How to find the best travel insurance

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Rest easy with the protection you need at a price that won’t stress your budget.

The best travel insurance policy differs by traveler and trip. But key strategies can help you narrow down the type and amount of coverage you need while taking in the sites and adventures of the world.

  • Trip cancellation: 100% of insured trip cost
  • Trip interruption: 100% of insured trip cost
  • Trip delay: $500
  • Medical expense benefits: $15,000

Our top pick: Travelex Travel Basic

Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.

  • A+ BBB rating
  • Get a quote instantly
  • Over 50 years of experience
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Compare travel insurance policies

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
100%
$15,000
$500
$500
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
$10,000
$1,000
$100
Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
$50,000
$2,000
$1,000
Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
$20,000
$1,000
$600
Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
100%
$15,000
$750
$500
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

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How to choose the best travel insurance company

Finding a top insurer that meets your travel needs comes down to your own coverage requirements and budget. Look for a company that answers six crucial questions.

Four ways to find the best travel insurance

1. Understand the type of coverage you actually need.

Whether you’re going for a luxurious holiday or keeping it simple with backpacking, a range of policies out there can suit your every need. There’s no point forking out cash for luggage coverage if you plan to carry your things on your back.

2. Don’t be tricked by cheap policies.

A mistake many travelers make is purchasing a policy based on its price tag alone. The cheapest option can mean that you’re not covered for important events, which may result in hefty out-of-pocket expenses if something happens on your trip.

3. Read between the lines.

Carefully read the fine print to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need, and ask about exclusions to make sure each country, adventure and stay on your itinerary is included.

4. Compare a range of providers.

The best way to find travel insurance that fits your plans and budget is by comparing policies from different insurers. After you’ve determined the coverage you need, you can narrow down the cheapest deal you’re eligible for.

What does my policy cover?

Read up on common features of travel insurance policies — and essential extras —to find a policy that fits the bill.

Feature How can it help me?
Overseas hospital expenses Covers expenses if you have an accident or fall ill overseas. Look for a policy with a high limit for emergency medical and dental.
24-hour emergency assistance Pays for ambulance fees, funeral arrangements and messages to family, no matter what time of day or night.
Luggage and personal items Covers costs that arise if your bags or belongings are lost or damaged while traveling.
Cancellation Covers expenses related cancellations of flights, tours and other prepaid travel. Conditions for cancellations vary among insurers, so read the fine print.
Travel delays Covers you if a flight is delayed for 12 hours or more.
Family emergency Covers additional expenses related to traveling and accommodations if your traveling partner becomes seriously ill or injured.
Dental Pays for dental services if you experience acute pain while traveling.
Hospital cash allowance Provides a cash benefit for a specific number of days if you’re required to stay in hospital while overseas.
Accidental death A lump sum benefit paid for accidental death that occurs on your journey or within the 12-month period that follows.
Loss of income Pays a benefit to help you cope with bills that result from an injury or illness while on your trip that keeps you from working once home.
Fraud Covers replacement costs following the loss and use of your credit card on your journey.
Alternative transport Compensates you for additional transportation to a wedding, funeral, conference or other select events you take because of a delay.
Personal liability Covers legal liability for any claims made against you following bodily injury or damage to property. Be wary low-cost travel insurance policies that offer too low a limit to reasonably cover common situations.
Rental vehicle deductibles Pays for deductibles on a rental car following a crash, damage or theft.

What do I look for in a policy?

Rather than sign up for the first policy you see, make sure it covers your plans, lifestyle and health before reaching for your wallet:

  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions. Not all insurers treat pre-existing medical conditions the same. Your policy’s description should clearly state what’s covered. If your condition isn’t, contact the insurer to discuss other options.
  • Coverage for expensive items. Many policies allow you to register high-value items for additional coverage, but know the sublimit for each. You may find that you have $10,000 in coverage but a claim limit of $1,500 per item.
  • Coverage for your family. Most policies allow you to include your spouse, children or grandchildren on your policy provided they are traveling with you for the duration of the journey.
  • Understand depreciation. When reviewing claims for lost or damaged luggage and other valuables, many insurers consider wear and tear when determining how much they’ll pay. Review the conditions of depreciation in your policy.
  • Consider your deductible. Most policies allow you to pay a small fee to waive the deductible you’d pay after a claim. With fees as low as $25, it’s worth considering while applying.

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Single trip or annual trip travel insurance?

If you’ve booked more than a couple trips this year, think about annual multitrip travel insurance.

Single trip Annual multitrip
  • Good for covering specific medical situations or sports activities.
  • Coverage can last for up to 12 months.
  • Suitable for travelers age 65 or older.
  • Good for frequent travelers that travel at least three times a year.
  • Can provide cover for multiple destinations.
  • Covers individual trips of 45 to 90 days.

Can I find coverage if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, but you may need to shop around. Many travel insurers will cover you for select pre-existing conditions without making you purchase additional coverage. Inform your insurer about your pre-existing condition when applying.

Can I get travel insurance if I’m a senior?

Yes. But your insurer may require a specialized policy for senior travelers or an extra round of medical underwriting to determine risks that come with age.

Frequently asked questions about finding the best travel insurance

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