The average cost of travel insurance in the U.S. is $95, based on an AdvisorSmith study of over 50 travel insurance policies. This coverage is becoming more and more popular in the U.S., particularly as the pandemic disrupted travel plans in 2020, forcing many consumers to cancel or postpone planned trips. As travel ramps back up, Americans are more interested in protecting their travel plans, spurring high demand for travel insurance.
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Average Cost of Travel Insurance
Travel insurance premiums vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the cost of the trip, number of travelers, traveler age, mode of travel, and more. In our study of more than 50 travel insurance policies, we found the average cost of travel insurance in the U.S. to be $95 for a one-week international trip. Prices did vary widely, however, depending on the insurer, and our analysis showed premiums ranging from a low of $39 to a high of $210.
|Insurer||Average Cost||Difference from Average|
|AIG Travel Guard Deluxe||$210||122%|
|AIG Travel Guard Essential||$156||65%|
|AIG Travel Guard Preferred||$175||85%|
|Allianz OneTrip Basic||$96||1%|
|Allianz OneTrip Prime||$125||32%|
|Allianz OneTrip Premier||$186||97%|
|Arch RoamRight Pro||$84||-11%|
|Arch RoamRight Pro Plus||$89||-6%|
|AXA Assistance Gold||$88||-7%|
|AXA Assistance Platinum||$108||14%|
|AXA Assistance Silver||$66||-30%|
|Berkshire Hathaway ExactCare||$57||-40%|
|Berkshire Hathaway ExactCare Extra||$61||-36%|
|Berkshire Hathaway ExactCare Value||$41||-57%|
|Berkshire Hathaway LuxuryCare||$90||-5%|
|Generali Global Assistance Preferred||$81||-15%|
|Generali Global Assistance Premium||$93||-2%|
|Generali Global Assistance Standard||$70||-26%|
|HTH TripProtector Classic||$102||8%|
|HTH TripProtector Economy||$90||-5%|
|HTH TripProtector Preferred||$128||35%|
|IMG iTravelInsured Travel Lite||$73||-23%|
|IMG iTravelInsured Travel LX||$159||68%|
|IMG iTravelInsured Travel SE||$83||-12%|
|John Hancock Bronze||$94||-1%|
|John Hancock Gold||$141||49%|
|John Hancock Silver||$102||8%|
|MH Ross Asset||$87||-8%|
|MH Ross Bridge||$113||19%|
|Seven Corners RoundTrip Basic||$80||-15%|
|Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice||$123||30%|
|Tin Leg Adventure||$75||-21%|
|Tin Leg Economy||$41||-57%|
|Tin Leg Gold||$92||-3%|
|Tin Leg Luxury||$54||-43%|
|Tin Leg Standrad||$49||-48%|
|Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector||$146||54%|
|Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector Lite||$92||-3%|
|Travelex Travel Basic||$76||-20%|
|Travelex Travel Select||$105||11%|
|Trawick International Safe Travels Explorer||$53||-44%|
|Trawick International Safe Travels First Class||$76||-19%|
|Trawick International Safe Travels Journey||$66||-30%|
|Trawick International Safe Travels Single Trip||$62||-34%|
|Trawick International Safe Travels Voyager||$91||-4%|
|USI Affinity Diamond||$116||23%|
|USI Affinity Ruby||$96||1%|
In order to better understand how different variables—including the number of travelers, traveler age, trip cost, and coverage level—impact the premiums you end up paying, we conducted a study using quote estimates from a variety of insurers. We used a sample traveler profile for our study, which was a 30-year-old male traveler residing in California and traveling to the United Kingdom for a one-week trip with a total cost of $2,500.
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Trip Cost
The total cost of your trip will be a main driver in determining the price of your travel insurance premiums. The higher the cost of your trip, the more you’re likely to pay in premiums as any claims you’ll file will have a higher chance of being costlier than for a lower-priced trip.
In our analysis, we found that premiums generally fell between 4% and 5% of the total cost of your trip. Below you’ll find the average premiums broken down by the total cost of the trip.
|Trip Cost||Average Premium Cost||Premium % of Trip Cost|
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Age
Depending on your age and the ages of those traveling with you, your insurance premiums can vary widely. Generally, younger travelers can expect to pay less, while older travelers can expect to pay more, with travelers over the age of 60 seeing large jumps in cost. This can be attributed in part to the fact that older travelers are at higher risk of becoming injured or ill on a trip.
In our analysis, we found average prices differed from a low of $92 for a young child to a high of $805 for a centenarian. Below you’ll find average costs broken down by age.
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Number of Travelers
The number of travelers on your trip also plays a large role in the pricing of travel insurance. As you can expect, the more people on your trip, the higher the risk. And if you have older travelers with you on your trip, your premiums will likely be higher. If you are a group of young, healthy travelers, it’s likely your premiums will be lower.
Below you’ll find our analysis of the average cost of travel insurance for travelers of varying group sizes.
|Number of Travelers||Average Cost|
|One adult, 1 child||$122|
|One adult, 2 children||$148|
|Two adults, 1 child||$156|
|Two adults, 2 children||$167|
|Two adults, 3 children||$193|
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Coverage Level
Travel insurance plans offer different bells and whistles depending on the insurer and on the particular plan you select. Some plans are more comprehensive than others, and as expected, more comprehensive plans will cost more. Generally, insurers will offer a few types of plan packages, in addition to various add-ons you can add to supplement your coverage.
Below is a breakdown of the average cost of travel insurance by coverage level. We took a look at basic, mid-level, and full coverage offerings. While the plans varied depending on the insurer, they primarily differed by sublimits and covered risks.
|Coverage Level||Average Cost|
What’s covered by travel insurance and what’s not?
Travel insurance coverage differs significantly depending on the insurer and the particular coverage you purchase. Each insurer has a variety of options and endorsements that you can add to your policy and packages the policies differently, so when shopping for travel insurance, you’ll need to closely examine exactly what the insurer is offering.
Generally, travel insurance offers coverage for the following:
- Trip cancellations or interruptions
- Travel delays or flight cancellations
- Lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed baggage
- Medical expenses
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Rental car coverage
- Hotel or cruise ship protection
In terms of exclusions, travel insurance typically does not cover pre-existing health conditions and activities that are deemed risky.
More recently, many travelers have been wondering if travel insurance covers COVID-19. Most travel policies won’t provide coverage for trip cancellation due to fear of travel or if your trip is canceled due to a government body, health authority, or travel supplier restricting or canceling travel due to COVID-19. However, if you fall ill due to COVID-19 prior to your departure, many insurers will cover trip cancellation. Additionally, if you contract COVID-19 on your trip, most insurers treat this as any other illness, offering medical and emergency coverage.
What determines the cost of travel insurance?
Travel insurance pricing can vary widely depending on a number of variables. Your best bet is to understand the type and level of coverage you’re looking for and gather quotes from a variety of insurers. To better understand what impacts the premium you’re quoted, the following are a few factors that affect travel insurance cost:
- Trip cost. The more your trip costs, the more it will cost to insure, given that your claims are likely to be costlier for a more expensive trip.
- Coverage limits. As with other types of insurance, the higher your limits, the higher your premiums will be, as the insurer has a higher chance of paying out more for a given claim.
- Deductible. The deductible amount is what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket on a claim before the insurer starts to provide coverage. Generally, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be.
- Coverage options. Many insurers offer a bevy of add-on options, including cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage, rental car coverage, and more. Premiums will increase as you add on more options.
- Traveler age. The older the traveler, the higher the cost of travel insurance. This is to account for the fact that older travelers are at higher risk of becoming ill or injured on a trip.
- Number of travelers. The more travelers on your trip, the higher the cost to insure.
- Length of trip. The longer your trip, the higher your premiums will be. Longer trips mean a higher chance for a claim.
AdvisorSmith used quote estimates from 53 different travel insurance policies in order to determine average costs for travel insurance. Quote estimates also made use of various sample traveler profiles.
For the main sample traveler profile, we used a 30-year-old male traveler in good health, planning to travel by direct flight to the United Kingdom from California on a 1-week vacation. In order to determine how other variables factored into premium costs, we used multiple traveler profiles that varied by age, number of total travelers, and trip cost.
AdvisorSmith spoke with the following experts to provide critical insight on the state of travel insurance.
- Associate Professor of Marketing
- Gwynedd Mercy University
- Assistant Professor of Marketing
- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
- Professor of Business Management
- Point Park University
Q. What, if any, long-term impact will the pandemic have on the travel insurance market?
Ralph: The CDC continues to change travel rules, so it is difficult to say what long-term impact the pandemic will have. However, I would think that travelers will be more in tune to find travel insurance coverage that protects them from such events in the future.
A pandemic can create huge payouts for interrupted travel, so the cost to the consumer of such insurance will likely increase as demand goes up. It is going to require the consumer to be very diligent when comparing policies to see what is covered. Consumers are also going to need to compare what percentage of reimbursement is covered by different plans.
Aniruddha: When the COVID-19 pandemic, which started almost 16-18 months ago, was raging and at its absolute worst, there were travel restrictions, and fewer Americans traveled due to fear of contracting the virus. In the last 3-4 months, with many Americans undergoing full vaccination, the situation has somewhat changed, and with almost a year of work from home/social distancing norms, there are many who want to be adventurous and are willing to travel.
What this means is that travel insurance for a trip assumes great importance and travelers are very vigilant about this. This is because travelers want to protect themselves in case there is one more wave of COVID in the United States, or if the countries they are traveling to are experiencing a sudden surge in cases.
One has to also keep in mind that when the pandemic suddenly started, many travelers had to abandon or cancel travel plans at the last minute because they had not taken travel insurance, and without such coverage, they were hit hard. There is a significant financial impact that can be felt without travel insurance coverage, especially if it’s a family that is traveling. That is why travel insurance has become a must-have and necessity in today’s COVID-impacted world.
Travel insurance companies recognize this and have built in provisions, such as “Cancel for Any Reason” (CFAR) for travelers. The travel insurance industry that was adversely impacted by the pandemic in 2020 is slowly recovering and creating innovative new products like CFAR. If travelers take CFAR, they can cancel a trip because of COVID-related illness, quarantine requirements, boarding problems, or a surge of cases in the country they are visiting, etc.
Also, many foreign countries such as Thailand, Jordan, Aruba, etc., require COVID coverage for visitors. Despite the add-on cost, CFAR upgrade has become popular with travelers, but a word of caution—it is important to read the fine print, be aware of exactly what features your insurance is covering/what your coverage will pay for, and more importantly, when in doubt, ask questions to the travel insurance company.
Elaine: The pandemic has resulted in heightened awareness by consumers of what types of risks are related to travel, including medical risks. As a result, the purchase of travel insurance might become a standard cost budgeted by consumers when planning a trip.
In addition, the pandemic has highlighted the types of risks that will be related to travel going forward, including new ones such as unanticipated travel restrictions imposed by countries, or new health-related events.
Q. What are the driving factors behind consumers purchasing travel insurance, and has that changed because of the pandemic?
Ralph: The cost of travel can be very high, depending on the venue. Younger people have a much more global perspective and travel at greater rates than generations in the past. Younger consumers, given their income stage, may be more likely to want to pick up travel insurance to protect the money they are spending.
It would seem that the greatest driving factor behind consumers purchasing travel insurance will be affordability. It may be the case that travelers of any age who have not purchased insurance in the past might be more inclined to do so in the future.
The added insurance cost might result in consumers shortening their travel dates to cover the additional expense. Another consequence might be that consumers spread out the time between travel plans due to the increased cost. Such decisions will be based on what insurers end up charging.
The pandemic would likely also impact what destinations people are considering when making travel plans in the future. Travel destinations that are in pandemic hotspots may be uninsurable or may bring a hefty insurance cost. This would likely impact the travel industry as consumers look for destinations that are less risky and thus may carry lower travel insurance costs. This could certainly have a negative economic impact on some hotspot countries that rely heavily on tourism.
Aniruddha: The pandemic has definitely impacted the lucrative travel business because lots of travelers were unwilling to take the risks of traveling due to the fact that almost all countries were experiencing a major surge. Social distancing norms and gradual information about the virus (which was still new and did not have any precedent) unfolding left many travelers confused. For example, the notion that older people and young children are more at risk from the COVID-19 virus resulted in several families canceling travel plans in 2020.
Travel insurance has always been considered a safe way to hedge your bets and maintain flexibility against any kind of uncertainties, and against the backdrop of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes supremely important. With several Americans having gone through vaccination, and with the advent of summer and school vacations, many consumers want to travel. But even then, there is always the fear of another pandemic wave either within the U.S. or while traveling internationally. In such a situation, travel insurance that allows for cancellations, partial refunds, illness, hospitalization, quarantine, etc., is very important. Therefore, consumers are purchasing travel insurance, which is an important consideration during these testing times.
Elaine: Consumers still want to travel. In fact, indications are that there is quite a bit of pent-up demand for vacation travel. However, consumers might also have different risk factors that might make them more fearful about traveling during uncertain times. As a result, if they can purchase insurance that allows them to have flexibility and to avoid financial risk, they might feel more comfortable about making travel plans.
Q. What are the main insurability challenges that travel insurers face in a post-COVID world?
Ralph: It is my understanding that a pandemic is not always a covered event in some travel insurance policies. Potentially huge payouts by insurance companies will drive insurance costs up if demand for such coverage remains high. Because of this, we may see more competition between insurers trying to entice consumers to carry their insurance, and such competition may control price escalation to some degree.
No matter what the result, consumers will need to spend more time educating themselves and comparing plans to make sure they find the right policy that meets their needs.
Aniruddha: First, let us take a look at some of the challenges that consumers face in the post-COVID world because these are interrelated with challenges faced by travel insurance companies. Consumer challenges are regarding when to purchase travel insurance. With the devastating rates at which the COVID virus infects entire countries, there is considerable risk in planning your travel too far in advance. On the other hand, if travelers plan a trip on short notice, then there is the possibility that they will be unable to cancel the trip or not have the same flexibility offered if they purchase earlier (because of conditions built around the coverage).
The CFAR that many companies are offering is a good option but needs careful review of the fine print involved, which can be cumbersome and slightly complex, especially for first-time travelers. Along with this, there are other issues for consumers, such as COVID-testing costs (mandated by certain countries, if international travel is involved), quarantine costs, hospitalization costs, death and funeral costs, evacuation costs, etc. This can be pretty intimidating even for experienced travelers. Travelers are also flustered by reading all the fine print of what is covered and what is not.
Based on these consumer challenges, what are the challenges that a travel insurance company can likely face? First, how can companies optimize service processes because of heightened travel demand and consumer questions focused around travel; second, how can travel insurance companies introduce innovative new products that are a win-win for both the company and the traveler; third, how can travel insurance companies conduct market research to understand consumer concerns and needs; and fourth, how can travel insurance companies streamline processes and work with third-party partners/vendors when their travelers are stranded due to COVID-19 restrictions in a foreign country/or need emergency medical services/hospitalization? Therefore, to sum it up, it is important for travel insurance companies to work with consumers, co-create value, provide unparalleled service, and ease concerns through transparency and clear communication.
Elaine: Because consumers are now more knowledgeable about travel-related risks, they will be more demanding when shopping for travel insurance policies. Insurers will have to be agile enough to modify their policies and coverage in response to those increased demands.
In addition, there are new risks that were probably not factors in the past. Normal activities, like rerouting planes due to weather conditions, might result in significant issues, if the planes land in countries that won’t admit certain passengers, based on where they live or if they are vaccinated. Insurers will need to develop policies and levels of coverage for those events.
And currently, medical travel insurance is separate from travel insurance. Perhaps Insurers will begin to package these coverages. Or they might develop à la carte pricing for different types of add-on coverage. They might also consider partnering with airlines or other travel-related businesses, in order to share travel risks.
If handled properly, travel insurance coverage could be modified to address the concerns of consumers, while improving the profits of insurers.