This guide shows you the best economical travel insurance plans, what they cover, and everything else you need to know14 October 2022
Looking for the cheapest travel insurance plans of 2023? You’re in luck. Today, we’re going to highlight the best cheap travel insurance plans that won’t force you to compromise on coverage. You can still enjoy peace of mind and protection at affordable rates that work for you.
Many travelers ask “what’s the best cheap travel insurance plan”, but they also worry they will need to sacrifice the important coverages or use an untrustworthy company. But with the right strategy, there are many plans with great coverage that will protect your money and keep you safe.
We’re going to unveil the cheapest travel insurance plans for those who only need trip cancellation coverage, but we’ll also share a few cheap travel insurance plans for those seeking comprehensive coverage – including COVID coverage and other medical coverage, evacuation, delays, and much, much more. By the end of this in-depth breakdown, you’ll feel more confident in choosing the right cheap travel insurance company for your upcoming adventure or work trip. First things first – some basic information on travel insurance coverage.
While you may be looking to save a few bucks, you still need at least some form of travel insurance. Why? Because you will enjoy peace of mind along your trip knowing the money spent on your trip is covered. You’ll also find comfort knowing any medical bills that arise on your trip are covered, too. These are the most common reasons for buying travel insurance, and there are several budget-minded plans that cover these:
To keep the costs lower for budget-minded travelers, cheap travel insurance companies need to reduce their risk by reducing coverage. They do this by removing some specific coverages, or they reduce the amount of coverage. Here are some examples of how the different travel insurance companies keep the cost lower:
There is nothing wrong with going with cheaper travel insurance companies or plans. Just you know that you aren’t getting the top rated travel insurance. It is important that you read the details of your coverage to understand what exactly you’re getting – and what you’re not getting. With all that said, let’s get into the main topic at hand today – the cheapest travel insurance companies and plans currently available that still offer great coverage for your needs. We’ll kick our list off with the best cheap travel insurance plan for trip cancellation only.
This is the best plan if you only want coverage for canceled trips. There is no coverage for medical emergencies, evacuation, baggage, or delays. All recommended plans are from A.M.Best Rated reputable companies that specialize in travel insurance.
Example quote $130 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes 2 travelers (45, 45) on a two-week trip, with a total trip cost of $5,000).
Trip cancellation may not be enough to grant you peace of mind along your travels. If you really want to enjoy your trip without the worry in the back of your mind, you want travel medical insurance among other forms of coverage too. As you can probably imagine, these types of travel insurance plans are more expensive than the aforementioned trip cancellation-only plan. With that said, they are still very affordable. And obviously, you get more coverage, too.
Comprehensive travel insurance covers cancellation, interruption, emergency medical, evacuation, baggage, and delays. These plans offer the well-rounded coverage of travel insurance, but with lower coverage limits and fewer features for budget-minded travelers.
Example quote $168 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes 2 travelers (45, 45) on a two-week trip, with a total trip cost of $5,000).
Example quote $172 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes 2 travelers (45, 45) on a two-week trip, with a total trip cost of $5,000).
In general, travel insurance costs between 4-10% of your insured trip cost, with the average being around 5%.
The plans above are closer to 3%, which makes an economical choice like this a very reasonable investment. For less than the sales tax in most states, you can protect your trip cost against cancellations, medical emergencies, baggage, and travel delays.
The cost of travel insurance is mostly based on:
The main driving force in policy cost is trip cost, which is why the estimates for travel insurance are based on a percentage of trip cost.
Most travelers purchase comprehensive travel insurance that packages together a number of valuable benefits. Two of the three best cheap travel insurance plans above have full comprehensive coverage, with lower limits and fewer coverage options. Here is a brief overview of the coverage:
This protects your trip cost if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason. The most common reason is someone getting sick right before the trip, but it also covers death in the family, hurricane & weather, house fire, quarantine, jury duty, terrorism, and more. The medical issues also apply to family members, so a parent getting sick and needing your care would be covered.
The pandemic remains a concern for all travelers, especially those traveling with children or elderly parents. As such, we see a ton of travelers looking for the cheapest COVID 19 travel insurance.The plans above cover cancellations if you get Covid-19 and a doctor verifies that you cannot take your trip. In this case, Covid is treated like any other sickness for trip cancellation coverage. The comprehensive plans with medical coverage also cover you if you get Covid while traveling and need emergency medical care. If you want to find the cheapest COVID 19 travel insurance, take a look at our article on the best COVID 19 trip insurance plans.
This covers expenses for emergency medical treatment while on your trip. Your insurance from home may not cover you when you leave your home country, and expenses abroad can escalate quickly.
You should also take note of whether or not the travel insurance companies you’re considering offer emergency evacuation coverage, too. This type of coverage pays for medical transportation if needed, including ambulances to the hospital, an airlift from a remote location, or a medical flight back home.
This provides coverage for extra expenses caused by travel delays, such as extra nights in a hotel, meals, or personal items.
This covers your baggage not only on your flight, but on your entire trip. It will reimburse you for personal items and luggage if your bags are lost, stolen, or damaged during your trip.
If your baggage is delayed in reaching your destination, you might need extra cloths or personal items. This coverage reimburses you for these expenses.
We know what you’re wondering – what am I sacrificing with the cheapest travel insurance plans compared to more value-packed options? We’ve touched on this briefly, but we want to reiterate that you typically get what you pay for in the insurance industry – and travel insurance is no different. If you’re going with the cheapest travel insurance plan, you’ll likely get the least amount of coverage.
With a lower budget for travel insurance, there are tradeoffs in both coverage limits and the coverage itself. While the most expensive plans will have high limits and optional coverages included automatically, a lower-cost plan will have lower coverage limits and fewer options.
This does not mean a lower-cost plan is not worth it, just be aware of what coverage you are getting. Here are the main ways the lower-cost plans are different from more expensive plans:
These term refer to who pays first in the event of a claim. With Primary medical coverage, the travel insurance policy pays emergency medical claims first no matter what other insurance you have that would pay. With Secondary coverage, you would first need to exhaust any other coverage you might have with another insurance policy (insurance from home, etc.) before the travel insurance kicks in.
In the end both versions will cover you, but Primary is easier in the event of a claim
Travel insurance can be quoted and purchased immediately online using our comparison search engine. If you use the links for the plans above, the search results will show plans from that company first so they’re easy to find.
To get a quote and purchase, you will need:
Use the Best Plans links above to see that company’s plans highlighted.
Before we wrap things up, we know you probably have some questions about the cheapest travel insurance plans. We’ve been in this industry for a while now, and have seen it all. Here are some of the most common questions we get about cheap travel insurance.
No, not all trips require travel insurance. For example, a domestic trip where all the expenses are fully refundable would not require travel insurance. But for trips where you are pre-paying money that you could lose if you needed to cancel, you should consider insurance. Plus, for trips abroad you should always have emergency medical coverage because your insurance from home may not cover you.
Most travel insurance companies have 2-3 plans at different premium levels, following the “good, better, best” pricing strategy. I tend to recommend plans in the middle level because they have great value– the right mix of coverage and pricing. Cheaper travel insurance plans will have lower coverage limits for medical, evacuation, baggage, and delays. They might also be missing some less popular coverages. If you want some recommendations, take a look at our article on the best family travel insurance plans. We also have a breakdown of the best group travel insurance plans.
Travel insurance covers sudden and unforeseen events such as getting sick, a death in the family, a hurricane, theft, a house fire, and more. Therefore, if you already know you will need to file a claim you cannot purchase travel insurance to cover it. The list of exclusions also includes losses as a result of war, professional sports, some hazardous activities, drug/alcohol abuse, etc. Take a look at our article on what does travel insurance cover for more information on this subject.
Yes, all companies listed on our search engine are regulated, licensed insurance companies underwritten by large, financially secure companies.
All companies also comply with the Zero Complaint Policy. This means if a complaint with a company regarding a claim cannot be resolved to Squaremouth’s satisfaction the company will be removed from the search engine.
At this point, there is just one thing left to do – carefully consider your risk tolerance and how much coverage you need for your upcoming trip. You now know the advantages and drawbacks of the cheapest travel insurance plans, so it is up to you to make a decision. We hope this article has been helpful – but if you’re still on the fence, our article on the top rated travel insurance plans will help you compare travel insurance plans more in-depth. Enjoy your trip with peace of mind – get your travel insurance squared away today!
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.