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The 7 Best Travel Insurance Plans of May 2022

Here are the best travel insurance plans for various types of trips

25 March 2022
The 7 Best Travel Insurance Plans of May 2022

Looking for the best travel insurance for your upcoming trip? This guide will show you the best plans overall, and the best plans for various types of trips.

Travel insurance protects your money if you need to cancel your trip. It also covers medical emergency costs, your baggage, travel delays, and more.

Criteria for my best travel insurance picks

I recommend the following minimum standards for your travel insurance plan, and will expand on each at the end of the guide. These criteria are mandatory for my picks:

  • Cancellation covered for Covid sickness
  • Medical emergency covered for Covid
  • Emergency medical coverage is $100,000 min.
  • Medical evacuation coverage is $250,000 min.
  • ‘Cancel for any reason’ available

I recommend the above criteria, and my picks meet these standards. The following criteria are good to have if possible. I factor these into my picks for best travel insurance:

  • Hurricane & weather cancellation coverage includes NOAA hurricane warnings
  • Hurricane & weather coverage triggers at 12 hours or less
  • Medical coverage is Primary (vs Secondary)
  • Coverage available for Pre-existing Conditions

About the best travel insurance picks

On this page, I have selected a best overall plan for most travelers. Further down I have picks for specialty concerns like Covid, cruises, seniors, families, seniors, and budget-minded travelers. All recommended plans are from A.M. Best Rated reputable companies that specialize in travel insurance.

Other review sites just recommend a “top company”, but that doesn’t help you much. I recommend a specific plan so you get the right coverage, and to make it easier. You will see some of the same policies coming up in different categories because it’s just the best plan. I don’t accept payment to be listed on this page.

Best Travel Insurance Overall

This is my top travel insurance plan based on the criteria above, individual plan features and cost. It meets all the required criteria above, and all of the “good to have” criteria as well.

If I had to choose a single plan to recommend for most travelers, this is it. It combines right coverage, high coverage limits, specialty coverages, fair pricing, and they’re a reputable company that pays claims.

Worldwide Trip Protector- Travel Insured

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $100,000 Emergency Medical (Primary)
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 21 days of first trip payment
  • Weather coverage includes NOAA hurricane warnings
  • Travel Delay after 6 hour common carrier delay
  • Unique family-friendly coverage for cancellation if your school year is extended unexpectedly.
  • Good value, the sample quote below is about 8% of the trip cost– right in the average range
  • Great for: Overall best plan. This plan has better coverage in almost areas, unique coverages, and is priced competitively.

Example quote $422 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (both 70 years old) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Covid-19

This is my top pick for Covid-19 coverage. This plan has coverage that specifically address Covid concerns like needing to cancel a trip, getting sick while traveling, needing to quarantine, and extra expenses to quarantine.

RoundTrip Choice- Seven Corners

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $500,000 Emergency Medical (Primary)
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 15 days of first trip payment
  • Coverage can be extended 10 days if you need to quarantine at your destination
  • High travel delay benefit of $2,000/person to cover quarantine hotel & meal expenses
  • Great for: Covid coverage. This plan cover cancellation and medical for Covid, coverage can be extended, extra hotel costs covered, and more.

Example quote $430 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (both 70 years old) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Cancel For Any Reason Coverage

This is my top pick for a plan with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage upgrade. This is an optional coverage that extends your cancellation coverage beyond the standard list of covered reasons. This is the same pick as Overall Best above because even with the extra cost of CFAR it is still well-priced. Similar plans had less coverage, and even lacked some all-together.

Worldwide Trip Protector- Travel Insured

  • Includes “Cancel For Work Reasons” automatically
  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $100,000 Emergency Medical (Primary)
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 21 days of first trip payment
  • Weather coverage includes NOAA hurricane warnings
  • Travel Delay after 6 hour common carrier delay
  • Includes Non-Medical Evacuation of $150,000
  • Good value, even with CFAR upgrade it’s still 12% of trip cost using example below
  • Great for: Anyone looking for Cancel For Any Reason coverage. This is the same pick as Best Overall, and it’s a great plan for CFAR too

Example quote $608 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (both 70 years old) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Cruises

This is the best travel insurance plan for cruises. It has high medical and evacuation coverage, which is important while out at sea and in foreign ports. The Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available. It has excellent hurricane warning coverage, which many plans don’t have. Also has Itinerary Change coverage and coverage for Missed Connections.

Classic- TravelSafe

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $100,000 Emergency Medical (Primary)
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 21 days of first trip payment
  • Weather coverage includes NOAA hurricane warnings
  • Travel Delay after 12 hour common carrier delay
  • Includes itinerary change coverage
  • Very good Missed Connection coverage $2,500/person after 3 hour delay
  • Great for: Best for cruises. This plan has cruise-specific coverage like Missed Connection, Itinerary Change, and hurricane warning coverage that makes it stand out.

Example quote $472 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (both 70 years old) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

The best travel insurance plan is the same as for Covid-19 above. This plan is great for seniors because it has very high emergency medical coverage. The medical coverage is Primary, which means it pays first no matter what other coverage you may have. Cancel For Any Reason is available, which brings extra peace-of-mind. Pre-existing conditions can be covered if you purchase within 20 days of your first trip payment.

RoundTrip Choice- Seven Corners

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $500,000 of Primary Emergency Medical, which is very high
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 15 days of first trip payment
  • Pre-existing conditions can be covered
  • Great for: Any seniors taking a trip because it has great medical coverage and extra features like pre-existing condition coverage.

Example quote $430 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (both 70 years old) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Families

This is the best travel insurance for parents traveling with children. Families will have extra concerns to consider, and this plan covers families better at a good price. Again, all recommendations are from reputable companies that specialize in travel insurance.

Worldwide Trip Protector- Travel Insured

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $100,000 Emergency Medical (Primary)
  • $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available if purchased within 21 days of first trip payment
  • Weather coverage includes NOAA hurricane warnings
  • Travel Delay after 6 hour common carrier delay
  • Includes itinerary change coverage
  • Missed Connection coverage $500/person after 3 hour delay
  • Unique family-friendly coverage for cancellation if your school year is extended unexpectedly.
  • Very good value, the sample quote below is under 4% of the trip cost– well below average
  • Great for: Families concerned about delays, Travelex has a generous delay trigger and high coverage.

Example quote $192 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes four travelers (45, 45, 12, 10) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

Best Travel Insurance for Budget-Minded Travelers

Sometimes you want travel insurance but also need to keep your costs low. You can get good coverage for less money, but the coverage limits will be lower and some coverage might not be included. When I look for the best “cheap” travel insurance plan, I’m looking for most coverage & options at the lowest price. The tradeoff is lower coverage limits, and details like longer delay limits or Secondary medical coverage.

Standard

  • Covid covered for sickness cancellation and emergency medical
  • $50,000 Emergency Medical (Secondary)
  • $250,000 Medical Evacuation
  • Hurricanes & weather covers delay of any length of time, which is better than other policies with 6-48 hour minimum
  • Travel Delay coverage of $1,000/person is higher that comparable plans
  • Looking at the example quote below, costs about 4% of trip cost which is below average
  • Great for: Travelers on a budget that want the full coverage of comprehensive travel insurance.

Example quote $216 (includes all travelers): For the above plan, the example trip includes two travelers (70, 70) on a 15-day trip and a total trip cost of $5,000.

What does travel insurance cover?

Finding the best travel insurance means finding the right coverage at the right price. I’ve mentioned several coverages above, and will explain them more here:

Protection before you leave

Trip Cancellation Insurance
This protects your trip cost if you need to cancel your trip. There is a long list of covered reasons for trip cancellation. The most common reason people cancel is someone getting sick right before the trip. It also covers death in the family, hurricane & weather, a 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.

Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage Upgrade
The list of covered reasons for cancellation includes most common situations. But, that list cannot include everything. Cancel For Any Reason insurance extends your cancellation coverage to “everything”.

You need to cancel at least 48 hours before departure and insure your full trip cost. You also buy in time (usually within 10 days of your first trip payment).

This upgrade has become very popular since the start of Covid, and I think it’s an important option to have. All the above best travel insurance plans have CFAR as an optional upgrade.

Protection while on your trip

Emergency Medical Coverage
This covers expenses for emergency medical treatment while on your trip. This could be something like a slip and fall, a stroke, food poisoning, and more.

Your insurance from home may not cover you when outside your home country. Medicare never covers outside the USA. Healthcare in foreign countries varies in how they handle expenses. Some will not let you leave the hospital until you pay the bills.

Emergency medical coverage pays any expenses up to the policy limit.

Emergency Evacuation Coverage
This coverage pays for medical transportation if you need it. It includes an ambulances to the hospital, an airlift from a remote location, or a medical flight back home. These expenses can easily be over $100,000. Even if your insurance from home covers medical expenses, it won’t cover evacuatuon.

Protection throughout your trip

Trip Interruption
This covers your unused trip costs if your trip is cut short. The list of reasons is similar to Trip Cancellation coverage. For example: Three days into your trip, your mother has a stroke and needs your assistance. You skip the rest of your trip and catch a flight back home. Insurance would reimburse the portion of the trip you missed, and any extra expenses like the last-minute flight home

Travel Delays
This covers extra expenses caused by travel delays. If severe weather or flight delays cause you to get stuck at your destination, it would pay for a few extra nights in a hotel, meals, or personal items.

This is the coverage that would pay extra expenses if you are required to quarantine for Covid-19.

Baggage Loss, Theft, or Damage
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.

Baggage Delay
If your baggage is delayed in reaching your destination, you might need extra cloths or personal items. This coverage reimburses you for these expenses.

24/7 Assistance
This is the lifeline you call with any problems. The insurance company can help arrange medical care, transportation, overcome language barriers with a translator, arrange payment, and more.

Covid-19 Insurance: How is coronavirus covered?

The pandemic remains a concern for all travers, especially those traveling with children or elderly parents. The plans above cover cancellations if you get Covid-19. A doctor will need to verify that you cannot take your trip. In this case, Covid is treated like any other sickness for trip cancellation coverage.

The best travel insurance plans also cover Covid for emergency medical treatment. This is important when you travel abroad where your insurance from home may not cover you.

Coverage details that make a big difference

Travel insurance policies have coverage and coverage limit– but there are more details to look for when finding the best travel insurance plans. Here are a few things I look for that makes some plans better than others:

Primary vs Secondary medical coverage

Having Primary coverage for medical emergencies is better than Secondary coverage. It means the plan will pay first, without needing to use any other insurance you may have. With a Secondary coverage plan you would need to use any other coverage you might have first. Then you would use the travel insurance coverage. You’re covered either way, but having Primary coverage makes it easier to file a claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

Some policies have better coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. This one gets confusing, so I’ll walk through it step-by-step:

1- You can’t buy insurance to pay for something you already have, so insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions.

2- Since many people have some sort pre-existing condition, insurance companies define a “look-back” period. For example: If a medical condition did not arise in your 180 day look-back period, you would be covered.

3- Some policies waive the look-back period if you purchase soon after your first trip payment

This is a “nice to have” coverage because it provides better protection.

Hurricane & Weather Coverage

Cruise insurance image of hurricane over east coast of the United States

Bad weather and hurricanes affect thousands of trips every year. Many trips and cruises go to hurricane-prone destinations, putting them more at risk. Your flight can be canceled or delayed, causing you to miss your boat.

What makes good hurricane & weather coverage?

Low time trigger for delays– Trip cancellation coverage covers common carrier (airlines) delays of a certain length of time. Some companies set this amount at 6, 12, 24, or even 48 hours. That would mean your flight would need to be delayed for 48 hours before your cancellation coverage would apply. So, the shorter this time, the better for you. I selected 12 hours or less for the criteria.

Hurricane warnings covered– This is not a common feature in most plans, which is why 2/3 of the best plans include it. This extends your coverage because you don’t actually need to be affected by the hurricane, but you can cancel your trip with full reimbursement if the NOAA issues a hurricane warning. Note: you must purchase travel insurance before the storm is named.

What is the average cost of travel insurance

The average cost of travel insurance is between 4-10% of your insured trip cost. Based on the latest actual sales data, here is what travelers are spending on travel insurance, their overall trip, and the length of the trip:

  • Average premium: $225.79
  • Average trip cost: $5,010.37
  • Average trip length: 17 Days

What is the cost of travel insurance based on?

The cost of travel insurance is based on the following factors:

  • Cost of trip
  • Ages & number of travelers
  • Length of trip
  • Coverage limits
  • Optional upgrades
  • Coverage details

The main factor in travel insurance cost is the trip cost. The more expensive the trip, the more risk the insurance company has if they need to reimburse you.

Older travelers will have higher premiums because of the additional risk of medical issues. Longer trips will cost more because there is more time for something to happen.

High policy limits for medical coverage will cost more than lower policy limits.

Upgrades like Cancel For Any Reason cost more. And finally, details like Primary medical and hurricane warning coverage tend to be part of more expensive plans.

Here is a summary of the cost of travel insurance from the examples above:

CategoryCompany/Plan% of Trip Cost
Best OverallTravel Insured
Worldwide Trip Protector
8%
Best for Covid-19Seven Corners
RoundTrip Choice
9%
Best Cancel For Any ReasonTravel Insured
Worldwide Trip Protector
12%
Best for CruisesTravelSafe
Classic
9%
Best for SeniorsSeven Corners
RoundTrip Choice
9%
Best for FamiliesTravel Insured
Worldwide Trip Protector
4%
Best Budget-MindedGenerali
Standard
4%

With the exception of the CFAR plan, everything is within the 4-10% range.

Why is the “family” plan such a low percentage of the trip cost? Because there are more travelers the cost of the trip is spread between all travelers, and therefore the risk per traveler is reduced. This reduces the insurance company’s risk exposure.

What expenses can I insure?

Travel insurance covers your pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses. This includes can include:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel
  • Cruise costs & shore excursions
  • Organized tours
  • Event tickets
  • Airbnb rentals
  • Car rentals

As long as your expense is pre-paid and non-refundable, it can be included in your insured trip cost.

It is important to spend a few minutes to gather all of your trip costs to make sure you don’t miss anything. If the expense is not included in your insured trip cost, you will not be covered.

When should I buy travel insurance?

My rule: Buy travel insurance within 10 days of your first trip payment.

Some travel insurance coverage is time-sensitive. This means you need to purchase your plan soon after your initial trip deposit. This period of time is different for each company. The lowest is 10 days, and some companies are as high as 30 days.

This is why 10 days is the safest goal for you. No matter which company, 10 days will put you within that time-sensitive window.

When should you buy your travel insurance plan?

What coverage is time-sensitive?

Cancel For Any Reason coverage (also known as CFAR) is an optional coverage with some plans. Every company that sells CFAR requires you to purchase within their time frame. If you try to purchase after this time period, you will not be able to.

Pre-existing condition coverage is time-sensitive. This does not cost extra, but many companies will cover this if you purchase at the right time.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

The biggest misunderstanding with travel insurance coverage is what’s covered for trip cancellation. Many people think “I have insurance, so I can just cancel”– but it’s not that simple. There is also a list of exclusions in your travel insurance policy, and any claims related to these are not payable.

Trip cancellation coverage

The most important thing here is understanding the list of covered reasons for trip cancellation. It includes common events like sickness, injury, death, house fire, weather, hurricanes, terrorism, jury duty, called for military service, and more.

But it is not listed, it will not be covered (unless you have Cancel For Any Reason coverage).

Everything is spelled out in the policy certificate. It describes what is covered, who is covered, and all of the details.

Exclusions

Your policy certificate also has a list of exclusions. It explains situations where any claim is not payable. This list includes things like injuries sustained while on drugs, professional sports, hazardous activities like mountain climbing, suicide, acts of war, and more.

Is travel insurance worth it?

Many travelers ask, “Is travel insurance really necessary?”.

Most travelers that buy insurance say it’s for “peace-of-mind” because they are spending a lot of money on their trip, and/or going abroad and want to be safe.

Consider the amount of money you have invested in your trip and ask if you’re willing to lose that if you cancel. Many things can happen, but the most common is someone getting sick right before your departure. A sick child, parent, traveling companion, or even business partner can make you cancel. If that happens without insurance, you could lose all of your trip expenses.

Also consider your destination. If you leave your home country, you should always have emergency medical and evacuation insurance. Your insurance from home probably won’t cover you, and even if it does the limit might be low and they won’t cover evacuation.

Are these insurance companies trustworthy?

Yes. All companies featured in our search engine are reputable, and are regulated by the Division of Insurance.

Zero Complaint Guarantee

Every policy purchased through CoverTrip comes with a unique Zero Complaint Guarantee.

If you are unhappy with how your travel insurance claim is handled, Squaremouth’s team of licensed claims adjusters will investigate your case and mediate with the provider on your behalf. If the complaint is not resolved to Squaremouth’s satisfaction, they will remove the provider from the website and stop selling their policies.

Travel Insurance FAQs

Is travel insurance refundable?

Yes. Every travel insurance plan we sell comes with a Free Look period. This means you have a certain number of days to examine your coverage, and still have the ability to cancel for a full refund. This period is different for each company, but 10 days is a safe standard to keep in mind.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers sudden and unforeseen events such 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.

Are cruises covered under travel insurance?

Yes, travel insurance covers cruises. Some companies market “cruise” plans, which is a collection of coverages that are important to cruise travelers.

Is travel insurance necessary for a cruise?

Yes, sort of. In the past insuring cruises insurance was popular but not necessary. For example, up to 70% of cruisers buy insurance, vs just 40% of regular travelers. But Covid has made travel insurance a requirement in many ports-of-call so it is necessary.

Can you get travel insurance after booking?

Yes. I recommend you purchase within 10 days of your first trip payment. If you do this, you have the most options and access to coverages like Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-existing Conditions. You can purchase travel insurance right up until departure, but if something happens that causes a cancellation, you need to already have coverage purchased.

Is credit card insurance the same as travel insurance?

No. Many credit cards advertise “travel insurance”, but it is very limited coverage. It can be ok for smaller trip expenses, but it lacks in comprehensive coverages like medical and evacuation. It’s better than nothing, but if you want to insure your investment get a separate travel insurance policy.

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Damian Tysdal
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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.