Cheap Travel Insurance: 10 Ways to Get Great Coverage For Less

Cheap Travel Insurance: 10 Ways to Get Great Coverage For Less

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As the cost of travel continues to rise, the more opportunities you can find to save money on your trips, the better. From booking flights that depart in the early hours of the morning to traveling off-season, there are countless tactics you can deploy to get more bang out of your vacation bucks. 

If you plan on buying travel insurance for your trip, there are also plenty of ways you can keep your premium low without sacrificing your coverage. Finding a cheap travel insurance policy may take some added time and patience, but can help keep your vacation spending to a minimum while staying protected. 

Understanding the Cost of Travel Insurance

Before we get started, we’ll touch briefly on how a travel insurance premium is calculated. 

Essentially, insurance providers look at multiple risk factors, including your age, the length of your trip, and your coverage needs, to determine how much they will charge you for protection. The greater the risks involved, the more you will likely pay for a policy. 

If you were taking a month-long backpacking trip in the Swiss Alps, for example, you will likely pay more on your insurance than if you were taking a week-long Caribbean beach getaway. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from 5-10% of your insured trip cost on a policy. The average cost of travel insurance in 2024 is roughly $308, but there are steps you can take to minimize your premium for your next trip. 

10 Ways to Get the Cheapest Travel Insurance

Travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and finding a cheap policy can allow you to put more money towards experiences during your trip. The next time you search for a trip protection plan, consider the following money-saving tips: 

1. Compare Travel Insurance Companies

There are more travel insurance providers and policies on the market today than ever before. With so much competition, your chances of finding a low-cost plan are high if you’re willing to shop around and compare quotes. 

We recommend that you get a quote from at least three different insurance providers, paying close attention to how they compete on cost and coverage. You can do this manually, or save yourself some time and use a travel insurance comparison site like Squaremouth

2. Check For Existing Coverage

You may already have travel insurance without realizing it. It’s possible that your travel credit cards, health insurance plans, or homeowner’s insurance policies may already provide some level of travel protection. Take a moment to review these policies to avoid purchasing duplicate coverage.

If you do have coverage, take note of any gaps that exist. For example, many travel credit cards offer cancellation coverage as a perk to cardholders, but won’t cover medical expenses. In this case, you’ll only need a plan that includes medical coverage, which can result in a significantly cheaper policy. 

3. Determine How Much Coverage You Really Need

A plan’s coverage limits, meaning the maximum dollar amount it will reimburse you, plays a big role in how it is priced. Greater coverage typically results in higher premiums. However, you likely don’t need the best coverage on the market.

Unless you’re planning a longer trip or have some thrill-seeking activities planned on your itinerary, you will likely be able to get by with standard coverage. For most trips, we recommend the following coverage limits as a baseline for popular benefits: 

Keep in mind, the level of protection you need will depend on your specific trip. Going for a policy with coverage limits that are too low may leave you exposed to out-of-pocket expenses. 

4. Frequent Traveler? Give Annual Travel Insurance A Try

If you plan on traveling a lot within the next year, an Annual Travel Insurance policy, also known as a multi-trip policy, may be right for you. These plans will provide you with coverage for an entire year, regardless of how many trips you take. 

Many frequent flyers prefer Annual policies because they are cost-effective when compared to purchasing a single-trip travel insurance plan each time they travel. Having one plan that covers multiple trips can also be a much more simple approach to trip protection. 

5. Only Insure Your Prepaid, Non-Refundable Trip Costs

When you buy travel insurance, the less travel expenses you insure, the lower your premium will likely be. As a rule of thumb, you should only insure your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs expenses that you’ll be unable to recover if your trip is disrupted. 

Common examples of expenses to include in your quote include: 

  • Hotel stays
  • Airfare
  • Cruise bookings
  • Tours
  • Excursions
  • Rental cars

If, for example, you purchase a refundable plane ticket, do not include this expense as part of your trip cost. The same applies to airfare purchased using frequent flyer miles. Keeping your insured trip costs to a minimum can help reduce the premiums of travel insurance policies. 

6. Consider Medical-Only Travel Insurance Plans

There are two main types of travel insurance; comprehensive and medical-only plans. The key difference is that comprehensive plans cover cancellations, while medical-only plans do not. 

While medical-only plans offer less benefits, they can be purchased for roughly a quarter of the cost of a comprehensive plan. If you’re not concerned with having to cancel your trip, this may be a smart money saving tactic to use during your search. 

7. Choose The Cheapest Plan That Meets Your Needs

It can be easy to overthink travel insurance premiums. The truth is, each travel insurance provider calculates their premiums slightly differently to target their primary demographic. That’s why you’ll see policies that offer almost identical coverage at varying price points. 

Our advice to you is to always choose the cheapest travel insurance policy that fits your needs. If you’re comparing multiple plans that offer similar coverage, don’t feel pressured to spend more and purchase the higher priced plan. 

8. Traveling With A Big Group? Save With Group Insurance

If you’re traveling with a big group of friends or family members, a Group Travel Insurance policy may make more sense. This type of coverage is designed for groups traveling with parties of 10 or more people. Similar to other insurance types, they offer travel medical insurance, trip delay coverage, and other valuable benefits. 

Oftentimes, group plans don’t take into account the age of the travelers on the policy when determining the price. This can make the average cost per traveler much lower when compared to each traveler purchasing their own policy. 

9. Avoid Buying Policies Directly From Travel Suppliers

Travel insurance is becoming increasingly accessible. Airlines, cruises, hotels, and even Airbnb now offer travel protection during the checkout process when making a booking. While it can be tempting, and incredibly convenient, to purchase insurance from these reputable companies, it’s not always the cheapest option. 

Price aside, many policies offered through these travel suppliers often fall short in coverage, either offering low coverage amounts or excluding key benefits. While it’s good to get a quote, it’s most likely you will find more affordable options with similar, if not better, protection by getting quotes from third-party travel insurance providers. 

10. Waive Any Policy Add-Ons

When buying travel insurance, you’ll likely be given the opportunity to “upgrade” your policy with additional benefits. The most common add-ons include Cancel for Any Reason, or CFAR, and Rental Car Damage coverage. 

These add-ons do provide great coverage when, but can largely increase the cost of the policy. CFAR, for example, can add up to 45% to your premium if added to a policy. If your goal is to keep your costs down, waving these add-ons is a smart idea. 

Is Cheap Travel Insurance Worth It?

Travel insurance will always be a worthy investment if it provides you with peace of mind. Regardless of its price, a comprehensive travel insurance plan can provide you with financial protection against unforeseen travel disruptions, including cancellations, delays, medical emergencies, and luggage issues. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune in order to receive great travel protection. In fact, higher priced travel insurance plans don’t always offer the best coverage. The best travel insurance plan is one that fits your budget and your needs as a traveler. 

At Squaremouth, one of our core values is to help travelers find the right policy for them at the lowest possible price. If you need assistance getting great coverage for less, our customer service team is just a phone call away.