There are many travel insurance companies in the marketplace offering robust policies. Most of us want to get good value for our money. The quest to find a travel insurance policy that meets your coverage needs and that comes at a good price doesn’t have to be complicated.
Expect that travel insurance will generally cost around 4% to 10% of the trip costs you’re insuring.
“Depending on your age and trip information, a $5,000 trip can expect to see travel insurance policies available for $200 or less, with more expensive policies available costing $500 or more,” says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.
Travel insurance pricing is based on the ages of the travelers, the cost of the trip and the coverage you choose.
Comprehensive travel insurance plans typically include many of the same benefits. “However, the price and coverage amounts can vary significantly from policy to policy,” says Benna. “Comparing policies and prices can save you hundreds of dollars,” he says.
What’s the potential price difference among companies for good coverage? We looked at a 10-day trip to the Bahamas costing $5,000 and found these ranges:
- For a Florida couple ages 58 and 60 there was a $160 price difference between the highest ($403) and lowest ($243) price quotes.
- For a California family with two kids there was a $275 price difference between the highest ($450) and lowest ($175) price quotes.
Keep in mind that coverage levels within policies vary, so more expensive plans may also be providing higher reimbursement levels for claims.
Choosing the Right Medical Coverage
If you’re traveling within the U.S. and at only a small trip cost, you may want to look at a budget plan, says Christine Buggy, a spokesperson for Travelex Insurance Services. For example, you might focus on trip cancellation insurance to cover a non-refundable deposit made on a resort room.
But “if you’re traveling internationally for a longer vacation to a remote destination, look at a more comprehensive plan especially to help cover medical and evacuation expenses which typically are not included in individual health insurance plans when traveling abroad,” Buggy says. “That means when traveling overseas if you need medical attention, the costs could fall entirely on you.”
Travel medical insurance will pay bills such as ambulance, doctor and hospital costs. When pricing policies that cover travel medical expenses, Buggy says an important difference is primary coverage versus secondary coverage:
- Primary coverage is more expensive but pays out before other medical coverage you have.
“Speed of reimbursement is the advantage here,” Buggy says. “This means claims are filed directly with your travel insurance provider [paying out from the first dollar owed] bypassing the need of your health insurance plan.”
- Secondary coverage is often a lower price point. It will pay expenses not covered by other medical insurance you have, such as your workplace health plan.
“This can be a nice supplementary medical expense option to help with costs not covered in your primary medical plan like deductibles and copays out of your own pocket.” With secondary coverage you file claims with your existing insurance provider, and then the travel insurance provider for the remainder.
Another price consideration to be aware of is that you can get your pre-existing medical conditions covered without extra charge by getting a “pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver.” You typically need to add this waiver to a travel insurance plan within two to three weeks of your very first trip deposit.
Professional Help with Saving Money
It’s easy to get travel insurance quotes once you know your destination, travel dates and trip cost. Remember to insure only the non-refundable parts of your trip. Don’t pay for more insurance than you need by insuring expenses you can get a refund on if you cancel, like refundable plane tickets.
Consider using a licensed travel advisor to book your trip and your travel insurance. “They can do the leg work of researching for you,” says Buggy. “An experienced travel advisor offers knowledge and access to information you may not have on your own.”