What are the different types of travel insurance?

If you’re planning a trip and searching for travel insurance online, it can be a bit confusing. There are a lot of different types of products labeled as “travel insurance,” yet they offer very different coverages and are suitable to different types of travelers. 


Let’s break down the basic types of travel insurance, learn who they’re for, and what the best travel insurance for you might be.

The Main Types of Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance (AKA Trip Cancellation Insurance)

For the most part, the term “travel insurance” refers to trip cancellation insurance. This is the type of insurance you buy as soon as you book your tickets. It provides trip cancellation protection in case you’re forced to cancel your trip for a covered reason, such as getting sick or hurt and being unable to go on a trip you’ve already paid to book. 

In addition, travel insurance can provide coverage for travel delays, trip interruption, lost or delayed baggage, and emergency medical care, as well as other ancillary benefits that vary depending on which travel insurance plan you choose.

Only US residents can purchase this type of travel insurance, and it’s available for either domestic or international trips, typically up to around 30 days in length. 

Travel Medical Insurance

A travel medical insurance plan is primarily focused on providing coverage for unexpected medical treatment outside your home country, where your domestic health insurance is unlikely to be accepted. This tends to make travel health insurance a little cheaper than travel insurance plans with trip benefits. However, it’s important to note that some travel health insurance plans can provide some of those same benefits. 

Anyone is eligible to purchase a travel medical insurance plan. The only caveat is that it has to be for an international trip, and the destination has to be a country other than the USA. Common benefits included in travel medical insurance include emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and optional hazardous sports riders. 

Travel health insurance plan often be purchased for periods of up to a year, and some can be extended even longer than that. This makes them ideal for extended trips. 

Visitors Medical Insurance

Visitors medical insurance is specifically designed to suit the needs of those visiting the USA from another country. Obviously, health insurance costs in the US are extremely high, so it’s critical to have financial protection. Getting medical treatment in the US is prohibitively expensive. A week in the hospital without insurance coverage would bankrupt most people, making visitors medical insurance essential to have.

Visitors insurance is similar to travel medical insurance in many ways but is specific to US visitors in that many plans offer PPO network participation. This allows you to seek medical treatment within the travel insurance plan’s network of healthcare providers in order to get lower prices. 

Most visitors medical insurance plans can be purchased for up to a year and extended even longer than that. They’re especially popular for parents or other family members visiting relatives who are living in the USA as new citizens, Green Card holders, or H1B visa workers. However, visitors medical insurance is an excellent choice for anyone visiting the USA from abroad.

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance

Schengen visa insurance is travel medical insurance designed specifically for anyone visiting the Schengen Area of Europe on a Schengen visa. All Schengen visa applicants must provide proof of proper health insurance that meets Schengen visa requirements as part of the application process.

We offer a variety of Schengen visa insurance plans that meet all of these requirements. We even provide an instant visa letter or custom visa letters to present to the embassy or consulate. This makes buying Schengen visa insurance an easy, one-stop-shop process.

Other Types of Travel Insurance

Although we’ve covered the basic types of coverage referred to as travel insurance, there are a few other coverages that may be suitable for you as well:

Flight Insurance – Low-cost travel insurance that is primarily purchased to provide financial compensation in the event of a commercial air travel accident

Missionary Travel Insurance – Suitable for religious leaders or members of religious groups traveling abroad as part of their mission work.

Hazardous Sports Travel Insurance – Plans that are specifically designed for travelers who will be taking part in extreme sports that aren’t covered by standard travel insurance plans.

Have Questions? Let Us Know!

If you’re still a little unclear about what type of coverage suits your trip the best, our licensed agents are happy to help. Contact us by phone, email, or chat and we’d be happy to walk you through a range of travel insurance options that will provide the coverage you need.