Travel insurance rates are increasing. 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 glad he did.

Thailand requires visitors to have insurance, but the policy offered through the government site costs $57 for a week’s stay. So before you clicked the “buy” button, you spent some time shopping.

“I saved money by going to an insurance company I found by reading travel insurance blog articles, instead of immediately going to the Thai government’s partner insurance company,” says Gillard, a wildlife photographer. “I ended up paying $43 for the coverage.”

Why are travel insurance rates increasing in 2023?

Experts predict that travel insurance rates will rise further as demand increases. So if you’re planning a trip for 2023, chances are you’re 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. arrived.

Inflation and increased demand have driven up the cost of individual travel components. That means that the value of what is covered by a travel insurance policy is higher. Additionally, there has been a significant increase in claims over the past two years: first COVID-related cancellations, then early summer travel disruptions. Travel insurance providers will try to recoup those losses through higher premium rates.

Tim Dodge, vice president of marketing for the insurance company Arch RoamRight, says price increases are modest for now. “We’re seeing a 1% increase in the average cost of an insured trip,” she told me.

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

“Certainly, rising rates are likely to cause travelers to look for deals on travel insurance,” says Brooke Kirby, vice president of marketing for Travelex. “I strongly recommend that travelers fully understand what coverage they do and don’t get before making a purchase decision.”

Kirby says that plan prices are generally competitive, so consumers often have to consider other factors. These include the quality of customer service, claims payment rates, coverages included in the plans, and upgrade options.

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

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

Here are some strategies that could help you save big on travel insurance in 2023:

1. Do a travel insurance audit before you book

Whether you need travel insurance for your domestic trip or international travel insurance, you’ll want to find out what type of policy you need well before you book your vacation. This is particularly true for vacation packages.

“Watch the cancellation and refund policies,” says Murat Ozguc, owner of Turkish tour operator Travel Atelier. “Based on that, decide what insurance you need.” Ozguc says that once you ask yourself what could go wrong, you can eliminate some eventualities. And that could lead you to a less expensive travel insurance policy.

2. Avoid no-name travel insurance companies

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

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

How to know if the company is legitimate? I post a free travel insurance guide That will help you rank the quality carriers of night flight travel insurance carriers.

3. Buy 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 children, their coverage is priced lower because of their age,” says Dan Skilken, president of TravelInsurance.com. “And when you spread the cost of the trip evenly among travelers, you’ll save money on the total cost of the plan.”

4. Compare travel insurance and shop like a pro

That’s the advice from Matthew Roberts, COO of the Canadian auto insurance site. My choice. “Compare quotes from multiple insurers before you buy,” she advises. “Don’t immediately buy from the travel booking site where you just check a box and have to pay additional fees for travel insurance. In most cases, it would cost you more.”

Roberts says the key to getting the best insurance policy deal is to shop around. Use comparison sites, but also research insurance companies “and get their quotes to make sure you don’t miss out on those that offer comprehensive coverage at lower prices,” he adds.

5. Look for a low price along with the coverage you need

Damian Tysdal, travel insurance site editor CoverTrip.comsays travelers are often confused when they’re on a travel insurance comparison site and see a big difference in price between similar plans.

“But this does not mean that one plan is worse than the other,” he explains. “It just means that each company designs their plan to appeal to a different demographic.”

In other words, cheaper doesn’t always mean worse.

6. Avoid over-insurance

Here’s a common mistake travelers make when looking for the best travel insurance: They overestimate when they give their insurance company the cost of the trip. That raises your costs.

“When entering the cost of your trip, just add the non-refundable costs,” says Lynn Pina, director of marketing, in geo blue. “So if you can cancel and get a full refund for your hotel, you don’t need to cover that.”

If you have to file a claim later, your insurance company will ask if you can get reimbursed for your hotel. If it can, it will not cover the night of the lost room. But you will still have paid for the additional coverage.

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

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

“If you’re not interested in them, then you don’t need to add them to your policy,” says Elad Schaffer, CEO of Faye travel insurance.

Note: The popular “cancel for any reason” option can double the cost of your travel insurance. And if you want vacation rental damage protection, add 10 percent to the cost of your travel insurance plan.

8. Consider a health-only policy

If your credit card already covers most of your travel insurance needs, you can save money by getting a health-only policy. “The plans available will have all the benefits except trip cancellation and interruption, and can be a very cost-effective way to get travel medical coverage along with baggage, trip delay and other benefits,” says Stan Sandberg, co- travel insurance site founder TravelInsurance.com.

Pro tip: Read the “member benefits” section of your cardholder agreement to find out if you’re covered for your next trip.

9. Don’t just buy the cheapest policy

You may regret buying a policy based strictly on price. You could miss out on important and necessary travel insurance coverage. “Everyone wants to get the most out of their travel insurance at a reasonable cost,” says Christina Tunnah, general manager for the Americas at world nomads. “But it’s important to keep in mind that offers that seem too good to be true often are.”

That goes for “free” insurance, too: coverage you already have through your car insurance or credit card.

“That may seem like a great way to keep costs down, but there may be some exclusions that could come back to haunt you if there’s an accident.”

10. Check your memberships

Before buying any travel insurance policy, make sure you have verified your memberships. Sometimes, they will include coverage. For example, if you’re an AAA Premier member, you get various travel insurance coverages including up to $1,500 in trip interruption or delay and up to $500 in lost luggage coverage, says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. “You may not even have to purchase additional insurance coverage,” she adds.

If you want the best travel insurance for your 2023 trip – and believe me, you do – then you’ll need to do a full audit of your insurance needs and sharpen your pencils. It will take a bit of research to find the best and cheapest travel insurance for your next vacation, but you could save hundreds of dollars with these simple strategies.

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