7 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Companies in July 2024

Cheap travel insurance is out there, but don't skimp on important coverage if you've got a risky trip coming up.
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Written by Sean Cudahy
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Finding the cheapest travel insurance is often a priority for travelers hoping to protect themselves and their finances while away from home.

But is it better to err on the side of affordable travel insurance or opt for a more comprehensive plan? That depends on your needs.

On average, a comprehensive plan that covers some combination of trip cancellation and interruption costs, medical coverage and baggage protection (and perhaps a number of other things) will cost you 5%-10% of what you paid for the trip, according to NerdWallet partner Squaremouth, a travel insurance marketplace.

That means a comprehensive policy for a trip that costs you $3,000 could run you anywhere between $150 and $300. Factors like the cost and length of your trip, the age of the travelers and how much protection you want can significantly influence what you pay for your plan.

Ultimately, Squaremouth recommends “the least expensive policy that offers the coverage [travelers] need.”

Factors we considered when picking cheap travel insurance plans

We considered a few factors as we looked for the most affordable travel insurance plans.

  • Price: If your goal is to find cheaper travel insurance, you want the price to be affordable.

  • Breadth of coverage: The best budget travel insurance is typically going to be a plan that offers a wide range of protections at an affordable cost, ensuring you’re protected with at least some coverage for a wide range of scenarios.

  • Uniqueness or customizability: While many travel insurance plans have similar protections, some stand out for particular coverage that can be helpful to certain travelers, like those needing to Cancel For Any Reason, those going on a cruise, or travelers with preexisting health conditions. We didn’t spring for the priciest plans with broad, deep coverage; instead, we picked those that meet a sort of budget "sweet spot" when it comes to cost efficiency.

An overview of the best cheap travel insurance plans

We looked at travel insurance quotes for a hypothetical 10-day trip to Italy in October 2023. The traveler is a 40-year-old man living in North Carolina who spent $2,000 on the trip, including airfare.




Recommended for




Cruise and tour group participants.

Berkshire Hathaway

ExactCare Value.


Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions.


iTravel Insured Lite.


Travelers looking for affordable but cost-efficient coverage depth.

John Hancock

Silver — not basic coverage.

$93* (Mid-tier plan, not basic).

Travelers looking for deeper coverage without breaking the bank.




Travelers renting a car and with pre-existing medical conditions.

Seven Corners



Sporty travelers who want flexibility, and those concerned about quarantining.




Travel insurance newbies who want some coverage and don’t want to sort through the fine details of a policy.

Reliable but cheap travel insurance providers

1. AXA Assistance USA (Silver plan: $70)

Why we picked it:

  • The $500 missed connection benefit is great for cruise and tour participants. It covers additional transportation, accommodations and meal costs when you miss a cruise or tour departure.

  • Full trip cancellation and interruption coverage, along with up to $25,000 for out-of-pocket medical costs and baggage coverage.

  • Among the lowest prices we found.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more than AXA's $70 Silver plan, a Gold plan only costs $19 more and gets you deeper coverage amounts and up to $35,000 in collision rental car insurance.

2. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (ExactCare Value plan: $56)

Why we picked it:

  • Cheapest plan we found while still offering a wide array of protections.

  • Add-on rental car collision coverage optional for $10 per day. You can pick how many days you want the additional coverage — it’s not all or nothing.

At $56, this plan comes in at less than 3% of the $2,000 trip cost.

3. IMG (iTravelInsured Lite plan: $77)

Why we picked it:

  • Treats COVID-19 like any other illness, which is to say, if your claim accepts flu, strep throat or appendicitis as an acceptable, covered condition, the coronavirus is, too.

  • Covers costs related to trip interruption up to 125% 

  • Higher than normal limits on dental expenses, at $1,000. If your teeth are your Achilles heel (or your biggest fear), this plan might be for you.

The iTravelInsured Lite plan doesn’t offer some of the bells and whistles that other plans do, like rental car coverage, Cancel For Any Reason coverage or waivers for pre-existing conditions. But you’ll have relatively solid across-the-board trip protections.

4. John Hancock (Silver plan: $93 for a mid-tier plan)

Why we picked it:

  • Mid-level plan (as opposed to a basic plan) at an affordable price for travelers who want more coverage without paying too much.

  • Includes an optional Cancel For Any Reason add-on for travelers wanting flexibility. It is a bit pricey, at half the cost of the insurance ($46.50 extra for a $93 plan).

  • Reimburses up to $1,000 for lost baggage, far more than many basic plans.

  • Add-on rental car coverage for $9 per day.

At $88, John Hancock’s basic (Bronze) plan isn’t particularly affordable. But for just $4 extra, you can tap into the benefits of a mid-tier plan at still less than 5% of the total trip cost.

5. Nationwide (Essential plan: $76)

Why we picked it:

  • Includes a preexisting conditions waiver.

  • Add-on rental car coverage for $90. 

  • Covers trip interruption at 125% of the trip cost while providing comprehensive emergency medical and baggage coverage.

6. Seven Corners (Basic plan: $75)

Why we picked it:

  • On top of standard trip protections, it includes a relatively affordable Cancel For Any Reason option for $31.50 extra.

  • If you plan to rent expensive sporting equipment, you might consider paying $10 extra to cover lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed gear.

  • COVID-19 coverage reimburses you for costs incurred if you have to quarantine.

  • Rental car coverage comes in at an affordable $7 per day.

Seven Corners’ Basic plan stands out because it offers a little bit of everything, appealing to athletic travelers, those who need affordable trip protections, those who want the flexibility to cancel for any reason and those still concerned about getting quarantined due to COVID-19.

7. Travelex Insurance Services (Basic plan: $71)

Why we picked it:

  • Straightforward: What you see is what you get. This plan’s coverage has fewer rules and caveats than many. 

  • While not sporting the highest coverage amounts, it offers a solid range of protections to ensure you get at least something back when your travel is disrupted or you have a medical emergency.

  • Offers add-on rental car coverage for $10 per day.

At $71, the Travelex Basic plan’s cost is just over 3% of the $2,000 trip’s cost.

Frequently asked questions

If you want to get travel insurance at the cheapest possible rate, here’s a trick. Put $0 as your trip cost, Stan Stanberg, co-founder of comparison site Travelinsurance.com said in an email.

“When excluding trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage the cost of a travel insurance plan goes down significantly,” Stanberg said.

That means you won’t get reimbursed if you need to cancel your trip or if it gets interrupted. But you may still have access to the plan’s medical, trip delay, missed connection, baggage and other protections.

You’ll often find comprehensive travel insurance plans cost 5%-10% of your total trip cost, according to Squaremouth. This will often get you full trip cancellation and trip protection, baggage protection, emergency medical coverage and often other benefits.

Typically, the more you pay, the broader and deeper the coverage.

For many plans, you can purchase travel insurance up until you depart. However, to get access to the most protections possible, booking two days to two weeks after making your initial deposit is the best rule of thumb.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

See more cards
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