Travel insurance is not a product with a single, fixed cost (but we broke down the average cost of travel insurance in another section). Instead, a plan’s price is heavily dependent on several factors. This article outlines some of the aspects of your trip that influence the price you pay for a travel insurance plan. By understanding how different aspects of your trip affect what you pay upfront, you will be better equipped to purchase the plan that is right for you.
Generally, your travel insurance plan will cost between four and ten percent of your total nonrefundable trip costs. Suppose that for your next trip to your favorite vacation spot, you need to pay $2,500 in prepaid expenses. Thus, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $250 to insure this trip.
That said, some travel insurance plans will fall outside of this price range. For instance, a budget plan can be cheaper, while some premium plans can be more expensive. So, how do travel insurance providers decide what to charge for their services? And why would you want to pay more for one plan, but less for another? By the end of this article, you will be better positioned to answer these questions. You then can pick the plan that is perfect for your next journey.
Factors Affecting Cost
The below table includes some of the most significant elements in determining what you will pay for travel insurance:
The Main Factors Affecting Travel Insurance Cost
|Traveler’s Age||Pre-Existing Medical Conditions||Trip Cost|
|Plan Type||Optional Coverages||Coverage Limits and Deductibles|
|Number of Travelers||Trip Destination||Trip Length|
Age is one of the most critical considerations for travel insurance providers when they price their plans. On average, the older a traveler is, the more he/she will pay for coverage. That is because the older you are, the more likely it is that you will need to cancel your trip. Additionally, due to their age, older travelers are typically more susceptible to illness or injury while traveling. As a consequence, they are more likely to need emergency medical coverage over the course of their journey.
In calculating the cost of travel insurance, companies do not price their policies according to a customer’s exact age. Instead, they define certain age ranges as high or low risk. An individual age 70 or older, for example, may only qualify to purchase specific higher priced policies that cover that age range. Conversely, for minors traveling with family, the cost to add them to an existing policy may be little, or even zero. Companies consider age differently when pricing their policies, so be sure to compare costs across providers.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Travelers with certain pre-existing medical conditions will pay more for some travel insurance plans that include a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. Just as with older travelers, it is thought that those with specific ailments will be more likely to require emergency medical services while traveling. They may also be more likely to cancel or postpone their trip because of medical complications.
Cost of Trip
Since providers price their comprehensive policies as a percentage of the trip’s total cost, a more expensive trip will cost more to insure than one that is less expensive. However, this rule assumes that all of your trip costs are nonrefundable. In contrast, some trips include refundable travel or minimal prepaid expenses. In these circumstances, your trip may be insurable at a low price, even if you are going on an expensive vacation.
Type of Plan
The coverage type you choose also will impact your rate. Basic plans, without any extras, will cost less than total coverage. The difference between a basic package and one more comprehensive can be reduced to two factors: coverage limits and optional coverages. Ultimately, the more coverage you choose, the more you will pay.
Optional coverage, sometimes referred to as “add-on” coverage, is one factor that can influence your plan’s cost. The more optional coverage that comes with your policy, the higher the price. Some add-ons you can expect to encounter include:
Types of Optional Coverage
|Cancellation for any reason||Primary medical coverage||Additional covered reasons|
|Rental car coverage||Increased medical coverage||Increased evacuation coverage|
|Hazardous sports coverage||Sports equipment coverage||Cancellation for work reasons|
Before deciding on a policy for your next journey, find out if any of these optional coverage items are included.
Coverage Limits and Deductibles
Coverage limits and deductibles are essential factors in determining insurance cost.
Deductibles represent the out-of-pocket costs for which you are responsible before your insurance coverage applies to further expenses. A lower deductible will translate to a higher plan cost. Some policies apply a deductible to certain services, such as medical coverage or baggage loss protection. For example, a plan with a $100 deductible on emergency medical coverage will be more expensive than a policy with a $200 deductible.
Coverage limits indicate the maximum amount of protection against unexpected expenses that a travel insurance policy will cover. These limits can vary depending on the benefit in question. The higher the coverage limit you choose, the more your plan will cost. For instance, a plan with $15,000 of medical protection will cost less than one with a $30,000 limit.
Before deciding on a plan, you can explore different coverage options by obtaining quotes for a variety of deductibles and limits.
Number of Travelers
Adding travelers to your policy’s coverage will usually increase your rates. After all, with more travelers comes more risk of trip cancellation. Furthermore, once travel begins, it is more likely that one or more of the travelers could experience an incident that warrants a claim for medical, evacuation, baggage loss or other benefits. However, even something like the number of travelers is not considered by all providers uniformly. As an example, some plans will charge very little, or nothing at all, for including a traveler under 18 in your policy.
Travel insurance providers do not always consider a traveler’s destination when pricing their policy. However, some companies will factor it into the plan’s overall cost. For destinations where safety may be a concern, some providers will charge more to insure your travel because of the higher risk of crime. However, the primary reason that an insurer would charge more for your destination is based on the region’s overall cost for factors like transportation or healthcare. For instance, if a medical incident occurs during your trip, a rural destination may necessitate an expensive evacuation or charge higher rates for healthcare. In contrast, an urban area is not as susceptible to these risks. Additionally, if you are traveling to a place where auto repairs are more expensive, then the cost of your rental car collision coverage could increase. For these reasons, travel insurance for a trip to the mountains of Canada may be priced differently from a trip to Indonesia.
Length of Trip
A more extended trip means more risks of travel interruption and unexpected risks. Therefore, a plan that covers a weekend trip will cost less than one involving two weeks of continuous travel.
So, What Will My Travel Insurance Cost?
In short, there are many inputs that go into a travel insurance plan’s cost. Furthermore, these factors can often compound, such as when an older traveler books a 21-day family trip to an international destination. Understanding how these elements affect your plan is critical to weigh the upfront cost of your policy against the benefits that you may need. You can quote, compare and buy travel insurance on TravelInsurance.com in under five minutes.
The Basics of Travel Insurance
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