11 Best Travel Insurance Companies in April 2024 – NerdWallet

11 Best Travel Insurance Companies in April 2024 – NerdWallet
11 Best Travel Insurance Companies in April 2024 – NerdWallet

If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that travelers need to be prepared for the unexpected — from a pandemic to flight troubles to the crowded airport terminals so many of us have encountered.

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Whether you’re looking for an international travel insurance plan, emergency medical care or a policy that includes extreme sports, these are the best travel insurance providers to get you covered.

How we found the best travel insurance

We looked at quotes from various companies for a 10-day trip to Mexico in September 2024. The traveler was a 55-year-old woman from Florida who spent $3,000 total on the trip, including airfare.

On average, the price of each company’s most basic coverage plan was $126.53. The costs displayed below do not include optional add-ons, such as Cancel For Any Reason coverage or pre-existing medical condition coverage.

However, depending on the plan, you may be able to customize at an added cost.

As we continue to evaluate more travel insurance companies and receive fresh market data, this collection of best travel insurance companies is likely to change. See our full methodology for more details.

Best travel insurance overall: Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Best overall

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

  • ExactCare Value (basic) plan is among the least expensive we surveyed.
  • Speciality plans available for road trips, luxury travel, adventure activities, flights and cruises.
  • Company may reimburse claimants faster than average, including possible same-day compensation.
  • Multiple “Trip Delay” coverage types might make claims confusing.
  • Cheapest plan only includes fixed amounts for its coverage.

Best overall

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

  • ExactCare Value (basic) plan is among the least expensive we surveyed.
  • Speciality plans available for road trips, luxury travel, adventure activities, flights and cruises.
  • Company may reimburse claimants faster than average, including possible same-day compensation.
  • Multiple “Trip Delay” coverage types might make claims confusing.
  • Cheapest plan only includes fixed amounts for its coverage.

Under the direction of chair and CEO Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection has been around since 2014. Its plans provide numerous opportunities for travelers to customize coverage to their needs.

At $135 for our sample trip, the ExactCare Value (basic) plan from Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection offers protection roughly $10 above the average price.

Want something cheaper? Air travelers looking for inexpensive, less comprehensive protections might opt for a basic AirCare plan that includes fixed amounts for its coverage.

Company Name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

ExactCare Value.

Travelers looking for a customizable, comprehensive coverage at a low price. Includes cruises.

What else makes Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection great:

  • Pre-existing medical condition exclusion waivers available at no extra cost.

  • Plans available for travelers going on a cruise, participating in extreme sports or taking a luxury trip.

  • ExactCare Value (basic) plan was among the least expensive we surveyed.

Best for emergency medical coverage: Allianz Global Assistance

Best for emergency medical coverage

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  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Multiple types of insurance available.
  • All plans include access to a 24/7 assistance hotline.
  • More expensive than average.
  • CFAR upgrades are not available.
  • Rental car protection is only available by adding the One Trip Rental Car protector to your plan or by purchasing a standalone rental car plan.

Best for emergency medical coverage

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Allianz

  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Multiple types of insurance available.
  • All plans include access to a 24/7 assistance hotline.
  • More expensive than average.
  • CFAR upgrades are not available.
  • Rental car protection is only available by adding the One Trip Rental Car protector to your plan or by purchasing a standalone rental car plan.

Allianz Global Assistance is a reputable travel insurance company offering plans for over 25 years. Customers can choose from a variety of single and annual policies to fit their needs. On top of comprehensive coverage, some travelers might opt for the more affordable OneTrip Cancellation Plus, which is geared toward domestic travelers looking for trip protections but don’t need post-departure benefits like emergency medical or baggage lost.

For our test trip, Allianz Global Assistance’s basic coverage cost $149, about $22 above average.

Company Name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Allianz Global Assistance

OneTrip Basic.

Economical travelers who want to be able to add on rental car protection.

What else makes Allianz Global Assistance great:

  • Annual and single-trip plans.

  • Plans are available for international and domestic trips.

  • Stand-alone and add-on rental car damage product available.

Best for travelers with pre-existing medical conditions: Travel Guard by AIG

Best for pre-existing medical conditions

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Travel Guard by AIG

  • Offers last-minute coverage.
  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Exclusion Waiver available at all plan levels.
  • Plan available for business travelers.
  • Cancel For Any reason coverage only available for higher-level plans, and only reimburses up to 50% of the trip cost.
  • Trip interruption coverage doesn’t apply to trips paid for with points and miles.

Best for pre-existing medical conditions

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Travel Guard by AIG

  • Offers last-minute coverage.
  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Exclusion Waiver available at all plan levels.
  • Plan available for business travelers.
  • Cancel For Any reason coverage only available for higher-level plans, and only reimburses up to 50% of the trip cost.
  • Trip interruption coverage doesn’t apply to trips paid for with points and miles.

Travel Guard by AIG offers a variety of plans and coverages to fit travelers’ needs. On top of more standard trip protections like trip cancellation, interruption, baggage and medical coverage, the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available on certain Travel Guard plans, which allows you to cancel a trip for any reason and get 50% of your nonrefundable deposit back as long as the trip is canceled at least two days before the scheduled departure date.

At $107 for our sample trip, the Essential plan was below average, saving roughly $20.

Company Name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Travel Guard

Essential.

Those traveling with pre-existing medical conditions and cruise goers.

What else makes Travel Guard by AIG great:

  • Three comprehensive plans and a Pack N’ Go plan for last-minute travelers who don’t need cancellation benefits.

  • Flight protection, car rental, and medical evacuation coverage, as well as annual plans available.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions exclusion waiver available on all plan levels, as long as it’s purchased within 15 days.

Best for those who pack expensive equipment: Travel Insured International

Best for those who pack expensive equipment

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Travel Insured International

  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Higher-level plan include optional add-ons for event tickets and for electronic equipment
  • Rental car protection add-on for just $8 per day, even on lower-level plan.
  • Many of the customizations are only available on the higher-tier plan.
  • Coverage cost comes in above average in our latest analysis.

Best for those who pack expensive equipment

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Travel Insured International

  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Higher-level plan include optional add-ons for event tickets and for electronic equipment
  • Rental car protection add-on for just $8 per day, even on lower-level plan.
  • Many of the customizations are only available on the higher-tier plan.
  • Coverage cost comes in above average in our latest analysis.

Travel Insured International offers several customization options. For instance, those going to see a show may want to add on event ticket registration fee protection. Traveling with expensive gear?Consider adding on coverage for electronic equipment for up to $2,000 in coverage.

Be sure to check which policies are available in your state. You will need to input your destination, residence, trip dates and the number of travelers to get a quote and see coverages.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Travel Insured International

Worldwide Trip Protector.

Sports fans and concertgoers with pricey belongings. Plans cover traveling with expensive electronic equipment and high-cost ticketed events.

What else makes Travel Insured International great:

  • Comprehensive plans include medical expense reimbursement accidents, sickness, evacuation and pre-existing conditions, depending on the plan.

  • Flight plans include coverage for missed and canceled flights and lost or stolen baggage.

Best for adventurous travelers: World Nomads

Best for adventurous travelers

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World Nomads

  • Travelers can extend coverage mid-trip.
  • The standard plan covers up to $300,000 in emergency evacuation costs.
  • Plans automatically cover 200+ adventurous activities.
  • No Cancel For Any Reason upgrades are available.
  • No pre-existing medical condition waivers are available.

Best for adventurous travelers

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World Nomads

  • Travelers can extend coverage mid-trip.
  • The standard plan covers up to $300,000 in emergency evacuation costs.
  • Plans automatically cover 200+ adventurous activities.
  • No Cancel For Any Reason upgrades are available.
  • No pre-existing medical condition waivers are available.

Many travel insurance plans contain exclusions for adventure sports activities. If you plan to ski, bungee jump, windsurf or parasail, this might be a plan to consider.

Note that the Standard plan ($72 for our sample trip), while the most affordable, provides less coverage than other plans. But it can be a good choice for travelers who are satisfied with trip cancellation and interruption coverage of $2,500 or less, do not need rental car damage protection, find the limits to be sufficient and do not need coverage for certain more adventurous activities.

Company Name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

World Nomads

Thrill seekers. Plans automatically cover 200+ adventurous activities.

What else makes World Nomads great:

  • Comprehensive international travel insurance plans.

  • Coverage available for adventure activities, such as trekking, mountain biking and scuba diving.

Best for medical coverage: Travelex Insurance Services

Best for medical coverage

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Travelex Insurance Services

  • Top-tier plan doesn’t break the bank and provides more customization opportunities.
  • Offers a plan specifically for domestic travel.
  • Sells a post-departure medical coverage plan.
  • Fewer customization opportunities on the Basic plan.
  • Though perhaps a plus for domestic travelers, keep in mind the Travel America plan only covers domestic trips.

Best for medical coverage

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Travelex Insurance Services

  • Top-tier plan doesn’t break the bank and provides more customization opportunities.
  • Offers a plan specifically for domestic travel.
  • Sells a post-departure medical coverage plan.
  • Fewer customization opportunities on the Basic plan.
  • Though perhaps a plus for domestic travelers, keep in mind the Travel America plan only covers domestic trips.

For starters, basic coverage from Travelex Insurance Services came in at $125, almost exactly average for our sample trip.

Travelex’s plans focus heavily on providing protections that are personalized to your travel style and trip type.

While the company does offer comprehensive plans that include medical benefits, you can also choose between cheaper plans that don’t provide cancellation coverage but do offer protections during your travels.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Travelex Insurance Services

Travel Basic.

Travelers who want top-notch medical coverage. Medical Coverage upgrade with $50,000 in medical expense coverage and $500,000 in medical evacuation coverage on top of what is already included.

What else makes Travelex Insurance Services great:

  • Three comprehensive plans available, two of which cover international trips.

  • Offers a post-departure plan geared exclusively toward disruptions after you leave home.

  • Two flight insurance plans available.

Best if you have travel credit card coverage: Seven Corners

Best if you have travel credit card coverage

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Seven Corners

  • Annual, medical-only and backpacker plans are available.
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available for the cheapest plan.
  • Cheapest plan also features a much less costly Interruption for Any Reason add-on.
  • Offers only one annual policy option.

Best if you have travel credit card coverage

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Seven Corners

  • Annual, medical-only and backpacker plans are available.
  • Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available for the cheapest plan.
  • Cheapest plan also features a much less costly Interruption for Any Reason add-on.
  • Offers only one annual policy option.

Each Seven Corners plan offers several optional add-ons. Among the more unique is a Trip Interruption for Any Reason, which allows you to interrupt a trip 48 hours after the scheduled departure date (for any reason) and receive a refund of up to 75% of your unused nonrefundable deposits.

The basic coverage plan for our trip to Mexico costs $124 — right around the average.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Seven Corners

Trip Protection Basic.

Traveling athletes. Seven Corners offers medical only protection, plus options to cover sports and golf equipment rental.

What else makes Seven Corners great:

  • Comprehensive plans for U.S. residents and foreigners, including travelers visiting the U.S.

  • Cheap add-ons for rental car damage, sporting equipment rental or trip interruption for any reason.

Best for long-term travelers: IMG

Best for long-term travelers

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  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Coverage available for adventure travelers.
  • Special medical insurance for ship captains and crew members, international students and missionaries.
  • Claim approval can be lengthy.

Best for long-term travelers

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IMG

  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.
  • Coverage available for adventure travelers.
  • Special medical insurance for ship captains and crew members, international students and missionaries.
  • Claim approval can be lengthy.

While some travel insurance companies offer just a handful of plans, with IMG, you’ll really have your pick. Though this requires a bit more research, it allows you to search for coverage that fits your travel needs.

However, travelers will want to be aware that IMG’s iTravelInsured Travel Lite is expensive. Coming in at $149.85, it’s the costliest plan on our list.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

iTravelInsured Travel Lite.

Long-term budget travelers. The most basic package covers trips up to 180 days and offers 100% trip cancellation coverage and 125% trip interruption coverage.

What else makes IMG great:

  • More affordable than average.

  • Annual or single-trip policies are available.

  • Many plans to choose from to fit your needs.

Best for travelers with unpredictable work demands: Tin Leg

Best if you’ve unpredictable work demands

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  • In addition Cancel For Any Reason, some plans offer cancel for work reason coverage.
  • Adventure sports-specific coverage is available.
  • Plans have overlap that can be hard to distinguish.
  • Claim approval can be lengthy.
  • Only one plan includes Rental Car Damage coverage available as an add-on.

Best if you’ve unpredictable work demands

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Tin Leg

  • In addition Cancel For Any Reason, some plans offer cancel for work reason coverage.
  • Adventure sports-specific coverage is available.
  • Plans have overlap that can be hard to distinguish.
  • Claim approval can be lengthy.
  • Only one plan includes Rental Car Damage coverage available as an add-on.

Tin Leg’s Basic plan came in at $134 for our sample trip, adding about $8 onto the average basic policy cost. Note that you’ll pay a lot more if you shop for the most comprehensive coverage, and there are eight plans to choose from for trips abroad.

The multitude of plans can help you find coverage that fits your needs, but with so many to choose from, deciding can be daunting.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

Tin Leg Economy.

Those who have a lot of time on their hands to compare policies and look for bargains.

The only real way to figure out your ideal plan is to compare them all, look at the plan details and decide which features and coverage suit you and your travel style best.

Best for booking travel with points and miles: TravelSafe

Best for booking travel with points and miles

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TravelSafe

  • Covers up to $300 redepositing points and miles on eligible canceled award flights.
  • Optional add-on protection for business equipment or sports rentals.
  • Multi-trip or year-long plans aren’t available.

Best for booking travel with points and miles

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TravelSafe

  • Covers up to $300 redepositing points and miles on eligible canceled award flights.
  • Optional add-on protection for business equipment or sports rentals.
  • Multi-trip or year-long plans aren’t available.

Selecting your travel insurance plan with TravelSafe is a fairly straightforward process. The company’s website also makes it easy to visualize how optional add-on elements influence the total cost, displaying the final price as soon as you click the coverage.

However, at $136, the Basic plan was among the more expensive for our trip to Mexico.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

TravelSafe

TravelSafe Basic.

U.S. residents shopping for single-trip coverage and those booking with points or miles.

What else makes TravelSafe great:

  • Rental car damage coverage add-on is available on both plans.

  • Cancel For Any Reason coverage available on the TravelSafe Classic plan.

Best for group travel insurance: HTH Insurance

Best for group travel insurance

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HTH Travel Insurance

  • Covers travelers up to 95 years old.
  • Includes direct pay option so members can avoid having to pay up front for services.
  • A 24-hour delay is required for baggage delay coverage on the TripProtector Economy plan.
  • No waivers for pre-existing conditions on the lower-level plan.

Best for group travel insurance

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HTH Travel Insurance

  • Covers travelers up to 95 years old.
  • Includes direct pay option so members can avoid having to pay up front for services.
  • A 24-hour delay is required for baggage delay coverage on the TripProtector Economy plan.
  • No waivers for pre-existing conditions on the lower-level plan.

HTH offers single-trip and multitrip medical insurance coverage as well as trip protection plans.

At around $125, the Trip Protector Economy policy is at the average mark for plans we reviewed.

You can choose to insure group trips for educators, crew, religious missionaries and corporate travelers.

Company name

Basic coverage cost

Recommended for

HTH Insurance

Trip Protector Economy.

Travelers searching for group trip coverage, including missionaries and crew.

What else makes HTH Insurance great:

  • Medical-only coverage and trip protection coverage.

  • Lots of options for group travelers.

Types of travel insurance

As you shop for travel insurance, you’ll find many of the same coverage categories across numerous plans.

Trip cancellation

This covers the prepaid costs you make for your trip in cases when you need to cancel for a covered reason. This coverage helps you recoup upfront costs paid for flights and nonrefundable hotel reservations.

Trip interruption

Trip interruption benefits generally involve disruptions after you depart. It helps reimburse costs incurred for flight delays, cancellations and plenty of other covered disruptions you might encounter during your travels.

This coverage can cover the costs for you to return home or reimburse unexpected expenses like an extra hotel stay, meals and ground transportation.

Trip delay

Trip delay coverage helps cover unexpected costs when your trip is delayed. This is another coverage that helps offset the costs of flight trouble or other travel disruptions.

Note that many policies have a total amount a traveler can claim, with caps on per diem benefits, too.

Cancel For Any Reason

Cancel For Any Reason coverage allows you to recoup some of the upfront costs you paid for a trip even if you’re canceling for a reason not otherwise covered by your standard travel insurance policy.

Typically, adding this protection to your plan costs extra.

Baggage delay

This coverage helps cover the costs of essential items you might need when your luggage is delayed. Think toiletries, clothing and other immediate items you might need if your luggage didn’t make it on your flight.

Many travel insurance plans with baggage delay protection will specify how long (six, 12, 24 hours, etc.) your luggage must be delayed before you can make a claim.

Lost baggage

Used for travelers whose luggage is lost or stolen, this helps recoup the lost value of the items in your bag.

You’ll want to make sure you closely follow the correct procedures for your plan. Many plans include a maximum total amount you can claim under this coverage and a per-item cap.

Travel medical insurance

This covers out-of-pocket medical costs when travelers run into an emergency.

Because many travelers’ health insurance plans don’t cover medical care overseas, travel medical insurance can help offset out-of-pocket health care costs.

In addition to emergency medical coverage, many plans have medical evacuation or repatriation coverage for costs incurred when you must be taken to a hospital or return to your home country because of a medical situation.

What does travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance plans cover many trip protections that can help you be prepared for unexpected travel disruptions and expenses.

These coverages are generally aimed at protecting the money you put into your trip, expenses you incur because of travel trouble and costs incurred if you have a medical emergency overseas.

On top of core coverages like trip cancellation and interruption and travel medical coverage, some plans offer add-on options like waivers for pre-existing conditions, rental car collision damage waivers or adventure sports riders. These usually cost extra or must be added within a specified timeframe.

What’s not covered?

Typical travel insurance policies offer coverage for many unforeseen events, but as you research to select a plan, consider your needs. Though every plan differs, there are some commonly excluded coverages.

For instance, you typically can’t get coverage for a named storm if you bought the coverage after the storm was named. In other words, if you have a trip to the Caribbean booked for Sept. 25 and on Sept. 20 a hurricane develops and is named, you generally won’t be able to buy a travel insurance plan Sept. 21 in hopes of getting your money back.

Many plans also don’t cover activities performed under the influence of drugs or alcohol or any extreme sports. If the latter applies to you, you might want to consider a plan with specific coverages for adventure-seekers.

For numerous plans, a few other situations don’t qualify as an acceptable reason to cancel and make a claim, such as fear of travel, medical tourism or pregnancies (unless you booked a trip and bought insurance before you became pregnant or there are complications with the pregnancy). This is where a Cancel For Any Reason add-on to your coverage can be helpful.

You can also run into trouble if you give up on a trip too soon: a minor (or even multihour) flight delay likely isn’t sufficient to cancel your entire trip and get reimbursed through your plan. Be sure to review what requirements your specific plan has when it comes to canceling a trip, claiming trip interruption, etc.

How much does it cost?

Travel insurance costs vary widely. The final price of your plan will fluctuate based on your age, length of trip and destination.

It will also depend on how much coverage you need, whether you add on specialized policies (like Cancel For Any Reason or pre-existing conditions coverage), whether you plan to participate in extreme sports and other factors.

In our examples above, for instance, the 35-year-old traveler taking a $2,000 trip to Italy would have spent an average $76 for a basic plan to get coverage for things like trip cancellation and interruption, baggage protection, etc. That’s a little less than 4% of the total trip cost — lower than average.

If there were multiple members in a traveling party or if they were going on, say, a rock-climbing or bungee-jumping excursion, the costs would go up.

On average, travel insurance comes to about 5% to 10% of the trip cost. However, considering many of the plans reimburse up to 100% of the trip cost (or more) for disruptions like trip cancellation or interruption, it can be a worthwhile expense if something goes wrong.

Do I need travel insurance?

It depends. Consider the following factors that might affect your decision: You’re young and healthy, all your bookings are refundable or cancelable without a penalty, your flights are nonstop, you’re not checking bags and a credit card you carry offers some travel protections. In that case, travel insurance might not be necessary.

On the other hand, if you prepaid a large chunk of money for a nonrefundable African safari, you’re going on a Caribbean cruise in the middle of a hurricane season or you’re going somewhere where the cost of health care is high, it’s not a bad idea to buy a travel insurance plan. Here’s how to find the best travel insurance coverage for you.

If you’re thinking of booking a trip and not planning to buy travel insurance, you may want to consider at least booking refundable airfare and not prepaying for hotel, rental car and activity reservations. That way, if something goes wrong, you can cancel without losing any money.

How to choose the best travel insurance policy

Selecting the best travel insurance policy comes down to your needs, concerns, preferences and budget.

As you book, take a few minutes to consider what most concerns you. Is it getting stranded because of flight trouble? Having the ability to cancel for any reason you see fit without losing money? Getting sick or injured right before departure and needing to postpone the trip? Injuring yourself or falling ill while overseas?

Ultimately, you want a plan that protects you, your money and the large investment in your trip — but doesn’t cost too much, either.

  • Medical coverage. If your priority is having adequate medical coverage abroad, you might want to look for plans with high limits for medical emergencies and medical evacuation.

  • Complex travel itinerary. If your itinerary has lots of flight connections, prepaid hotels and deposits for activities you can’t get back, prioritizing a plan with the best coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions may land at the top of your list.

  • Travel uncertainty. If you’re on the fence about a trip and have nonrefundable reservations, you may want to select a plan with a Cancel For Any Reason coverage option, which can help you recoup about 50% to 75% of the costs. This helps provide peace of mind, placing the decision on whether to travel entirely in your hands.

  • Car rentals. If you’re renting a car, a collision damage waiver is often worth looking into.

What are the top travel destinations in 2024?

The following destinations are the top insured destinations in 2024, according to Squaremouth (a NerdWallet partner).

  • The Bahamas.

  • Costa Rica.

  • Antarctica.

In 2022, travelers spent about 25.53% more on trips than they did before the pandemic.

As of December, NerdWallet analysis determined travel prices are 10% higher than pre-pandemic. Each statistic makes a strong case for protecting your travel investment as you plan your next trip.

More resources for travel insurance shoppers

Bookmark these resources to help you make smart money moves as you shop for travel insurance.

Top credit cards with travel insurance

Here is the list of travel cards offered by Chase that include various forms of travel insurance.

Having one of these in your wallet is a good start to protecting your travel investments and preventing expensive accidents; however, savvy travelers check card terms closely and sometimes supplement with a third-party policy, like from one of the companies above, to better protect themselves.

Chase cards with travel insurance
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

on Chase’s website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

on Chase’s website

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

on Chase’s website

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card

United℠ Explorer Card

on Chase’s website

Annual fee


$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Travel protections (not a comprehensive list)


• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 12 hours.

• Car rentals: Theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.

• Trip interruption: Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for three days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

Learn more


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Methodology

We used the following factors to choose insurance providers to highlight:

  • Breadth of coverage: We looked at how many plans each company offered plus the range of their standard plans. 

  • Depth of coverage: We considered two data points to get a sense of how much each company pays out for common travel issues — the maximum caps for trip cancellation and trip interruption claims.

  • Cost: By looking at the costs for basic coverage across multiple companies, we determined an average cost for shoppers to benchmark plan prices against.

  • Customizability: While standard plans can cover a lot of ground, sometimes you need something a little more personal.

  • Customer satisfaction. Using data from Squaremouth when available, and Google Reviews as a backup, we can give kudos to companies with better track records from their clients.

Frequently asked questions

No, it doesn’t necessarily get more expensive the longer you wait to purchase. However, as you put off buying insurance, you may lose access to potential plans and coverage options.

In general, buying travel insurance within a few days to two weeks of prepaying or making an initial deposit for your trip is your best bet. Assuming you’re not booking last-minute, this will provide you with access to the widest possible range of coverage options. It also helps prevent any medical conditions or storms that pop up between booking and buying a plan from ending up as excluded situations, which won’t be covered by your plan.

But, generally, many plans do allow you to buy coverage quite close to your departure date.

To get the most out of your travel insurance plan, buy it soon after making your initial prepayment or deposit to ensure you have access to the biggest menu of plans possible.

Select a plan that’s comprehensive enough to cover the travel scenarios you’re most concerned about or likely to encounter but not too expensive or laden with protections you’d never likely need.

Whatever your coverage, thoroughly review the plan so you understand what’s covered and what’s not, plus how to adhere to the plan’s rules for making a claim.

Travelers frequently use phrases like “trip insurance” and “travel insurance,” as well as “trip protection,” interchangeably, but they do mean different things, according to Stan Sandberg, founder of insurance comparison site TravelInsurance.com.

Trip insurance, or trip protection, generally refers to predeparture (or preevent) coverage if you need to cancel. You may see these plans sold by airlines, online travel agencies or even ticketed event sellers.

“You could refer to it as the portion that protects the investment in the trip,” Sandberg says.

A travel insurance plan typically includes that — plus more comprehensive benefits to protect you during your trip, from medical coverage to trip delay and lost baggage protections, and many more elements, depending on the plan.

Though travel insurance is typically not required for international trips, your personal circumstances will play a key role in whether it’s a good investment.

For instance, young, healthy travelers with few prepaid trip expenses embarking on a relatively risk-free trip may not see a need to buy a plan.

Older travelers with complicated itineraries who are visiting destinations where they could potentially fall ill or get injured — or who could encounter bad weather or some other disrupting factor along the way — may want to buy coverage.

Consider a few key questions:

  • How well would your health insurance plan cover you if you needed to visit a hospital overseas?

  • How much did you prepay for a hotel or rental car?

  • How much money would you be out if weather or some other flight issue derailed your itinerary?

  • Could you afford an unexpected night in a city where you have a connecting flight?

  • Do you already have a credit card that provides some travel protections?

Your answers to these questions can help you decide whether you need travel insurance for your international trip.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Source: nerdwallet.com

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