Watch CBS News

How to find the best travel insurance plans

Woman packing a suitcase on bed for a trip at home
If cost and quality are important to you, then you should use a travel insurance comparison site to review dozens of options available to you. Getty Images

Planning a vacation is already overwhelming – so, you may be inclined to skip travel insurance at checkout. But when an unforeseen event or incident occurs, you'll likely have even more stress without having an insurance policy in place.

With travel insurance, you can potentially request up to 100% reimbursement for a canceled trip for a long list of covered reasons. Most travel insurance policies are comprehensive and include a variety of benefits for travelers, from lost luggage to travel delays to medical emergencies and beyond.

Fortunately, there are several online marketplaces that make choosing an insurance plan easy. It allows you to compare multiple companies and offerings at once so you have peace of mind that you made the right decision. Just fill out your trip and traveler information to get started.

3 ways to find the best travel insurance plans

Searching for a travel insurance plan is probably the last thing on your list after finalizing airline tickets and booking lodging and transportation. However, it's an important final step to ensure you're covered in the event of an emergency or unexpected situation. 

Travel insurance is particularly important if you're traveling internationally or have an existing health condition. It will also come in handy if you're planning to be away from home for a significant period of time. Make sure to take all of these factors into account when buying travel insurance.

Once you've determined travel insurance is right for you, here's how you can find the best plans and prices. 

  1. Determine what type of coverage you need
  2. Compare policies and quotes
  3. Read customer reviews

Determine what type of coverage you need

Before you can make any official decisions, you'll have to determine what type of coverage you need.

Most travel insurance plans are comprehensive, meaning they include coverage for multiple things. If you're worried about typical mishaps like lost luggage, stolen or damaged items, travel delays, trip cancellations or something similar, then a basic plan is probably right for you.

However, there are other benefits or upgrades you can purchase to tack onto your plan. 

For example, if you want to be able to cancel your trip for any reason, then you'll need to purchase an upgrade to the Cancel For Any Reason policy. Just note it can increase your premium by around 40-50%, according to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth

"Cancel For Any Reason is separate from Trip Cancellation. Travelers who upgrade their policy still have all of their policy's Trip Cancellation benefits. If they cancel under Cancel For Any Reason, they can be reimbursed 75% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip costs. However, if they cancel for a reason that is listed as covered under their policy, they can be covered for 100% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip costs," Squaremouth explains.

Do you know what you're looking for? If so, start comparing different types of coverage today.

Compare policies and quotes

In general, travel insurance is a small percentage of your total trip costs – around 4% to 8%, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. But if your trip is more expensive or you're looking for special coverage, then you may need to pay more.

If cost and quality are important to you, then you should use a travel insurance comparison site to review options specific to your plans. To get started, just follow these five simple steps:

  1. Fill out your trip information (departure and return dates, destination). 
  2. Fill out the traveler information (country and state of residence, citizenship, number of travelers and their ages). 
  3. Fill out the information about the trip cost (whether you want cancellation coverage, trip cost amount, the deposit date and whether you have payments left). 
  4. Click "Search Results" to view different travel insurance policies you can obtain with your trip. Evaluate the different travel insurance policies (click "Full Policy Detail) and compare plans.
  5. Buy the plan that fits your needs best and is the most cost-effective.

Squaremouth can get you all squared away. With the click of a button, you can view dozens of options within seconds.

Read customer reviews

This may sound obvious, but it's easy to forget this step. If you find a well-known travel insurance company with a plan that fits your needs, then you may be quick to pay.

But it never hurts to take a few extra minutes to do your due diligence. See what other customers have had to say about the company and its plans. 

You can find links to customer reviews on most travel insurance companies' websites or turn to the Better Business Bureau or other legitimate sources.

For example, has nearly 90,000 verified customer reviews linked on the bottom of their homepage. They have 4.9 out of 5 stars, with customers ranking them based on customer service and sharing whether they would buy the product or service again or recommend it. You can even filter reviews by the stars to see customers' specific complaints.

Remember to look for a consistent pattern when sifting through reviews. One bad review may not be enough to turn you off from a product, but if there are several similar complaints, then you may want to think twice or at least reach out to the company for clarification.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.