Next time you’re booking travel, it may be tempting to skip purchasing a travel insurance policy to cut corners and save some money. But saving a little now could actually end up costing you more later—in the event that you lose your baggage or need to cancel your trip or cover medical costs during your trip.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for travel insurance and what kinds of factors might drive that cost up or down.
Travel insurance key statistics
- The average cost of travel insurance is $95.
- The average cost of a comprehensive policy is 20 percent more than a basic policy.
- Travelers can expect to spend 4-11 percent of the total cost of their trip on travel insurance.
- One out of every six travelers who buy travel insurance has actually filed a claim at some point.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects any money spent on domestic or international travel. Think damage to personal property or rental cars, trip cancellation, lost baggage, coverage for medical expenses abroad, and accidental death or flight accident coverage. Many travel agencies and airlines offer travel insurance as an add-on to your booking, although you can seek out your own policy on any travel you book yourself.
Another way to get your next trip covered is to check your credit card perks. Some credit cards, particularly travel cards, offer travel insurance and discounts, with higher fee cards typically offering higher levels of coverage. If you’re a frequent traveler, it could be in your best interest to read the fine print on your credit card to see if you can take advantage of any travel-related perks.
How much does travel insurance cost?
The amount you’ll pay for travel insurance will depend greatly on a few different factors such as your age (travel insurance prices tend to increase the older you get), the number of travelers you’ll need to insure and the length of your overall trip. Still, experts say you can expect to shell out anywhere from 4-11 percent of the total cost of your trip on your travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance policies generally fall into one of three tiers: basic, middle-tier, and comprehensive coverage. Basic coverage is typically the most affordable option and includes benefits such as trip cancellation and lost baggage, but it may require that you pay a deductible for each sickness or injury.
Middle-tier coverage may include the same benefits as basic policies, with an added health insurance benefit. A more expensive, comprehensive policy may include all of the benefits as basic or middle-tier policies, but the policyholder will likely have a higher claim limit.
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of travel insurance, depending on the level of coverage your policy may fall into.
|Travel insurance policy||Average cost|
Average cost of travel insurance by age
Travel insurance providers evaluate risk in the same way traditional insurers do when it comes to their premiums. The older a traveler is, the more they can expect to pay for coverage because older travelers are more likely to become ill or injured on a trip. In a 2021 analysis conducted by AdvisorSmith, it was estimated that average prices differed from a low of $92 for a young child to a high of $805 for a centenarian.
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of travel insurance by age.
While higher costs are more common among older travelers, it doesn’t mean an affordable policy isn’t within reach. Shopping around and comparing quotes from different providers is key to finding the right level of coverage at the right price point.
Average cost of travel insurance by trip cost
The total length of your trip can also directly impact the amount you can expect to pay for travel insurance. A two-week trip will likely cost you more than a weekend getaway. And the higher the overall trip cost, the higher the premium, in most cases. As a general rule, experts say travelers can expect to spend 4-11 percent of the total cost of their trip on travel insurance.
Here’s how your travel insurance costs could increase as the total cost of your trip increases.
|Trip cost||Average premium cost|
Average cost of travel insurance by number of travelers
One factor you should take into consideration when planning your trip and selecting a travel insurance policy is the number of travelers in your group. The more people you’ll be traveling with, the higher the premium because there’s a greater risk of your insurer having to cover unexpected costs. This is especially true for older groups who also have an increased likelihood of incurring medical expenses during a trip. Here’s what that average cost could look like for a solo traveler versus a few different types of groups.
|Number of travelers||Average cost|
|One adult, one child||$122|
|Two adults, one child||$156|
|Two adults, two children||$167|
2022 travel insurance outlook
In the past two years, everchanging COVID-19 regulations and restrictions have wreaked havoc on the travel industry, and it’s become more difficult for travelers to plan vacations in advance and feel confident that their plans won’t be disrupted. Travelers are taking note.
Travel insurance sales increased 53 percent in the days right after news of the Omicron variant, according to Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider. And new benefits like COVID-related coverage and trip delay features are becoming more popular as travelers learn to adapt to this new landscape.
Travel insurance providers are prioritizing flexibility and a few are altering their policies to provide a better safety net for travelers who may face new situations that could impact travel like a positive COVID-19 test or a canceled trip due to last-minute border closures.
The bottom line
If you plan to travel soon, your first order of business should be to figure out which level of travel insurance coverage you might need and factor that extra cost into your overall budget. While you search for the right policy, it’s important to keep in mind that a number of factors can impact your premium, but paying a bit more upfront for that extra protection could save you thousands down the line.