Travel insurance rates are on the rise. Here are 10 ways to save money right now

Alex Gillard hesitated before buying expensive travel insurance for his visit to Thailand. And he’s happy to do it.

Thailand requires visitors to carry insurance, but the policy offered through the government website costs $57 for a one-week stay. So before he hit the buy button, he spent some time shopping.

“I saved money by going through an insurance company and found reading blog articles about travel insurance, rather than just going straight away through a Thai government partner insurance company,” says Gillard, a wildlife photographer. “I ended up paying $43 for coverage.”

Why are travel insurance rates rising in 2023?

Experts expect travel insurance rates to rise even more as demand rises. So if you’re planning a trip in 2023, you’ll likely be in the same boat as Gillard.

“I think travel insurance rates will go up next year,” says Mike Nelson, CEO of the travel technology company. arivia.

Inflation and increased demand have increased the cost of individual flight components. This means that the value of what is covered by the travel insurance policy is higher. Also, there’s been a spike in claims over the past two years – first COVID-related cancellations, then travel disruptions at the start of the summer. Travel insurance providers will try to offset these losses with higher premium rates.

Tim Dodge, Vice President of Marketing, Insurance Company arch romeFor now, he says, the price increases are modest. “We are seeing a 1% increase in the average cost of an insured flight,” he told me.

But I spoke with several experts who said that if current price trends continue, the increases could be more significant – perhaps as much as 10% for this year.

says Brock Kirby, Vice President of Marketing at Travelex. “I highly recommend that travelers fully understand what coverage they are getting and not getting before making a purchase decision.”

Prices for plans are generally competitive, Kirby says, so consumers often have to look at other factors. These include the quality of customer service, claims payment rates, coverage included in plans, and upgrade options.

“This is how you determine which plan gives them the best coverage for your money,” she adds.

So how can you save money when buying travel insurance? Industry professionals say it’s a combination of careful research and an understanding of the limits (and some secrets) of how travel insurance works.

Here are some strategies that can help you save serious money on travel insurance in 2023:

1. Check your travel insurance before booking

Whether you need travel insurance for your domestic trip or international travel insurance, you’ll want to know what kind of policy you need long before you book your vacation. This is especially true for holiday packages.

“Look at the cancellation and refund policies,” says Murat Ozcuk, owner Turkish travel operator. “Based on that, decide what insurance you need.” Once you ask yourself what could possibly go wrong, Ozguc says, you can eliminate some of the possibilities. This may lead you to get a less expensive travel insurance policy.

2. Avoid nameless travel insurance companies

You may pay less for your policy than one of them, but it may cost you in the end, says Andrew Lokenoth, a former travel insurance executive who now studies at University of South Florida School of Management.

“Buying from the right company is critical,” he says. “Many travel insurance companies have poor customer service. This makes dealing with the entire claims process a horrible experience.”

How do you know if a company is legitimate? Post a Free travel insurance guide This will help you sort out the quality companies from the travel insurance companies for overnight trips.

3. Purchase separate policies for your family

You can split the cost of your travel arrangements among the travelers in your family. “If you’re traveling with kids, it’s less expensive to cover them because of their age,” says Dan Skelkin, president of the company. TripInsurance.com. “And when you allocate the cost of travel equally among travelers, you’ll save money on the overall cost of the plan.”

4. Compare travel insurance and shop like a pro

That’s the advice of Matthew Roberts, COO of Canadian Auto Insurance my choice. It is advised to “compare quotes from several insurance companies before buying”. “Don’t buy right away from a travel booking site where you just check the box and have to pay extra for your travel insurance. In most cases, it will cost you more.”

The key to getting the best insurance deal, says Roberts, is shopping. Use comparison sites, but also look for insurance companies “and get their quotes to make sure you don’t miss out on those that offer comprehensive coverage at low rates,” he adds.

5. Find the low price with the coverage you need

Damian Tisdale, editor of the travel insurance website CoverTrip.comsays travelers are often confused when on a travel insurance comparison site and see a huge price difference between similar plans.

“But that doesn’t mean one plan is worse than the other,” he explains. “This simply means that each company designs its plan to appeal to a different demographic.”

In other words, the cheapest does not always mean the worst.

6. Avoid over-insuring yourself

Here’s a common mistake travelers make when searching for the best travel insurance: They overstate the cost of the trip when they give their insurance company the cost of the trip. This raises its costs.

Lynn Bina, chief marketing officer, says at Jio Blue. “So if you can cancel your hotel and get a full refund, you don’t need to cover that.”

If you have to file a claim later, your insurance company will ask you if you can get a refund for your hotel. If you can, it won’t cover a lost room night. But you will still pay for the additional coverage.

7. Don’t buy any extras (unless you need them)

Many travel insurance providers offer additional functionality that may not be relevant to your trip, such as rental car protection, rental damage protection and the option to cancel your trip for any reason.

Says Elad Shaffer, CEO of Fi travel insurance.

Note: The ‘Cancel for any reason’ option can double the cost of your travel insurance. And if you want protection from vacation rental damage, add 10 percent to the cost of your travel insurance plan.

8. Only consider health policy

If your credit card already covers most of your travel insurance needs, you can save money by just getting a health insurance policy. Stan Sandberg, co-founder of the travel insurance website, says: TravelInsurance.com.

Pro tip: Read the Member Benefits section of the cardholder agreement to see if you’re covered for your next trip.

9. Don’t just buy the cheapest policy

You may regret buying a policy that is strictly based on price. You may miss out on important and necessary travel insurance coverage. Christina Tuna, Director General of the Americas at world nomads. “But it’s important to realize that deals that seem too good to be true often are.”

This also applies to “free” insurance – coverage you already get with car insurance or a credit card.

“This may seem like a great way to reduce costs, but there may be some exceptions that can bite you if there is an accident.”

10. Check your memberships

Before you buy any travel insurance policy, be sure to check your memberships. Sometimes, it will include coverage. For example, if you’re an AAA Premium member, you’ll get various travel insurance coverage including up to $1,500 in the event of flight interruption or delay and lost baggage coverage up to $500, says Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert. . “You may not even have to buy additional insurance coverage,” she adds.

If you want the best travel insurance for your trip in 2023 — and trust me, you do — you’ll need to do a full audit of your insurance needs and sharpen your pencils. It will take a little research to find the cheapest and best travel insurance for your next vacation, but you can save hundreds of dollars using these simple strategies.

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