Think you don’t need travel insurance? What if the unthinkable happens and suddenly, you’re out thousands of dollars? Cheap travel insurance can protect you and members of your family.
Just like it’s now easier than ever to find affordable health insurance, there are also plenty of affordable travel insurance options that can enhance your trip without breaking the bank. Before you head out on your next adventure, consider contacting one of our top cheap travel insurance providers.
Best Cheap USA Travel Insurance:
- Best Overall Travel Insurance: John Hancock
- Cheapest: Seven Corners
- Best for Packages: Travelex Insurance Services
- Best for Active Adventurers: World Nomads
- Best for Frequent Travelers: Allianz Global Assistance
What Travel Insurance Covers
Travel insurance adds financial protection to your trip by helping you get some or all of your money back if you have to cancel your trip. Depending on the specifics of your policy, you can be reimbursed for missed flights, hotel stays, down payments on excursions and more. You may be protected from a few scenarios:
- Missing a connecting flight
- Having to cancel your entire vacation in light of an emergency
- Getting sick during your trip and returning home early
- Weather causing the delay or cancellation of your flight or cruise
- Lost baggage
- Losing a passport, visa or other important travel documents
Your insurance company could provide you with compensation to cover return flights or make up for lost bookings.
What to Look For in a Company
It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing the best policy for you. Here are some of the things that you should look for when you compare travel insurance plans.
Low deductible. When you’re looking for an affordable travel insurance plan, one of the first things you should look at is your deductible. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay when you file a claim before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest of the cost. Make sure you can afford both the deductible and the premium before you choose a policy.
High claim limits. You’ll see that your policy includes a limit on how much you can get back maximum for a single claim when you buy travel insurance. Look for policies with at least $50,000 in coverage, especially for medical emergencies.
24/7 claims reporting. You might not be able to wait 12 hours for your insurance provider’s office to open when you’re traveling. Look for insurance providers who offer 24/7 claims reporting and assistance for emergencies.
Multilingual assistance. Look for claims reporting line that offers assistance in both English and the native language of the country you’re visiting. This can help make it easier to communicate with the local emergency service and medical professionals.
The Best Affordable Travel Insurance Companies
Benzinga chose the best travel insurance companies based on the criteria above.
1. John Hancock
John Hancock’s travel insurance plans are impressively affordable, especially for international solo travelers. A 25-year-old backpacker traveling to Indonesia would pay just $48 for an entire trip with protection for trip cancellation. John Hancock offers three plan tiers — bronze, silver, and gold — and policies are available from just $24.
Every policy from John Hancock includes up to 75% reimbursement if you cancel for any reason and its cheapest plans have no deductible for emergency medical expenses. Plans even include coverage for terror attacks, a common exclusion in many policies.
John Hancock’s cheapest policies include coverage for up to $50,000 worth of emergency medical expenses, along with very high limits for emergency evacuation — up to $1 million with a gold plan. Its customer service line is available 24/7, an essential feature for international explorers. John Hancock’s policies are best suited for individual travelers and adult couples, as plans don’t include additional protections for children at no charge like some competitors.
2. Seven Corners
Another incredible option for solo travelers, Seven Corners offers travel insurance packages for less than many monthly gym memberships. A 25-year-old who spends a week in Indonesia can fully protect his trip through Seven Corners for as little as $26. Seven Corners offers 3 basic insurance package options: economy, choice, and elite.
Though you’ll need to opt for the most expensive elite package for cancel-anytime protection, policy maximums for emergency cancellations are generous — you can get $10,000 of cancellation reimbursement with its cheapest plan. Choice plans include up to $100,000 in emergency medical expense coverage and elite plans include $250,000 of protection. Emergency evacuation plans are even more expansive and provide up to $1 million in travel reimbursement if you’re forced to evacuate.
Seven Corners will even transport a chosen family member to your bedside while you recuperate (at their own expense) if you’re hospitalized abroad for more than seven days or you suffer a life-threatening illness. You’ll get 24/7 emergency assistance with every plan, and there are special plans and discounts available for students. Seven Corners isn’t the perfect travel insurance provider. Though its economy plans are the most affordable, it doesn’t provide enough emergency medical assistance. For just a little more money, its choice and elite plans are safe and affordable choices that offer increased levels of protection.
3. Travelex Insurance Services
One of your cheapest insurance options for traveling with children is Travelex. The company’s Travel Select package includes coverage for children 17 and under for no additional cost. This protection isn’t included with the Travel Basic package, so it’s cheaper for families with even a single child to opt for more coverage.
Select plans are affordable from the outset but you can also customize your plan with add-ons for as little as $10 each. You can get upgrades for almost anything, including coverage for rental car collisions, an additional $50,000 worth of medical coverage and even coverage for extreme sports.
Select plans from Travelex start at just $28 per family and include up to $50,000 worth of emergency medical coverage. You can get 100% of your trip reimbursed if you need to cancel thanks to an emergency and Select plans even include cancellation reimbursements if you need to skip your trip for business reasons.
Emergency medical evacuation coverage extends to $500,000 and 24/7 travel insurance is also included. Though Travelex’s Basic packages leave something to be desired, its Select plans are affordable and worth the upgrade — especially if you’re traveling with children.
4. World Nomads
Plans from World Nomads are comprehensive and affordable. A 25-year-old who travels to Indonesia for a week will pay between $70 to $110 to ensure his trip. World Nomads’ plans come in two packages — Standard and Explorer — and both include coverage for extreme sports. Standard packages include coverage for injuries stemming from rock climbing to indoor river boarding and from gymnastics to deep-sea fishing. Explorer plans cover almost any physical activity you can think of, from running with the bulls in Spain to hang gliding over the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Both plans include up to $100,000 worth of coverage for emergency medical coverage, making World Nomads a great choice for active explorers.
One of the most unique features of World Nomads’ plans is its compassionate and proactive multilingual travel assistance. When you call its 24/7 hotline, a team member will do more than help you file a claim. He or she will assist you in locating local physicians and dentists, arrange and pay for transportation to a hospital, including an escort if you’re seriously injured and even arrange for transportation home if you need it.
Policies from World Nomads are recommended for particularly active adventurers or those who are traveling to an area in which English isn’t commonly spoken.
5. Allianz Global Assistance
Choosing a plan from Allianz Global Assistance can save you both time and money. Unlike most other competitors whose policies max out at 90 days abroad, Allianz has coverage options for trips up to 180 days long. If you’re planning a multi-leg backpacking trip or you’re studying abroad, Allianz might be your first choice for insurance coverage.
Like Travelex, Allianz Global Assistance OneTrip Premier plan includes free coverage for children age 17 and under, though it’s important to note that this coverage isn’t included in cheaper Allianz low-tier plans. Even Premier plans are exceptionally affordable — single traveler Basic plans begin at just $50 and a family of 4 can get a week-long Premier plan for just under $120. Allianz Global Assistance is also one of the only travel insurance providers that offer annual multi-trip plans under a single renewable policy, which makes it a convenient choice for travelers who visit international destinations more than once a year.
Allianz’s website and quote process are intuitive and quick, and you can protect your trip in as little as 10 minutes. Allianz’s Premier plan only covers up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage per insured, but travelers exploring with children or those who need protection for longer trips might opt for Allianz’s lower prices and convenience.
Protect Yourself When You Travel
No matter where you roam or which travel insurance plan you choose, read every policy thoroughly before you sign. Know what is and isn’t covered before you leave. For example, make sure you choose a policy that covers extreme sports If you know you want to go skydiving or hang gliding. Double-check to make sure that your plan includes coverage for business cancellations if you work in an industry that may need you at a moment’s notice.
Safety doesn’t end with getting a travel insurance policy. Consider enrolling your trip on the State Department’s Travel Registry website. Use the Department of State’s catalog of travel advisories to research your destination, noting any areas where travel is forbidden or regulated. Write down the address of the United States’ embassy in both English and the local language and keep copies on your person. With insurance and a little planning, you’ll be prepared for a safe and secure trip abroad.