Travel insurance 101

When traveling or preparing to travel, complications can be out of your control. Travel insurance can protect your investment against interruptions that could impact your plans and cost you money.

3 min to read
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What is travel insurance?

From lost luggage to last-minute cancellations or even medical emergencies, travel (or trip) insurance offers protection against unexpected events that occur leading up to or during travel.

How does travel insurance work?

Travel insurance can reimburse you for financial losses typically associated with your trip's non-refundable expenses. You select a plan based on a variety of factors, including the length of your trip, destination, method of travel, and medical concerns. If your trip is cancelled or disrupted, and the incident is covered under your travel insurance plan, you file a claim with your insurer. You may be asked to submit documentation so your losses can be verified and your benefits can be approved.

What does travel insurance cover?

  • Emergency evacuation: Comprehensive plans can arrange an emergency medical evacuation if you're hospitalized during your trip and an attending physician determines that you need to get to another hospital for proper care.
  • Medical coverage: Comprehensive plans offer reimbursement for covered medical treatment received during your trip and may be beneficial if you don't have health insurance or you're traveling internationally.
  • Trip cancellation or interruption: Reimburses your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost if it's canceled or cut short due to a covered incident.
  • Baggage delays and loss: Covers lost, stolen or delayed luggage and other valuable items. The amount of coverage varies by provider and most have plan limits for the maximum amount of coverage and reimbursement.
  • Cancellations for any reason: An optional coverage giving you the ability to cancel your trip without providing a reason why. Based on your plan, if you cancel your trip 48-72 hours prior to your departure, your benefits may cover 50-75% of your trip. Other eligibility requirements may apply.

Types of travel insurance plans

  • Comprehensive travel insurance: Provides the most benefits and protection for your investment, including trip interruption and cancellation, delays and lost luggage, medical coverage, and emergency evacuation.
  • Cruise insurance: Covers cancellations or if you miss a leg of your cruise as well as evacuations when hospitalized at a port of call, certain medical conditions, and identity theft.
  • Single-trip travel insurance: For one trip only, defined as leaving your home and then coming back. You might travel to multiple destinations within the course of a single trip, but, once you return home, single-trip travel insurance ends.
  • Multi-trip travel insurance: Designed for multiple trips throughout the course of a year. Policies can be purchased annually and cover you for one calendar year. The date your policy goes into effect is determined when purchasing coverage.
  • Flight insurance: Covers accidental death and dismemberment during a flight.

Is trip insurance worth it?

You may not need it for every trip, but if you’re traveling for extended periods of time or long distances like cross-country or internationally, travel insurance may be worth it to safeguard your plans and investment.

Ask yourself the following questions after booking your trip:

  • Are you willing to forfeit your pre-paid and non-refundable plans? Let's say you booked a costly international trip several months in advance, and some aspects of your travel costs are non-refundable. If you need to cancel your trip due to an unexpected illness, damage to your home, or a death in the family, travel insurance may provide relief and reimbursement for those pre-paid funds that are lost.
  • Did you book your travel during storm season? Bad weather can be a concern, causing flight cancellations and delays. If you can't get to your travel destination because of recent storm damage or you're evacuated because of weather, you could be covered under travel insurance. Keep in mind, coverage must be purchased prior to a storm being named.
  • Do you have pre-existing medical conditions? Travel insurance can cover the gaps in your health insurance coverage for medical emergencies and medical transportation when traveling out of the country. Talk with your health insurance provider to determine what is covered under your health plan.

How do I get travel insurance?

Many travel agencies offer travel insurance when you book your trip, but it's important to make an informed purchase. You want an affordable plan that addresses your specific concerns and situation. Progressive travel insurance from InsureMyTrip includes the industry's top vacation insurance companies so you can research coverages, compare prices, and choose the best plan for your budget and itinerary.

Online

Browse available plans, then choose your coverages and start date.

Talk to a rep

Call 1-844-276-1214 and speak with a licensed travel representative.

Ensure your coverage and plan details cater to your needs and trip itinerary.

How much does travel insurance cost?

Comprehensive plans can vary by age, the cost of your trip, and what you'd like to cover. Progressive travel insurance from InsureMyTrip offers plans ranging from about 4%–10% of your total trip cost (pre-paid and non-refundable). So, if the total cost of your trip is around $10,000, your travel insurance policy may range anywhere from $400–$1,000 in price.

Get a trip insurance quote online or call for expert advice

Learn more about travel insurance policies.

Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.