The 2024 Guide to Travel Insurance for US Canada and UK Vacations


The 2024 Guide to Travel Insurance for US Canada and UK. Travel insurance is the buzzkill of any vacation. No one wants to think about what could go wrong on their trip, but here we are. As a seasoned traveler who has navigated insurance claims in more countries than I care to count, consider this your no-nonsense guide to travel insurance for 2024. I’ll cut through the marketing mumbo jumbo of policies and providers to give you the straight talk on what’s worth your hard-earned cash and what’s just slickly packaged snake oil.

My goal is to save you from learning the hard way like I did that “cancel for any reason” doesn’t mean what you think it means. So pour yourself a drink, kick back, and get ready for some real talk about the not-so-thrilling world of travel insurance for your US, UK, or Canadian getaway.

The adventures of navigating foreign hospital billing departments may not be the travel stories you hoped to bring back, so do yourself a favor and take my advice. You’ll thank me later.

What Is Travel Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Travel insurance. The two least exciting words in the English language, am I right? I know, I know, it seems utterly dull and unnecessary. But hear me out, you rebellious vacationer,. This stuff matters.

What exactly is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a policy you buy to cover your butt in case anything goes wrong before or during your trip. Missed connections, lost luggage, medical emergencies – you name it, travel insurance has you covered. Think of it like a security blanket for your getaway. Sure, the odds of needing it are slim, but you’ll be glad you have it if the odds aren’t in your favor.

Why would I ever need that?

Have you met Mr. Murphy and his notorious law? Trust me, if anything can go wrong on your trip, it will. Do you want to be stuck with a $50,000 medical bill in a foreign country or have to shell out thousands for missed flights? Didn’t think so. For a few bucks a day, travel insurance gives you peace of mind that those nightmare scenarios won’t turn into financial catastrophes.

Look, I get it. Travel insurance seems about as exciting as going to the DMV. But when your perfect beach vacation goes sideways, you’ll be thrilled you decided to get it. Take it from this been-there, paid-for-that world wanderer – travel insurance is the smartest, cheapest investment you can make to ensure your dream trip stays that way. Trust me, your bank account will thank you.

Types of Travel Insurance Policies: Medical, Trip Cancelation, Baggage, Etc.

When it comes to travel insurance, you’ve got options. Lots of options. As someone who’s been burned before (RIP expensive camera lost on a Greek beach), I’m here to walk you through the major types so you can make the right choice for your trip.

Medical Insurance

If you’re going anywhere overseas or have a medical condition, medical insurance should be at the top of your list. It covers things like emergency care, hospital stays, and even medical evacuation in case things get dire. Policies vary but usually cap out around $50K to $100K in coverage.

Trip Cancelation Insurance

This one’s for those non-refundable costs if you have to bail on your trip for covered reasons like illness, injury, or natural disasters. It’ll reimburse you for prepaid flights, hotels, and activities. The premiums are usually a percentage of your total trip cost.

Baggage Insurance

If you’re prone to losing luggage or like toting expensive gear, baggage insurance will reimburse you if your bags go MIA. Coverage ranges from $500 to $5K per bag. Be prepared to provide receipts for any pricey items.

Adventure Sports Coverage

Are you planning any thrill-seeking activities? Adventure sports insurance covers injuries and evacuations for higher-risk hobbies like skiing, scuba diving, or mountain climbing. Policies typically start around $150.

The moral of this story? Do your research, consider your needs and trip details, and buy travel insurance for the things that would cause financial ruin if they went wrong. Your bank account will thank you. And you just might sleep better at night knowing you’ve got coverage for life’s unexpected misadventures.

Top Providers for Travel Insurance in the US, Canada, and the UK

When it comes to travel insurance for my trips, I like to think I’m a bit of a collector. I’ve tried more companies than I can count on one hand, and at this point, I consider myself an expert on the good, the bad, and the ugly. After all, there’s nothing quite like forking over your hard-earned cash for a policy only to have the company deny your claim because you didn’t dot an ‘i’ or cross a ‘t’ in their 86-page terms and conditions.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz is my go-to for most standard vacations. They offer a nice range of plans at reasonable prices, and I’ve never had an issue getting a claim approved. Their customer service reps are friendly and helpful, available 24/7 in case of emergencies. Overall, Allianz is a solid, dependable choice for travel insurance. The only downside is their website which looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2004. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

World Nomads

For more adventurous getaways, I turn to World Nomads. They specialize in coverage for activities like rock climbing, bungee jumping, and whitewater rafting. I took out a policy with them for my New Zealand camper van trip last year and was able to get coverage for all the hikes and kayaking excursions we had planned. The online claims process was straightforward, and the money was in my bank account within a week. The premiums are a bit higher, but worth it for the peace of mind.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

A few years back I made the mistake of buying a Blue Cross Blue Shield travel policy. I filed a claim for trip cancelation and it took them over 6 months to review and deny it. By the time they got back to me, I had already rebooked my trip and moved on with my life. Their customer service was dismal and rates were much higher than competitors. Needless to say, I won’t be giving them my business again anytime soon. Fool me once…

In summary, you can’t go wrong with Allianz or World Nomads for most trips. But whatever you do, steer clear of Blue Cross Blue Shield – your sanity will thank you!

What Does Travel Insurance Typically Cover for Vacations?

So you’ve booked your dream vacation to the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. and now you’re wondering if you should buy travel insurance. As someone who considers myself an expert traveler (if “expert” means I’ve been to more places than most of my friends), here’s my take on what travel insurance usually covers for vacations.

Medical care

If you twist your ankle doing a silly jig at a local pub or come down with a nasty case of the sniffles, travel insurance will help cover the cost of any doctor visits, hospital stays, or prescriptions you may need. Because no one wants to spend their hard-earned vacation in a hospital, am I right?

Trip cancelation

Life happens, and sometimes that means having to cancel a trip at the last minute. If a medical emergency, natural disaster, or any other covered reason forces you to cancel, travel insurance can refund at least part of what you paid for your trip. I don’t know about you, but losing thousands of dollars would seriously ruin my vacation mood.

Lost or delayed baggage

Ever had the airline lose your luggage? It’s not a fun experience. Travel insurance provides coverage in case the airline mishandles or delays the arrival of your bags. At a minimum, it will reimburse you for essential items like clothing and toiletries. You may even get compensated for the bag itself if it’s permanently lost. Because there’s nothing worse than being stuck with one pair of underwear for a week.

Flight delays or cancelations

We’ve all experienced the headache of a delayed or canceled flight. Travel insurance can help reimburse additional costs like meals, accommodations, and alternate transportation if your flight is significantly delayed or canceled for a covered reason like weather or mechanical issues. No one wants to be stuck sleeping on an airport bench or a three-hour taxi ride.

In summary, travel insurance gives you security and peace of mind that unexpected mishaps or unforeseen events won’t turn your dream getaway into a financial nightmare. For a relatively small fee, coverage for medical care, trip cancelation, lost baggage, and flight issues can save you from a ruined vacation and thousands of dollars in losses. In my view, that’s worth it for the opportunity to enjoy your trip!

What Factors Impact Your Travel Insurance Costs?

Let’s face it, travel insurance isn’t the sexiest topic. But if you want to jet off on an overseas adventure without worrying about worst-case scenarios, it’s worth shelling out for. As with any insurance, the more coverage you get, the more it’s going to set you back. Here are a few factors that determine how much your travel insurance policy is going to dent your wallet.

Destination and duration

Where you’re going and for how long directly impacts your policy cost. A quick weekend trip to Vancouver is going to be cheaper to insure than a month-long tour of the Australian Outback. The further you roam and the longer you’re away, the higher the risk of needing coverage for medical emergencies, lost baggage, or trip cancelation. Can’t blame the insurance companies for that one.


Let’s face it, the older we get the more likely we are to throw out a hip or need emergency angioplasty. Insurance companies aren’t ageist, they’re just calculating the odds. Over-65 travelers can expect significantly higher premiums. My advice? Lie about your age. I’m only kidding, don’t do that.

Policy coverage

The more you want covered the more you’ll pay. A basic policy covering just trip cancelation and emergency medical might only set you back $50. But if you want coverage for lost baggage, sports injuries, natural disasters, and pretty much any other scenario under the sun, be prepared to shell out $200 or more for a deluxe “cancel for any reason” policy. It all depends on your risk tolerance and how much of a safety net you want.


Things like “cancel for any reason” coverage, adventure sports coverage, and coverage for pre-existing medical conditions are add-ons that increase your premium. If you have an expensive camera or sports equipment, baggage coverage is another add-on to consider. The extras you select directly impact your total policy cost.

In summary, your age, trip details, coverage needs, and any additional add-ons you want will all factor into how much you end up paying for your travel insurance policy. The good news is, with some research, you can find a policy that gives you peace of mind at a price that won’t break the bank. Safe travels!

When to Buy Travel Insurance for Your 2024 Vacation?

When it comes to travel insurance for your 2024 vacation, my advice is simple: buy it as soon as you’ve booked your trip. Don’t wait until the week before you leave to pick a policy. Why tempt the travel gods? They’re fickle beasts and love nothing more than to throw a wrench in your well-laid plans.

Murphy’s Law Applies

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This is especially true when you’re traveling. Missed connections, lost luggage, medical emergencies—you name it, I’ve had to claim it. Thank goodness I learned my lesson and now buy insurance within a week of booking. The small upfront cost has saved me thousands over the years.

Pre-existing Conditions Need Early Coverage

Do you have a bum knee? High blood pressure? Allergies? Better safe than sorry. Buy insurance early to ensure any pre-existing conditions are covered on your policy. Most companies require you to buy insurance within 2 to 4 weeks of your initial trip deposit to qualify for coverage of pre-existing medical conditions. If you wait until the month before your trip, you’ll likely find most policies exclude these.

Cancel for Any Reason? Yes, Please!

For ultimate peace of mind, choose a policy that offers a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. This allows you to cancel your trip for any reason up to 2 days before departure and get reimbursed 50-75% of your nonrefundable costs. While pricier, for a big trip it’s worth the investment. Because let’s be honest, in 2024 the world could look a lot different—global pandemics, geopolitical crises, natural disasters. Who knows what the travel landscape may hold?

At the end of the day, when you’re dropping serious cash on a dream vacation, travel insurance just makes sense. For a few hundred bucks, you can relax knowing that your investment is protected from life’s little (or big) surprises. And in 2024, I think we’ll all appreciate that extra peace of mind.

How to File a Travel Insurance Claim (Step-by-Step)

So the dreaded has happened—your luggage has gone missing, you slipped and broke your ankle hiking, or you came down with the stomach flu halfway through your trip. Time to put that travel insurance policy to use and file a claim. As someone who has been through the process, let me walk you through what to expect:

Step 1: Call your insurance provider ASAP.

Don’t wait until you get home—contact them within 24 to 48 hours of the incident. Have your policy number handy, details about what happened, and any costs incurred so far. They’ll open a claim file and may provide an initial reimbursement or coverage for remaining medical expenses.

Step 2: Provide documentation.

Your insurance company will need evidence to process the full claim. This may include receipts for expenses, a doctor’s report, police or airline reports, etc. The more details the better, so don’t skimp on information. Send copies of everything, keeping your originals.

Step 3: Be patient but persistent.

Claim processing can take 4 to 6 weeks as they review details and verify facts. Call or email regularly to check on the status and provide any follow-up information requested. Be polite but firm, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?

Step 4: Negotiate if needed.

If you feel the final settlement offer isn’t fair, don’t be afraid to push back. Explain your position and provide any additional evidence to support a higher amount. Be willing to compromise, as some amount is better than nothing. But don’t sign off until you feel satisfied.

Step 5: Lessons learned.

Once the claim is settled, look for any gaps in your coverage and adjust for your next trip. You’ll be better prepared if another issue arises. And if your claim experience was particularly trying, don’t be afraid to switch providers—there are plenty of travel insurance companies eager for your business!

Filing an insurance claim is rarely fun, but following the proper steps can make the process as painless as possible and ensure you recover the maximum amount owed to you. Here’s hoping your next vacation goes off without a hitch! But if not, you’ve got this.

Travel Insurance Tips and Recommendations for 2024

When it comes to travel insurance for your 2024 vacation, I have a few irreverent tips to share from my misadventures abroad. Learn from my mistakes, folks.

Don’t be a cheapskate.

Splurge on a comprehensive policy that covers health care, lost baggage, trip cancelation, and the works. I once pinched pennies on a barebones policy and ended up with a $5,000 emergency room bill in Cancun. Whoops. Consider it the cost of adventuring in style.

Read the fine print.

Read your policy details, or you’ll end up like me, shocked to find that “alcohol-related incidents” aren’t covered. If you plan to party hard in Ibiza or Munich, pay attention to the exclusions. The insurance broker will try to upsell you on extras; only buy what you need.

Don’t lie on the application.

Being honest about any pre-existing medical conditions will ensure you’re properly covered. Lie about your health history and the insurance company can deny any claims related to it. When I “forgot” to mention my trick knee, my policy refused to pay for the brace and physical therapy needed after I face-planted skiing in Whistler.

File claims promptly.

If anything happens requiring a claim, report it right away. Most policies require you to file within 30 to 90 days. I dragged my feet submitting paperwork for storm damage to my camper van in New Zealand and ended up eating $3,000 in repair costs.

comparison shop.

Different companies offer varying coverage and rates for travel insurance. Shop around at sites like SquareMouth, Travelex, and World Nomads. You can often find promo codes to save 10-15% off the policy premiums. Hey, every dollar counts when you’re dropping major cash on an epic getaway.

With the right mindset and a bit of luck, your 2024 travels should unfold smoothly. But when the inevitable hiccups arise, these tips will ensure you’re prepared. Learn from my hard-knock wisdom and avoid the headaches of insufficient or improper travel insurance coverage. Bon voyage, you savvy adventure seekers!

Travel Insurance FAQs for US, Canada, and UK Trips

Travel insurance—Do I need it for my trip to the US, Canada, or the UK? Honestly, it depends on how risk-averse you are. Me, I’m not much of a gambler. When I’m dropping a few grand on a big vacation, especially one outside my home country, I want to know I’m covered if anything goes awry. Call me paranoid, but “what if” scenarios keep me up at night.

What kinds of mishaps am I worried about? Let’s see:

Missing a connection and needing to rebook a flight. Travel insurance usually covers trip delays and interruptions.

Getting sick or injured and needing medical care. International health insurance is a must in my book, especially with scary stories of $100K hospital bills in the US!

Losing my luggage. Though rare, baggage does sometimes get lost in transit. Travel insurance reimburses you for essential items.

Natural disasters derailed my trip. Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes—insurance has got me covered in case of evacuation or cancelation.

Of course, the odds of any single event happening are low. But when you add them all up, there’s a decent chance of something going awry. For me, the peace of mind of having a policy in place is well worth the cost, usually 4-10% of my total trip price.

Still skeptical? Consider travel insurance as “just in case money”. You likely won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be really glad you have it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? At the very least, check if your credit card provides any basic coverage for your trip. But for maximum protection, compare policies and find one tailored to your needs and budget. Safe travels!

So there you have it, my 2024 travel insurance guide for vacations in the US, Canada, and the UK. I hope the information was helpful and gave you at least a few chuckles along the way. At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for doing your research to find the policy that suits your needs and budget for your trip. But if I’ve learned one thing from researching this article, it’s that you should probably just buy travel insurance.

You never know when you might need to bail on a trip or file a claim for some unforeseen mishap. And if you do end up needing to use your policy, think of the story you’ll have to tell your friends over drinks about your misadventure and the “I told you so” rights you’ll have earned. Until next time, happy and insured travels!

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