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How much does travel insurance cost?

How much does travel insurance cost? That’s a question a lot of travelers ask, along with whether it’s worth it. Here’s the whole story.

23 February 2011
How much does travel insurance cost?
Traveler calculating travel insurance costs

Answer: Travel insurance vacation plans cost between 4-10% of the total trip cost.

Here’s an example: If your cruise costs $4,000, a travel insurance plan would cost between $160-$320.

Remember, this is the general range but keep in mind that basic ‘budget’ plans can be less than 4%, and premium plans can be over 12% of the trip cost (any expenses that are pre-paid and non-refundable).

What factors affect travel insurance cost?

There are many factors that affect the cost of travel insurance, including what type of plan a traveler chooses, their age, their trip activities, their medical health, and more.

The following are the factors that affect the cost of two types of travel insurance:

Vacation Plans (package plans)Travel Medical Plans
total trip cost
length of trip
age of travelers
options
length of trip
age of travelers
pre-existing conditions
options

Travel insurance package plans

travel insurance package plan will provide protection for medical expenses, emergency evacuations, trip cancellations, loss of baggage and belongings.

Senior citizens and travelers with pre-existing medical conditions will be required to buy specific travel insurance plans. They will pay a little more because it’s deemed more likely that they will have to file a claim.

Travel medical insurance plans

Travelers who choose a travel medical plan won’t have some of the package plan benefits, like trip cancellation coverage for example, but the plan cost can be as low as dollars per day.

Some travel medical plans also have selectable options that a traveler can add to the policy, such as hazardous sports coverage, that will raise the cost slightly, and deductibles, that will lower the cost slightly.

Traveler calculating trip costs

Optional coverages will affect the price

Travelers who add coverage options will pay a little more. Some of these options include:

Adjustable coverage limits and deductibles also affect price

Many travel insurance plans have the option to select a coverage amount or deductible.

Per person coverage limits, such as the maximum for medical evacuation or life insurance, will affect the cost of the policy. If you choose $50,000 for life insurance protection versus $25,000, your policy will be slightly higher.

Some travel insurance policies apply deductibles to certain benefits, such as baggage coverage or emergency medical coverage. Similar to your health policy at home, a deductible is the out-of-pocket amount a traveler is responsible for before insurance begins picking up the remaining costs.

If you select a higher deductible amount, say $100 versus $50 for emergency medical, then your travel insurance plan will cost less.

Making adjustments to the plan to suit your comfort level is a great way to keep the cost of travel insurance affordable.

Average Travel Insurance Cost

Just like any other type of insurance plan, a travel insurance plan can come with lots of features that add to the cost. Travelers can choose plans that are more or less comprehensive based on their needs.

  • A basic travel insurance plan for a single traveler on a short trip – $89
  • A slightly more comprehensive travel insurance plan for a single traveler on a short trip – $112
  • A full coverage travel insurance plan for a single traveler on a short trip – $139

These are just estimates, of course, but you get the idea.

What Does Travel Insurance Really Cover?

Depending on the plan you buy, travel insurance really covers emergency medical costs when you’re traveling. Think about what you’d pay for an emergency room trip to repair a broken arm back in the US. Now, imagine that emergency in a foreign country where you don’t have insurance coverage.

In addition to emergency medical, travel insurance plans can cover things like trip cancellations, delays, lost luggage, evacuations, and so much more. It’s something no traveler should leave their home country without.

Why is Travel Insurance so Expensive?

When you’ve already spent a lot of money on flights, lodging, car rental, and tours, it can seem like just to much to have to pay for travel insurance too. But the cost of travel insurance, just like any other type of insurance, is based on your risk factors. If it seems expensive, imagine what you’d pay if you didn’t have it!

Think of it like this: the more expensive car you drive, the more expensive your auto insurance. The more expensive your home, the more expensive your home insurance, right? Travel insurance is no different.

You get the coverage that you pay for, and the cost shouldn’t deter you from purchasing the coverage you need to protect yourself, your family, and your trip investment.

Traveler wearing mask in European train station

What are the advantages and disadvantages of travel insurance?

Any insurance you buy is there for the unexpected – the disasters that no one could see coming.

Advantages

The advantages of travel insurance are most apparent when you really need help.

  • What if you have to cancel an expensive trip because your parent is suddenly very ill?
  • What if your child is injured on a ski trip in another country?
  • What if a storm cancels all flights and you miss a tour you paid for and reserved?
  • What if your luggage is stolen from the airport carousel while you get a coffee?

Will you have enough money in your budget and on your credit card to cover these kinds of emergencies? Likely not and that’s the advantage of travel insurance.

Disadvantages

It’s hard to say that there are disadvantages to purchasing a travel insurance plan, except for the cost. It’s not an expense most travelers would say is cheap. The only other disadvantage to purchasing a travel insurance plan could be the situation where you don’t purchase enough coverage. If you don’t have enough coverage for the emergency that happens when you’re traveling, you’ll have to pay more money.

Can you take a trip without travel insurance?

You sure can, but you better have a lot of money in the bank. If you’re traveling alone and get into an accident, who’s going to pay your medical bills and bring a friend or family member to your bedside?

The right travel insurance plan will.

If you’re traveling in a foreign country and a natural disaster happens, how will you get to safety?

A good travel insurance plan will help you.

If you’re traveling with your family and your child become suddenly ill, who can provide translation services and help you get to a hospital quickly?

A travel insurance plan can help there too.

No matter where you go in the world, having travel insurance is essential.

Summary

  • Travel insurance costs 4-8% of the total trip cost
  • Trip cost, trip length, and age of travelers are the main pricing factors
  • Policy add-ons or upgraded coverage limits can affect price
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Damian Tysdal
Author
DamianTysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.