The 7 best cheap travel insurance companies of 2022

Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Even though travel insurance can feel like an unnecessary expense when you already have so many costs to juggle for a trip, a simple plan can go a long way toward defraying unexpected costs that may arise.

At the minimum, you should always consider medical coverage in case of a health-related emergency during your trip, and trip cancellation coverage in case the airline, hotel, or other trip vendor cancels on your plans without providing alternative transport or a refund.

Here are our picks for the best affordable travel insurance plans in 2022. 

Compare the best cheap travel insurance companies

Best overall: HTH Worldwide TripProtector Economy

SquareMouth HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance

HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance

SquareMouth HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance

HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Three plans to choose from

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Reasonable premiums

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

High medical emergency and evacuation coverage

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Baggage delay coverage not as generous as what some competitors offer

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Trip cancellation of up to $5,000 with the Economy plan and up to $50,000 with the Preferred plan
  • Cancel for any reason insurance and missed connection insurance available with the Preferred plan
  • Baggage delay insurance starting after 24 or 12 hours depending on the plan

Additional Reading

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

For trip cancellation protection only: GoReady Trip Cancellation Plan

SquareMouth GoReady travel insurance

SquareMouth GoReady travel insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Offers a CFAR upgrade add-on on certain plans

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Strong benefits for the cost

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Comprehensive insurance plans include generous coverage for baggage loss, plus protection from hurricane and other intense weather-related issues

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Relatively low medical emergency coverage limits

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Requires a deductible on medical expenses

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Annual and multi-trip plans available
  • All plans include pandemic coverage for COVID-19
  • Coverage for weather-related delays, cancellations and other incidents

Additional Reading

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Best value: Nationwide Essential

SquareMouth Nationwide travel insurance

Nationwide travel insurance

SquareMouth Nationwide travel insurance

Nationwide travel insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Three cruise-specific plans to choose from

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Annual travel insurance plans available

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Strong trip cancellation coverage

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Cancel for any reason coverage available

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

CFAR insurance not available with every single plan

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Medical coverage is lower than what some competitors offer

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of trip costs (for cruises) or up to $30,000 (for single-trip plans)
  • Cancel for any reason coverage available

Additional Reading

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Most popular: Trawick Safe Travels Explorer

SquareMouth Trawick International travel insurance

Trawick International travel insurance

SquareMouth Trawick International travel insurance

Trawick International travel insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Useful for adventurous travelers headed to higher-risk destinations

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Affordable plans with varying levels of coverage

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Generous baggage loss replacement policy

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Trip delay coverage kicks in after just six hours

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Some policies allow a CFAR add-on

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Up to $1 million medical evacuation coverage limit

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Baggage and trip delay coverages don’t kick in until after the 12-hour mark

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

International student policies available for temporary stints abroad

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Travel medical insurance
  • Trip protection and cancellation
  • International student insurance
  • Visitor medical insurance (for traveling to the US)

Additional Reading

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Coverage for missed tours: Seven Corners RoundTrip Ready

SquareMouth Seven Corners travel insurance

Seven Corners travel insurance

SquareMouth Seven Corners travel insurance

Seven Corners travel insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

CFAR covers up to 75% of total trip costs (maximum of $75,000 on some plans)

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Medical coverage of up to $500,000 and evacuation of up to $1 million per person

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Generous lost baggage and travel delay benefits 

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Baggage delay benefits kick in after just six hours

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Does not cover travel canceled by companies going out of business

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Claims require a 30-day wait time for reimbursement in cases of financial default 

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

No option to insure for high-risk activities like bungee jumping

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Trip cancellation insurance of up to 100% of the trip cost
  • Trip interruption insurance of up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance available

Best protection for lost baggage: AXA Silver

SquareMouth AXA Assistance USA

SquareMouth AXA Assistance USA

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Generous medical evacuation coverage

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Coverage for lost ski and golf days available

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Up to $1,500 per person coverage for missed connections on cruises and tours

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Covers loss of ski, sports and golf equipment

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Generous baggage delay, loss and trip delay coverage ceilings per person

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage only available for most expensive Platinum plan

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

CFAR coverage ceiling only reaches $50,000 maximum despite going up to 75%

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans available
  • Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of the trip cost
  • Trip interruption coverage of up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Emergency medical coverage of up to $250,000

Additional Reading

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Good for missed travel connection coverage: Travelex Travel Basic

Travelex Travelex travel insurance

Travelex travel insurance

Travelex Travelex travel insurance

Travelex travel insurance

Pros & Cons

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Travel Select plan covers up to 364 days of travel

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Option to increase medical coverage

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Can cancel up to 48 hours before travel when CFAR option is purchased

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Affordable coverage for budget-conscious travelers

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Includes generous baggage delay, loss and trip delay coverage

Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.

Optional “adventure sports” bundle available for riskier activities

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Only two insurance plans to choose from

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

CFAR coverage only reimburses up to 50% of total trip costs

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Medical coverage maximum is low at up to $50,000 per person

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Pricier than some competitors with lower coverage ceilings

Dash icon A dash. It often indicates an interaction to shrink a section.

Some competitors offer higher medical emergency coverage

Highlights

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage starting at up to $10,000
  • Optional CFAR insurance available with the Travel Select plan
  • Trip delay insurance starting at $500 with the Travel Basic plan
  • Emergency medical and dental coverage starting at $15,000

Our methodology

To determine the best insurance plan for travelers on a budget, we evaluated dozens of products using a hypothetical trip to Australia for a single traveler, age 26, between December 23, 2022 to January 4, 2023 with a total cost of $2,500 for flight, hotel and other incidentals. We then compiled the plans that covered the essentials at the lowest costs. 

Of note: All of these plans include COVID-related medical coverage and 24-hour assistance, and pay at least 100% of your trip cost for eligible trip cancellations. None include rental car coverage.

Cost

The seven winning plans cost between $29 to $74 — significantly below the typical cost of comprehensive travel insurance, which can range between 4-8% of total travel expenses, according to the US Travel Insurance Association.

But these affordable plans also come with comparably low ceilings for various aspects of coverage such as emergency medical, trip cancellation, or delay — and do not include rental car or “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) protection. So if you think you might need these benefits, it may well be worth upgrading to a comprehensive travel insurance plan for a few more dollars, just for the peace of mind. 

Convenience and flexibility 

Each of the plans in this list include 24-hour assistance worldwide from reputable insurance providers. And despite being on the lower end of insurance plans, each of these options includes refunds for up to 100% of your total trip cost for eligible reasons. Each of these plans also includes medical coverage for COVID-related issues that may arise during your travels, which may come in handy as the pandemic continues to evolve worldwide. 

Sufficient coverage in essential categories 

The cheapest travel insurance plan will rarely cover every scenario that could go awry on your trip. However, each of these plans can at least help you get your money back in the event that your travel is canceled for an eligible reason, and most of them include financial protection if you incur emergency medical bills while traveling.

Insider’s Featured Travel Insurance Companies

  • World Nomads Travel Insurance

  • Allianz Travel Insurance

  • Travelex travel insurance

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Editor’s Rating

4.5/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Editor’s Rating

4.7/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Editor’s Rating

4.45/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

How to pick the best travel insurance plan for you

The best travel insurance plan will vary from person to person, and even from trip to trip. If you’re just going to a major city for a solo week away from home, you probably won’t need the same type of coverage you’d want if you were going on a backpacking expedition in the mountains. And if you’re planning a longer trip overseas or with family members, it’s probably worth the small splurge to purchase comprehensive insurance coverage for peace of mind just in case something goes wrong. 

In most cases, purchasing basic travel insurance coverage will only save you a few dollars compared to more robust plans. In either case, it’s generally a good idea to choose an insurance company that’s known for good customer service and has been well reviewed by fellow travelers. (For this roundup, we looked at traveler reviews shared through the travel agency Squaremouth.)

More about our winners

HTH Worldwide TripProtector Economy

Compared to all the other plans on this list, HTH Worldwide’s TripProtector Economy plan offers the most comprehensive coverage across major categories. 

You’ll be able to relax with up to $75,000 of financial protection for eligible medical emergencies, and up to $500,000 per person for medical evacuation costs. For more everyday expenses, you can also relax with baggage loss and delay, trip interruption, cancellation and delay coverage that will help you recoup many, if not all, of your costs. 

However, this plan falls short on missed connection benefits and accidental death coverage, both of which are not available under most circumstances (missed connection coverage only applies to cruises, and will only cover up to $500 per person after a three-hour delay).

Read our HTH Worldwide travel insurance review.

GoReady Trip Cancellation Plan

The GoReady Trip Cancellation Plan GoReady Trip Cancellation Plan is exactly that: a cost-effective plan that offers protection in the event that your trip is canceled for a covered reason. The plan we priced out for our hypothetical trip cost just 1.16% of our total travel expenses — a very small amount of money to pay for the guarantee of our money back in the right circumstances. 

The benefit is that this plan can supplement other coverage you already have, or give you a little bit of protection for a trip where you might not otherwise have opted for insurance altogether. On the downside, you won’t get any protection for medical emergencies, trip interruption or delays or lost bags from this plan.

Read our GoReady travel insurance review.

Nationwide Essential

Nationwide Essential is a well-rounded alternative to HTH Worldwide Trip Protector Economy. This plan offers solid protection for both travel-related snafus as well as situations that might call for emergency medical and evacuation, making it a good choice for trips where you have cause to worry about potential interruptions or delays. However, this plan does not offer protection for missed connections or accidental death.

Read our Nationwide travel insurance review.

Trawick Safe Travels Explorer

Purchased by more than 36,000 travelers since 2020, this travel insurance plan also has great reviews to boot. And no wonder: Trawick offers generous trip delay coverage of up to $2,000 per person, although hopefully you won’t need to reach that reimbursement amount because the daily limit is $150.

You’ll also be able to rely on a $200 reimbursement per person for lost baggage – one of the higher amounts amongst these affordable plans, although this amount pales in comparison to the baggage loss coverage offered through premium credit cards. 

Unfortunately, this plan also does not include accidental death coverage, so you may want to consider a more comprehensive insurance plan for travel that includes higher risk factors. 

Read our Trawick travel insurance review.

Seven Corners RoundTrip Ready

The Seven Corners RoundTrip Ready plan was the highest-reviewed insurance plan on our list, although it’s actually relatively low on our priority list. The best feature of this plan is the coverage for missed connections that’s offered for cruises and tours. As with most of the other plans on this list, you’ll also be able to relax with up to 100% trip cost coverage for eligible cancellations and interruptions.

However, most of the other benefits are just average for other categories of coverage compared to competitors, and this plan offers some of the lowest medical coverage ceilings on this list. 

AXA Silver

AXA Assistance is an insurer that often shows up on “best of” lists, and the Silver plan from this company is no exception. This policy shines when it comes to some of the rarer categories of coverage on budget travel insurance, including up to $10,000 accidental death coverage, up to $500 per person for cruise-related missed connections and up to $200 of baggage loss coverage per person.

While AXA Silver was on the higher end of our price point comparison, the difference was just $12 more than Nationwide’s Essential plan, making this a good choice for travelers who think they might need the cruise-related travel protection

Read our AXA Assistance USA travel insurance review.

Travelex Travel Basic

Travelex Travel Basic is the most expensive travel insurance plan on our comparison list, although it includes a few benefits that the other plans did not. For one, the missed connection benefit of up to $500 could be applied for any covered reason, and is not specific to cruises or tours alone. The Travelex Travel Basic also includes one of the highest ceilings for accidental death coverage (although again, the $10,000 ceiling pales in comparison to travel credit card coverage).

On the downside, the Travel Basic offers minimal medical emergency coverage at a lackluster $15,000 per person maximum, and the baggage loss coverage capped out at $500 per person, with a daily limit of $100.

Frequently asked questions

If you just want trip cancellation protection, go with the GoReady Trip Cancellation Plan. For more robust coverage that won’t break the bank, consider HTH Worldwide’s TripProtector Economy, Trawick’s Safe Travels Explorer, or Nationwide’s Essentials plan.

Is it worth it to get travel insurance?

You can’t go wrong by purchasing travel insurance these days, if just for the peace of mind. You may be able to get by with the travel insurance protections included on your credit card, or any of these affordable plans are a good start.

When shopping for travel insurance, consider the type of trip you’re planning. If you’re planning leisurely excursions in a big city, you may not need as much emergency medical coverage as you would if you’re planning a serious hiking expedition in the mountains. A good plan should include trip cancellation, some emergency medical protection, and 24-hour assistance at a minimum. 

Katherine Fan is passionate about empowering people through personal finance and travel education. She is an editor at Upgraded Points and has published more than 1,500 articles and guides for NerdWallet, The Points Guy, CreditCards.com, and Bankrate in addition to Insider. 


Read More