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Published: May 01, 2024 26 min read

Our team vetted 15 companies and narrowed our top picks to nine insurers, including Seven Corners, Generali Global Assistance and World Nomads. To do so, we read the fine print on travel insurance plans and compared coverage options and prices. That helped us determine which company stood out by offering services that may appeal to particular groups.

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Travel Insurance Made Easy™ - Compare and buy from trusted providers in just a few minutes

  • Gain access to policies from all major insurers, including COVID-19 coverage

  • 24/7 Emergency Assistance Worldwide
  • Licensed in all 50 states and Member of the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)
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COVID-19 coverage is available and/or may be included as an add-on

  • “Cancel For Any Reason” (CFAR) availability 
  • Includes trip cancellation, baggage delay/loss, and flight delays
  • Emergency medical expenses coverage are included in the coverage
Our Partner

Trip cancellations, delays, medical emergencies, lost baggage, unexpected crises, and more

  • Access to a worldwide network of prescreened hospitals 
  • Quick claim payments for qualifying delays
  • 24-7 emergency assistance services
Our Partner

Medical, cancellation, and baggage coverage

  • Travel concierge services with premium plans
  • Emergency evacuation and medical repatriation
  • Offers cancellation coverage due to terrorism and natural disasters
Our Partner

Largest selection of policies with Covid-19 coverage

  • Coverage for Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Delay, Medical Emergency & Evacuation and Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Award-winning customer service with an A+ BBB rating
  • Reviewed by 47,691 customers with an average rating of 5 stars
Our Partner

Over 190 years of experience – Travel Smarter™  with Generali Group

  • Enjoy quick resolutions with your own global 24/7 travel assistance team
  • Coverage for all types of trips: domestic, international, cruises, vacation rentals, and more
  • Covid-19 illness coverage including lodging
  • Up to $250,000 in medical coverage and $1 million in evacuation
     
Our Partner

Pre-Existing Conditions and Cancel For Any Reason Coverage Available

  • 28 Covered Reasons for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption
  • Up to $1MM for emergency medical evacuation
  • Customizable standard & comprehensive coverages
Our Partner

Coverage for trip cancellations, interruptions, medical emergencies, and more

  • Lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed baggage costs
  • 'Cancel for any reason' policy available
  • Travel Accident Insurance for non-US citizens
Our Partner

Trip cancellation insurance for U.S. and non-U.S. residents

  • Coverage for trip cancellations, delays, medical emergencies, and more
  • Group travel products available 
  • Top-rated cruise insurance plans, adventure travel insurance and International Student Insurance available 
     

Money's Main Takeaways

  • Travel insurance can reimburse you for lost luggage, missed flights, trip cancellations or interruptions, and emergency medical expenses.
  • Purchase travel insurance right after booking the trip to ensure the best coverage.
  • You can compare multiple policies in one place through a marketplace such as TravelInsured.com.

Why Trust Us?

Our editors and writers evaluate insurance companies independently, ensuring our content is precise and guided by editorial integrity. Read the full methodology to learn more.

  • Based on 15+ data points
  • Reviewed 13 insurers
  • 1,000+ hours of research

Comprehensive travel insurance can give you peace of mind, whether you’re going on a carefully planned trip or an impromptu adventure to one of the best places to travel.

Here are the nine best travel insurance companies of 2024 so you can protect yourself, your finances and your belongings while abroad.

Our Top Picks for the Best Travel Insurance

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Best Travel Insurance Reviews


Pros
  • Coverage from five up to 364 days
  • Allows coverage extensions
  • Website includes sample scenarios to illustrate how the coverage works
Cons
  • Hazardous activities not included in coverage (add-on only)
  • Different plan options for WA, NY, PA, and MO residents

Why we chose it: We chose Seven Corners as the best travel insurance for large groups because it insures parties of 10 or more travelers through comprehensive policies that cover medical expenses and evacuations.

Seven Corners’ simple and budget-friendly Trip Protection Choice plan covers trip cancellation, interruption or delays for specific reasons, including COVID-19 for groups of 10 or more. Its emergency medical protection goes up to $500,000 and offers up to $1,000,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

In addition to its group trip travel insurance plans, Seven Corners has three travel medical plan tiers with comprehensive medical coverage for emergency room visits, hospital room and board, and onset of pre-existing medical conditions, among others.

These plans include 24/7 multilingual customer service to help with emergency travel arrangements, medical evacuations and locating the nearest embassy or consulate.

Read Seven Corners Travel Insurance Review

See rates on Seven Corners's Secure Website >>

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers 14 days of age to 100 years old
Optional coverage
Cancel for Any Reason, Interruption for Any Reason, Event Ticket Registration Fee
AM Best rating
A (United States Fire Insurance Company)

Pros
  • Offers 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • Up to $1K upfront payment for acute medical treatment
  • Car rental damage add-on available
Cons
  • Pre-existing condition coverage only available in the Premium plan
  • High premium costs
  • "Cancel for any reason" only available for Premium plan

Why we chose it: Generali Global Assistance is our choice for the best travel insurance for emergency support services because its policies include telemedicine, concierge services and identity theft resolution assistance.

All of Generali’s policies include 24-hour Travel Support, which can provide immediate assistance for problems that might arise during a trip:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Identity theft resolution
  • Emergency cash transfer
  • Replacing lost or stolen medication
  • Locating lost or stolen items

Travelers can choose between three plans — Standard, Preferred and Premium — that cover trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, and baggage damage, loss or theft. Each plan also covers medical and dental emergencies up to specific payout limits:

  • Standard: up to $50,000 per person
  • Preferred: up to $150,000 per person
  • Premium: up to $250,000 per person

Both its Preferred and Premium plans include trip cancellation benefits or trip interruption in the event that a travel supplier — say, a cruise company, hotel or rental car company — becomes insolvent and can no longer offer its services.

Read Generali Global Assistance Travel Insurance Review

See rates on Generali Global Assistance's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers of all ages
Optional coverage
Rental car damage, Cancel for Any Reason
AM Best rating
A

Pros
  • Emergency medical $100,000 (accident and sickness)
  • Buy more while traveling
  • 24/7 emergency support (Generali Global Assistance)
Cons
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • No CFAR option offered
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage low compared to other providers ($2.5K-$10K)

Why we chose it: World Nomads is the best travel insurance for travelers who enjoy adventure sports because it covers over 150+ sports and adventure activities, unlike most companies.

While most travel insurance companies shy away from covering adventure sports and other off-the-beaten-path activities, WorldNomads offers policies specifically tailored to more adventurous travelers.

Its Standard and Explorer plans cover scuba diving, skiing, surfing and 150+ other sports and activities. Both plans include $100,000 in coverage for accidents and illnesses and 24/7 emergency support to help you find local physicians or medical facilities.

  • Standard: Covers accidents and illnesses, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, accidental death and lost luggage or theft
  • Explorer: Increases the coverage limits of each benefit and adds $35K in rental car damage coverage

Most companies don't let you purchase or extend coverage during the trip, but World Nomads offers a rare alternative; individuals who didn't purchase coverage before their trip can enroll in the company's "Buy While Traveling" plan. Those who already purchased a policy can also extend their coverage to keep exploring.

Read World Nomads Travel Insurance Review

See rates on World Nomads's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers under 70 years of age
Optional coverage
None
AM Best rating
A+ (Underwritten by Nationwide)

Pros
  • Offers a pre-existing condition waiver
  • 24-hour assistance
  • Multi-trip plans
Cons
  • Must wait 12 hours before bag delay coverage
  • Cancel for any reason is only available in premium plan
  • Few options for additional coverage.

Why we chose it: We picked Nationwide as the best travel insurance for cruises because it offers travel insurance plans geared explicitly toward cruise travel.

Nationwide has three cruise insurance tiers (Universal, Choice and Luxury) that fit any budget and insurance needs.

Nationwide's emergency medical coverage starts at $75,000, and all three of its plan tiers include “cancel for work reasons” coverage, $500 for return-home-early benefit, $200 for shipboard service disruption, and $25,000 for non-medical evacuations.

Covered reasons for cancellation and interruption include inclement weather, natural disasters and work-related emergencies.

Nationwide also has two single-trip plans: Essential and Prime. In addition to industry-standard trip protection basics, these plans offer above-average medical coverage starting at $75,000 and a “cancel for any reason” add-on that reimburses 75% of non-refundable trip costs.

Travelers can add a pre-existing conditions waiver and coverage in the case of a travel supplier’s financial default (as an upgrade to Essential and included in Prime).

Read Nationwide Travel Insurance Review

See rates on Nationwide's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers up to 81 years of age
Optional coverage
Rental car collision/loss, accidental death & dismemberment
AM Best rating
A

Pros
  • Flight insurance plans available
  • Pre-existing conditions waiver
  • Several upgrades available
Cons
  • Upgrades not available for the Basic plan
  • Customer service has limited operating hours

Why we chose it: Travelex is our choice as the best travel insurance for families with children because it offers two plans that cover family members under 17 at no additional cost.

Travelex Insurance Service features two main plans for international trips, Travel Basic and Travel Select — plus a Travel America plan for trips in the USA. Both plans include children 17 and under at no additional cost.

The Travel Basic is an affordable plan perfect for students, backpackers, small groups or those on a budget. These plans cover trip cancellation and interruption at 100% of the trip cost and offer up to $2,000 for trip delays or missed connections.

Read Travelex Insurance Services Review

See rates on Travelex's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers of all ages
Optional coverage
Pre-existing conditions waiver, adventure sports, accidental death and dismemberment, CFAR, car rental collision, additional medical coverage
AM Best rating
A++ (Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance), A+ (Zurich Insurance Group)

Pros
  • Epidemic coverage endorsement
  • Allianz TravelSmart App
  • Annual plan geared to business travelers
  • 24-hour multilingual assistance hotline
Cons
  • Low medical coverage
  • No "cancel for any reason" benefit

Why we chose it: Allianz Travel is our choice for the best travel insurance for business trips because its comprehensive annual plan is ideal for frequent flyers, whether they are traveling for business or pleasure. It also covers business equipment against theft, loss, damage and delay.

Allianz sells 10 distinct travel insurance plans offering a wide range of options, from basic cancellation benefits to multi-trip protection. These plans include a 24-hour multilingual assistance hotline and the TravelSmart App, which gives quick access to travel advisories, local medical facilities, mobile claims filing and much more.

Allianz's AllTrips Executive plan is tailored for frequent travelers, aiming to streamline business trips and enhance convenience. This comprehensive plan covers:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Emergency medical and transportation
  • Rental car damage and theft
  • Business equipment coverage (for lost, stolen, damaged or delayed equipment)

Another one of Allianz’s highlights is its lack of age restrictions (most other insurers limit coverage by age). Some of its plans also cover kids 17 and under traveling with a parent or grandparent.

Read Allianz Travel Insurance Review

See rates on Allianz Travel's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers of all ages
Optional coverage
Rental car collision/loss
AM Best rating
A+

Pros
  • Lodging expense benefit
  • Trip saver and exchange specialized coverage included
  • A child 17 and under is covered per insured
  • Covers trips to Cuba if the traveler provides additional documentation
Cons
  • High cost of premiums
  • Most add-ons are not available for the basic plan

Why we chose it: We chose AIG Travel Guard as the best travel insurance for add-ons because it offers travelers a wide variety of coverage options with which to customize their plans.

AIG Travel Guard has over 30 years of experience providing comprehensive travel insurance to millions of travelers. These customers have had access to unique services such as MedEvac and Bag Trak®.

AIG Travel Guard’s most popular plan, the Preferred offers:

  • Up to $500,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains
  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Reimbursement of up to 50% of your trip cost if you were to change your trip dates

Travelers can also add unique options such as a pet bundle, a wedding bundle (for canceled weddings) and an inconvenience bundle in the event any attractions you wanted to visit are closed.

Another of AIG's specialized insurance products is lodging expense coverage. This benefit is for travelers who test positive for COVID-19 and must remain abroad until they present a negative test result.

For last-minute trips, AIG Travel Guard has the Pack N’ GO Plan that includes post-departure coverage and an exclusive 24-hour emergency travel assistance service.

Read AIG Travel Insurance Review

See rates on AIG Travel Guard's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers of all ages
Optional coverage
CFAR, pre-existing condition waiver, additional medical coverage
AM Best rating
A

Pros
  • Travel medical insurance for groups of five or more
  • International expatriate comprehensive coverage
  • mPassport app to find doctors, pharmacies, and translations of drug names
  • Pet medical expense coverage
Cons
  • 12-hour wait for bag delay coverage (24 hours under the economy plan)
  • "Cancel for any reason" option only offered in the Preferred plan
  • Participants must be enrolled in a primary health insurance plan to be eligible for the multi-trip plan

Why we chose it: HTH Travel Insurance stands out as the best travel insurance for long-term international travel because it offers specialty coverage for expats and students.

HTH Travel Insurance's Xplorer Plan offers comprehensive medical insurance for individuals and families traveling outside their home country for at least three months out of the year. This plan features:

  • No deductible for office visits
  • No waiting periods for preventive care services
  • No pre-existing condition waiting period, provided the insured has proof of prior creditable coverage

HTH Travel Insurance also offers international health insurance for students with flexible trip duration options. This plan has unlimited annual and lifetime medical care maximums and includes supplies and prescriptions. In addition to unlimited telemedicine services, the plan covers medically necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Other global health and safety services available through HTH Travel Insurance include 24/7 call assistance, access to elite international doctors and hospitals, and translated medical terms.

Read HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance Review

See rates on HTH Travel Insurance's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Yes
Age restrictions
Insures travelers up to 95 years of age
Optional coverage
CFAR, International Expatriate Travel coverage
AM Best rating
A (Nationwide)

Pros
  • Shows results from the top-rated insurers
  • Offers helpful tips and articles
Cons
  • Site only shows all add-ons available at checkout
  • You may prefer a company that isn't on the marketplace

Why we chose it: We picked TravelInsurance.com as the best travel insurance for comparing quotes because it allows users to quickly and easily view plan details and prices from some of the top travel insurance providers in the industry.

TravelInsurance.com is a travel insurance comparison platform that simplifies the shopping process by connecting users with top-rated carriers. It breaks down coverage options and presents policies in a simple table for easy comparison.

This marketplace simplifies the process for travelers to input their trip details and receive customized quotes based on factors such as trip cost, duration and traveler ages. The results page presents essential coverage information, reviews, ratings and a link to each provider's COVID-19 policy FAQs.

Read TravelInsurance.com Review

See rates on TravelInsurance.com's Secure Website

HIGHLIGHTS
COVID-19 coverage
Depends on the company
Age restrictions
Depends on the company
Optional coverage
Depends on the company
AM Best rating
N/A

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  • Buy online and get instant coverage by email
  • 24/7 emergency assistance worldwide
  • Over 100,000 verified customers with 5-star reviews and $3.5 billion in protected trip costs
  • Includes coverage from theft, trip cancellations, baggage loss and delay, medical expenses for hospital treatments
  • Policies from trusted providers including: Travel Insured International, AEGIS, Global Trip Protection, Arch RoamRight and others

100% Digital Travel Insurance

  • 'Cancel for any reason' available
  • Includes emergency medical expenses
  • Quick claims & reimbursements in App with 24/7 support
  • Includes trip cancellation, baggage delay/loss, and flight delays

Largest selection of policies with Covid-19 coverage

  • Largest selection of 100+ policies
  • Award-winning customer service with an A+ BBB rating
  • Reviewed by 47,691 customers with an average rating of 5 stars
  • Coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, travel delay, medical emergency & evacuation and pre-existing conditions

Worldwide network of prescreened hospitals

  • Trip cancelations, delays, medical emergencies, lost baggage, unexpected crises, and more
  • Access to a worldwide network of prescreened hospitals 

  • Quick claim payments for qualifying delays

  • 24-7 emergency assistance services

Over 190 years of experience

  • “Cancel For Any Reason” (CFAR) availability
  • Includes trip cancellation, baggage delay/loss, and flight delays
  • Emergency medical expenses coverage are included in the coverage
  • Up to $250,000 in medical coverage and $1 million in evacuation

Other travel insurance companies we considered

In this section, we feature popular companies that didn't make our top picks. The table below highlights the highest coverage available for each type of benefit. Check out the full reviews to learn more about each provider:

Company

Trip cancellation insurance

Trip interruption insurance

Medical insurance

Baggage maximum/per item limit

100%

100 to 150%

$50,000

$2,000/$250

100%

100 to 150%

$250,000

$3,000/$500

100%

150%

$500,000

$500/$100

100%

100 to 150%

$500,000

$200/ $100

100%

100%

$100,000

$2,500/$300

100%

100%

$50,000

$1,000/$250

100%

100 to 150%

$250,000

$2,500/$250

100%

150%

$150,000

$2,000/$500

100%

150%

$500,000

$2,500/$250

100%

150%

$250,000

$750

100%

150%

$100,000

$1,000

100%

150%

$250,000

$2,500/$250

Travel Insurance Guide

Travel insurance reimburses you if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip early. It can also pay for stolen or lost baggage and medical expenses if you get sick or have an accident during the trip. You can purchase a single policy for a short trip, or purchase a long-term policy for frequent trips or long stays abroad.

Read on for more information on coverage benefits and tips on how to select the right type of coverage.

What does travel insurance cover?

Comprehensive travel insurance covers common travel issues and mishaps, from accidents to baggage delays.

The following are standard coverage options and add-ons.

  • Trip cancellation insurance: refunds up to 100% of prepaid, non-refundable travel costs if you cancel an upcoming trip for eligible reasons.
  • Trip interruption coverage: reimburses you for the unused portion of the trip as well as expenses you may incur to get back home. Insurers typically cap reimbursement at 150% of the cost of the trip.
  • Travel delays: reimburses you (up to your policy limits) for extra expenses such as meals or lodgings during a flight delay. Insurers may also cover airport delays and any flight change fees necessary to catch up on your travel plans.
  • Emergency travel medical insurance: reimburses you for medical expenses incurred during your trip, under certain circumstances. Coverage amounts for medical expenses can range from $15,000 to $50,000. Coverage may apply even if you're pregnant while traveling.
  • Emergency medical evacuation: Reimburses you if you need to be evacuated to the nearest medical facility or to a facility in your country of origin. Maximum benefits usually range between $100,000 to $500,000 but can be as high as $1 million.
  • Baggage and personal effects: Refunds you the cost of replacement items if your luggage is lost or delayed during your trip, typically up to $2,500. You must wait a predetermined number of hours before filing a claim and submit purchase receipts or a list of items in your luggage. Coverage may be subject to a deductible.
  • Worldwide assistance: 24/7 customer service should you need assistance while traveling. This includes multilingual medical hotlines that can provide medical advice and refer you to local healthcare services.

Popular travel insurance add-ons

Here we explain a variety of add-ons or riders that allow you to increase benefit limits and cover activities that may be excluded from standard policies.

Cancel for any reason coverage

CFAR coverage allows you to cancel your travel plans for any reason and get reimbursed for 50% to 75% of pre-paid, non-refundable expenses.

Pre-existing medical condition waiver

Adds coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Travelers must select this option within a certain number of days after making their initial trip deposit.

Rental car insurance

Covers theft of or damages to a rental car due to causes beyond your control (think collisions, vandalism and weather events).

Adventure sports coverage

Covers injuries or losses caused by participating in adventure sports such as skydiving or bungee jumping.

Identity theft protection

Helps you notify creditors, cancel your cards, and get a replacement for your lost passport, credit card or other important documents.

What does travel insurance not cover?

The most common exclusions in a travel insurance policy are:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Injuries caused by extreme sports
  • Theft/loss of personal items such as electronic devices and jewelry
  • Pregnancy-related conditions
  • Injuries that happen while you’re intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, even if the intoxicating substance is legal to use at the destination
  • Missed flights, where the traveler is at fault
  • "Foreseeable events" such as epidemics and pandemics that are officially declared by federal or international health agencies. (Claims related to COVID-19 illness may be covered)

How much is travel insurance?

The cost of travel insurance can range from 4% to 12% of the total cost of your trip and depend on:

  • Your age
  • Your travel destination
  • The length of your trip
  • The types of benefits and policy limits you select

We used an online marketplace to get quotes for a family of four taking a trip from New York City to London. Let's say that the family spent $2,200 on four tickets. Insuring all four travelers could cost between $90 to over $300.

To illustrate the potential cost of trip insurance, we calculated 6% of the cost of various trips.

Total trip cost

6% of trip cost (estimated travel insurance cost)

$1,000

$60

$1,500

$90

$2,600

$156

$3,200

$192

$5,000

$300

How to get travel insurance

You can buy travel insurance after booking a flight. However, it's advisable not to delay obtaining a policy. The longer you wait between your initial trip payment and purchasing trip insurance, the greater the chance you'll miss out on valuable add-ons like coverage for pre-existing conditions and CFAR upgrades.

The best time to purchase travel insurance coverage is right after you've booked your trip’s costliest non-refundable expense, i.e., flight tickets and lodging.

1. Define your travel insurance needs

Consider your reasons for traveling and how long you'll be away, taking into account who is traveling with you as well as your planned activities.

Business travel insurance is suitable for those who travel frequently for work and need coverage for items like work laptops and phones. Vacationers who booked a cruise may need a specialized policy such as Nationwide's cruise insurance plans, while students in overseas programs should look into a plan like Trawick International Insurance for students.

2. Review the policy limits

Each travel insurance benefit has a specific payout limit, which may or may not be enough for your particular situation. For example, individuals traveling with expensive personal belongings such as cameras or jewelry may want a higher payout limit for personal effects or riders for high-value items.

3. Check the policy's fine print

Make sure the trip insurance policy you're interested in covers the activities you have planned, especially if there are recreational sports involved.

Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions should also confirm whether those are covered under their policy. If not, they may need supplemental medical coverage or a different provider.

Take a moment to check if emergency assistance services are available 24/7 and what kind of assistance you can expect should you have a medical emergency or your belongings be stolen.

4. Compare travel insurance quotes

We recommend you get insurance quotes through comparison sites and marketplaces such as InsureMyTrip.com or SquareMouth Travel Insurance. If you're traveling on a tight budget, you can still find cheap travel insurance that will cover the essentials, such as medical expenses and personal effects.

Consider the following when comparing quotes:

  • Affordability
  • Maximum payout limits for baggage loss or theft
  • Available add-ons such as "Cancel for Any Reason"
  • Policy terms regarding pre-existing medical conditions
  • Minimum wait time before you can file a claim for baggage loss and trip delays
  • Maximum payout limits for medical expenses and emergency evacuation

How much travel insurance do I need?

Before buying travel insurance, take stock of what losses you would incur if unforeseen events forced you to cancel the trip, or if you suffered an unexpected medical emergency.

  • Non-refundable travel expenses: This includes flight tickets, lodging reservations, pet care accommodations, travel activities like guided tours and transportation expenses booked in advance.
  • Potential medical emergencies: Travelers may need medical care abroad due to food poisoning, cardiovascular emergencies, endemic illnesses and injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash. Some travel insurers recommend you get a minimum of $50,000 in emergency medical coverage for international trips and $100,000 for cruises and trips to remote locations.
  • Additional coverage needs: Travelers who engage in adventure sports may need a rider to ensure medical coverage if they get injured. These sports are usually excluded from most trip insurance policies.

Credit card travel insurance

Many credit cards offer flight insurance and travel protection for lodging and luggage if you use the card to pay for these trip expenses. That being said, if you compare credit card travel coverage with travel insurance, you'll see that most credit cards lack benefits such as medical expenses and emergency evacuation coverage.

Read our guide to the best travel credit cards for more information on how your credit card can help you travel smarter.

Are there location restrictions when it comes to travel insurance?

Most U.S. insurance providers will not issue international travel insurance for destinations that are currently under a State Department travel advisory or where there is political unrest. Among the countries usually excluded by providers are Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar and Cuba.

The U.S. State Department created the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so travelers can stay apprised of relevant security updates from the nearest U.S. Consulate. The program is free to use and travelers can register each upcoming trip as needed. STEP is a useful tool for all travelers, no matter their destination, as it facilitates contact between them and the U.S. Embassy in case of natural disaster, civil unrest or a family emergency.

Travel insurance that covers COVID-19

All of the insurers on our list cover COVID-19 if you become sick and need medical attention abroad. Trip protection is also available if you need to cancel the trip due to a COVID-19 infection.

Does insurance cover COVID-19 testing for travel?

Travel insurance doesn't cover the cost of COVID-19 tests prior to your trip. It may cover COVID-19 tests during your trip if you get sick and a doctor requires a test to diagnose you.

Alternatively, low or no-cost COVID testing may be available at a health center near you if you need to get tested before departing.

Latest News on Travel Insurance

  • Travel insurance is mainly used for international trips but insurers also sell policies for domestic travel. Check out our guide to domestic travel insurance to determine whether this coverage is necessary for your trip within the U.S.
  • Planning a trip to a European destination within the Schengen area? You'll need a Schengen visa and proof of medical insurance coverage. Read our Schengen travel insurance guide to learn more about this requirement
  • Southwest now offers a rare (and valuable) welcome bonus if you sign up for the airline's credit card: a complimentary extra ticket (minus taxes and fees) for one travel companion once you purchase a Southwest ticket. To unlock this bonus, you must spend $4,000 within the first three months after you open a Southwest credit card account.

Now that the holiday season has passed, it's time to start planning this year's adventures. Check out the following travel guides to plan your next trip in 2024:

Travel Insurance FAQs

What is a pre-existing condition for travel insurance?

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Pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries diagnosed by a medical professional 60 to 180 days before you purchased the policy.

Providers may define pre-existing conditions differently, so ask your insurer about this, even if you qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver. Misunderstanding the terms and conditions of your policy could lead to your claim being denied.

Do I need travel insurance?

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Travel insurance can be worth it, especially if you're traveling internationally and have covered non-refundable expenses upfront. It serves as a financial safety net, covering unforeseen events before or during your trip. It includes flight insurance and covers medical expenses and/or reservation costs if you get sick or need to cancel or interrupt your trip.

Having said that, this coverage isn't necessary if you can already get reimbursed for a canceled trip. This can happen, for example, if you reserve your trip with a credit card that offers travel insurance as a perk.

How does travel insurance work?

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Travel insurance reimburses you for expenses or losses incurred before or during your trip, provided they are covered under your policy. It's more commonly associated with medical emergencies, but it also covers prepaid expenses like airfare, accommodations, tours and more.

If you suffer a covered loss, you'll need to file a claim and provide evidence of the loss. The insurance provider will then analyze your claim and reimburse you if it's covered under the policy. If the claim is denied, you can always appeal the decision.

What is the best travel insurance?

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Based on our research, the best travel insurance companies are Seven Corners, Generali Global Assistance, World Nomads, Nationwide, Travelex, Allianz Travel, AIG Travel Guard and HTH Travel Insurance.

Can I cancel a flight and get a refund?

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You can cancel a flight and get a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of purchasing the tickets, according to the Department of Transportation. (This applies to airline tickets purchased at least seven days before departure.)

Once 24 hours have passed, all airlines allow you to cancel a flight and many offer a refund, credit or voucher. What you get will depend on the airline's policies and the type of flight you purchase.

To ensure you obtain a refund for your flight you should buy a policy that includes a cancel for any reason rider.

When is it too late to buy travel insurance?

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Once you depart for the trip, it's too late to buy travel insurance. You may be able to get coverage up to 24 hours before the departure time, though the specific cut-off point varies by provider. And if you're cutting it really close, the company may not sell you trip cancellation coverage.

Policies purchased at the last minute cover the basics: trip interruptions and delays, medical emergencies, and baggage loss or theft. You will miss out on valuable benefits such as "cancel for any reason," "trip interruption for any reason" and waivers for pre-existing medical conditions.

How We Chose the Best Travel Insurance Companies

As part of our methodology, we gathered travel insurance quotes from online comparison site Travelinsurance.com using the following profile:

  • Family of four traveling from New York City to London
  • $2,200 on flight tickets for all four travelers

We then reviewed the available plans and looked at the following factors to evaluate and compare each company:

  • Plans and coverage: We looked for insurers with a variety of plans and the ability to customize the policy with upgrades. We focused on companies offering unique add-ons, such as coverage for extreme sports and lost gear or equipment.
  • Ease of use: We considered how easily you could get a quote and understand the policy information. Most of these companies either offer just a few plans to keep things simple or provide a comparison page where you can quickly spot the differences in each plan.
  • Customer service and support: Factors like a 24/7 hotline and an established network of global resources to help in an emergency indicate a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. We gave extra points to companies with mobile apps, multiple ways of accessing customer support and added perks like concierge and translation services.
  • Reputation: To gauge each company’s reputation, we evaluated factors such as customer feedback and ratings, years in business and financial stability as evidenced by AM Best financial strength ratings.

Summary of Money's 9 Best Travel Insurance Companies of May 2024