Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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How do I choose the best trip insurance and travel insurance?

You want to make sure that you choose travel insurance that provides you with coverage for every potential situation you could face while traveling. What’s more, you need to consider your budget, for many people the least expensive option is the best one for them.

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Choosing the best trip and travel insurance is really all about your personal situation; where are you traveling, how long you will be gone, what are you taking with you and so on are all questions that will help you to determine what travel insurance is the best for you.

Trip insurance, also called travel insurance, is insurance that covers the cost of emergencies when you travel. For example, lost luggage, a car accident and a delayed flight are all considered emergencies when you are traveling.

Choosing the best trip and travel insurance isn’t going take you weeks to decide, however, it does require a little consideration. Keep reading to learn what the many factors are that you need to consider when choosing your travel insurance, what you can expect from your travel insurance company and what you can expect to pay for your trip insurance and travel insurance.

What factors should affect your trip and travel insurance choices?

You need to understand that trip insurance typically falls under a travel insurance plan. Trip insurance covers the cost of delays or cancellations of your trip and is a coverage that you should consider for any trip that costs you more than $100 to get to where you are going.

Trip coverage will reimburse you for ticket costs, hotel stays, hotel cancellation fees, trip cancellation fees. If the airline won’t reimburse your ticket price because you had to cancel your trip, then the insurance company will reimburse you for the tickets. If the airline will reimburse you, but with penalties, then the insurance company will pay for the fees. The same thing applies to any hotels that you have booked for your travel.

The first question that you need to answer when considering your trip and travel insurance options is: where are you going? Basically, there are three places you can travel:

  • Locally, which would include anywhere within your state
  • Domestically, which would include anywhere in the United States
  • Internationally, which would be anywhere outside of the US

If you are traveling locally, travel insurance may not be a necessary expense, especially if you are driving to your destination. If you are flying, then you will want to consider luggage insurance and possibly an accidental death or dismemberment policy, just in case.

In the case of local travel, the risk of the airline losing your luggage is reduced drastically because you will probably have a non-stop flight. While there is a chance that your luggage will get lost on the way to the plane, overall, your lost luggage risk is low.

Traveling outside of your state is another consideration altogether. If you are checking luggage then you will want to consider both lost and delayed luggage insurance. If you have a non-stop flight, just as with local travel the risk of losing your luggage is reduced, but you should still evaluate the risk.

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When you fly internationally, you should purchase luggage insurance, there is no doubt. With all of the stops and so many people handling your luggage you need to ensure that you have to means to replace the contents if the airline should lose your luggage.

In addition, all international travelers should consider comprehensive travel insurance. Comprehensive travel will cover the cost of your medical care, possibly emergency dental care, depending on the insurance you choose, trip delays, luggage delays and more.

The next question you need to answer is: how long you will be gone? The longer you are away from home, especially if you are traveling internationally, the higher the risk that something will happen, especially an illness. If your medical insurance doesn’t cover your medical expenses outside of your state or outside of the US, then you need to consider medical travel insurance.

Lastly, you must ask: what am I taking with me? If you are packing 5 t-shirts and 5 pair of jeans and a few personal items, then you don’t need luggage insurance. The airline coverage will be more than adequate.

If, however, you are bringing a laptop, iPod, portable DVD player, photos, etc. then you want to ensure that you purchase luggage insurance. Airlines don’t cover those items. What’s more, they will pay about $400 per lost bag with a max of $3,000 per incident.

Even though only 2% of luggage is lost annually, that still means that the airlines lose over 10 million pieces of luggage every year. These numbers are provided by the National Air Traffic Controller Association. In addition, less than 1% of travelers whose luggage is lost actually receive the full $400 for lost luggage that their airlines provide.

You may want to consider shipping any high dollar items to your hotel or wherever you are staying when you travel. A hotel will hold your package for you as long as you are a registered guest or have a reservation to stay at their hotel.

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What can you expect from a travel insurance company?

Travel insurance companies are pretty much the same as any other insurance company. As long as you meet the criteria set forth by the insurance company, you should have no problem being reimbursed for the services you buy.

In fact, many major insurance companies offer travel insurance, although you don’t seem them advertise this service. Typically, most people purchase travel insurance through travel insurance specialists. Specialty travel insurance companies tend to have a more comprehensive offering of travel insurance options while general insurance companies tend to only carry domestic options or medical, luggage and trip cancellation options.

When choosing a travel insurance company, you need to ensure that they are financially stable. You can check their financial ratings from companies like A.M. Best or Standard and Poor’s.

What should travel insurance cost?

Although the cost of medical travel insurance will vary depending on your current age, pre-existing conditions and other risk factors, the average cost of strictly medical is about $43. Luggage insurance costs about $1 for every $100 you insure. Trip cancellation insurance can range between $5 and $25 based on where you are traveling to.

Comprehensive travel insurance is harder to pin down because you can choose caps on your coverage and it includes a variety of different services depending on the insurance company you choose. The price range for comprehensive travel insurance can be anywhere from $50 to $200, although if you are traveling for a longer period of time, such as for months, you will pay higher rates.

The best way to determine how much your travel insurance will cost is for you to use a quote tool so that you can compare rates side by side. You aren’t obligated to make a purchase when you use the free quote tool and we won’t call you and ask you to make a purchase.

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