (age 17 and younger) with each paying adult for no additional cost on most single-trip plans.
- Other optional upgrades, including an adventure sports bundle, a baggage bundle, an inconvenience bundle, a pet bundle, a security bundle and a wedding bundle, are available on some policies. So, an AIG Travel Guard plan may be a good choice if you know you want extra coverage in specific areas.
Purchase your policy here: AIG Travel Guard .
Allianz Travel Insurance
Allianz is one of the most highly regarded providers in the TPG Lounge, and many readers found the claim process reasonable. Allianz offers many plans, including the following single-trip plans for my sample trip to Turkey.
If you travel frequently, it may make sense to purchase an annual multi-trip policy. For this plan, all of the maximum coverage amounts in the table below are per trip (except for the trip cancellation and trip interruption amounts, which are an aggregate limit per policy). Trips typically must last no more than 45 days, although some plans may cover trips of up to 90 days.
See Allianz's coverage alert for current information on COVID-19 coverage.
Most Allianz travel insurance plans may cover preexisting medical conditions if you meet particular requirements. For the OneTrip Premier, Prime and Basic plans, the requirements are as follows:
- You purchased the policy within 14 days of the date of the first trip payment or deposit.
- You were a U.S. resident when you purchased the policy.
- You were medically able to travel when you purchased the policy.
- On the policy purchase date, you insured the total, nonrefundable cost of your trip (including arrangements that will become nonrefundable or subject to cancellation penalties before your departure date). If you incur additional nonrefundable trip expenses after purchasing this policy, you must insure them within 14 days of their purchase.
- Allianz offers reasonably priced annual policies for independent travelers and families who take multiple trips lasting up to 45 days (or 90 days for select plans) per year.
- Some Allianz plans provide the option of receiving a flat reimbursement amount without receipts for trip delay and baggage delay claims. Of course, you can also submit receipts to get up to the maximum refund.
- For emergency transportation coverage, you or someone on your behalf must contact Allianz, and Allianz must then make all transportation arrangements in advance. However, most Allianz policies provide an option if you cannot contact the company: Allianz will pay up to what it would have paid if it had made the arrangements.
Purchase your policy here: Allianz Travel Insurance .
American Express Travel Insurance
American Express Travel Insurance offers four different package plans and a build-your-own coverage option. You don't have to be an American Express cardholder to purchase this insurance. Here are the four package options for my sample weeklong trip to Turkey. Unlike some other providers, Amex won't ask for your travel destination on the initial quote (but will when you purchase the plan).
Amex's build-your-own coverage plan is unique because you can purchase just the coverage you need. For most types of protection, you can even select the coverage amount that works best for you.
The prices for the packages and the build-your-own plan don't increase for longer trips — as long as the trip cost remains constant. However, the emergency medical and dental benefit is only available for your first 60 days of travel.
Typically, Amex won't cover any loss you incur because of a preexisting medical condition that existed within 90 days of the coverage effective date. However, Amex may waive its preexisting-condition exclusion if you meet both of the following requirements:
- You must be medically able to travel at the time you pay the policy premium.
- You pay the policy premium within 14 days of making the first covered trip deposit.
- Amex's build-your-own coverage option allows you to only purchase — and pay for — the coverage you need.
- Coverage on long trips doesn't cost more than coverage for short trips, making this policy ideal for extended getaways. However, the emergency medical and dental benefit only covers your first 60 days of travel.
- American Express Travel Insurance can protect travel expenses you purchase with Amex Membership Rewards points in the Pay with Points program (as well as travel expenses bought with cash, debit or credit). However, travel expenses bought with other types of points and miles aren't covered.
Purchase your policy here: American Express Travel Insurance .
GeoBlue is different from most other providers described in this piece because it only provides medical coverage while you're traveling internationally and does not offer benefits to protect the cost of your trip. There are many different policies. Some require you to have primary health insurance in the U.S. (although it doesn't need to be provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield), but all of them only offer coverage while traveling outside the U.S.
Two single-trip plans are available if you're traveling for six months or less. The Voyager Choice policy provides coverage (including medical services and medical evacuation for a sudden recurrence of a preexisting condition) for trips outside the U.S. to travelers who are 95 or younger and already have a U.S. health insurance policy.
The Voyager Essential policy provides coverage (including medical evacuation for a sudden recurrence of a preexisting condition) for trips outside the U.S. to travelers who are 95 or younger, regardless of whether they have primary health insurance.
In addition to these options, two multi-trip plans cover trips of up to 70 days each for one year. Both policies provide coverage (including medical services and medical evacuation for preexisting conditions) to travelers with primary health insurance.
Be sure to check out GeoBlue's COVID-19 notices before buying a plan.
Most GeoBlue policies explicitly cover sudden recurrences of preexisting conditions for medical services and medical evacuation.
- GeoBlue can be an excellent option if you're mainly concerned about the medical side of travel insurance.
- GeoBlue provides single-trip, multi-trip and long-term medical travel insurance policies for many different types of travel.
Purchase your policy here: GeoBlue .
IMG offers various travel medical insurance policies for travelers, as well as comprehensive travel insurance policies. For a single trip of 90 days or less, there are five policy types available for vacation or holiday travelers. Although you must enter your gender, males and females received the same quote for my one-week search.
You can purchase an annual multi-trip travel medical insurance plan. Some only cover trips lasting up to 30 or 45 days, but others provide coverage for longer trips.
See IMG's page on COVID-19 for additional policy information as it relates to coronavirus-related claims.
Most plans may cover preexisting conditions under set parameters or up to specific amounts. For example, the iTravelInsured Travel LX travel insurance plan shown above may cover preexisting conditions if you purchase the insurance within 24 hours of making the final payment for your trip.
For the travel medical insurance plans shown above, preexisting conditions are covered for travelers younger than 70. However, coverage is capped based on your age and whether you have a primary health insurance policy.
- Some annual multi-trip plans are modestly priced.
- iTravelInsured Travel LX may offer optional cancel for any reason and interruption for any reason coverage, if eligible.
Purchase your policy here: IMG .
Travelex offers three single-trip plans: Travel Basic, Travel Select and Travel America. However, only the Travel Basic and Travel Select plans would be applicable for my trip to Turkey.
See Travelex's COVID-19 coverage statement for coronavirus-specific information.
Typically, Travelex won't cover losses incurred because of a preexisting medical condition that existed within 60 days of the coverage effective date. However, the Travel Select plan may offer a preexisting condition exclusion waiver. To be eligible for this waiver, the insured traveler must meet all the following conditions:
- You purchase the plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment.
- The amount of coverage purchased equals all prepaid, nonrefundable payments or deposits applicable to the trip at the time of purchase. Additionally, you must insure the costs of any subsequent arrangements added to the same trip within 15 days of payment or deposit.
- All insured individuals are medically able to travel when they pay the plan cost.
- The trip cost does not exceed the maximum trip cost limit under trip cancellation as shown in the schedule per person (only applicable to trip cancellation, interruption and delay).
- Travelex's Travel Select policy can cover trips lasting up to 364 days, which is longer than many single-trip policies.
- Neither Travelex policy requires receipts for trip and baggage delay expenses less than $25.
- For emergency evacuation coverage, you or someone on your behalf must contact Travelex and have Travelex make all transportation arrangements in advance. However, both Travelex policies provide an option if you cannot contact Travelex: Travelex will pay up to what it would have paid if it had made the arrangements.
Purchase your policy here: Travelex Insurance .
Seven Corners offers a wide variety of policies. Here are the policies that are most applicable to travelers on a single international trip.
Seven Corners also offers many other types of travel insurance, including an annual multi-trip plan. You can choose coverage for trips of up to 30, 45 or 60 days when purchasing an annual multi-trip plan.
See Seven Corner's page on COVID-19 for additional policy information as it relates to coronavirus-related claims.
Typically, Seven Corners won't cover losses incurred because of a preexisting medical condition. However, the RoundTrip Choice plan offers a preexisting condition exclusion waiver. To be eligible for this waiver, you must meet all of the following conditions:
- You buy this plan within 20 days of making your initial trip payment or deposit.
- You or your travel companion are medically able and not disabled from travel when you pay for this plan or upgrade your plan.
- You update the coverage to include the additional cost of subsequent travel arrangements within 15 days of paying your travel supplier for them.
- Seven Corners offers the ability to purchase optional sports and golf equipment coverage. If purchased, this extra insurance will reimburse you for the cost of renting sports or golf equipment if yours is lost, stolen, damaged or delayed by a common carrier for six or more hours. However, Seven Corners must authorize the expenses in advance.
- You can add cancel for any reason coverage or trip interruption for any reason coverage to RoundTrip plans. Although some other providers offer cancel for any reason coverage, trip interruption for any reason coverage is less common.
- Seven Corners' RoundTrip Choice policy offers a political or security evacuation benefit that will transport you to the nearest safe place or your residence under specific conditions. You can also add optional event ticket registration fee protection to the RoundTrip Choice policy.
Purchase your policy here: Seven Corners .
World Nomads is popular with younger, active travelers because of its flexibility and adventure-activities coverage on the Explorer plan. Unlike many policies offered by other providers, you don't need to estimate prepaid costs when purchasing the insurance to have access to trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
World Nomads offers two single-trip plans.
World Nomads has a page dedicated to coronavirus coverage , so be sure to view it before buying a policy.
World Nomads won't cover losses incurred because of a preexisting medical condition (except emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains) that existed within 90 days of the coverage effective date. Unlike many other providers, World Nomads doesn't offer a waiver.
- World Nomads' policies cover more adventure sports than most providers, so activities such as bungee jumping are included. The Explorer policy covers almost any adventure sport, including skydiving, stunt flying and caving. So, if you partake in adventure sports while traveling, the Explorer policy may be a good fit.
- World Nomads' policies provide nonmedical evacuation coverage for transportation expenses if there is civil or political unrest in the country you are visiting. The coverage may also transport you home if there is an eligible natural disaster or a government expels you.
Purchase your policy here: World Nomads .
Other options for buying travel insurance
This guide details the policies of eight providers with the information available at the time of publication. There are many options when it comes to travel insurance, though. To compare different policies quickly, you can use a travel insurance aggregator like InsureMyTrip to search. Just note that these search engines won't show every policy and every provider, and you should still research the provided policies to ensure the coverage fits your trip and needs.
You can also purchase a plan through various membership associations, such as USAA, AAA or Costco. Typically, these organizations partner with a specific provider, so if you are a member of any of these associations, you may want to compare the policies offered through the organization with other policies to get the best coverage for your trip.
Related: Should you get travel insurance if you have credit card protection?
Is travel insurance worth getting?
Whether you should purchase travel insurance is a personal decision. Suppose you use a credit card that provides travel insurance for most of your expenses and have medical insurance that provides adequate coverage abroad. In that case, you may be covered enough on most trips to forgo purchasing travel insurance.
However, suppose your medical insurance won't cover you at your destination and you can't comfortably cover a sizable medical evacuation bill or last-minute flight home . In that case, you should consider purchasing travel insurance. If you travel frequently, buying an annual multi-trip policy may be worth it.
What is the best COVID-19 travel insurance?
There are various aspects to keep in mind in the age of COVID-19. Consider booking travel plans that are fully refundable or have modest change or cancellation fees so you don't need to worry about whether your policy will cover trip cancellation. This is important since many standard comprehensive insurance policies won't reimburse your insured expenses in the event of cancellation if it's related to the fear of traveling due to COVID-19.
However, if you book a nonrefundable trip and want to maintain the ability to get reimbursed (up to 75% of your insured costs) if you choose to cancel, you should consider buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy and then adding optional cancel for any reason protection. Just note that this benefit is time-sensitive and has eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify.
Providers will often require CFAR purchasers insure the entire dollar amount of their travels to receive the coverage. Also, many CFAR policies mandate that you must cancel your plans and notify all travel suppliers at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure.
Likewise, if your primary health insurance won't cover you while on your trip, it's essential to consider whether medical expenses related to COVID-19 treatment are covered. You may also want to consider a MedJet medical transport membership if your trip is to a covered destination for coronavirus-related evacuation.
Ultimately, the best pandemic travel insurance policy will depend on your trip details, travel concerns and your willingness to self-insure. Just be sure to thoroughly read and understand any terms or exclusions before purchasing.
What are the different types of travel insurance?
Whether you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy or rely on the protections offered by select credit cards, you may have access to the following types of coverage:
- Baggage delay protection may reimburse for essential items and clothing when a common carrier (such as an airline) fails to deliver your checked bag within a set time of your arrival at a destination. Typically, you may be reimbursed up to a particular amount per incident or per day.
- Lost/damaged baggage protection may provide reimbursement to replace lost or damaged luggage and items inside that luggage. However, valuables and electronics usually have a relatively low maximum benefit.
- Trip delay reimbursement may provide reimbursement for necessary items, food, lodging and sometimes transportation when you're delayed for a substantial time while traveling on a common carrier such as an airline. This insurance may be beneficial if weather issues (or other covered reasons for which the airline usually won't provide compensation) delay you.
- Trip cancellation and interruption protection may provide reimbursement if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason, such as a death in your family or jury duty.
- Medical evacuation insurance can arrange and pay for medical evacuation if deemed necessary by the insurance provider and a medical professional. This coverage can be particularly valuable if you're traveling to a region with subpar medical facilities.
- Travel accident insurance may provide a payment to you or your beneficiary in the case of your death or dismemberment.
- Emergency medical insurance may provide payment or reimburse you if you must seek medical care while traveling. Some plans only cover emergency medical care, but some also cover other types of medical care. You may need to pay a deductible or copay.
- Rental car coverage may provide a collision damage waiver when renting a car. This waiver may reimburse for collision damage or theft up to a set amount. Some policies also cover loss-of-use charges assessed by the rental company and towing charges to take the vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility. You generally need to decline the rental company's collision damage waiver or similar provision to be covered.
Should I buy travel health insurance?
If you purchase travel with credit cards that provide various trip protections, you may not see much need for additional travel insurance. However, you may still wonder whether you should buy travel medical insurance.
If your primary health insurance covers you on your trip, you may not need travel health insurance. Your domestic policy may not cover you outside the U.S., though, so it's worth calling the number on your health insurance card if you have coverage questions. If your primary health insurance wouldn't cover you, it's likely worth purchasing travel medical insurance. After all, as you can see above, travel medical insurance is often very modestly priced.
How much does travel insurance cost?
Travel insurance costs depend on various factors, including the provider, the type of coverage, your trip cost, your destination, your age, your residency and how many travelers you want to insure. That said, a standard travel insurance plan will generally set you back somewhere between 4% and 10% of your total trip cost. However, this can get lower for more basic protections or become even higher if you include add-ons like cancel for any reason protection.
The best way to determine how much travel insurance will cost is to price out your trip with a few providers discussed in the guide. Or, visit an insurance aggregator like InsureMyTrip to quickly compare options across multiple providers.
When and how to get travel insurance
For the most robust selection of available travel insurance benefits — including time-sensitive add-ons like CFAR protection and waivers of preexisting conditions for eligible travelers — you should ideally purchase travel insurance on the same day you make your first payment toward your trip.
However, many plans may still offer a preexisting conditions waiver for those who qualify if you buy your travel insurance within 14 to 21 days of your first trip expense or deposit (this time frame may vary by provider). If you don't need a preexisting conditions waiver or aren't interested in CFAR coverage, you can purchase travel insurance once your departure date nears.
You must purchase coverage before it's needed. Some travel medical plans are available for purchase after you have departed, but comprehensive plans that include medical coverage must be purchased before departing.
Additionally, you can't buy any medical coverage once you require medical attention. The same applies to all travel insurance coverage. Once you recognize the need, it's too late to protect your trip.
Once you've shopped around and decided upon the best travel insurance plan for your trip, you should be able to complete your purchase online. You'll usually be able to download your insurance card and the complete policy shortly after the transaction is complete.
Related: 7 times your credit card's travel insurance might not cover you
Not all travel insurance policies and providers are equal. Before buying a plan, read and understand the policy documents. By doing so, you can choose a plan that's appropriate for you and your trip — including the features that matter most to you.
For example, if you plan to go skiing or rock climbing, make sure the policy you buy doesn't contain exclusions for these activities. Likewise, if you're making two back-to-back trips during which you'll be returning home for a short time in between, be sure the plan doesn't terminate coverage at the end of your first trip.
If you're looking to cover a sudden recurrence of a preexisting condition, select a policy with a preexisting condition waiver and fulfill the requirements for the waiver. After all, buying insurance won't help if your policy doesn't cover your losses.
Disclaimer : This information is provided by IMT Services, LLC ( InsureMyTrip.com ), a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 5119217) and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. IMT's services are only available in states where it is licensed to do business and the products provided through InsureMyTrip.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not create or modify any insurance policy terms in any way. For more information, please visit www.insuremytrip.com .
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Travel insurance with united airlines.
If you’re planning a trip with United Airlines, it’s important to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected events that may arise before or during your journey. Travel insurance can cover everything from trip cancellations to medical emergencies, and United Airlines offers several options for you to choose from.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to cover unexpected events that may occur while you are traveling. This can include trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost or stolen luggage, and more. Depending on the policy you choose, travel insurance may also cover other things like travel delays, rental car damage, and emergency evacuation.
Why Should You Consider Travel Insurance with United Airlines?
United Airlines offers several travel insurance options that can help protect you and your investment in your trip. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, United Airlines’ travel insurance plans can provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in case something unexpected happens.
What are the Travel Insurance Options with United Airlines?
United Airlines offers two different types of travel insurance plans: the Trip Insurance plan and the Travel Protection plan.
Trip Insurance Plan
The Trip Insurance plan is designed for travelers who are concerned about trip cancellations or interruptions. This plan provides coverage for non-refundable trip costs in case you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to a covered reason.
Travel Protection Plan
The Travel Protection plan provides additional coverage beyond what is offered in the Trip Insurance plan. This plan includes emergency medical coverage, baggage loss or delay coverage, travel delay coverage, and emergency evacuation coverage.
How Do You Purchase Travel Insurance with United Airlines?
You can purchase travel insurance with United Airlines when you book your flight online. During the booking process, you will be given the option to add travel insurance to your order. You can also purchase travel insurance separately by visiting the United Airlines travel insurance website.
What is Covered by United Airlines’ Travel Insurance Plans?
The coverage that is provided by United Airlines’ travel insurance plans varies depending on the plan you choose. However, here are some of the things that may be covered:
- Trip cancellations or interruptions
- Emergency medical expenses
- Lost or stolen luggage
- Travel delays
- Emergency evacuation
- Rental car damage
What is Not Covered by United Airlines’ Travel Insurance Plans?
While United Airlines’ travel insurance plans provide extensive coverage, there are still some things that may not be covered. Here are some examples:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Travel to countries with travel advisories
- Extreme sports or activities
- Intentional acts or injuries caused by alcohol or drug use
How Much Does United Airlines’ Travel Insurance Cost?
The cost of United Airlines’ travel insurance plans varies depending on several factors, including your destination, the length of your trip, and the coverage you choose. Generally, travel insurance costs between 4% and 10% of the total cost of your trip.
Is United Airlines’ Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?
Whether or not United Airlines’ travel insurance is worth the cost depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are traveling to a destination with a high risk of travel disruptions or medical emergencies, travel insurance may be a smart investment. However, if you are traveling to a low-risk destination or have other forms of insurance that may cover your trip, travel insurance may not be necessary.
Travel insurance can provide you with peace of mind and financial protection during your travels. United Airlines offers two different travel insurance plans that can help protect you from unexpected events that may occur before or during your trip. Consider purchasing travel insurance when booking your flight with United Airlines to ensure a worry-free travel experience.
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- Accident insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Dental insurance
- Fixed indemnity insurance
- Hospital indemnity insurance
- International travel insurance plans
- Term life insurance
- Vision insurance
- Why buy insurance bundles?
International travel insurance
International trips are filled with adventure. But unexpected medical and emergency events like a lost passport or family member falling ill can halt those plans and end up being more costly than the trip itself. It helps to know what’s covered ahead of time so you can plan and add to your coverage if you choose, before you leave.
What is travel insurance?
- Travel insurance primarily covers trip-related negatives, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption or lost baggage.
- Travel medical insurance is for people who are leaving the country and provides coverage while they are outside of the country. A travel medical policy focuses on emergency medical and dental. It also covers medical evacuation if it’s needed.
Who should buy travel medical insurance?
Nearly every traveler can benefit from the extra protection of travel medical insurance. Some in particular who may want to consider it include:
- Families with children
- Anyone visiting a country that speaks a different language
- People with chronic conditions
- Solo travelers
- Travelers to a remote location
Does my health insurance plan work internationally?
Many health insurance plans do not cover you when you are out of the country. For those that do, the coverage is often limited and requires you to pay at the time of service, save receipts and file for reimbursement once you get home. In case of a medical or a dental emergency while in another country, this could require you to spend a large amount of your own personal funds or charge significant amounts on credit cards while you are still traveling.
Travel medical insurance plans typically cover emergency medical and dental costs. Emergency transportation costs, such as ambulance or air lift, also are covered as are emergency evacuations that would get you from a remote location to appropriate medical care.
Tips to help you prepare before an international trip
Getting ready for a successful trip requires good planning. Consider these tips when you're preparing to travel internationally.
Schedule a pre-travel appointment with your doctor
The CDC offers travel health information , including questions to ask your doctor. At least one month before your travel departure, it’s also important to review any required or recommended vaccines with your provider for the country or countries you plan to visit.
Make a list of prescription medications
If you or a family member are taking any prescription medication, make a written list of medication names and dosages. Also include the name, telephone number, email address, and mailing address of your prescribing doctor, just in case you need it. Keep medications in their original, labeled containers and bring enough supply to cover you for your trip and a few extra days in case of delays.
Purchase travel medical insurance
There are several advantages to an international travel medical insurance policy. For example, a SafeTrip international travel insurance plan, along with travel assistance services, available through UnitedHealthcare Global, can help you:
- Find a pre-screened, quality medical provider
- Cover costs at the time of treatment rather than waiting for reimbursement after you get home
- Get home in a medical emergency
- Get help with non-medical problems, like a lost passport or a legal need
- Add riders with additional coverage to cover lost baggage, trip cancellation, or adventure travel
Visit SafeTrip from UnitedHealthcare Global for a free price quote and more information about these plans.
Get ready for your trip with 3 travel tips
So, your foreign adventure is planned, reservations are confirmed, your list of sights to see is growing, and you know what you’re packing. You’re in good shape, right? Probably yes, but you could be in even better shape by equipping yourself with information about things most of us don’t like to think about.
Take a look at 3 things to know before you go.
Find available international health insurance
At UnitedHealthcare Global, we want you to take the trip, not the risk. Designed to respond to unique challenges international travelers face, SafeTrip travel insurance was created for individuals, families, business travelers, students and NGO’s with a single purpose – to provide you and your loved ones with high quality care and support – in case of an unforeseen event including medical evacuation, lost baggage, travel assistance and so much more.
U.S. News takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.
9 Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies Worth the Cost
World Nomads Travel Insurance »
AXA Assistance USA »
Trawick International »
Generali Global Assistance »
Seven Corners »
Allianz Travel Insurance »
IMG Travel Insurance »
Nationwide Insurance »
Why Trust Us
U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies.
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World Nomads Travel Insurance
Axa assistance usa.
There are plenty of smart ways to save money on your travel plans, but refusing to buy travel insurance isn't necessarily one of them. Sure, you may not feel you need a travel insurance policy if you are going on a road trip or planning a cheap vacation close to home. However, we all know there are plenty of scenarios – from travel delays and flight cancellations to pandemic outbreaks and political unrest – that can knock any travel plans off track.
Coverage limits and availability may vary by state, and coverage for trip cancellation or interruption due to COVID-19 varies by provider, so you'll want to consult each travel insurance website for further details. Read on to find out more about what each company offers and decide which travel insurance policy is right for you.
Generali global assistance, seven corners, allianz travel insurance, img travel insurance, nationwide insurance.
To determine the Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies, U.S. News created sample traveler profiles for three separate eight-day trips to different destinations (the Bahamas, Spain and Hawaii) at a range of price points ($6,000, $8,000 and $12,000, respectively). We used that information to get quotes for the cheapest option for 100% trip cancellation coverage for each trip. We then calculated the average cost of the trips. The travel insurance companies that appear on the list are those that have a high credit rating and offer the lowest average cost, outlined below. (Note: The sample average costs are not price quotes from U.S. News. To find a travel insurance price quote, use the "View plans" link to enter your trip details and find more information.)
Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies in Detail
- Up to $2,500 worth of trip protection for cancellation or interruption
- Up to $1,000 in coverage of lost, stolen or damaged baggage; up to $750 for baggage delays on your outward journey
- Up to $100,000 in emergency medical insurance
- 100% coverage for trip cancellation and interruption
- $750 in coverage for baggage and personal effects; $200 in coverage for baggage delays
- $25,000 in accident and sickness coverage
- Trip cancellation (up to $30,000) and interruption coverage for 100% of the insured vacation
- $750 in coverage for lost and damaged luggage; $200 for baggage delays
- Up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage
- Coverage up to 100% of the insured vacation for trip cancellation and up to 125% of the insured vacation cost for trip interruption
- $1,000 per person for lost, damaged or stolen bags; $200 per person in baggage delay coverage
- Trip cancellation coverage up to $20,000 to $30,000 (depending where you live) and trip interruption coverage up to 100% of the cost of the trip
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage up to $500
- Emergency accident and sickness medical coverage up to $10,000 to $100,000 (based on state of residence)
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage up to $10,000
- Luggage loss and damage protection up to $500 per traveler; delay protection up to $200
- Emergency medical and dental coverage up to $10,000 ($500 for dental expenses)
- Up to 100% in coverage for trip cancellation (up to $25,000) and a trip interruption benefit worth up to 125% of the trip cost
- Up to $750 for lost, damaged or stolen bags; $150 in luggage delay coverage
- $100,000 in emergency medical coverage
- 100% of trip cost (up to $10,000); 100% in trip interruption
- Up to $250 per item in lost, damaged or stolen baggage (max $1,000)
- Up to $25,000 in emergency medical and illness coverage
- Trip cancellation (up to $10,000) and trip interruption (up to 125% of the total trip cost), including travel interruptions or delays due to terrorism
- $600 for lost, damaged or stolen luggage; $100 in baggage delay coverage
- Up to $75,000 in accident and illness medical coverage
Frequently Asked Questions
Vacations can unexpectedly be interrupted or canceled altogether due to an unexpected illness, a family emergency, or a cancellation by an airline or resort. "If you've spent a material amount for trip expenses, you want to make sure you're protected in case something happens," says Angela Borden, product strategist at Seven Corners . "If you get sick and can't go, if something happens and you need to come home early ... I think it's really important because travel is so expensive right now."
Not only that, but travel insurance can also cover other components of your trip you maybe haven't considered. This could include lost or stolen baggage or a missed connection that requires a sudden hotel stay and a few dinners while you're rerouted on another flight.
Try not to think of travel insurance as just another expense you should avoid while planning your dream trip. Think of travel insurance as protection for the financial investment you made in your vacation. With that in mind, it is thrifty to shop around for the most affordable travel insurance policies.
Buying travel insurance only makes sense if you purchase enough coverage to protect the investment you made in your trip. For that reason, the cheapest travel insurance plan is not always the best. You should compare pricing, but you should also make sure you're buying coverage from a quality provider (like the ones included above). Additionally, check that your coverage comes with inclusions and limits that make sense for your trip.
To find the right travel insurance plan for your needs, start by tallying up the cost you paid for your trip, including prepaid charges for airfare, lodging and transportation. From there, you can select coverage limits for trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and you can also compare plans based on the most important components that could result in major losses, such as medical coverage and emergency evacuation. Also, make sure your policy provides adequate protection for baggage and personal items, as well as the implications of a significant travel delay. Finally, make sure you have the option to include any additional coverage you need, such as cancel for any reason coverage or waivers for preexisting conditions.
Ideally, you will wind up with a travel insurance plan that offers just the right amount of coverage for a price you can afford.
Keep in mind, some of the more basic travel insurance plans do not include certain coverage that everyday travelers may need.
"A lot of people are focused on cost; one consideration is generally the economy level plans aren't going to have a preexisting condition waiver," says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com . "... and that may not affect everybody but if somebody has a chronic health consideration like asthma, they would want a policy with a preexisting condition waiver."
Travel insurance may cost anywhere from $50 to $1,500 or more. The cost of travel insurance varies depending on the age of the travelers in your group, the total cost of your trip and other factors. Older people will typically have to pay more for a travel insurance policy since these travelers are more susceptible to health issues as they age. The total cost of your trip will also help determine the cost of your travel insurance plan since more expensive trips require higher coverage limits.
Interestingly enough, the length of your trip and the destination you are visiting will not typically affect the cost of travel insurance coverage. Further, your health may not be part of the equation either, and travel insurance companies even refrain from asking health questions when you apply for a travel insurance quote. This doesn't mean that preexisting conditions will be covered, however, so you'll want to check the details.
The price of the plan you select will depend on how much coverage you want.
Why Trust U.S. News Travel
Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world, and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband, Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states, in their family media business.
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Is travel insurance worth the cost?
Policies can include medical expenses, lost passports, money wires and rebooking cancelled flights, but it's important not to assume you’re covered for everything.
Make sure you read the fine print in your insurance policy, so you know what is and isn't covered before you travel. Getty Images
Clare Fisher has only had to use travel insurance once in all the years she’s been jet-setting across the world with her family, but she says she would never go without it.
“I have heard far too many stories from family and friends where people have been left to fork out fortunes because they didn’t have travel insurance after something happened during their travels,” says the mum-of-three and full-time travelling content creator behind the Instagram account @traveltheworldfamily.
“The thing is, you think it will never happen to you and sometimes it just does.
“As well as giving you peace of mind, if you do end up needing to claim, it could save you a lot of money.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Fishers | TRAVEL • FAMILY • HEALTH (@traveltheworldfamily)
Travel insurance covers expenses and risks associated with being a tourist, whether for business or leisure, and packages can cater for both domestic and international travellers. This can include medical expenses, but also assistance with lost passports, money wires and rebooking cancelled flights.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires are also often covered, and packages can often be customised to the needs’ of the customer and their destination.
It is a big market. In the US alone, the industry is projected to reach a value of $5.5 billion by 2028 from $4bn in 2022, according to a report on researchandmarkets.com.
Within the study, this is attributed to increasing disposable income and a rise in business tours and travel. This year, international tourism will increase by 15 per cent year-on-year, according to data shared by United Nations World Tourism Organisation last month. It is also projected to exceed 2019 levels by 2 per cent.
Another reason for the market’s growth is that insurance providers have become savvier in terms of their offerings, expanding the availability of products, including single and multi-trip, as well as annual, policies, plus add-ons such as adventure tourism and more. The convenience of buying through online channels helps, too.
There has also been a growing awareness of the importance of having a policy in place. Nearly half of Americans have faced fines or had to bear the cost of damages when travelling without insurance at some point, according to a 2021 survey by insurance provider Battleface. The Covid-19 pandemic also presented many issues for anyone who was away from home when they got sick or when lockdowns were announced.
The same research found 36 per cent of Americans were more inclined to buy insurance now than pre-pandemic, particularly for international travel.
At the same time, the pandemic made customers more skeptical of the benefits, as many providers were ill-prepared to offer coverage for trip cancellations due to death.
The recent research also shows individuals in underdeveloped and developing nations are more reluctant than ever to pay for insurance services.
Check the fine print and don't skimp on costs
Fisher secures her family’s policy with a bank account subscription that provides the travel insurance, phone insurance and car breakdown cover, among other things. “We travel a lot, so having a subscription like this that we never have to renew is a big perk for us and the whole family is covered,” she says.
But the policy only covers them for up to 31 days on one trip, so for any long stints it will require extra or different types of coverage.
She advises everyone to search for the best prices, but “make sure you are aware of absolutely everything you are and aren’t covered for”.
“While that fine print may be pages and pages long, it’s worth reading or calling and going through your policy with your provider,” she says. “You might be surprised about some of the things you are covered for and this could provide some emotional and financial relief in situations you just never expected to get it.”
It’s also important not to assume you’re covered for everything, she adds. “Especially if you’re looking for the cheapest price, as you could very well be sacrificing important cover.”
For example, if you plan to take part in any experience or activities, whether that’s a walking tour or bungee jumping, it’s worth checking whether or not these are covered if anything goes awry.
It’s also important to declare any previous medical history, no matter how small it may seem, as it might just void the policy.
“It’s worth checking that the package you’re looking at covers you in these situations and any reasons and circumstances why you might not qualify,” says Fisher. “Your level of cover can be tailored to you, so it’s always best to chat to someone.
“I’d also say it’s helpful to call ahead of your trip and ask what details you should keep to hand and are likely to need to provide, as it can be stressful trying to frantically find this in the already stressful situation you may find yourself when needing to use your travel insurance.”
The best time to buy travel insurance
After you’ve made your first or larger booking is the time to purchase your policy, says Terry Boynton, co-founder and president of Yonder Travel Insurance. “Start by insuring your initial deposit and increase the trip cost insured under your policy each time you make an additional payment toward your trip,” he adds.
“Once you’ve nailed down your trip details, you can determine what benefits will be important to have included in your plan.”
The earlier you get it, the more peace of mind you’ll have before the trip even begins. For example, if a weather-related issue, sickness or family emergency comes up that means you cannot go anymore, these trip costs will be protected if you have already bought insurance.
Another reason to buy early is so you can choose optional add-ons such as Cancel for Any Reason or Pre-Existing Condition Waivers, which often must be bought within a specific time frame after the initial deposit.
It is possible, however, to buy travel insurance up until the day before your departure. Coverage wouldn’t apply if you try to buy a policy after an accident or natural disaster at your destination.
The Fishers had to use their policy when their son poked himself in the eye with a straw and they needed to get it checked by a doctor at a hospital where they spoke no English. “We felt so much better knowing that we had insurance, especially when we called from where we were and spoke to someone,” says Fisher.
“I will never forget why I believe so much in it. When I was in school, a friend of mine went on holiday and her dad drowned in the sea. The family had such a difficult time, had to fly him back home and I remember hearing about how helpful the insurance company was through it all and what some of the costs associated with this would have been if they hadn’t had it.
“When your family has suffered a loss like this, money and the logistics is the absolute last thing you want to be worrying about,” she adds.
“If you’re travelling in any capacity, I can’t think of any reason that you shouldn’t have travel insurance.”
Travel updates and inspiration from the past week
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?
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- The average travel insurance premium this week is $301.62, down about 1% compared to last week.
- For travel in the United States, the average premium is $92 to $403.
- Travel insurance protects against delayed baggage, trip cancellation, and more.
The average cost of travel insurance fluctuates throughout the year, based on demand and whether or not school's in session. Also keep in mind that where you're traveling and how many people are taking the trip will affect your exact premium.
The average travel insurance premium this week is about the same compared to last week.
Travel insurance rates this week:
- Average premium: $301.62
- Average trip cost: $7,678.45
- Average trip length: 15 Days
Understanding Travel Insurance
Travel insurance plans can cover both domestic and international travel. It could protect against something as familiar as delayed baggage (experts estimate 85% of lost luggage is returned to its owner within 48 hours) or as complicated as trip cancellation.
The benefits and limitations of travel insurance vary based on the company and plan. Above all else, this insurance coverage offers peace of mind.
Some credit cards offer a limited amount of travel insurance annually. If you need clarification on what your credit card offers, contact your provider to verify. These plans are great for cancellations and interruptions but may not cover more costly losses associated with unexpected medical expenses or emergency evacuations.
Individual travel insurance plans include this and much more. Travel insurance protects travelers from the unexpected when away from home.
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Destination
Some countries are naturally more expensive travel destinations due to higher flight and lodging costs, which could increase travel insurance costs. Travel insurance will generally cost 5% to 10% of your total trip price, according to SquareMouth.
Here's how the prices stack up:
How Far in Advance to Purchase Travel Insurance
According to an AAA travel survey , 88% of travelers say that reimbursement after a trip cancellation is the most valuable benefit of trip insurance.
According to data gathered by SquareMouth in the last six months, travelers tend to purchase trip cancellation travel insurance 53 days before their trip. Meanwhile, travelers without trip cancellation insurance will buy a policy approximately 16 days before their trip. Regardless of when you buy, cancellation protection can kick in to protect you against the unexpected.
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Age
A traveler's age is a significant factor in determining the cost of travel insurance. The older a traveler is, the higher travel insurance premiums are. For instance, a senior traveler may need more insurance for health-related emergencies than a millennial.
When calculating your travel insurance premium, travel insurance providers consider the likelihood of a medical emergency.
Get your free travel insurance quote with SquareMouth »
Travel Insurance Rate Tips
How much does travel insurance typically cost.
Travel insurance rates through most providers fall between 4% and 8% of the total trip cost. Like the cost of flights, cruises, etc., rates may vary substantially based on the season, your original location, your destination, and other factors. This week, the average cost of a policy was close to $300.
How can I save money on travel insurance?
To save money on travel insurance, tailor your policy to your specific needs and avoid unnecessary extras. You should also shop around to compare quotes from multiple insurers. Opting for an annual plan if you're a frequent traveler, checking existing coverages from other insurance policies or credit card benefits, and choosing a policy with a higher deductible can significantly lower your premiums. Always read the fine print to understand your coverage fully, ensuring you don't pay for redundant or irrelevant features.
Where are the cheapest places to buy travel insurance?
To find affordable travel insurance, consider using online comparison websites like SquareMouth or InsureMyTrip to see rates from various providers. Other ways to save include purchasing directly from insurance companies, exploring package deals from travel agencies or airlines, utilizing included coverage from credit card benefits, and checking for discounts through membership organizations such as AAA or AARP.
Travel Protection Plus
Your pet became sick? No problem! You can cancel or change your reservation— no change fees! Price gone down since you booked? No worries! United Vacations can guarantee our lowest price on select vacations! Unexpected mishap while on vacation? We've got you covered!
Our Travel Protection Plus helps give you some peace of mind, before and during travel. Cancel or change your vacation at any time, guarantee our lowest price on select vacations, receive coverage during travel and more.
What is Travel Protection Plus?
Pre-departure penalty waiver provided by united vacations (non-insurance features).
- Cancel for Any Reason: You may cancel your vacation for ANY reason prior to departure and receive a full refund for your vacation, less the cost of the Travel Protection plan, including non-refundable airfares booked through United Vacations.* Non-refundable hotel rates are not included. Your refund is made in the original form of payment unless at the time of purchase you elect to receive a portion or all of your refund in the form of United Vacations travel credits**.
- Price Guarantee***: Guarantees the lowest price on the vacation booking! If the price of the hotel or Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flight on your vacation drops after booking the reservation, just let us know and we'll adjust the reservation to the lower price. Valid on Mexico, Caribbean, Hawaii and Central America vacations.
- No Change Fees*: Need to make a change? Any United Vacations fees for the FIRST instance are automatically waived with no charge or reactivation fee when there are no supplier change fees. For changes that require a complete cancellation and rebook, the new booking must be finalized within 7 days of the initial cancellation.
- * Note to Minnesota, Missouri and New York residents only: You are not required to purchase the Post-Departure Travel Insurance in order to purchase the Pre-Departure Penalty Waiver. Contact 1-877-538-3815 for details.
- Hurricane Travel Credit*^: If a Category One or greater hurricane disrupts a vacation for 24 hours or more, travelers will receive a refund for unused or interrupted vacation nights plus a future vacation discount certificate. Valid for reservations departing June through November.
**Travel credit policies
- Travel credits are valid for travel commencing within 13 months (395 days) from original departure date.
- Travel credits are nonrefundable, nontransferable, not redeemable for cash, and must be used by expiration date.
- Travel credits will be issued in the names of the passengers on the original reservation.
- All refunds must be requested within 60 days of the date of cancellation.
Post-Departure Travel Insurance^ Underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
- Trip Interruption: Reimburses (up to the total trip cost) unused hotel arrangements plus additional costs to change or purchase a new airline ticket if you can't travel due to circumstances such as illness or injury to you, a family member, or traveling companion, jury duty, subpoena, or a traffic accident on the way to the airport.
- Travel Delay: Reimburses you up to $3,000 for expenses such as meals, lodging, and local transportation costs should you be delayed 6 or more hours due to a defined Hazard, such as a Common Carrier Delay or Quarantine (imposed by a physician or government authority).
- Missed Connection: The plan reimburses you up to $500 for unused arrangements and additional transportation should you miss your Cruise or tour departure due to a delay of at least 3 hours to 12 hours of all regularly scheduled flights due to a covered reason, such as adverse weather or Quarantine (imposed by a physician or government authority).
- Emergency Evacuation: Under certain circumstances detailed in the Plan, the Plan can pay for the transportation expenses Incurred to evacuate you to the nearest qualified hospital and/or to return you home.
- Baggage/Personal Property: Reimburses you for baggage or items lost, stolen, or damaged during your vacation.
- Medical Expenses: Reimburses medical costs should you incur hospital charges or other medical bills as a result of an illness or injury during your vacation.
- Baggage Delay: Reimburses for the purchase of necessary personal items if your bags are delayed by the airline for 8 hours or longer. The plan covers you for the purchase of necessary items up to $300 in the event your luggage is delayed by a common carrier for more than 8 hours en route to your vacation.
- Travel Accident: Accidental death and dismemberment coverage in the event of loss of life, limb, or sight resulting from an injury occurring during Your Trip.
Travel Protection Plus Pricing*
* Valid for of all vacation packages and destinations (except scheduled air only vacations). Holiday Pricing (departures 12/18-12/30): Add $30.00 per adult ages 13 +; add $15.00 per child 12 and under ( maximum $114.99 ).
How Do You Purchase Travel Protection Plus?
While you are building your vacation, you can select Travel Protection Plus from the Add-Ons menu, or add it during the first step of the check-out process in the Travel Protection section. Travel Protection Plus can only be purchased online during the booking process. To add travel protection after you have made your reservation, call your travel agent or United Vacations customer service at 888-854-3899. Travel Protection Plus may only be added within 7 days of your initial deposit, provided you have not yet made your final payment.
INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Benefits on this page are described on a general basis only. There are certain restrictions, exclusions and limitations that apply to all insurance coverages. This advertisement does not constitute or form any part of the plan description or any other contract of any kind. Plan benefits, limits and provisions may vary by state jurisdiction. To review full plan details online, go to: www.tripmate.com/wpN430U .
Plan payments are made up of insurance benefits and non-insurance services.
Insurance benefits are underwritten by: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
Non-Insurance services: are not insurance benefits underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. One Call 24-Hour Assistance Services are provided by: One Call Worldwide Travel Services Network and Global Xpi Medical Records Services are provided by Trip Mate.
Plan administrator: Trip Mate, Inc. (in CA & UT, dba Trip Mate Insurance Agency) 9225 Ward Parkway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64114, 1-833-791-2989.
* All United Vacations-imposed revision fees are waived and are available for unlimited use so long as Travel Protection Plus remains on the reservation. Canceling or changing their vacation at any time before departure without costly revision fees does not include non-refundable properties. Supplier-imposed fees such as airline/hotel revision penalties will be covered for the first revision instance. If used to cover supplier-imposed fees, Travel Protection Plus will need to be reapplied to the reservation at 75% of the original price in order to maintain the program benefits or the traveler is subject to any subsequent revision or cancel fees.
*** For the Price Guarantee to apply to the hotel portion of the reservation, the price adjustment must be made to the reservation while the lower United Vacations rate is available. Price Guarantee also covers the air portion of exclusive nonstop vacation air vacations.
*^ The Hurricane Travel Credit applies for vacations departing June through November. While in destination, if your United Vacations trip is interrupted for 24 hours or more due to a Category One or greater hurricane, you will receive a refund for unused or interrupted vacation nights plus a "Fresh Start" certificate for a future vacation. "Fresh Start" certificate amounts: $25 per person. "Fresh Start" certificates are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash and can be used on a United Vacation for travel any time (excluding holidays) for one year from the original departure date. A qualifying disruption occurs when your hotel requires you to be displaced from their room for 24 hours or more due to the result of a Category One or greater hurricane and does not apply to hurricane watches, warnings or tropical storms. The Hurricane Travel Credit Plan applies to the nights you are displaced from your hotel if a comparable hotel of equal or greater hotel rating is not provided.
^ The Travel Protection Benefits are underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies, Columbus, Ohio and administered by Trip Mate Inc., * (*in CA & UT, dba Trip Mate Insurance Agency) 9225 Ward Parkway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO, 64114, 1-833-791-2989. Non-insurance Services: are not insurance benefits. Generali Global Assistance 24-Hour Assistance Services are provided by: Generali Global Assistance and Global Xpi Medical Records Services are provided by Trip Mate. Benefits on this page are described on general basis only. There are certain restrictions, exclusions and limitations that apply to all insurance coverages and services. This advertisement does not constitute or form any part of the Plan Description or any other contract of any kind. Plan benefits, limits, and provisions may vary by state jurisdiction. To view the full plan details please visit: http://www.tripmate.com/wpN430U and view your state specific plan document.
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Best Health Insurance for Visitors to the U.S. (2024)
U.S. visitors can get travel medical insurance for as low as $89 per trip.
from Seven Corners via Squaremouth.
Alex is a MarketWatch Guides team writer that covers automotive and personal finance topics. She’s worked as a content writer for over a dozen car dealerships across the U.S. and as a contributor to several major auto news websites.
Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.
Seven Corners, WorldTrips, IMG and Trawick offer the best health insurance plans for visitors to the U.S.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with details on travel health insurance plans from these providers, including example quotes, information on how to use your visitor health insurance and more.
Do Visitors Need U.S. Health Insurance?
While health insurance is not always mandatory when traveling to the U.S., regulations may vary depending on the circumstances around your visit and your visa needs. In addition, health plans from different countries are generally not accepted in the U.S., which means you could pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for treatment in an emergency without a valid plan.
Note that many foreign visitors traveling to the U.S. do not need a visa to enter the country for less than 90 days. However, some visa requirements for long-term visitors require health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. Regardless of the requirements for your travels, it’s worth considering a travel medical insurance plan based on the high cost of U.S. healthcare. According to GoodRx, an emergency room visit can cost upwards of $2,400 to $2,600 without insurance in the U.S.
Health Insurance Requirements for Visitors
While tourists do not technically need a travel medical insurance plan to obtain a visa, other types of visitors do. For instance, if you’re a student planning to study abroad in a U.S.-based college or university using an F-1 or J-1 visa, you’ll likely need some sort of health insurance or a comparable equivalent. Many universities that accept students on visas require medical coverage that complies with the school’s outlined health insurance requirements.
Note that health insurance requirements for visitors to the U.S. largely depend on the type of visa you need to enter the country. Regardless of whether it’s required, we recommend medical insurance based on the high costs of U.S. healthcare services.
Best Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to the U.S.
Our team has spent extensive time researching the best travel medical insurance plans for visitors to the U.S., considering factors such as availability, coverage, customer support and provider reputation.
- Seven Corners Travel Medical Basic : Our pick for group travelers
- WorldTrips Atlas America : Our pick for high coverage limits
- IMG Patriot Lite : Our pick for budget coverage
- IMG Patriot America Plus : Our pick for continuous coverage
- Trawick Safe Travels USA Comprehensive : Our pick for wellness coverage
Why We Picked It
Seven Corners’ Travel Medical Basic plan is our pick for group travelers. This plan is specifically designed for groups of up to 10 non-U.S. residents and non-U.S. citizens aged 14 days or older, making it ideal for families traveling together . However, it is also available for solo travelers. You can extend coverage for up to a year, with protection both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Pros and Cons
Medical coverage details.
The Travel Medical Basic plan offers extensive coverage with benefit maximums of up to $1 million and various deductible options, making it easy to customize a plan to suit your needs. Medical coverage offered through this plan includes the following:
- General medical
- Emergency dental
- Emergency services and assistance
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
- Optional adventure activity coverage
Learn more : Seven Corners Travel Insurance Review
WorldTrips’ Atlas America plan is our pick for high coverage limits. This plan is designed for U.S. tourists, temporary workers, business visitors and international students studying abroad , providing accessible health coverage to a variety of travelers. It provides overall coverage maximums of up to $2 million, with up to $1 million for emergency medical evacuation coverage.
The Atlas America plan offers up to $2 million in overall coverage and seven different deductible options, providing sound medical coverage along with supplemental travel benefits. Medical coverages include services that fall under the following categories:
- Emergency dental and vision
Learn more: WorldTrips Travel Insurance Review
We chose IMG’s Patriot Lite plan as our pick for budget coverage — the company quoted us less for this plan than its competitors on our list. You can buy this plan as an individual or group, making it ideal for family members traveling to the U.S. together. Like other insurance companies in this review, IMG is partnered with UnitedHealthcare, meaning policyholders have access to a domestic network of over 1.4 million physicians for medical care.
Policyholders can choose coverage with a maximum of up to $1 million with the Patriot Lite plan, with deductibles ranging from $0 to $2,500. Coverages with the Patriot Lite plan include the following:
Learn more : IMG Travel Insurance Review
IMG’s Patriot America Plus plan also made our list for providing short-term insurance for business and leisurely travelers. We named it our pick for continuous coverage, as it provides up to 24 months of renewable, consecutive coverage. Other benefits include access to multilingual customer service representatives and a maximum limit of up to $1 million. Unlike IMG’s Patriot Lite plan, Patriot America Plus covers COVID-19 treatments.
As with IMG’s Patriot Lite plan, coverage with a maximum of up to $1 million is available, with your choice of deductible from $0 to $2,500. Coverages with the Patriot America Plus plan include the following:
We named Trawick’s Safe Travels USA Comprehensive plan our pick for wellness coverage, as it affords policyholders a general wellness visit with a U.S. doctor during their travels for up to $125. As is standard across most plans in our review, Trawick’s Safe Travels plan offers up to $1 million in medical expense coverage. It also offers up to $2 million in emergency medical evacuation coverage and eight deductible options up to $5,000.</p
The Safe Travels USA Comprehensive plan covers up to $1 million in medical benefits after you pay your deductible. Benefits provided with each plan include:
- Optional sports activity coverage (excludes extreme sports)
Read more : Trawick International Travel Insurance Review
Compare Travel Medical Insurance Plans for U.S. Tourists
See the table below for a direct comparison of costs, deductibles and more between travel medical insurance plans for U.S. visitors.
We based plan costs on quotes we obtained for a 30-year-old Australian citizen traveling to the U.S. for 30 days. Each plan includes a medical maximum of $500,000 with a $250 deductible. Note that your actual cost will depend on factors such as your age, number of travelers, chosen deductible and more.
Types of Health Insurance for U.S. Visitors
Travelers have options when it comes to health insurance for U.S. visitors. For one, you could choose an international travel medical insurance plan, which provides coverage for emergency medical expenses or evacuation abroad. A U.S. short-term health insurance plan is also an option. Some health insurance companies, such as UnitedHealthcare, work with providers to allow policyholders to use the company’s preferred provider organization (PPO) network.
If you’re wondering whether your domestic health insurance policy will cover you in the U.S., we encourage you to contact your insurance provider for more details. You may need to purchase valid coverage specifically for your U.S. trip if you’re concerned about or foresee needing medical care abroad.
Fixed Medical Insurance
Fixed medical insurance or fixed indemnity insurance pays a predetermined amount of money for specific medical procedures and services. This type of medical insurance plan is limited — no matter what your total bill amounts to, it will not cover more than the agreed-upon amount. Fixed medical insurance plans are usually cheaper than comprehensive policies, which we cover in the next section.
Comprehensive Medical Insurance
Comprehensive medical insurance covers doctor’s visits, hospital care, prescription drugs and more without setting limits on certain services. Note that these plans typically have coverage maximums, deductibles and copays, so you will have to pay a certain amount before your policy covers any medical expenses.
Comprehensive coverage does not have benefit limits based on the type of medical service like fixed medical does, but it will cost you more overall. However, because health care in the U.S. is expensive, you may find comprehensive plans more beneficial in the long run despite being pricier than a fixed plan.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Health Insurance
Short-term and long-term health insurance plans provide coverage that lasts for a specific period. You can consider travel medical insurance plans short-term policies for U.S. visitors, as they can cover medical expenses incurred during a period lasting less than a year.
If you plan on staying in the U.S. for longer than a year, you may be eligible to purchase a health insurance plan through a domestic provider, depending on your visa. For example, if you have a J-1 or F-1 visa, you may be eligible for a university-sponsored or private health insurance plan. We encourage you to check with the U.S. Department of State when you receive your visa for more on what long-term health insurance options are available to you.
What Does Travel Insurance in the U.S. Cover?
Travel insurance in the U.S. provides a variety of coverages for unexpected events that can affect your travel plans both before and during your trip. Specifics will vary depending on your choice of policy but will likely include some or all of the following coverages:
- Trip cancellation: If you must cancel your trip for a covered reason, travel insurance can help you recover non-refundable costs such as hotel reservations, airline tickets and more.
- Trip interruption: If you need to cut your vacation short for a covered reason, travel insurance plans can compensate you for expenses you didn’t use during your trip.
- Trip and baggage delays: A travel insurance policy can help cover costs you incur if your trip or baggage gets delayed for a covered reason. Most coverage also includes lost or stolen baggage.
- Emergency medical: Emergency medical coverage can reimburse the cost of necessary treatments if you experience a medical emergency abroad up to a maximum amount.
- Emergency evacuation and transport: If you need transportation to a medical facility in the U.S. during a medical emergency, this coverage will provide an expense limit for the services. This benefit can also cover emergency evacuations if a natural disaster or political conflict occurs and affects your travels.
How Much Does Travel Health Insurance for U.S. Visitors Cost?
Our research found that the cost of travel insurance for U.S. visitors can range from $96 to $115 . This range is based on quotes gathered for a 30-year-old Australian citizen traveling to the U.S. for 30 days. Each plan we obtained a quote for included a medical maximum of $500,000 with a $250 deductible.
For cost data specific to your travel needs, we encourage you to gather quotes from the providers in this review. The quotes you receive will depend on factors such as your age, plan limits, chosen deductible, number of travelers and more.
How To Use Visitor Health Insurance
If you’ve purchased a visitor medical insurance plan for your stay in the U.S., it’s important you understand how to use it. Healthcare facilities in the U.S., such as doctor’s offices, urgent care locations and emergency rooms, often require you to bring an insurance card with you. This card includes essential information associated with your policy that helps the facility file a claim with your insurance provider. If you have one through your visitor health insurance plan, it is best to have on hand when receiving medical treatment.
Note that your health insurance plan may also require pre-approval before you receive treatment. Your insurance company may verify a procedure or medicine is necessary before agreeing to cover it. This preauthorization usually is not required in an emergency, but your insurance provider may request it in other circumstances.
Many visitor health insurance plans also cover prescription medications. If you’ve been prescribed medicine through a U.S. doctor during a medical visit, a pharmacy may choose to verify your prescription before filling it. This means the pharmacy will contact your healthcare provider with any questions about the prescription being correct. Verification could delay when you receive your medication, but likely won’t take longer than three to10 business days.
Finding Doctors and Hospitals as a Visitor
Most insurers provide online tools that help you find in-network healthcare providers and facilities covered by your insurance policy. Note that you may pay more if you choose to receive care through a doctor or facility that is not considered in-network. Out-of-network providers do not contract with your health insurance plan to provide agreed-upon rates. Unless you have a plan that lets you pick any provider you’d like, you will need to find a provider or facility working with your insurance.
If you want to verify the benefits offered by your insurance plan, contact your insurance provider directly or consult any documentation provided at the time of purchase. Healthcare providers may also take steps to verify your coverage, as it ensures the facility receives payment and lessens the chance of a denied insurance claim.
The cost of medical treatment depends entirely on the type of insurance plan you have. If you’ve purchased a travel medical insurance plan, your provider will cover emergency medical expenses up to a maximum amount. Once you’ve hit that limit, you will have to pay the rest of your bill. If you have a plan with a deductible or co-pay, you must pay that amount before your insurer will cover your expenses.
Paying Medical Bills Without Insurance
If you opt out of medical coverage when visiting the U.S. and end up needing medical care, you will have to cover the entire bill out of pocket. However, you have several options regarding payment. You can contact the debt collector in charge of your bill and work to negotiate the cost of your bill down . You can also set up a payment plan that works with your income and what you can afford.
While these payment options can be helpful, they do not negate the high U.S. healthcare costs, and can still leave you with a substantial bill after a medical crisis. According to a study by the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker , health expenditures per person in the U.S. in 2022 were over $4,000 more than any other high-income nation. For this reason, we recommend some form of medical coverage to help cover potential emergency expenses when visiting the U.S.
Filing a Claim with Visitor Health Insurance
Filing a claim through a visitor insurance plan or travel medical insurance policy will vary based on your provider. Note that providing proper documentation will help the claims process go smoothly, so it is important to keep track of hospital invoices and other billing forms.
If you have a domestic health insurance policy, the healthcare facility that provided your treatment will file your claim. You’ll receive a bill once your insurance provider processes the claim. On the other hand, travel medical insurance may require you to submit documents proving your claims for emergency medical treatment. Once your claim has been approved, your travel insurance company will reimburse your medical bills.
Where Can You Buy Visitors Insurance?
You can buy visitors’ insurance directly from travel insurance companies, international health insurance companies, university-approved providers and domestic providers, depending on the type of visa required during your stay. If you’re on a tourist visa, you can purchase travel medical insurance covering emergency medical services and transport, if needed, to a healthcare facility. Most travel insurance providers also offer travel healthcare plans that can last up to a year if you are planning multiple trips.
If you’re on a J-1 or F-1 visa and enrolling in a schooling program, contact your university to see if you’re eligible for a sponsored or private health insurance plan. If you need clarification on the available coverage or plan to stay in the U.S. for longer than a year, contact the U.S. Department of State for more information.
The Bottom Line: Do U.S. Visitors Need Health Care Coverage?
Healthcare in the U.S. is expensive. While medical insurance isn’t required for some visitors — such as tourists on a B-2 visa — it’s still worth considering if you’re concerned about an unexpected medical emergency abroad. We encourage you to extensively research your visa type and the coverage available to you before settling on a plan. Understanding the benefits and exclusions of a healthcare coverage plan will ensure there are no surprises if you need medical care during your U.S. trip.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visitor Health Insurance
How much is visitor health insurance in the u.s..
Visitor health insurance costs in the U.S. depend on factors unique to your travel needs. After gathering quotes from the providers in our review, we found that visitor health insurance can range from $89 to $115 . This range is based on a 30-year-old Australian citizen traveling to the U.S. for 30 days, opting for a plan with a medical maximum of $500,000 and a $250 deductible. Your actual costs will vary.
How much does travel insurance cost for trips to the U.S
Our research team found the average cost of travel insurance ranges from $35 to $400, with the average being $221 for a standard policy. Your costs will vary depending on your chosen plan, provider, length of travels, number of travelers and more.
Can foreign visitors get insurance while in the U.S.?
Yes, foreigners can get insurance while in the U.S. Various insurance options are available to travelers depending on their length of stay and visa type. It’s best to research what’s available to you based on your visa requirements before purchasing a plan.
Is it hard to get travel insurance for U.S.-based trips?
No, it’s not hard to get travel insurance for travel to the U.S. Providers such as Seven Corners, WorldTrips, IMG, Trawick and more provide plans for non-U.S. citizens seeking trip and medical coverage while abroad.
Methodology: Our System for Rating Travel Insurance Companies
- A 30-year-old couple taking a $5,000 vacation to Mexico.
- A family of four taking an $8,000 vacation to Mexico.
- A 65-year-old couple taking a $7,000 vacation to the United Kingdom.
- A 30-year-old couple taking a $7,000 trip to the United Kingdom.
- A 19-year-old taking a $2,000 trip to France.
- A 27-year-old couple taking a $1,200 trip to Greece.
- A 51-year-old couple taking a $2,000 trip to Spain.
- Plan availability (10%): We look for insurers with a variety of travel insurance plans and the ability to customize a policy with coverage upgrades.
- Coverage details (29%): We review the baseline coverage each company offers in its cheapest comprehensive plan. A provider with robust coverage earns full points, including baggage delay and loss, COVID-19 coverage, emergency evacuation and medical coverage, trip delay and cancellation coverage, and more. Companies also receive points for offering a variety of policy add-ons like accidental death and dismemberment, extreme sports, valuable items, cancel for any reason coverage and more.
- Coverage times and amounts (34%): We compare each company’s waiting periods and maximum reimbursement amounts for baggage, travel and weather delays. Companies that offer customers reimbursement after fewer than 12 hours of delays earn full points in this category. We also reward travel insurance providers that cover more than 100% of trip costs in the event of cancellations or interruptions.
- Company service and reviews (17%): We look for indicators that a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. Companies with an established global resource network, 24/7 emergency hotline, mobile app, multiple ways to file a claim and concierge services score higher in this category. We assess reputation by evaluating consumer reviews, third-party financial strength and customer experience ratings, specifically from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
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Airline Travel Insurance vs. Independent Travel Insurance: Which Is Right for You?
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Table of Contents
Airline travel insurance
Independent travel insurance, which one is right for you.
You’ve planned your travel, found a flight, and can’t wait to book the trip on the airline’s website. But right before you hit the payment button, you have one seemingly simple question to answer: Do you want to add travel insurance?
It’s a booking option that has stumped many a traveler. You may think you need it, but what does that airline insurance even cover? And would it be better to purchase separate travel insurance from an independent company instead? Here, we’ll help you break down that decision and figure out which one is right for you.
For starters, every airline’s travel protection coverage is different. Some airlines, like Southwest, don’t offer any sort of trip protection for purchase with regular flights, but they do have an insurance option for Southwest Vacations.
United, on the other hand, offers full travel insurance through a partnership with AIG, while British Airways offers protection with Allianz. So be aware that while you may purchase insurance through the airline, your policy is likely underwritten by a third-party insurer.
Airlines offer a wide variety of travel insurance policies with varying benefits, so ensure you read the fine print to understand your specific coverage. Here are some examples:
Trip cancellation or interruption, meaning you’ll get a refund of whatever you have paid (up to a certain amount) if you have to cancel or postpone your trip due to a covered reason.
Reimbursement for lost or delayed baggage.
Emergency medical coverage and/or assistance while traveling.
And coverage isn’t the only thing that can vary; so does price. One airline might sell a policy for less than $15, while others may be more than five times that amount. This is another instance in which it’s critical to compare the details of what you’re actually getting. Here are two example policies we found for sale via United and Alaska:
A few cons to consider
One potential downside of purchasing travel insurance through your airline is that you only have the option of that airline’s partner provider — which may not be your first choice, or may not offer the coverage you want or need.
United, for example, offers protection through AIG, which covers 100% of your trip cost if you have to cancel travel plans. British Airways, on the other hand, offers a plan through Allianz that only covers up to $1,000 for trip cancellation and protection (often less than the cost of a single international flight).
When booking travel protection or insurance through an airline, you usually won’t have the option to fully customize your plan. For example, if you’ll be participating in activities that aren’t approved by some plans (like bouldering, ballooning or even some volunteer work), you may not be able to upgrade to a plan that covers riskier activities.
However, if you’re not expecting to need any special coverage (though some would argue that you never expect to need it), clicking that box on the checkout page while booking your flight is often an easy and inexpensive option. Just make sure to read the fine print so you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not to avoid disappointment if you ever have to make a claim.
» Learn more: What to do if you get sick while traveling overseas
Independent travel insurance, on the other hand, gives you the ability to shop around and choose a plan that’s right for you.
Using a comparison portal like SquareMouth (a NerdWallet partner) or an independent insurance agent will ensure you get coverage tailored to your trip and will allow you to select plans based on price or features.
For example, if packing important or valuable materials in your checked luggage, you may want a plan that has a higher baggage loss reimbursement. If traveling to a country where there’s a higher risk of contracting malaria or another disease, you may want insurance that offers more overseas medical coverage or medical evacuation. And hand-selecting the exact coverage you want or need is something you can only do if you shop around outside any coverage your airline offers.
» Learn more: How to find the best travel insurance
Which option is right for you comes down to what type of coverage you need and how complex your travel plans are. If you’re taking a quick domestic trip to visit friends and family in a familiar destination and don’t plan to participate in any risky activities, airline-provided travel insurance may be enough protection for you.
On the other hand, if you’re planning the trip of a lifetime with multiple destinations, opportunities for volunteer work, participation in what some companies consider dangerous activities or travel to regions with limited medical care and higher chances of getting sick, it may be wise to consider independent insurance.
Remember that if your trip involves multiple airlines, car rental companies, accommodations and activities, it may be easier to deal with one independent insurance company that will cover your whole trip.
» Learn more: The majority of Americans plan to travel in 2022
Also, you may already have a credit card that comes with some travel protections if you use the card to purchase your trip. Check the fine print to see what protections your card might offer.
Whatever you choose, travel safe.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
on Chase's website
1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.
60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.
30,000 Limited-time offer: Earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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