What is the best travel insurance to go with?

If you plan to travel you may want to have a financial safeguard in place for pandemic-related trip problems. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad, where your U.S. health plan may have limited global coverage. Travel insurance can provide that safety net.

Not all travel insurance policies cover Covid-related problems. To help you find the best Covid travel insurance we evaluated 50 plans using data from Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.

Tips for the Pandemic Traveler

Many travel insurance policies offer good medical coverage, but not all cover Covid-related problems. If that’s important to you, make sure to verify that the policy you’re buying specifically covers you in case you contract Covid. To find the best Covid-19 travel insurance policies, we evaluated only plans with at least $150,000 per person for medical coverage.

Sudden travel bans and unexpected quarantine requirements can also derail your trip, but standard travel insurance won’t generally cover these problems. Buying “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage will give you some reimbursement no matter what your reason for canceling.

Add “cancel for any reason” coverage shortly after your first trip deposit if you want it. You may have only a couple weeks before the option expires for your plan.

Also, some destinations abroad have medical coverage requirements for incoming travelers. Confirm the medical coverage requirements you’ll need for your destination, if any, before you buy a travel insurance policy.

Related: Best home Covid tests

How to Buy a Covid Travel Insurance Plan

Does travel insurance cover Covid-19?

Most travel insurance policies provide trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits if you test positive for Covid and need to cancel or are required by a doctor to quarantine. That means if your trip is canceled or interrupted because you test positive for Covid, you can be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs.

Most medical travel insurance covers you if you contract the virus during your trip and need medical attention. You can be reimbursed up to the limits in your policy for doctor and hospital bills, lab work and medicine, among other types of treatment.

Generally, travel insurance companies are treating Covid-19 like any other illness, but not all do. Epidemics and pandemics can be considered “foreseeable events” once declared by federal or international health agencies, which means in some cases travel insurance benefits may not apply. That’s why it’s imperative to review your policy for any possible exclusions.

Does travel insurance cover quarantine?

There are travel insurance policies that can cover unexpected expenses if you have to quarantine in another country. But in order for any benefits to apply for most of these plans, you must test positive for Covid-19 and your travel insurance plan must cover Covid-related expenses.

If you get sick abroad from the virus, a plan’s travel medical benefits can also kick in if it’s travel insurance that covers Covid-19.

“Travel insurance policies that provide benefits if a traveler contracts Covid-19 can also extend their coverage past the original return date, typically up to seven days,” says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.

Related: When should I use a home Covid test?

The following travel insurance benefits can offer coverage for the costs of quarantining, assuming the plan covers Covid-19 expenses.

Travel delay coverage

This benefit can cover the cost of your accommodations and meals during quarantine if you have contracted the virus. If you are forced to stay beyond your return date due to a positive test, this coverage can be extended for up to seven days.

“Policies with this benefit provide a range of total coverage between $100 and $2,000 per person, with a daily limit that ranges from $50 to $300,” Benna says.

Trip interruption coverage

This coverage will reimburse you for missed portions of your trip if you’re forced into quarantine due to a positive Covid test. It can cover 100% to 200% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs, depending on the policy, says Benna.

For example, Trawick International’s Safe Travels Voyager Plan covers expenses if you’re forced to quarantine domestically or abroad due to a positive Covid test. “These plans may also provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation expenses incurred if you are injured or sick while traveling on your trip,” says Bailey Foster, a spokesperson for Trawick International.

“Cancel for any reason” coverage (CFAR)

Consider a plan that lets you upgrade to “cancel for any reason” coverage. This upgrade usually adds 50% to your travel insurance cost, but it will allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and get some reimbursement (often 75%) of lost trip costs. Your reason could be Covid-related, such as finding out that there’s a spike of Covid at your destination. Or your reason could be unrelated—for example, you could make a CFAR claim because you don’t like the rainy outlook at your beach resort.

If you want CFAR coverage, make sure to buy a travel insurance plan and add CFAR soon after you make your first trip deposit. There’s usually a purchase deadline for CFAR, such as two weeks.

“Interruption for any reason” coverage (IFAR)

If you’re concerned about being forced into a quarantine while on your trip due to a positive Covid test, standard trip interruption insurance can reimburse you for parts of your trip that you miss—if your plan has coverage for Covid. For instance, you can file a claim under trip interruption benefits if you paid in advance for non-refundable hotel stays, tours or entertainment and can’t participate because you have the virus and have to quarantine.

But what if you don’t have Covid and are required to comply with a mandatory quarantine? That’s where “interruption for any reason” would help. “Interruption for any reason” coverage is offered as an upgrade from a small number of travel insurance companies. If you have this upgrade, you can be reimbursed for portions of your trip that you miss if you have to quarantine but don’t have Covid. It can also pay for transportation expenses to get you caught up to your planned itinerary.

“Interruption for any reason” isn’t a common benefit, but the following companies offer it on some plans: iTravelInsured, Nationwide, Seven Corners and Travel Insured International.

Other plan benefits to look for

A comprehensive travel insurance plan will also include coverage for:

  • Travel delays, such as extra expenses when you’re stuck in an airport due to weather problems
  • Missed connections
  • Baggage and personal items, including lost or damaged baggage

Covid-19 Travel Restrictions by Destination

You may be wondering if there are travel restrictions in place for your dream destination. Some countries have lifted restrictions, some have eased up and some have eliminated entry requirements. Be sure to check the travel requirements for any country you plan to visit so you have the most current information.

Related: Here are the current travel restrictions for Americans traveling to Europe

How to Get Quarantine Reimbursement from Travel Insurance

If you need to make a travel insurance claim related to a Covid quarantine, be prepared to have these documents:

  • If the policy requires a positive Covid test or direct exposure to the virus, collect documentation. “In either case, they must be able to provide proof of their test or exposure, such as a note from a doctor, in addition to all receipts verifying their expenses,” says Benna at Squaremouth.
  • Provide documentation that your test or exposure required a quarantine.
  • Save your receipts for medical bills and lodging expenses so that you can submit them with your insurance claim.


Using data provided by Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider, we scored plans based on:

Covid medical coverage: Up to 70 points. Plans earned points based on their levels of medical coverage. Only plans that provide Covid-related medical coverage and at least $150,000 per person in coverage were considered.

Cost of plan: Up to 50 points. We analyzed quotes for a variety of traveler ages and trip costs in order to develop an average price for each plan.

Cost to add “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage: Up to 30 points. We calculated the cost difference between the base plan and the plan with “cancel for any reason” coverage added. Only plans with a CFAR option were considered.

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance For 2022

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