November 28, 2022

Olympia Travel

Olympia Travel Tips

6 Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies of 2022

In this article: Cheap Travel Insurance Companies | Compare Prices | Buying Tips | The Bottom Line | FAQs | Methodology

The right travel insurance can give budget travelers peace of mind when spending money on domestic or international travel. Thankfully, more companies now offer low-cost travel insurance policies than ever before, making it easy to find coverage.

We at the Home Media reviews team researched dozens of the top travel insurance providers. Below, we rounded up the best travel insurance options for travelers seeking coverage without breaking the bank.

Top 6 Cheap Travel Insurance Companies of 2022

Here are our picks for the top travel insurance companies for U.S. residents:

Unless otherwise noted, quotes listed in the cost sections were collected directly from each company’s website and are for a three-day trip to Mexico in November. The total trip cost was $1,000, and the traveler’s residency was in Alabama.

 


 

Nationwide Travel Insurance: Our Pick for Cruise Insurance

  • Our rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Countries covered: 100+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes, limited 

Why We Chose Nationwide Travel Insurance

Nationwide’s single-trip plans are affordable and include solid coverage. In addition, Nationwide offers three unique coverage tiers for cruises with protections beyond what you’ll find with most single-trip plans. For example, Nationwide’s cruise policies cover situations such as mechanical breakdowns on the cruise ship and last-minute itinerary changes. These plans also cover trip cancellations and medical bills, just like single-trip plans available for individuals.

In addition to cruise insurance, Nationwide offers affordable travel insurance policies with up to 200% reimbursement for trip interruptions. Policies are available with up to $150,000 in medical expense coverage, but this coverage only applies as a secondary policy to complement an ACA-compliant health insurance plan. However, baggage limits and medical evacuation coverages are higher, which is best for travelers with independent international health insurance coverage. 

Pros and Cons of Nationwide Travel Insurance

+ 24-hour emergency assistance available
+ Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage option
+ Multiple coverage levels for cruises

Basic policy includes 100% reimbursement for trip interruption, which is lower than other providers on this list
Medical coverage acts as a secondary policy

Add-on Options

You can add the following optional coverages to Nationwide’s travel insurance plans:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment 
  • CFAR coverage
  • Coverage for vendor financial default
  • Preexisting conditions waiver
  • Rental car collision coverage

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay between $31.74 and $54.80 for coverage.

 


 

Generali Global Assistance: Our Pick for Emergency Assistance

  • Our rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Countries covered: 100+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes

Why We Chose Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance earns a place on our list for its around-the-clock emergency support. Generali customers have access to a 24/7 emergency hotline that they can use to get in contact with international travel or telemedicine experts. This can provide significant peace of mind if you’ve never traveled internationally or you’re traveling to a location where you do not speak the primary language.

Generali’s plans include emergency evacuation coverage of up to $1 million and medical expense coverage of up to $250,000. In addition, trip cancellation insurance is available up to 175%, which is higher than most other travel insurance providers. Plans also include identity theft protection, a common problem abroad that some travel insurance companies don’t consider.

Pros and Cons of Generali Global Assistance

+ 24/7 travel assistance included with each plan
+ Can add coverage for preexisting conditions up to 24 hours before departure date
+ Up to 125% trip interruption coverage available 

CFAR upgrade only includes 60% reimbursement, lower than some other providers
Must purchase CFAR within 24 hours of your initial plan deposit

Add-on Options

  • CFAR upgrade 
  • Collision coverage waiver 
  • Preexisting conditions waiver 

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay between $52.73 and $80.29 for coverage.

 


 

AXA Assistance USA: Our Pick for Leisure Travelers

  • Our rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • BBB rating: A-
  • Countries covered: 100+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes, limited

Why We Chose AXA Assistance USA

AXA’s Platinum Insurance plan is affordable and inclusive, available from just $100 per traveler. The Platinum-level plan includes coverage for leisure activities such as lost ski days and unused concert and event tickets, making this coverage ideal for active travelers. Coronavirus diagnoses are considered the same as any other illness under AXA’s policies, meaning you may qualify for medical coverage abroad.

Platinum-level coverage includes a generous $3,000 limit for lost baggage, more than the coverage you’ll find with most travel insurance providers. In addition, emergency medical coverage is available up to $250,000, and trip delay coverage is available with up to $300 in daily benefits. AXA’s policies also include concierge services that help you understand and use your benefits.

Pros and Cons of AXA Assistance USA

+ $3,000 baggage protection plans on Platinum coverage
+ Covers COVID-19 like any other illness
+ Covers missed sporting equipment rentals and lost ski days

Leisure benefits limited to more expensive plans
Limited add-on choices

Add-on Options

  • CFAR coverage 
  • Collision waiver 

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay between $48 and $83 for coverage.

 


 

AIG Travel Guard: Our Pick for Families

  • Our rating: 4 out of 5
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Countries covered: 100+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes, limited

Why We Chose AIG Travel Guard

Buying travel insurance for a family doesn’t need to be overly expensive when you choose AIG Travel Guard’s Deluxe Plan, which includes complimentary coverage for one child aged 17 years or younger with the purchase of an adult plan. The Deluxe Plan includes more coverages, including benefits for lost tee times and sporting equipment rentals.

In addition to multi-person plans, AIG offers affordable individual insurance, with up to $150,000 in medical expense coverage and up to 150% reimbursement for cancellations. AIG’s unique Pack N’ Go plan option offers last-minute coverage for travel delays and missed connection expenses. All of AIG’s plans include 24/7 emergency assistance over the phone. 

Pros and Cons of AIG Travel Guard

+ Generous coverage limits on lost baggage
+ Medical evacuation limits up to $1 million
+ Multi-trip coverage available 

Essential Plan includes lower limits on medical coverage
Essential Plan only includes 100% coverage for trip interruption, lower than other companies on this list

Add-on Options

AIG Travel Guard allows you to customize your policy with the following add-on coverages:

  • Add-on cancellation coverage for weddings
  • Adventure sports health insurance coverage extension 
  • CFAR coverage
  • Name your family extension 
  • Pet bundle 
  • Preexisting medical condition coverage 

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay between $40.48 and $78.41 for coverage.

 


 

Travelex Insurance: Our Pick for Budget Travelers

  • Our rating: 3.8 out of 5
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Countries covered: 100+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes

Why We Chose Travelex Insurance

Travelex’s affordable travel insurance policies are billed as flat-rate coverage, making pricing more predictable. Policies are available from $60 for most travelers. They include all the coverages you’d expect from a standard travel insurance plan: trip cancellation protection, flight insurance, medical coverage up to $50,000, and more. Travelex’s plans include access to 24/7 emergency assistance services, which can connect you with travel and legal assistance anywhere.

CFAR upgrades are available, and you can add up to $1,000 in coverage for lost and delayed baggage, which is higher than many other providers. This policy can benefit freelancers or independent contractors shopping for affordable business travel insurance that protects their gear. It can also benefit those who travel with an expensive video camera, gaming system or another valuable item.

Pros and Cons of Travelex Insurance

+ CFAR upgrade available
+ Coverage starts at $60 per trip
+ Higher-than-average baggage allowances

Low coverage for medical bills
Some add-ons not available with Travel Basic plan

Add-on Options

Travelex currently allows you to add the following coverage to your insurance plans:

  • CFAR coverage 
  • Medical extension for extreme sports 
  • Upgrades on repatriation, medical coverage and evacuation service

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay between $31 and $45 for coverage.

 


 

International Medical Group: Our Pick for Medical Coverage

  • Our rating: 3.3 out of 5
  • BBB rating: B
  • Countries covered: 190+
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes, limited

Why We Chose IMG

International Medical Group’s (IMG) travel insurance plans include numerous benefits for international travelers at exceptionally affordable prices. IMG’s policies include more than four individual coverage levels, allowing you to balance costs and coverage. Plans include up to $2,000 in baggage delay and even coverage for a pet’s boarding expenses at higher tiers.

In addition to travel insurance policies you’ll find with any other insurance provider, IMG also offers stand-alone medical plans. Medical plans from IMG are entirely customizable, allowing you to carefully select a deductible and set of coverage limits that fit your unique travel needs. 

Pros and Cons of IMG

+ Customizable medical insurance coverage
+ Penalty-free 15-day cancellation period
+ Up to $2,000 in baggage delay coverage 

Extra fee applies for coverage in some East Asian countries due to the coronavirus
Medical-only plans not available to U.S. residents

Add-on Options

IMG offers the following add-ons on its travel insurance plans:

  • CFAR coverage
  • Interrupted for any reason (IFAR) coverage 

Additional waivers for injuries resulting from adventure sports or acts of terrorism are also available on medical-only plans. 

Cost

A 28-year-old traveler planning a $1,000 three-day trip to Mexico would pay $37.11 for coverage.

 


 

Compare Prices for Cheap Travel Insurance Policies

We collected sample quotes listed for a 27-year-old solo traveler visiting Italy for 10 days. The total trip cost was $2,000, and the traveler’s state of residence was Alabama. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were collected directly from each company’s website in October 2022.

Tips for Buying Cheap Travel Insurance

As you shop for travel insurance, know that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for coverage. The key to finding trip insurance that is affordable and provides adequate reimbursement is knowing your options and what protections you already have. Use these tips to find the best travel insurance to give you the peace of mind you need when visiting the United States and beyond.

  • Consider your credit cards: If you billed your vacation to a credit card, check the travel insurance coverage included with your card before you start shopping for a policy. Your card might include trip cancellation coverage. Many credit cards also include clauses with collision coverage if you rent a car using the credit card in question. 
  • Look for standard inclusions: While it can be tempting to choose the cheapest travel insurance when you’re shopping on a strict budget, be sure that the policy you select provides adequate coverage for the money you’re spending. Look for a travel insurance plan with at least 100% coverage for cancellation and trip interruption events.

Most travel insurance providers also include at least $10,000 worth of coverage for medical expenses, which can be an essential consideration if you don’t have primary health insurance coverage in the United States. Look for a travel insurance policy with individual limits on healthcare and medical evacuations.

  • Plan ahead: When you buy travel insurance, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. While the cost of travel insurance might not rise as you get closer to the date you leave, waiting until the last minute doesn’t give you enough time to explore all your options and ensure you’re getting the best price on coverage. Leave yourself with enough time to get a quote from each of our recommended providers before you choose which of the travel insurance companies you want to work with.
  • Review medical coverage: For many travelers, coverage for medical bills is their primary concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you have an Affordable Care Act-compliant medical treatment insurance plan, your insurance may cover you for emergency medical issues outside the United States. 

In most cases, insurance with benefits for medical care administered abroad applies only in situations of immediate medical emergency when you have no choice but to visit the closest medical facility. Consult with a health insurance representative to learn about your policy coverage abroad and any international deductible.

If you get your insurance through Medicaid, you have no coverage for any medical care you receive abroad. You might want a travel insurance policy with robust medical emergency care limits. Note that if you need coverage for preexisting medical conditions, this is usually an add-on that comes at an extra cost. When creating a trip budget, factor this additional expense into your overall total trip cost.

 


 

The Bottom Line: Cheap Travel Insurance

While many companies offer cheap travel insurance, all trip plans are not created equal. As you compare the best travel insurance companies, think about which coverages you can sacrifice to maintain a valuable policy and save money. For example, many travelers can safely avoid CFAR add-on coverage, as travel insurance policies include unavoidable circumstances, such as the death of a family member or major injury, under standard inclusions.

Be sure to note any policy exclusions and coverage limits, as these details also reduce the value you get from your insurance contract. Finally, we recommend getting quotes from at least three providers, starting with our list of best travel insurance companies, before deciding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Travel Insurance

Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Travel Insurance Companies

Our team surveyed dozens of travel insurance providers and created a scoring system to judge each company’s quality and service. We reached out for sample quotes, both over the phone and on the internet, to simulate an authentic customer experience. Here are the factors that account for our provider reviews:

  • Plans availability (20%): We looked for insurers with a variety of plans and the ability to customize the policy with upgrades.
  • Coverage (40%): Among the benefits scored were medical expenses, medical and nonmedical evacuation, COVID-19 coverage, preexisting condition exclusion waivers, “cancel for any reason” coverage, trip interruption, travel delay time requirements, baggage delay time requirements, baggage reimbursement and financial default of a travel supplier. Special consideration was given to companies offering unique add-ons, such as extreme sports coverage, coverage for business equipment and pet coverage.
  • Customer service and support (30%): We looked for indicators that a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. Companies with an established global resource network, a 24/7 emergency hotline, robust mobile apps and perks like concierge and translation services scored higher.
  • Reputation (10%): We gauge reputation by evaluating consumer reviews, third-party financial strength and customer experience ratings, specifically from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau.