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12 Best Travel Insurance Companies of January 2024

According to our analysis of more than 50 travel insurance companies and hundreds of different travel insurance plans, the best travel insurance company is Travelex Insurance Services. In our best travel insurance ratings, we take into account traveler reviews, credit ratings and industry awards. The best travel insurance companies offer robust coverage and excellent customer service, and many offer customizable add-ons.

last minute travel insurance

Travelex Insurance Services »

last minute travel insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance »

last minute travel insurance

Seven Corners »

last minute travel insurance

World Nomads Travel Insurance »

last minute travel insurance

AXA Assistance USA »

last minute travel insurance

AIG Travel Guard »

last minute travel insurance

Generali Global Assistance »

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protec... »

last minute travel insurance

HTH Travel Insurance »

last minute travel insurance

Trawick International »

last minute travel insurance

Tin Leg »

last minute travel insurance

Nationwide Insurance »

Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best Travel Insurance Companies.

Table of Contents

  • Rating Details
  • Allianz Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can help you protect the financial investment you made in your vacation if plans go awry. Find the best travel insurance for the type of trip(s) you're taking and the coverages that matter most to you – from interruptions and misplaced belongings to illness and injury.

  • Travelex Insurance Services: Best Overall
  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best for Cancel for Any Reason Add-on
  • Seven Corners: Best for 24/7 Support When Traveling
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance: Best for Adventure Travelers
  • AXA Assistance USA: Best for Coverage of Luggage and Personal Items
  • AIG Travel Guard: Best for Cruise Insurance
  • Generali Global Assistance: Best for Emergency Situations
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection: Best for Flight Insurance
  • HTH Travel Insurance: Best for Groups
  • Trawick International: Best for Vacation Rental Insurance
  • Tin Leg: Best for Budget-Friendly Plans
  • Nationwide Insurance: Best for Last-Minute Travel Insurance

Best Travel Insurance Companies in Detail

Travelex ».

Customizable upgrades are available, including car rental coverage, additional medical insurance and adventure sports coverage

Medical and trip cancellation maximum are not as high as some other companies

  • 100% of the insured trip cost for trip cancellation; 150% for trip interruption
  • Up to $1,000 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen bags and personal items; $200 for luggage delays
  • $750 in missed connection coverage
  • $50,000 in emergency medical and dental coverage
  • Up to $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage

SEE FULL REVIEW »

Annual and multitrip policies are available

Distinguishing between the company's 10 travel insurance plans can be challenging

  • Up to $200,000 in trip cancellation coverage; $300,000 in trip interruption coverage
  • $2,000 for lost, damaged or stolen luggage and personal effects; $600 for bag delays
  • Up to $1,600 for travel delays
  • Emergency medical coverage of up to $75,000
  • Epidemic coverage

Coverage for preexisting conditions

Cancel for any reason coverage costs extra

  • 100% trip cancellation coverage (up to between $30,000 and $100,000 depending on your state of residence); interruption coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost 
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage up to $2,500; up to $600 for luggage delays
  • Trip delay and missed connection coverage worth up to $1,500
  • Emergency medical coverage worth up to between $250,000 and $500,000 (depending on where you live)

World Nomads »

Adventure sports are covered at no additional cost

Explorer plan only promises up to $10,000 in trip protection

  • $10,000 in trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage
  • $3,000 in protection for lost, damaged or stolen baggage, tech equipment and various travel gear
  • Up to $3,000 in trip delay costs
  • $100,000 in emergency medical coverage

All plans include missed connection coverage

Premiums are on the higher end compared to other providers

  • Trip cancellation protection for 100% of the trip cost; 150% for trip interruption
  • Up to $3,000 for baggage that's been lost, damaged or stolen; $600 in bag delay coverage
  • Trip delay coverage worth $1,250
  • $250,000 in emergency medical coverage

Travel insurance policy coverage is tailored to your specific trip

Information about policy coverage inclusions is not readily available without first obtaining a quote

  • Trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of your trip's cost; trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Up to $2,500 in coverage for lost, stolen or damaged baggage; $500 related to luggage delays
  • Up to $1,000 in missed connection and trip delay coverage

Sporting equipment coverage is included in the company's mid-tier plan

Coverage for those with preexisting conditions is only available on the Premium plan

  • 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation; 175% reimbursement for trip interruption
  • $2,000 in coverage for loss of baggage per person
  • $1,000 per person in travel delay and missed connection coverage
  • $250,000 in medical and dental coverage per person

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection »

All plans include 24/7 travel assistance that can aid in finding or replacing lost luggage and assist with lost or stolen wallets, tickets and passports

Coverage for missed connections or accidental death and dismemberment is not part of the most basic plan

  • Trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the trip cost; interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the trip cost
  • $500 in coverage for lost, stolen or damaged bags and personal items; bag delay coverage worth $200
  • Trip delay coverage worth up to $1,000; missed connection coverage worth up to $100
  • Medical coverage worth up to $50,000

Generous coverage at the mid-tier level

Preexisting conditions coverage is only available at mid- and high-tier plans

  • 100% trip cancellation coverage (up to $50,000); 200% trip interruption coverage
  • Up to $2,000 in coverage for baggage and personal effects; $400 in baggage delay coverage
  • Up to $2,000 in coverage for trip delays; $1,000 for missed connections
  • $500,000 in coverage per person for sickness and accidents

Generous coverage among the plans for trip cancellation and interruption

Determining the right plan may be overwhelming, with 15-plus options to choose from

  • 100% for trip cancellation (up to $100,000); 150% for trip interruption (up to $150,000)
  • Up to $2,500 for lost, damaged or stolen bags; up to $600 for luggage delays
  • Up to $3,000 for trip delays; $1,000 for missed connections
  • Up to $250,000 for emergency medical expenses

Variety of plans to choose from, including two budget-friendly policies and several more premium options

More limited coverage for baggage issues than other companies

  • 100% trip cancellation protection; 150% trip interruption
  • $500 per person for lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items
  • Up to $2,000 per person in travel delay coverage ($150 per day); $100 per person for missed connections
  • $100,000 per person in emergency medical coverage, including issues related to COVID-19

Variety of plans to choose from

Limited trip cancellation coverage even at the highest tier

  • Trip cancellation coverage up to $30,000; trip interruption coverage worth up to 200% of the trip cost (maximum of $60,000)
  • $2,000 for lost, damaged or stolen baggage; $600 for baggage delays
  • Up to $2,000 for trip delays; missed connection and itinerary change coverage of $500 each
  • $150,000 for emergency medical and dental issues

To help you better understand the costs associated with travel insurance, we requested quotes for a weeklong spring 2024 trip to Italy for a solo traveler, a couple and a family. These rates should help you get a rough estimate for about how much you can expect to spend on travel insurance. For additional details on specific coverage from each travel insurance plan and to input your trip information for a quote, see our comparison table below.

Travel Insurance Types: Which One Is Right for You?

There are several types of travel insurance you'll want to evaluate before choosing the policy that's right for you. A few of the most popular types of travel insurance include:

COVID travel insurance Select insurance plans offer some or a combination of the following COVID-19-related protections: coverage for rapid or PCR testing; accommodations if you're required to quarantine during your trip if you test positive for coronavirus; health care; and trip cancellations due to you or a family member testing positive for COVID-19. Read more about the best COVID-19 travel insurance options .

Cancel for any reason insurance Cancel for any reason travel insurance works exactly how it sounds. This type of travel insurance lets you cancel your trip for any reason you want – even if your reason is that you simply decide you no longer want to go. Cancel for any reason travel insurance is typically an add-on you can purchase to go along with other types of travel insurance. For that reason, you will pay more to have this kind of coverage added to your policy.

Also note that this type of coverage typically only reimburses 50% to 80% of your nonrefundable prepaid travel expenses. You'll want to make sure you know exactly how much reimbursement you could qualify for before you invest in this type of policy. Compare the best cancel for any reason travel insurance options here .

International travel insurance Travel insurance is especially useful when traveling internationally, as it can provide medical coverage for emergencies (in some cases for COVID-19) when you're far from home. Depending which international travel insurance plan you choose, this type of travel insurance can also cover lost or delayed luggage, rental cars, travel interruptions or cancellations, and more.

Cheap travel insurance If you want travel insurance but don't want to spend a lot of money, there are plenty of cheap travel insurance options that will offer at least some protections (and peace of mind). These are typically called a company's basic or standard plan; many travel insurance companies even allow you to customize your coverage, spending as little or as much as you want. Explore your options for the cheapest travel insurance here .

Trip cancellation, interruption and delay insurance Trip cancellation coverage can help you get reimbursement for prepaid travel expenses, such as your airfare and cruise fare, if your trip is ultimately canceled for a covered reason. Trip interruption insurance, on the other hand, kicks in to reimburse you if your trip is derailed after it starts. For instance, if you arrived at your destination and became gravely ill, it would cover the cost if you had to cut your trip short.

Trip delay insurance can help you qualify for reimbursement of any unexpected expenses you incur (think: lodging, transportation and food) in the event your trip is delayed for reasons beyond your control, such as your flight being canceled and rebooked for the next day. You will want to save your receipts to substantiate your claim if you have this coverage.

Lost, damaged, delayed or stolen bags or personal belongings Coverage for lost or stolen bags can come in handy if your checked luggage is lost by your airline or your luggage is delayed so long that you have to buy clothing and toiletries for your trip. (add text and link to checked luggage). This type of coverage can kick in to cover the cost to replace lost or stolen items you brought on your trip. It can also provide coverage for the baggage itself. It's even possible that your travel insurance policy will pay for your flight home if damages are caused to your residence and your belongings while you're away, forcing you to return home immediately.

Travel medical insurance If you find yourself sick or injured while you are on vacation, emergency medical coverage can pay for your medical expenses. With that in mind, however, you will need to find out whether the travel medical insurance you buy is primary or secondary. Where a primary policy can be used right away to cover medical bills incurred while you travel, secondary coverage only provides reimbursement after you have exhausted other medical policies you have.

You will also need to know how the travel medical coverage you purchase deals with any preexisting conditions you have, including whether you will have any coverage for preexisting conditions at all. Read more about the best travel medical insurance plans .

Evacuation insurance Imagine you break your leg while on the side of a mountain in some far-flung land without quality health care. Not only would you need travel medical insurance coverage in that case, but you would also need coverage for the exorbitant expense involved in getting you off the side of a mountain and flying you home where you can receive appropriate medical care.

Evacuation coverage can come in handy if you need it, but you will want to make sure any coverage you buy comes with incredibly high limits. According to Squaremouth, an emergency evacuation can easily cost $25,000 in North America and up to $50,000 in Europe, so the site typically suggests customers buy policies with $50,000 to $100,000 in emergency evacuation coverage.

Cruise insurance Travel delays; missed connections, tours or excursions; and cruise ship disablement (when a ship encounters a mechanical issue and is unable to continue on in the journey) are just a few examples why cruise insurance can be a useful protection if you've booked a cruise vacation. Learn more about the top cruise insurance plans here .

Credit card travel insurance It is not uncommon to find credit cards that include trip cancellation and interruption coverage , trip delay insurance, lost or delayed baggage coverage, travel accident insurance, and more. Cards that offer this coverage include popular options like the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card , the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and The Platinum Card from American Express . 

Note that owning a credit card with travel insurance protection is not enough for your coverage to count: To take advantage of credit card travel insurance, you must pay for prepaid travel expenses like your airfare, hotel stay or cruise with that specific credit card. Also, note that credit cards with travel insurance have their own list of exclusions to watch out for. Many also require cardholders to pay an annual fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Travel insurance works similarly to other types of insurance, except that travel insurance intends to cover unforeseeable events. In most cases, you will pay a flat fee for a policy that covers an individual trip and all its components – like airfare, your accommodations and any prepaid excursions. However, if you travel more than a few times per year, and especially if your trips are on the pricey side, you can also buy an annual travel insurance policy.

Benefits vary among travel insurance providers and policies, meaning some travel insurance plans cover more scenarios than others, and some offer higher coverage limits as well. For example, some travel insurance policies might only offer trip cancellation coverage worth up to $2,500 per traveler, while others offer the same benefit worth up to $100,000.

With this in mind, travel insurance works like other insurance plans in the sense that you can buy a basic level of coverage or full coverage that will reimburse you up to incredibly high limits. The choice is up to you, and you should decide based on how much coverage you think you need to feel secure.

However, you should keep in mind that travel insurance cannot cover every potential situation you encounter before or during a trip. Many travel insurance policies list an array of exclusions you should know about, like war or preexisting circumstances. Several policies also offer named peril coverage that only covers the situations specifically outlined in your policy.

Travel insurance may cost anywhere from $50 to $1,500 or more. The cost of travel insurance varies depending on the age of the travelers in your group, the total cost of your trip and other factors. Travel insurance for seniors is typically more costly due to the increased likelihood of health-related issues. The total cost of your trip will also help determine the cost of your travel insurance plan since more expensive trips require higher coverage limits.

Interestingly enough, the length of your trip and the destination you are visiting will not typically affect the cost of travel insurance coverage. Further, your health may not be part of the equation either, and travel insurance companies even refrain from asking health questions when you apply for a travel insurance quote. This doesn't mean that preexisting conditions will be covered, however, so you'll want to check the details.

As an example, a few sample trip insurance quotes for a married couple who are both 40 and live in New York City are below:

  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to Florida with a purchase price of $3,500 might run about $85 to $385.
  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to Mexico with a purchase price of $5,000 could cost anywhere from $120 to $415.
  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to the United Kingdom with a purchase price of $7,500 may cost around $185 to $575.

The price of the plan you select will depend on how much coverage you want. Keep in mind, there are plenty of companies that offer affordable travel insurance plans if your main priority is getting a policy at a budget-friendly price. See the U.S. News list of the Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies .

The best time to buy travel insurance is normally within a few weeks of booking your trip since you may qualify for lower pricing if you book early. Keep in mind, some travel insurance providers allow you to purchase plans until the day before you depart.

Many times, you are given the option to purchase travel insurance when you book your airfare, accommodations or vacation package. Travel insurance and travel protection are frequently offered as add-ons for your trip, meaning you can pay for your vacation and some level of travel insurance at the same time.

However, many people choose to wait to buy travel insurance until after their entire vacation is booked and paid for. This helps travelers tally up all the underlying costs associated with a trip, and then choose their travel insurance provider and the level of coverage they want.

Figuring out where to buy travel insurance may be confusing but you can easily research and purchase travel insurance online these days. Some consumers prefer to shop around with a specific provider, such as Allianz or World Nomads, but you can also shop and compare policies with a travel insurance platform. Popular options include:

  • TravelInsurance.com: TravelInsurance.com offers travel insurance options from more than a dozen vetted insurance providers. Users can read reviews on the various travel insurance providers to find out more about previous travelers' experiences with them. Squaremouth: With Squaremouth, you can enter your trip details and compare more than 90 travel insurance plans from 20-plus providers.
  • InsureMyTrip: InsureMyTrip works similarly, letting you shop around and compare plans from more than 20 travel insurance providers in one place. InsureMyTrip also offers several guarantees, including a Best Price Guarantee, a Best Plan Guarantee and a Money-Back Guarantee that promises a full refund if you decide you no longer need the plan you purchased.

Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote .

When you need to file a travel insurance claim, you should plan on explaining to your provider what happened to your trip and why you think your policy applies. If you planned to go on a Caribbean cruise, but your husband fell gravely ill the night before you were set to depart, you would need to explain that situation to your travel insurance company. Information you should share with your provider includes the details of why you're making a claim, who was involved and the exact circumstances of your loss.

Documentation is important, and your travel insurance provider will ask for proof of what happened. Required documentation for travel insurance typically includes any proof of a delay, receipts, copies of medical bills and more.

Most travel insurance companies let you file a claim using an online form, but some also allow you to file a claim by phone or via fax. Some travel insurance providers, such as Allianz and Travel Insured International, offer their own mobile apps you can use to buy policies and upload information or documents that substantiate your claim. In any case, you will need to provide the company with proof of your claim and the circumstances that caused it.

If your claim is initially denied, you may also need to answer some questions or submit some additional information that can highlight why you do, in fact, qualify.

Whatever you do, be honest and forthcoming with all the information in your claim. Also, be willing to provide more information or answer any questions when asked.

Travel insurance claims typically take four to six weeks to process once you file with your insurance company. However, with various flight delays and cancellations due to things like extreme weather and pilot shortages, more travelers have begun purchasing travel insurance, encountering trip issues and having to submit claims. The higher volume of claims submitted has resulted in slower turnaround times at some insurance companies.

The longer you take to file your travel insurance claim after a loss, the longer you will be waiting for reimbursement. Also note that, with many travel insurance providers, there is a time limit on how long you can submit claims after a trip. For example, with Allianz Travel Insurance, World Nomads Travel Insurance and Travelex Insurance Services, you have 90 days from the date of your loss to file a claim.

You may be able to expedite the claim if you provide all the required information upfront, whereas the process could drag on longer than it needs to if you delay filing a claim or the company has to follow up with you to get more information.

Travel insurance is never required, and only you can decide whether or not it's right for you. Check out Is Travel Insurance Worth It? to see some common situations where it does (and doesn't) make sense.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world, and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband, Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states, in their family media business.

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Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after

Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after

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At Allianz, we continue to show our commitment to sports through our sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Read More >>

Allianz - Allianz: Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Insurance Partner

Entry Requirements & COVID-19 Travel Resources 

Confused about entry requirements for your destination? Our  interactive map shows current travel rules and restrictions for each destination, including info on COVID-19 testing, necessary travel documents and quarantine periods.

Find out how our  Epidemic Coverage Endorsement can protect your next trip from certain losses related to COVID-19.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Because sometimes..., you have to cancel a trip last-minute..

Travel insurance can reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs — including vacation rentals, car rentals, hotels and flights — if you have to cancel for a covered reason.

Travel delays leave you stranded.

Travel insurance can reimburse you for eligible meals, accommodation and transportation expenses during a covered delay.

You get sick or hurt when you're far from home.

Travel insurance can reimburse you for care following a covered medical emergency while traveling. We can even arrange and pay for a medical evacuation if needed.

Fender-benders are unavoidable.

Renting a car means taking on a big financial risk; even a tiny scrape can cost you hundreds. Low-priced rental car insurance lets you drive worry-free.

You need help in a hurry.

Whether you're planning a week-long road trip or a weekend getaway, you never know what might happen. Travel insurance gives you access to our 24-Hour Assistance hotline for expert, personalized support in a crisis.

Why go with Allianz Travel Insurance?

As a world leader in travel protection, we help more than 70 million people answer the call of adventure with confidence every year.

We're Protecting You

From protection for trip cancellation to medical bills abroad, our benefits are designed to help you explore reassured.

We're There For You

We've got your back with award-winning 24/7 assistance and a worldwide network of prescreened hospitals to help you get the right care.

We're Built For You

From our TravelSmart app to proactive SmartBenefits, we innovate for the way you travel today - and tomorrow.

Why Smart Travelers Love the Allianz TravelSmart App 

Lee Abbamonte has visited every country in the world — and he never travels without the Allianz TravelSmart TM app. Find out how this free app can streamline your trip planning, show important safety updates and help out when you’re in a jam.

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Allianz - 2022 Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards

LATEST COVERAGE ALERTS

The events listed below are considered "known and foreseeable" for travel insurance purposes on the date listed next to the event. Please consult your policy for more information.

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Before your trip, download the Allianz TravelSmart® app to access your information and policy while traveling.

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Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Please see your plan for full details. Benefits/Coverage may vary by state, and sublimits may apply.

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Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: 2 Mid America Plaza, Suite 200, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on your state of residence and plan chosen. A+ (Superior) and A (Excellent) are the 2nd and 3rd highest, respectively, of A.M. Best's 13 Financial Strength Ratings. Plans only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company dba Allianz Global Assistance or its affiliates. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Any Non-Insurance Assistance services purchased are provided through AGA Service Company. Except as expressly provided under your plan, you are responsible for charges you incur from third parties. Contact AGA Service Company at  800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or [email protected] .

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Last-Minute Travel Insurance: Your Safety Net for Short-Notice Trips

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Last-Minute Travel Insurance: Your Safety Net for Short-Notice Trips

Best Last-Minute Travel Insurance for Low Cost: Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Best last-minute travel insurance for travel delays: img, best last-minute travel insurance for sports: axa assistance usa, best last-minute travel insurance for primary medical: travelex insurance services, best last-minute travel insurance for coverage limits: trawick international, how last-minute travel insurance works, how to get last-minute travel insurance, what you’ll miss with last-minute travel insurance, is last-minute travel insurance worth it, what travel insurance covers, what to look for in travel insurance, when is it too late to buy travel insurance, what travel insurance costs, final thoughts.

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Planning a last-minute getaway, or just forgot to buy travel insurance? You can still protect your trip with last-minute travel insurance, which covers travel delays, emergency medical treatment, and more. 

Travel insurance policies are generally available up to a day before departure . Some travel insurance companies offer post-departure travel insurance, too. It still makes sense — even at the last minute — to buy travel insurance to protect your finances and health while traveling.

This article explains how last-minute travel works, its benefits, and how to choose the best travel insurance policy before you head out the door.

The 5 Best Last-Minute Travel Insurance Plans

You can get good coverage for your travel plans with a travel insurance policy purchased up to the day of departure. We’ve quoted several comprehensive travel insurance plans you can get at the last minute, searching for plans purchased the day before travel for a 37-year-old visiting Spain on a $2,500 trip :

While it was the most inexpensive last-minute travel insurance policy we quoted, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s ExactCare Value plan offers a good variety of coverage for the price.

It has trip cancellation and interruption coverage, up to $15,000 in medical emergency coverage, and up to $150,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation or repatriation. It also offers coverage for travel delays and baggage delays or loss. We were quoted $45 for this plan.

Our quote for an iTravelInsured Travel Essential policy from IMG didn’t include emergency medical treatment or emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.

However, it excels in travel delay coverage with up to $2,000 in travel delay benefits after a 12-hour delay. It also offers up to 100% reimbursement for trip cancellations and 125% for trip interruptions. COVID-19 coverage is included in trip cancellation and interruption benefits. Our quote for this plan came to $56.13.

The AXA Assistance USA Silver plan covers sports and adventure activities, including sports equipment baggage and sports fees. Additional coverage includes trip cancellation and interruption, up to $25,000 in secondary emergency medical benefits, $100,000 in medical evacuation and repatriation, and benefits for travel delays and baggage loss. The quote for this policy was $78.

Though $15,000 in emergency medical coverage isn’t much, it’s primary coverage with an Insurance Services Travel Basic plan from Travelex . With primary coverage, you can use your emergency medical benefit to pay for medical treatment without going through other applicable insurance first.

This policy also offers up to $100,000 in medical evacuation benefits and 100% reimbursement for trip cancellations or interruptions. We were quoted $87 for this policy.

While more costly than some of the other policies we reviewed, the International Safe Travels Explorer plan from Trawick International offers higher benefit limits than most lower-priced policies.

You’ll get up to 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation and interruption and up to $50,000 in emergency medical reimbursement. There’s up to $200,000 in medical evacuation and repatriation benefits, up to $1,000 for travel delays, $750 for baggage and personal item loss, and $500 in missed connection benefits. This policy had a quote of $88.74.

What Is Last-Minute Travel Insurance?

Couple running and sightseeing

Last-minute travel insurance is travel insurance coverage that you purchase just before departing on your trip . While less robust in coverage than travel insurance purchased shortly after booking, last-minute travel insurance can cover cancellations, interruptions, delays, medical emergencies, and more. It’s a good option if you want travel insurance coverage but haven’t purchased it for a trip that’s coming up quickly.

Like regular travel insurance , last-minute travel insurance covers travel-related financial risks. You’ll get quotes and review the policy’s terms, purchase coverage, and travel as planned. You can file a claim if you experience a covered loss, such as a trip cancellation or medical emergency.

You might pay about the same for less coverage using last-minute travel insurance, but it can save you money and offer peace of mind if you run into any trouble with your trip.

You can get last-minute travel insurance just like a policy purchased right after booking. Start by getting quotes from travel insurance companies, comparing costs and coverage, and purchasing a plan. Once you’ve obtained your last-minute travel insurance policy, be sure you understand the terms and conditions and keep contact information and policy details handy if you need to use your coverage.

If you’ve waited until the last minute to buy travel insurance, you can still get a travel insurance policy, but that doesn’t mean you should expect the same level of coverage you could get if you purchased travel insurance shortly after booking your trip.

Trip cancellation coverage is the main benefit you’ll largely miss out on with last-minute travel insurance. While you can get cancellation coverage at the last minute, your coverage generally doesn’t take effect until the next day — and travel insurance policies generally only offer cancellations up to the day before departure. 

If you’re buying travel insurance the day before you travel, you won’t take advantage of the cancellation benefit. That’s far less valuable than a policy that offers weeks or months of trip cancellation insurance and can reimburse you for your prepaid, nonrefundable deposits.

Some travel insurance coverage is only available if you buy your policy early on, including Cancel for Any Reason coverage and waivers for preexisting conditions . These coverage types are generally only available if you purchase your policy within about 2 weeks of booking your travel.

Learn more about the best time to buy travel insurance in our guide to when to buy travel insurance .

Last-minute travel insurance offers less value than insurance purchased shortly after booking, but travel protection is still worth buying. Even if you can’t take advantage of trip cancellation benefits, you can still get a lot of value out of other coverage areas, especially emergency medical benefits.

Travel Insurance 101

Travel insurance provides financial protection and support for your travel ranging from coverage for trip cancellations to medical emergencies. Coverage varies between policies, but these are common benefits offered by travel insurance:

  • Baggage Protection: You can use travel insurance to get reimbursed if your baggage or personal belongings are lost, stolen, or delayed on your trip.
  • Emergency Assistance: Travel insurance generally offers a Travel Support 24/7 hotline you can call to get connected with what you need, whether it’s medical facilities or replacing lost documents.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation: If you’re critically injured or seriously ill, travel insurance emergency medical evacuation benefits can pay for moving you to an appropriate medical facility. Repatriation benefits can cover bringing your remains home if you die while traveling.
  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Many travel insurance policies offer coverage for medical emergency treatment if you’re injured or become ill on your trip.
  • Missed Connections: Travel insurance can cover the cost of rebooking your flight and accommodations if you miss a connecting flight or cruise.
  • Rental Car Coverage: Your travel insurance policy may cover your rental car insurance so you can decline it at the rental desk.
  • Travel Delay: You can get reimbursed for additional expenses related to travel delays, such as accommodations and meals, if your trip is delayed due to covered circumstances such as severe weather or airline strikes.
  • Trip Cancellation: When you purchase travel insurance early enough, coverage extends to trip cancellation, which reimburses you for nonrefundable prepaid travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip. However, with last-minute travel insurance, you may not have time to take advantage of this benefit.
  • Trip Interruption: Travel insurance can cover the cost of getting home and reimburse you for unused trip expenses if your trip is interrupted for covered reasons such as a medical emergency or natural disaster.

Optional coverages often include preexisting medical conditions, adventure sports , and Cancel for Any Reason .

As you consider last-minute travel insurance policies, take these factors into account:

  • Customer Service Reviews: You want to be sure your insurance company is there for you when needed. Check customer service reviews of travel insurance companies to find out if other customers had a good experience, especially if they needed to file a claim.
  • Deductibles: Understand whether the policy has deductibles you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in and consider whether you can afford the deductible if necessary.
  • Limitations and Exclusions: Consider the maximum benefit limits for coverage areas and also understand what isn’t covered by the policy.
  • Trip Duration and Destination: Verify whether the policy covers your trip’s entire duration, as some don’t cover long trips. Likewise, make sure your planned destination is covered.
  • Value: Compare costs to coverage, terms and conditions, and other policy details to determine which last-minute travel insurance policy offers the most value for your needs.
  • What’s Covered: Find out what each policy offers in terms of benefits and ensure your priorities are covered.

You can generally buy travel insurance up to the day before departure . Some insurance companies also offer post-departure travel insurance . It’s generally not too late to buy travel insurance — unless you’ve already run into trouble with travel. 

For example, if there’s a named hurricane heading to your destination or you’re showing signs of illness, it’s too late for you to get covered for hurricane or illness-related travel insurance coverage.

Annual Travel Insurance

Woman lying on beach reading book

If you want to get ahead for your next trip and avoid the drawbacks of last-minute travel insurance, you can purchase an annual travel insurance policy . With an annual travel insurance policy , all of your travel within the specified period is covered — and you don’t have to remember to purchase it early enough to get the best benefits.

Travel insurance generally costs 5% to 10% of your total trip cost . Purchasing at the last minute means you’ll get less coverage for your money because you don’t get the benefit of a lengthy trip cancellation period, but you generally won’t pay any more or less for last-minute travel insurance. However, your options may be more limited, particularly for add-on coverage such as Cancel for Any Reason and preexisting medical conditions.

Credit Cards With Travel Insurance

Panicking because you think your upcoming trip isn’t covered? You might be doing better than you think — if you have the right credit card. Many credit cards offer travel protection benefits; if you’ve paid for travel expenses with that card, you may already have coverage. 

But before you rely on your credit card travel insurance protection benefits, ensure you understand the coverage and any limitations. You may need more coverage than what your credit card provides, in which case it’s probably a good idea to purchase travel insurance — even at the last minute.

Read our guide to the best credit cards with travel insurance to learn more about credit card travel protection benefits.

Planning a trip can be a whirlwind experience but don’t forget to protect your trip with travel insurance — even if it comes down to the last minute. You might not get the same amount of coverage you’d get as you would with a policy purchased earlier, but last-minute travel insurance can offer a safety net while you travel. Compare policies to find last-minute travel insurance coverage that can offer peace of mind and protection.

Check out our guide on the cheapest travel insurance for further reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy last-minute travel insurance.

You can buy last-minute travel insurance. Often, travel insurance companies offer policies as late as a day before departure. There are also options for post-departure travel insurance.

Can I buy travel insurance and use it immediately?

Immediate travel insurance isn’t quite possible. Travel insurance usually goes into effect the day after you purchase it. You won’t be covered immediately, but it’s pretty close.

Does travel insurance get more expensive closer to the trip?

How late you purchase travel insurance generally won’t significantly influence the cost of your coverage. However, last-minute travel insurance coverage options are usually more limited than travel insurance purchased earlier.

How late is too late for travel insurance?

You can usually purchase travel insurance policies up to the day before departure. Your policy options will significantly decrease if you wait until the day of departure or after departure to purchase your policy. And it’s too late if you want to get covered for circumstances already threatening your travel plans, such as a named hurricane or showing symptoms of illness.

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About Jessica Merritt

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.

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Personal Finance

Best travel insurance companies for january 2024.

best travel insurance companies

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more .

Planning to travel in 2024? You're not alone. According to the U.S Travel Association , a trade group, travel has bounced back after the pandemic, with Americans forecasted to spend a staggering $1.09 trillion on domestic and international travel this year. This surge, however, comes with its challenges, as travel costs have soared to unprecedented heights, fueled by increased demand and price inflation.

In this era of heightened travel expenses, safeguarding your journey is paramount. Enter travel insurance, a crucial shield against the uncertainties that may arise during your adventures. To help you navigate this crucial decision, we've compiled a list of the best travel insurance companies. Join us as we explore these top choices, ensuring your travels are not only memorable but also financially protected.

Compare the best travel insurance companies 2024

Our recommendations for the best travel insurance companies, best for adventure enthusiasts: travelex.

Travelex

Travelex Travel Insurance

Policy cancellation.

The Travelex “Basic” plan provides $15,000 of medical and $10,000 of trip cancellation coverage. These coverage amounts are lower than those offered by other companies in our review. However, higher limits are available by selecting the company’s “Select” plan.  

Among its upgrade options, Travelex offers adventure sports coverage for those whose itinerary includes such adrenaline-rush activities as zip lining, skydiving, or mountain climbing. This coverage can be added to any Travelex plan. 

It’s also worth noting that Travelex is one of the highest-rated travel insurance providers on Trustpilot , having earned 4.1 out of five stars. One recent reviewer noted, "I've always been skeptical of trip insurance and all the promises of straightforward claim processes, but I was blown away with how responsive, simple, and logical the Travelex was. I decline all trip insurance for any travel booking I do now and only use Travelex. Cheaper, more efficient, less red tape. What's not to love?” 

Best standard coverage package: Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance is a European company with insurance services focusing on travel and identity protection. Its “Standard” plan for travel insurance provides $50,000 of medical expense coverage and trip cancellation coverage for 100% of the insured value.  

The plan also includes travel delay, baggage damage, baggage delay, and missed connection coverage. Options such as rental car collision damage and upgrade plans allow you to travel with even more coverage. 

Generali has 3.4 out of five stars with Trustpilot .

Best for “cancel for any reason” coverage: AXA Travel Insurance

AXA Insurance

AXA Travel Insurance

Many American consumers may not immediately recognize AXA Travel Insurance , but the company is a multinational financial services giant headquartered in France.  Its “Silver” plan—AXA’s entry-level travel insurance offering—includes coverage for $25,000 of emergency medical expenses and 100% of the insured trip cost if the trip is canceled. Additional coverages include trip delay, missed connection, medical evacuation, and baggage coverage. 

The company’s “Platinum” plan provides “cancel for any reason” trip cancellation coverage. This means you can cancel your trip for any reason—personal, professional, medical, family, or other—and expect to receive reimbursement. This contrasts with standard trip cancellation coverage, in which the cancellation must be for one of the specific reasons stated in the policy contract. The “Platinum” plan also includes higher amounts of emergency medical expenses and other coverages.  

AXA has 3.2 out of 5 stars in its Trustpilot rating. 

Best for spontaneous travelers: AIG Travelguard

AIG is a leading global provider of insurance for both individuals and businesses. Its Travelguard “Essential” plan offers $15,000 of emergency medical coverage and trip cancellation coverage for 100% of the insured cost of the trip. Higher coverage amounts are available with the company’s “Preferred” and “Deluxe” plans. 

AIG Travelguard also offers its unusual “Pack N’ Go” plan, designed for last-minute travelers who don't need trip cancellation coverage. This plan includes up to $1,000 of trip interruption and $25,000 of medical expense coverage, along with coverages for trip delays, missed connections, and lost luggage.

AIG promises quotes on its website in less than two minutes, making it easy to include Travelguard in your comparison shopping. Travelguard has 1.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot , though this is based on only 64 reviews. 

Best for families with young children: Allianz

Allianz Global Assistance (Allianz Travel) is a subsidiary of Allianz SE, the world’s largest diversified insurance company. Its “Basic” plan includes $10,000 of both trip interruption and emergency medical expense coverage. The company offers several plans with higher coverage, along with an “Emergency Medical” plan focused primarily on medical coverage. Allianz also offers several annual policy plans for those who intend to travel multiple times a year.

The company’s “OneTrip Prime” plan extends coverage for free to children under age 17 who are traveling with a parent or grandparent, making it ideal for family vacations. Allianz claims the plan is its most popular, with up to $100,000 of trip cancellation and $50,000 of emergency medical coverage.

Allianz earns 4.4 out of five stars in its Trustpilot rating, including 76% five-star reviews.

Best for luxury travel: Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is one of the country’s largest companies (currently seventh on the Fortune 500). It’s also the parent company of auto insurance giant GEICO. 

Berkshire Hathaway’s “ExactCare Value” policy plan includes $15,000 of medical coverage and trip cancellation coverage of 100% of the insured value of the trip. The plan also includes coverage for lost baggage, baggage delay, trip delay, and emergency evacuation.  

Berkshire Hathaway offers a specialized insurance plan for luxury travel. This plan features higher medical and trip cancellation coverage limits, $2,500 worth of lost baggage coverage, $35,000 of car rental collision coverage, and 24/7 worldwide travel assistance. 

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Insurance does not currently have a Trustpilot rating.

Best for cruises: Nationwide

Nationwide is one of the country's most recognizable insurance brands, with policies available for homes, cars, and businesses. The company also offers travel insurance. 

Its “Single-trip Essential” travel insurance plan provides $75,000 in medical emergency coverage. This is the most coverage of any of the companies in our review. Nationwide’s $10,000 limit for trip cancellation is lower than that of other plans, however. 

Higher limits are available with its “Prime” plan, along with a cancel-for-any-reason option that pays 75% of the insured trip cost. The plan also includes a variety of additional coverages, such as trip delay, baggage delay, emergency medical evacuation, and optional rental car coverage.  

Nationwide also offers a separate, specialized travel insurance policy for those embarking on cruises . Besides expected coverages such as trip cancellation and emergency medical, it covers itinerary changes, mechanical breakdown, and missed connections.

Nationwide has earned 1.5 out of 5 stars in its Trustpilot rating, based on only 67 reviews.

Best for amateur athletes: Tin Leg

Tin Leg travel insurance policy plans are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway and other companies. Its “Economy” plan includes trip cancellation coverage at 100% of the insured cost and $20,000 of emergency medical coverage. The company offers a variety of additional travel insurance plans with varying levels of coverage. 

If you’re traveling to participate in a sports event and bringing your expensive gear, Tin Leg could be a great choice. Its “Economy” plan includes coverage for loss of, or damage to, sporting equipment (such as a bicycle or skis). It also reimburses your event registration fees if your trip is canceled or interrupted.  

Tin Leg has a Trustpilot rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars, though this is based on only 24 reviews. 

Methodology

To develop our recommendations, we gathered information about several leading travel insurance providers from their websites and third-party reviews, where available. We focused on the range of essential coverages, including emergency medical coverage and trip cancellation coverage, along with the availability of 24/7 customer support during travel. Where it existed, we noted each company’s policy cancellation terms. 

We reviewed the most economical plan for each company that included both medical and trip cancellation coverage. We also noted optional coverages and upgraded plans that provide higher levels of coverage or specialty coverages for niche travel. 

This information is for comparison purposes only. Please verify policy details before purchasing. 

How to select the best travel insurance company

Follow these tips to choose the best travel insurance company for your needs. 

Determine your needs

Your travel insurance needs for a Caribbean cruise may differ significantly from those for a backpacking trip through the Swiss Alps. Your first step should be to outline your travel expense budget and list the activities in which you plan to participate (note that some policies include optional coverage for certain activities, such as adventure sports). Also, consider your health status, as some policies require you to pay extra for certain pre-existing health conditions. 

Investigate your travel insurance options

Check if you might already have some travel insurance readily available to you. Some credit card companies offer coverage if you use their card to pay for your trip. Coverage may also be available from a tour operator or an airline. You can also get recommendations from a travel agent or an independent insurance agent. 

Compare available features and coverage amounts

You'll discover that each travel insurance provider offers varying levels of standard coverage, such as trip cancellation and emergency medical expense, along with optional coverages. They typically also offer multiple plans (think "good," "better," and "best"). Review these and select a few providers that offer the coverages you need.  

Get quotes from multiple companies

As with any other type of insurance, travel insurance costs vary among companies. Check with at least three or four to ensure that you're getting the coverage you want at a price you can afford. 

Time STAMP: Travel is more expensive than ever. Protect your trip with travel insurance

Business and pleasure travel alike have bounced back from the pandemic. However, traveling has also become much more expensive, thanks to inflation and increased demand. If you plan to head to some far-off destination—whether by air, road, rail, or ship—consider buying travel insurance. A policy reimburses covered medical costs, trip interruption, and other snags that may befall your trip.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

How is your travel insurance cost determined.

Your travel insurance cost will vary based on the amount of coverage purchased, the number of travelers, the age of the travelers, and your trip destination. Travel insurance costs also vary by insurance company, underscoring the need to shop around for coverage.

Which travel insurance coverages are available?

Travel insurance policies typically include the following coverages. 

  • Emergency medical expenses . This helps cover the cost of care if you or anyone insured by the policy has a medical emergency during your trip.  
  • Trip cancellation . This covers the cost of your trip if it's canceled due to one of the reasons listed on the policy contract. You may also have an option for "cancel for any reason," which provides coverage if the trip is canceled, regardless of the reason why. 
  • Trip interruption . This covers costs related to a shortening of your trip. These costs might include reimbursement of prepaid hotel bookings, airline change fees, or extra accommodations needed during your trip home. 
  • Emergency medical transport . This covers the cost of transportation to the nearest medical facility if you have a medical emergency during your travel. 
  • Luggage damage . This provides coverage if your luggage is damaged or lost during travel. 
  • Travel delay . This covers costs associated with a significant delay to your travel, including additional accommodations and meals. 

I’m concerned about getting sick while traveling. What insurance should I look for?

If you’re concerned about getting sick, be sure to choose a policy that includes coverages such as emergency medical (which helps pay for your medical expenses) and emergency medical transport (which helps pay for transportation to a hospital). 

Do I need travel insurance for a cruise?

Travel insurance is worth considering for a cruise. As insurer Allianz notes, a policy can help you recoup costs if you need to cancel at the last minute, have a medical emergency while on board or at a stop (regular health insurance may not provide coverage outside of the U.S.), or if you miss the ship all together due to a delay by your airline.

Is there travel insurance for multiple trips?

If you’re planning to take multiple trips in a single year, you might want to consider multi-trip insurance (also called “annual” travel insurance). This type of policy typically provides trip interruption, emergency medical expense, trip delay, and other coverages at a price that’s less than buying a policy for each trip. 

How do I file a travel insurance claim?

If you need to file a travel insurance claim, call the insurance company. Each company has its own process for claim filing. You'll want to be sure you have the proper claim forms and understand what supporting documentation the company requires. Be sure to follow the company's instructions for submitting your claim request.  

How long does it take for a travel insurance claim to be paid?

It can take several weeks for a travel insurance claim to be paid. Be sure to watch for any follow-up requests from your insurer (such as requests for additional documentation) and respond promptly to avoid unnecessary delays.

Does my credit card offer travel insurance?

Some credit cards do offer varying levels of travel insurance, including trip interruption, medical expense, trip delay, and emergency evacuation coverage. Check your credit card terms and conditions or benefits statement to understand what coverage may be provided.

The card_name card offers one of the best portfolios of travel insurance benefits, including $100,000 of emergency transportation coverage, $2,500 of emergency medical and dental coverage, and up to $20,000 of trip interruption coverage.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

Partner content: This content was created by a business partner of Dow Jones and researched and written independently of the MarketWatch newsroom. Links in this article may result in us earning a commission. Learn More

Last Minute Travel Insurance: Coverage and Cost Guide

Last-minute trip insurance could save you thousands on unexpected trip delays, interruptions or cancellations.

last minute travel insurance

Josh Lew is a travel journalist and writer based in the midwestern U.S. He has been active for the past decade, covering airlines, international destinations and ecotourism for sites like TravelPulse and TreeHugger. He currently contributes to content writing agency World Words.

last minute travel insurance

Sabrina Lopez is an editor with over six years of experience writing and editing digital content with a particular focus on home services, home products and personal finance. When she is not working on articles to help consumers make informed decisions, Sabrina enjoys creative writing and spending time with her family and their two parrots.

Last-minute travel insurance can protect your trip from unexpected roadblocks like a natural disaster, illness or other unplanned event. In general, it’s better to purchase a travel plan from an insurance company as soon as possible after booking. However, you can still get coverage for a spontaneous trip (or a planned vacation you decided to insure at the last minute).

Like any travel insurance plan, a policy purchased at the last minute protects you from unexpected events that could delay or cancel your journey. If you purchase medical coverage, you can also get emergency care for illnesses or injuries occurring during your travels.

  • Disadvantages

Travel Insurance Coverage Options

  • Obtaining Last-Minute Travel Insurance

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Can You Buy Travel Insurance Last Minute?

Travel insurance protects against the same things regardless of when you purchase the policy. However, events that begin before you purchase the insurance won’t qualify for coverage, nor will pre-existing conditions.

The protections and benefits of travel insurance almost always outweigh the drawbacks, so a policy is a good investment even if you purchase it at the last minute.

How Late Is Too Late For Travel Insurance?

Most travel insurance companies will sell trip protection policies until you depart. However, they won’t cover any events or illnesses starting before you buy coverage.

For instance, if a hurricane forms before you buy your policy and eventually affects your destination, the insurer will not reimburse you under its trip cancellation insurance rules. You should always look at the fine print to find out such details.

Benefits of Getting Travel Insurance at the Last Minute

The advantages of travel insurance are comparable whether you purchase a policy after booking or right before takeoff.

  • The policy still protects against events causing trip cancellation before takeoff.
  • Coverage extends to any companions or family members listed on the policy.
  • You can get reimbursement for trip interruptions or delays occurring after departure.
  • If you purchase a plan with health insurance, you won’t have to pay for emergency treatments or medical evacuation if you become ill or injured during your trip.
  • Many policies have reimbursement for lost baggage or stolen items.

Overall, the coverage provides peace of mind by giving your protection from the most common travel-related risks.

Disadvantages of Getting Travel Insurance at the Last Minute

You should be aware of the potential pitfalls of a last-minute travel insurance purchase.

  • Issues arising before the purchase aren’t covered. If an illness or natural disaster in your destination started before you bought insurance, the policy will not reimburse you for cancellation. Also, some ongoing events, such as a conflict or pandemic, may require additional coverage.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions may be covered, but insurers often require you to purchase a waiver within 14 days of your first trip deposit. If you wait until the last minute to buy insurance, you won’t be eligible for the waiver.
  • If you wait until the last minute, you may not have time for an in-depth comparison of travel insurance providers.

You will need to decide if the protection offered by insurance services outweighs these negative aspects of last-minute coverage.

Here are the different types of coverage available if you purchase a last-minute travel insurance policy. Many travel insurers offer comprehensive single-trip plans covering each of the following areas.

Covered reasons are typically those events beyond your direct control. They may include an unexpected illness, death in the family, natural disaster, transportation shutdowns or legal obligations you were unaware of before purchasing the insurance.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Policy

You want to be sure your travel insurance covers all your potential risk areas. However, you cannot purchase a random single-trip comprehensive policy. You should consider the details carefully before buying.

Coverage Limits

A coverage limit is the maximum amount the insurer will pay for each covered event. For instance, if you have $25,000 in medical emergency coverage, the insurer will pay for hospital bills totaling $25,000. However, if your bill is $30,000, you would have to pay the remaining $5,000 out of pocket.

You should always ensure that the coverage limits match the potential costs in your destination.

Exclusions and Pre-existing Conditions

Insurers will list exclusions, which are events and conditions they won’t cover. Pre-existing conditions are the most common exclusion. You need to ensure your last-minute insurance purchase covers pre-existing conditions or see if it is possible to purchase a waiver to get coverage. Many insurers require you to purchase your policy a minimum of 14 days before departure in order to qualify for a waiver for pre-existing conditions.

Other exclusions could include injuries occurring due to risky adventure sports or activities like scuba diving or mountain climbing.

Deductibles

Deductibles are out-of-pocket payment amounts you are responsible for before insurance coverage takes over the cost. Deductibles are most common for medical insurance. Cheaper travel insurance may have higher deductibles.

Existing Coverage

You might already have some trip insurance through another source. For example, some credit cards offer cancellation coverage if you pay for airline or hotel bookings using the card. In these cases, you would not need coverage for cancellation, or you could purchase a comprehensive plan with the lowest possible coverage limits.

Finally, if you take many last-minute trips, annual travel insurance, which provides coverage for an entire year, may be a better investment than a single-trip policy.

How To Obtain Last-Minute Travel Insurance

Reputable travel insurance providers, including AIG , Seven Corners , Travelex , Trawick and IMG , among others, offer standard policies that you can purchase up until departure. In addition to insurance, these providers also offer travel assistance and services to help you find medical care abroad.

You should carefully research the limits, policies and details of each of your chosen providers to ensure the coverage meets your needs.

After finding potential policies, you should compare coverage limits and cost before making a final purchase.

Our search tool allows you to find and compare policies that meet your criteria. Use it to get the necessary insights to make an informed decision about your last-minute insurance purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions About Last-Minute Travel Insurance

How late is too late for travel insurance.

You can purchase comprehensive travel insurance policies until departure. Some insurers allow you to purchase medical coverage after you leave. However, they typically require a waiting period of 48 to 72 hours before the insurance goes into effect.

Can you get travel insurance after booking a trip?

You can get travel insurance after booking a trip. However, there may be some limitations for purchasing pre-existing condition waivers and getting reimbursement for trip cancellations caused by events that started before you bought the policy.

Does travel insurance get more expensive closer to the trip?

Travel insurance premiums are based on risk and coverage limits, not time before departure. The price will be the same regardless of when you buy it.

Is travel insurance effective immediately?

Travel insurance is effective immediately in most cases. However, some insurers require a waiting period for insurance purchased after departure.

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