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Published: Mar 01, 2024 10 min read

Domestic vacations are generally less expensive than international ones, and your health insurance policy may already cover medical emergencies you experience, even across state lines. So, do you need one of the best travel insurance policies while vacationing in the U.S.? And what would a policy cover during a domestic trip?

In this article, we explain what domestic travel insurance covers to help you determine whether purchasing one of these policies is right for you. Keep reading to find out more.

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What does domestic travel insurance cover?

While travel insurance is mainly associated with international travel, you can also purchase this type of policy for domestic trips. Coverage options vary by insurance company and plan, yet most travel insurance policies afford the following types of coverage.

  • Emergency medical coverage: Reimburses you — up to the policy limit — for medical treatment related to accidents or illnesses you experience during a trip. Coverage generally excludes pre-existing conditions and may be primary or secondary to any existing medical insurance you have that’s in effect at your destination. (Check with your insurer to confirm that coverage.)
  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage: Covers emergency transportation to the nearest medical facility or back to a hospital close to your home, if medically necessary and recommended by your doctor. It also covers expenses related to transporting your remains to your return destination if you die during the trip.
  • Trip cancellation coverage: Refunds you a percentage of pre-paid, non-refundable travel costs — up to a limit — if you cancel or interrupt your trip for eligible reasons. Valid reasons for canceling include natural disasters and the illness or injury of a traveler or their family member.
  • Trip interruption coverage: If you must interrupt a trip for a covered reason, travel insurance can reimburse you for the unused portion of the trip and any expenses you incur returning home. Reimbursement is usually capped at 150% of the trip's cost.
  • Travel delay coverage: Trip delay coverage reimburses you up to your policy limits if you experience flight delays and incur additional expenses like meals or lodging. It may also cover airport delays and flight change fees.
  • Baggage loss and baggage delay coverage: Refunds you the cost of replacement items (up to a per-item limit) if your luggage is lost or delayed during your trip. You usually have to wait a specified number of hours before filing a claim and provide purchase receipts or a list of items in your luggage. Coverage may also be subject to a deductible.
  • 24-hour emergency and travel assistance: Most travel insurers offer worldwide travel assistance services. These include help with replacing lost documents, luggage, prescriptions or medical devices and arranging hotel accommodations and medical transport services.

For more information about these and other coverage options, read our article on what travel insurance covers.

Travel insurance add-ons and benefits for domestic trips

Again, while options vary by company, insurers generally offer add-ons and other benefits that can enhance a base travel insurance policy. These include:

  • Rental car collision coverage: Also called collision damage waiver (CDW), this add-on waives policyholders’ financial responsibility (up to a limit) if their rental vehicle is damaged in an accident or collision. When available, this option generally costs extra.
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage: While standard cancellation coverage reimburses policyholders for cancellations related to specific covered events, cancel for any reason coverage reimburses policyholders for a portion of their trip cost (50% to 75%) if they cancel for any reason whatsoever. This option can increase the policy's price by as much as 50%.
  • Waiver of pre-existing conditions: Travel insurance policies commonly exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Unless you qualify for a pre-existing conditions waiver at the time of purchase, you won't be reimbursed for medical expenses related to a condition diagnosed before — even shortly before — your policy's effective date. Qualifying for this waiver often requires meeting specific criteria, such as being medically fit to travel and insuring the entire trip cost.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D): This coverage pays out a sum of money if you die, lose a limb or experience vision loss during your trip due to an accident. Depending on the policy, coverage may apply at specific times (while boarding or traveling by plane) or throughout the trip. Some, but not all, policies automatically include this benefit.
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Domestic travel insurance exclusions

Before researching travel insurance for your next trip, keep in mind that some insurers define domestic travel as any trip that takes you over 100 miles from home but is still within the U.S. That means shorter trips may not be eligible for coverage.

Additionally, you may not be covered in all states. Read your policy information thoroughly to understand the coverage exclusions.

According to the NAIC, other common travel insurance exclusions include:

  • Pandemics (although some companies cover certain losses related to COVID-19)
  • Pre-existing medical conditions (unless you qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver)
  • Civil or political unrest at the destination
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Coverage for high-risk activities (think snowboarding or parasailing)

Do you need travel insurance for domestic trips?

You don't necessarily need to purchase a travel insurance plan for a trip within the U.S., especially if your health insurance plan already offers out-of-state or out-of-network coverage.

Additionally, your auto insurance policy generally extends the same coverage and limits to rental vehicles as to the cars you own, so you may not need additional protection. (And rental car companies may not accept a collision damage waiver from a travel insurer as a valid form of coverage.)

Furthermore, some of the best travel credit cards offer benefits that can duplicate or supplement travel insurance coverage. For example, many top-tier credit cards include trip cancellation and interruption coverage and collision damage waivers for rental cars.

Not all credit cards provide these benefits, however, so review your credit card's benefits guide or contact the issuer for details. You should also verify whether your credit card's coverage is primary or secondary to other forms of insurance you're already carrying.

How much is domestic travel insurance?

What you'll pay for a domestic travel insurance policy will depend on factors such as your age (and the age of your travel companions), the insurance company, the plan and coverage options you choose and the total cost of your trip.

Here are some price examples from various insurers for a $4,500 (total) domestic trip for two travelers.


Lowest Tier Plan

Highest Tier Plan

Domestic Travel Restrictions






Available to all states except CA and NY.



Trip cancellations,  interruptions or delays resulting from quarantine due to COVID-19 aren't covered.



Trips to Alaska or Hawaii aren't considered domestic.







Read our guide to the best travel insurance companies for more information on these and other insurers. And if you're planning a cruise, check out our top picks for cruise travel insurance.

When to buy domestic travel insurance

Generally, it's best to buy travel insurance soon after making your initial trip payment. That will ensure you qualify for optional benefits such as CFAR coverage and pre-existing condition waivers.

If you don't know whether to purchase travel insurance coverage in the first place, consider your risks. Travel insurance may make sense if you're planning an expensive trip and your airfare or hotel bookings are non-refundable. A policy could reimburse you for some of those expenses if you have to cancel or postpone your travel plans at the "last minute."

That can be especially true when traveling to a destination where weather-related risks are common. For example, if you're visiting California during peak wildfire season or Florida during hurricane season, travel insurance could offer peace of mind and financial protection against travel disruptions caused by a natural disaster.

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Domestic travel insurance FAQs

Does travel insurance cover domestic flights?

Yes, some travel insurance companies cover domestic trips. However, they may define a domestic trip as one that takes you at least 100 miles from your home but is still within the U.S. Shorter trips may not qualify, and there may be restrictions concerning the states where coverage is effective.

What does domestic travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance benefits vary by plan, but most domestic travel insurance policies cover medical emergencies and evacuations, travel delays and cancellations, lost or delayed luggage and emergency assistance services. Rental car collision coverage may also be available for an additional cost, if you aren’t covered by the insurance on any vehicles you own.

How much is travel insurance?

Based on our research, a travel insurance policy could cost between 3% and 14% of your total trip cost. What you'll pay for coverage will largely depend on the company you choose to do business with, the plan you select, along with personal details such as your age and the total cost of your trip.

Is travel insurance worth it?

Whether or not travel insurance is worth it will depend on the risks you might face during your trip. You may not need additional protection if you already have some form of coverage, such as travel insurance through a credit card.

A policy may make the most sense for someone who has spent a good deal of money on pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses or plans to participate in risky activities at their destination.

Summary of Money's guide to domestic travel insurance

If you're a U.S. resident traveling to other states, domestic travel insurance may be an option worth considering. A comprehensive travel insurance policy for domestic vacations can cost between 3% and 14% of the total cost of your trip, depending on the coverage options you select.

If you've booked expensive, non-refundable accommodations, are traveling to a state where natural disasters are common or don't have health insurance coverage that extends out of state, travel insurance could offer you a measure of financial protection against common travel mishaps — all for a fraction of the cost of your trip.

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