Thu. Feb 25th, 2021

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 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 “life happens” and plenty of scenarios can knock your travel plans off track.

Why do you need travel insurance? Before COVID-19 brought the travel world to a screeching halt, vacations could be interrupted or canceled altogether due to an unexpected illness, a family emergency or a cancellation by an airline or resort. Not only that, but travel insurance can cover other components of your trip you may not even think of, such as lost or stolen baggage, or even 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 smart to shop around for the most affordable travel insurance policies.

To determine the Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies, U.S. News created sample traveler profiles for three separate eight-day trips to different destinations at various price points. 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 to come up with the sample average cost. (Note: The sample average costs are not price quotes from U.S. News. To find a travel insurance price quote, use the “get a quote” link to enter your trip details and find more information.)

The Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies are:

  • APRIL Travel Protection
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Seven Corners, Inc.
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance
  • HTH Travel Insurance
  • IMG Travel Insurance
  • AIG Travel Guard

Read on to find out more about what each company offers and decide which travel insurance policy is right for you.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

APRIL Travel Protection

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $102

APRIL Travel Protection offers travel insurance plans for single trips as well as annual plans for frequent travelers who need insurance for several trips throughout the year. Single-trip customers can choose from a variety of customizable travel insurance plans as well as a cruise-specific plan and a VIP plan. The VIP plan offers high coverage limits of up to $1 million for emergency evacuation, 100% for trip cancellation or 175% reimbursement for trip interruption.

Travelers who choose a single-trip plan for a cruise can receive 100% coverage for trip cancellation and 150% coverage for trip interruption coverage, and they can purchase policies with cancel for any reason coverage. The company also offers an APRIL Choice Plan that lets you select the benefits you want the most, including coverage for sports and business equipment, financial insolvency of a travel provider, cancel for work reasons coverage and more.

This provider also offers an APRIL Pandemic Plus Plan, which is one of the travel industry’s only travel insurance plans that does not explicitly exclude pandemics. This plan comes with trip cancellation and interruption coverage, emergency medical expense coverage up to $50,000, emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage worth up to $500,000, trip delay coverage, baggage and personal effects coverage, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and more. You can also add on cancel for any reason coverage and receive 75% of your trip costs in return if you cancel your trip.

AXA Assistance USA

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $124

AXA Assistance USA offers three tiers of travel insurance for customers who want to pay more (or less) to get the right amount of coverage. The Silver Plan is the most affordable option with 100% coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, $100 per day in coverage for trip delays ($500 maximum benefit), $500 in missed connection coverage, $100,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation, and $25,000 in accident and sickness coverage. This plan also comes with $200 in coverage for baggage delays and $750 in coverage for baggage and personal effects.

However, you can pay for more coverage and higher coverage limits with the Gold or Platinum Plans. The Platinum Plan – AXA’s highest tier plan – even comes with specialized coverage relevant to active travelers, such as $500 in coverage for lost ski days, $500 in coverage for lost golf rounds and $1,000 in coverage for sports equipment rentals. This level of coverage is also the only AXA plan that lets you add a cancel for any reason rider to your policy, which will allow you to receive 75% of your trip costs back if you decide to cancel your trip. (Note: This coverage needs to be purchased within 14 days of your initial trip deposit in order for it to apply.)

Also note that AXA Assistance USA plans come with a 10-day money back guarantee. This means you can purchase a plan, change your mind and get your premiums back provided you have not started your trip or filed a claim.

Seven Corners, Inc.

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $124

Seven Corners offers coverage for U.S. residents, and it also extends medical coverage plans to travelers who are visiting the United States. To help stand out from other providers, Seven Corners also offers unique group travel insurance plans, travel insurance for students, road trip insurance for trips throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada, and medical evacuation and repatriation coverage designed specifically for visa holders. You can also purchase annual travel insurance plans that can cover more than one trip within a year.

The most popular plan Seven Corners offers is the RoundTrip Trip Cancellation Insurance plan. This coverage is for a single trip, and it applies to United States residents who are traveling within the U.S. or internationally. There are three tiers available: RoundTrip Economy, RoundTrip Choice, and RoundTrip Elite.

The middle-tier RoundTrip Choice plan comes with trip cancellation coverage up to $20,000, trip interruption coverage good for up to 150% of the cost of the trip, trip delay coverage worth $600, missed connection coverage worth $1,000, emergency medical coverage worth up to $100,000, emergency dental up to $750, emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage up to $500,000, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage up to $1,500.

You can also include preexisting conditions coverage in this plan if you buy travel insurance within 20 days of your initial trip deposit and meet other conditions outlined by Seven Corners.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $131

World Nomads Travel Insurance stands out among other travel insurance providers based on the inclusions advertised for adventure seekers. For example, the company’s policies cover sports like scuba diving, mountain biking, skiing and bungee jumping, and it’s highlighted directly on the website.

You will need to apply for a quote with World Nomads to learn about the plans, but generally two types of plans are available – a Standard plan and an Explorer plan. The Standard plan is the more affordable of the two options, but this type of policy still includes generous limits. For example, you can qualify for $100,000 in emergency medical and sickness coverage, $300,000 in emergency evacuation coverage, $300,000 in coverage for repatriation of remains, $25,000 in non-medical emergency transportation coverage and $2,500 in coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption, among other coverage inclusions. Explorer plans tend to come with higher levels of coverage in addition to some useful extras, such as rental car insurance.

Fortunately, World Nomads makes it easy to get a quote for travel insurance online, and you can compare the plans side by side to better see coverage limits, included benefits and other details.

HTH Travel Insurance

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $139

HTH Travel Insurance offers a broad range of travel insurance options that can fit with different goals. You can buy group travel insurance, medical-only coverage for single trips or multiple trips, standalone trip cancellation coverage and more.

In addition to coverage for specific components of your trip, HTH Travel Insurance also offers comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Plans come in three tiers: Economy, Classic and Preferred.

The Economy plan is the most affordable, while providing a generous level of coverage. For example, this plan comes with up to $5,000 in coverage for trip cancellation, 125% of the trip cost in coverage for trip interruption, up to $750 in coverage for baggage and personal effects, $100 in baggage delay coverage, up to $500 in coverage for trip delays, up to $75,000 in coverage per person for sickness and accidents, and $500,000 in medical transportation coverage, among other benefits.

With low coverage limits in some categories, the Economy plan is probably best for less expensive trips closer to home. However, you can upgrade to a Classic or Preferred plan for higher coverage limits and more included benefits.

The Preferred plan also lets you add coverage for preexisting conditions provided you purchase your policy within 21 days of your initial trip deposit.

IMG Travel Insurance

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $145

IMG Travel Insurance offers many different types of insurance you can buy, ranging from specialty plans for retired travelers ages 65 and older to plans for expats, business travelers and students. When it comes to general travel insurance plans, however, there are three main tiers of coverage: iTravelInsured Travel Lite, iTravelInsured Travel SE and iTravelInsured Travel LX.

The iTravelInsured Travel Lite plan is the most budget-friendly, although coverage limits are not necessarily skimpy. This plan comes with up to $25,000 in coverage for trip cancellation, a trip interruption benefit worth up to 125% of the trip cost, up to $500 in coverage for travel delays and more. Covered perils also include emergency sickness, illness and death, as well as hijacking, medical quarantine, terrorist activities and the financial default of a travel supplier, among others. However, you should note that preexisting conditions cannot be added to this plan, and that all coverage is secondary to other insurance you have.

On the other hand, the highest tier iTravelInsured Travel LX plan will get you much higher coverage limits as well as a waiver for preexisting conditions if you purchase your travel insurance plan within 24 hours of the final payment on your trip. Coverage for this plan is primary as well, so you can use your travel insurance plan in place of other insurance you already have.

AIG Travel Guard

Average cost of travel insurance across sample trips: $148

AIG Travel Guard Insurance offers a selection of plans with increasing levels of coverage. In most areas, you will be able to choose from an Essential, Preferred or Deluxe plan, although coverage amounts can vary depending on the information you enter when you apply for a free quote. For travelers who live in certain states, including Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New York and Washington and the District of Columbia, AIG offers similar options called the Silver, Gold and Platinum plans.

This company’s Essential plan is the most economical, but keep in mind coverage amounts can vary. This plan typically comes with 100% coverage for trip cancellation, 100% coverage for trip interruption, $15,000 in medical coverage and up to $500 in coverage for trip delays ($100 per day).

All plans from AIG Travel Guard include kids at no additional cost, yet you will need to upgrade to a Preferred or Deluxe Plan if you want to add on cancel for any reason coverage. The Essential plan is the only one that doesn’t offer coverage if you need to cancel for work reasons, which could be a setback if you are frequently on call or in a position where workplace emergencies are common.

AIG Travel Guard also makes it easy go get a free quote online, and you can use the website to file a claim or explore the policy and coverage tools.

Is the Cheapest Travel Insurance the Best Travel Insurance?

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, you should check that the coverage you purchase 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 plan provides adequate protection for baggage and personal items, as well as the implications of a major 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.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

Interested in more travel insurance options? See:

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