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travel insurance cover ill relative

How Travel Insurance Works if a Family Member is Hospitalized or Dies

family members holding hands in the hospital

Buying travel insurance to cover your whole family is a great idea, since one family travel insurance plan can usually provide travel protection to you, your loved ones and your trip. But, did you know certain travel insurance coverages can kick in even if a non-traveling family member is hospitalized or dies?

Whether you have elderly family or have understandable concerns about the pandemic causing a family member to be hospitalized, you can plan a trip with more peace of mind, knowing if you need to cancel the trip for a covered reason you won’t lose your vacation investment. 

Also read: 7 Questions to Ask to Find the Best Family Travel Insurance

What about family members who are not traveling?

There are a few ways family members not going on your trip could impact that trip and the travel insurance coverages you might have.

All of our plans include Trip Cancellation coverage that reimburses your trip costs if you cancel for a covered reason. One of those reasons is a non-traveling family member being hospitalized or passing away due to an illness or injury and you are unable to take your trip.

Everyone wants a vacation to be a carefree time, and even if everyone on the trip is doing the right thing, staying healthy and out of trouble, there’s no guarantee that things will be going along swimmingly back at the hacienda.

If trouble strikes back home, our Trip Interruption coverage can reimburse you for the unused portion of your trip and help arrange for transportation back to your loved ones at home, in case of a covered event.

One other way family members could become involved with travel insurance is if you’re traveling alone and hospitalized for more than seven days and need family support. Our Emergency Assistance and Transportation benefit includes coverage  to fly one person of your choosing to come accompany you. Their lodging, meals, local transportation and telephone calls during this time can also be covered by the plan.

Also read:  Does Travel Insurance Cover the Flu or Other Illness?

generational family at beach house, couples, child, sand, deck with chairs, ocean, mother, father, daughter

Defining “Family”

It’s very important that you understand who is considered a “family member” when you buy travel insurance with this in mind. Don’t assume that your cousin qualifies – because in this case, they don’t.

You can find those specific details in the  Plan Details , but we’ve pulled the definition for our plans out of the fine print.

FAMILY MEMBER means:

  • Insured ’s or Traveling Companion’s Spouse 
  • grandparent, great-grandparent or grandchild or great-grandchild;
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law; 
  • brother-in-law or sister-in-law; 
  • parent-in-law;
  • step-parent, step-child or step-sibling; 
  • aunt or uncle; 
  • niece or nephew; 
  • legal guardian; 
  • foster child or legal ward;
  • step-grandparent or step-grandchild;
  • step-aunt or step-uncle.

See more travel insurance definitions

family in an airport

Coverage For One, Coverage For All

The topic of family travel insurance often results in many questions, starting with the basic question, “Can one travel insurance policy cover my entire family?”

The answer is yes – one travel-insurance policy can cover up to 10 people. Adding each family member (or traveling companion , technically) to the plan increases the total premium, but everyone has coverage under the same policy, enjoying the same benefits.

The only exceptions to that is if your traveling family exceeds 10 people or a family member(s) fall outside the traveling companion definition .

Another common question family travelers have is, “What if one of my family members has to cancel their trip because of illness, but the rest of us don’t? Does family travel insurance cover one cancellation because of illness?”

The person who has to cancel their trip has coverage under Trip Cancellation (assuming they’re canceling their trip for a covered reason, of course), while the rest of the family’s coverage continues on.

This can happen time and again. If your grandfather’s luggage is lost he can get coverage under the Baggage benefit, without compromising the benefit in case your sister subsequently loses her luggage. And, if your nephew needs emergency medical attention, he will have coverage under the plan – without changing the amount of the Medical and Dental benefit you have on tap in case you need it.

On the other hand, if everyone needs to use their benefit at once, they can. So if grandma back home gets sick and the family needs to interrupt their trip to be with her, they all can

That’s one of the great advantages of families using travel insurance: the incredible versatility. It works just as well for one family member as for an entire family.

Also read:  Buying Travel Insurance in a Post-Pandemic World

thanksgiving dinner at big family vacation

Making Sure Everyone’s Covered

If you’re planning a big family vacation and want to make sure everyone has coverage, here’s what you need to do:

  • Read your policy. Make sure everyone you want to be covered under the plan is actually covered – and on a per-person basis. If they’re not, shop around for a plan that can accommodate everyone.
  • Make plans early. It’s easier to get everyone coverage when everyone is on board right away, and the plan is purchased soon after the trip is paid for. It’s harder but not impossible to add family members after the plan is purchased. Learn more about adding to an existing plan.
  • Look for medical coverage. Usually with family trips the most desired coverage is emergency medical protection. Make sure your plan has good Medical and Dental and Emergency Assistance and Transportation coverage – the more the better.
  • Put one person in charge of insurance shopping . If everyone is out looking for plans there can be confusion and delay in getting everyone coverage – and sometimes that can mean no one gets coverage at all. By making one person responsible for finding the travel insurance for the entire family the process is consolidated – and the outcome is generally favorable.
  • Have personal information handy. If you go the route of trusting one person with the insurance shopping, they’ll need everyone’s birthdate to buy a plan. Make sure they have this information before they start shopping. 

Also read: Info You Need to Know Before Getting a Travel Insurance Quote

family road trip to the beach

Getting an entire family travel insurance coverage makes a lot of sense – and doing it online is fast and easy. Plus, with coverages that work even if a non-traveling family member gets sick or injured – it’s a no-brainer. It’s the best way of making sure your family travels get off to a great start and continue that way.

Start the process with Generali by comparing plans and getting a quote .

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travel insurance cover ill relative

How Does Travel Insurance Cover You If a Parent Is Sick?

  • February 22, 2015
  • Travel Insurance Topics

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It’s actually a great question to ask if you or your spouse has one or more parents with health issues. This is because there is no simple “yes” or “no” answer and, if you have a sick parent or in-law, it’s critical to know your options. Most policies use the exact same coverage terms for both trip cancellation and trip interruption.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind:

  • If your parent is ill but in a stable condition when you purchase the insurance, then you will most likely be covered. A stable medical condition is one in which the doctor is treating your parent for a problem but no change in the condition warrants a change in medical plan or prescription drugs in the 90 days before you bought the policy. You might believe it’s unlikely that your parent’s health will seriously deteriorate when you are on vacation, but you want to make sure you are covered in case you have to return home.
  • If your parent is in palliative care, such as hospice, when you purchase the insurance and their condition gets worse  the insurance company won’t cover a trip cancellation or trip interruption claim. They will consider this a known risk because your parent was already in hospice at the time and their medical condition is not expected to improve. If, however, your parent dies in hospice care, this will generally be covered for both trip cancellation and trip interruption because death is always treated as a “dramatic downturn in health.”
  • A pre-existing conditions waiver in your policy may only apply to travelers and not to family members back home. Some policies offer the pre-existing conditions waiver to both the travelers and the family members, and some restrict it to just the travelers. You need to check the actual language in the policy regarding pre-existing conditions. If your parent has been treated for a medical condition in the 90 days prior to your purchasing the policy, then the condition could be considered a known risk when you bought the policy. As such, it could be considered pre-existing and potentially not covered. If the plan does apply a pre-existing condition waiver to all parties, then purchasing the policy within 14 days of your initial trip deposit so you can get this waiver is the best option.
  • In-laws are considered parents. Recently, a woman looking into this coverage told me that her husband would be traveling an d that her parent was seriously ill. If her parent became worse or died and her husband had to return home, she asked, could he receive trip interruption coverage? Thankfully, with every policy we offer at TripInsurance.com, the answer is “yes.” When it comes to this benefit, the in-laws of travelers are considered parents.

If you have additional questions about this subject or any issue related to trip interruption coverage, feel free to call or email us. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

Dan Skilken

Dan Skilken

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Cancellation

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If my family member or I get sick, am I covered for Trip Cancellation?

Last Updated: October 25, 2013 May 24, 2023

Short Answer

Yes, you or your family member’s unforeseen illness is generally a covered reason for Trip Cancellation coverage.

More Detail

An unforeseen illness, injury, or death of you, your traveling companion or your family member are standard covered reasons to cancel your trip.

Please be aware, every policy has its own definition for who is considered a covered family member. This generally includes children, parents, step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, step-siblings, aunts, uncles, and in-laws. Cousins are usually excluded.

While an unforeseen illness is covered, most policies exclude cancelling due to a Pre-Existing Medical Condition unless the policy includes Pre-Existing Medical coverage. Pre-existing Medical coverage can extend to you and your non-traveling family members. Specific conditions such as pregnancy, self-inflicted injury, or mental and psychological disorders may be excluded from cancellation coverage, even if Pre-existing Medical is included.

This information can vary based on the travel insurance policy. Please review the policy certificate to verify coverage. If you have questions about a specific policy, please contact us directly at 800-240-0369. Our customer service representatives are available from 8am to 10pm ET seven days a week and are delighted to help!

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  • Author: Anna Gernandt

5 people found this article helpful.

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Please Note - If you are cruising around Australia you need to select Pacific. With Regions, variances can apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East. You are not required to enter stop-over countries if your stop-over is less than 48 hours.

If you don’t know where you’re traveling to within the next 12 months, choose Worldwide to ensure you’re covered no matter where you go. If you’re travelling to multiple countries choose the region that you are visiting that is furthest away (excluding stopovers less than 48 hours). In most cases you will be covered for the closer regions as well. For example, if you choose Europe, you will also be covered in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific.

Worldwide means anywhere in the world

Americas means USA, Canada, South America, Latin America, Hawaii and the Caribbean

Europe means all European countries, including UK

Middle East refers to the area from Syria to Yemen; Egypt to Iran

Asia generally means Asia and the Indian subcontinent. For some insurers this excludes Japan*

Pacific means the South West Pacific, Australia and Indonesia/Bali*. Select Pacific for domestic cruises in New Zealand waters

New Zealand means domestic travel within New Zealand only

*Note: Variances apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East. Check that your destination is covered once directed to your chosen insurer’s site.

Travel Insurance & Family Emergencies

It's only natural to be concerned about your loved ones when you go away on your holidays.

If a family member or travelling companion falls ill or is injured on your trip, or before you depart for your holiday, it's important to know where you stand with your cover.

A common question that comes up again and again is;  Does travel insurance cover family emergencies? The answer is yes, but like all insurances, there are terms, conditions, and exclusions that will affect your claim.

Keep reading to learn about the cover conditions when it comes to travel insurance and family members.

Who is classified as 'Family'’?

'Family' in the world of travel insurance usually refers to your spouse (or legally recognised defacto) and your dependants.  

Cover for furbabies

Who is classified as a ‘relative’.

'Relatives' in terms of travel insurance will typically include, your or your travelling companions' spouse, de facto partner, parent, parent-in-law, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, fiancé, fiancée or guardian.

NOTE:  aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends are not often included as a ‘relative’ so it pays to pay attention.

When Does Travel Insurance Cover For Family Emergencies?

Your policy will kick in if a family member or relative (as defined above or within your insurers' definitions);

  • Dies unexpectedly
  • Is disabled by an injury
  • Becomes seriously sick and requires hospitalisation

When Are You Not Covered For Family Emergencies?

Like any type of insurance terms and conditions apply to your cover. Where your relative resides matters:  Relatives who live outside Australia or New Zealand are typically not covered by your policy. Most insurers state that they will only pay claims concerning ‘Relatives’ who reside in Australia or New Zealand. If you have a family member that lives in a different country to you, chances are you wouldn’t be covered for cancelling your trip.    Pre-existing illnesses can cause difficulties:   If you were already aware of a Relative’s illness when you booked your travel insurance, you may not be covered should they take a turn for the worse. However, some companies like 1Cover, Fastcover and Zoom Travel Insurance would provide limited cover under these circumstances, provided you were not aware of the likelihood of their hospitalisation or death when purchasing your policy. How the family member dies matters : If the death was due to the relative committing suicide, or related to alcohol or drug consumption you may find that isn't covered.  Any claims to do with alcohol, drugs or mental illness are typically excluded in Australian travel insurance policies. 

Compare Family Member Age Limits

As mentioned above, many policies have age restrictions in the event that a family member falls ill or dies while you are travelling or before you depart.  Whilst travel insurance can help you recover your cancellation costs including pre-booked tickets and hotels, costs associated with returning home at short notice, and in some instances resuming your journey at a later date, it's important to understand the restrictions. Our experts have done some digging to bring the important relative age limits to the forefront.  Many insurers limit a relative's age to 84 and there are a few insurers that do not pose any age restriction.

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Can I resume my trip if it was cut short due to a family emergency?

Most policies with a family emergency benefit will allow you to resume your journey at a later date after being forced to return home due to the illness or death of a relative and still be covered.  This is sometimes included as a sub-limit within the trip cancellation benefit or, it may be under a benefit called "resumption of journey".   This will often include the cost of flights for you to return to the destination where your trip was disrupted. There are normally specific conditions surrounding this type of cover, including:

  • You must have had no knowledge that such an incident might occur prior to your departure
  • Your resumption expenses may be limited or must be pre-approved by your insurer
  • You must resume your journey before your policy expires
  • You may need to resume your journey within a certain time of returning to Australia.  Usually within 30 days.

Other Options

As mentioned, the majority of insurers would not cover family emergencies if the relative in question suffered from a pre-existing medical condition.  However, specialist insurer  AllClear  may cover you  provided that your relative’s doctor is prepared to state that at the date you booked your trip, he/she would have seen no substantial likelihood that his/her patient’s condition would deteriorate to such a degree that you would need to cancel or curtail your journey.  

Contributor Carolina

Carolina Tran

Carolina has been working exclusively in the travel insurance industry for over two years. With a customer consultancy background and currently studying law, she is a fine-print wizard who loves helping travellers find a policy that actually works for them. Speaking two languages and having travelled all over the world, Carolina discovered that she is not cut out for working holidays after a stint on her grandparents’ southern Vietnam farm, and is definitely a lounge-by-the-pool kind of lady.

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Comparetravelinsurance.com.au is Australia’s leading comparison site solely focused on travel insurance.

Our comparison is a free service that allows users to compare quotes in a few simple steps based on limited personal criteria. Comparisons supplied are not a recommendation or opinion about the suitability of a policy for a user. Comparisons are default ranked according to price and users have the ability to sort by popular cover levels. Whilst we compare a vast range of policies, we do not compare all providers in the market. This site compares the following brands: 1Cover, AllClear, Budget Direct, Downunder, Fast Cover Travel Insurance, Insure4Less, InsureandGo, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Ski-Insurance, Travel Insurance Saver, Travel Insuranz, Wise Traveller, Zoom Travel Insurance . The directors and shareholders are common with companies i-Trek Pty Ltd, Zoom Travel Insurance and 1Cover Pty Ltd including it’s subsidiary brand Ski-insurance. CoverDirect takes all reasonable care when preparing this information but does not warrant its accuracy. Pricing information is supplied by the providers who participate on this site and should be verified with the insurer before you purchase. This site links users to the website of the provider to verify quotes and access the relevant PDS to understand what is, and is not, covered by a policy prior to purchase.

CoverDirect Pty Ltd owns and operates this website under AFS Licence 383590.  Located at Level 12, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia.

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How to Find the Best Travel Insurance

Elina Geller

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

What travel insurance covers

How much does travel insurance cost, types of travel insurance, how to get travel insurance, what to look for in travel insurance, best travel insurance comparison sites, which insurance company is best for travel insurance, when to skip travel insurance, travel insurance, recapped.

Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, emergencies, trip interruptions, baggage, rental cars and more.

Cost is affected by trip length, pre-existing medical conditions, depth of coverage, your age and add-ons.

You can get it through credit cards or third-party companies, & can shop on travel insurance comparison sites.

Before buying, evaluate risks, know existing coverage, obtain quotes online and review policy details warily.

Skip it if you buy flexible airfare and hotels, already have coverage or only book refundable activities.

Booking travel always carries some degree of uncertainty. Travel insurance provides a safety net so you can step out with confidence. You may not need travel insurance for inexpensive trips, but it can provide a sense of security when you prepay for pricey reservations, a big international trip or travel during cold and flu season, which can be unpredictable.

According to insurance comparison site Squaremouth, travelers in 2023 spent an average of $403 for comprehensive coverage, compared to $96 for medical-only policies. Comprehensive plans typically cost between 5% and 10% of the insured trip cost.

Since that price tag is no small amount, it helps to know how to shop smart for travel insurance. Here's how to find the right travel insurance plan for you and your next adventure.

Depending on the type of coverage you’re looking for, the chart below will help you determine what to look for when selecting a policy:

Depending on the policy, travel insurance reimburses you or offers services when something goes awry. There’s even coverage for the worst-case scenario: if you die in an accident while traveling. Accidental death coverage pays your beneficiary a lump sum in that case.

Before you buy, take a little time to get familiar with different types of travel insurance products, how it’s priced, and what it covers and excludes. If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, you’ll want to make sure that the policy you select covers coronavirus-related emergencies. Usually, the more thorough the coverage, the more it will cost.

Travel insurance costs vary depending on:

Length and cost of the trip: The longer and more expensive the trip, the higher the policy cost.

Cost of local health care: High health-care costs in your destination can drive up the price of trip insurance.

Medical conditions you want covered: Conditions you already have will increase the cost of travel insurance coverage.

Amount and breadth of coverage: The more risks a policy covers, the more it will cost.

Your age: Generally the older you are, the higher the price.

Any optional supplement you add to your policy : Cancel For Any Reason , Interrupt For Any Reason and more.

Keep these factors in mind when considering different travel insurance options.

You’ll find a wide selection of travel protection plans when you shop for a policy.

Typically, travel insurance is sold as a package, known as a comprehensive plan, which includes a variety of coverage.

Here are seven of the most common types of travel insurance:

Travel medical insurance

These plans provide health insurance while you’re away from home. Although in some ways these policies work like traditional health plans, generally you cannot use travel health insurance for routine medical events. For example, a routine medical checkup is usually not covered. In addition, these policies often include limitations on coverage and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Although most travel insurance plans cover many recreational activities, such as skiing and horseback riding, they often exclude adventure sports, such as skydiving or parasailing, or competition in organized sporting events. You may need to buy a special travel policy designed for adventure or competitive sports.

International travel insurance

Most likely, your U.S.-based medical insurance will not work while you’re traveling internationally, and Medicare does not provide any coverage once you leave the United States outside of a few very specific exemptions. If you plan on traveling abroad, purchasing travel medical insurance could make a lot of sense.

» Learn more: Travel medical insurance: Emergency coverage while you travel internationally

Trip cancellation, interruption and delay

Trip cancellation coverage reimburses you for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if the tour operator goes out of business or you have to cancel the trip for one of the covered reasons outlined in the policy, such as:

Your own illness.

The illness or death of a family member who’s not traveling with you.

Natural disasters.

Trip interruption insurance covers the nonrefundable cost of the unused portion of the trip if it is interrupted due to a reason outlined in the policy.

Trip delay coverage reimburses you for expenses such as lodging and meals if you’re delayed during a trip (e.g., your flight gets canceled due to weather ).

Many package policies cover all three. These policies are different from the cancellation waivers that cruise lines and tour operators offer, the Insurance Information Institute says. Waivers are cheap, ranging from $40 to $60, and often include restrictions. For example, according to the institute, waivers might not refund your money if you cancel immediately before departure. Waivers are technically not insurance policies.

Some companies offer additional layers of coverage at extra cost. “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage will reimburse a large part of the trip cost, no matter why you back out. And some companies let you pay extra to cover pre-existing conditions if you cancel for medical reasons.

Some insurers and comparison sites let you customize a policy by choosing types of coverage a la carte. For example, TravelInsurance.com is a comparison site that provides quotes from different providers.

Baggage and personal belongings

How does lost luggage insurance work? This coverage reimburses you for baggage and personal belongings that are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. Some plans also reimburse you for extra expenses if you experience a baggage delay for more than a certain period, such as 12 hours.

Your renters or homeowners insurance may cover personal belongings while you are traveling. It’s best to review your homeowners insurance policy to determine the level of coverage it provides so you do not end up paying for a benefit you already have.

» Learn more: Baggage insurance explained

Emergency medical assistance, evacuation and repatriation

This coverage pays medical expenses if you get sick or injured on a trip . Medical evacuation coverage pays for transporting you to the nearest hospital, and medical repatriation pays for flying you to your home country.

» Learn more: Can I get travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?

24-hour assistance

This service is included with many package plans. The insurer provides a 24-hour hotline that you can call when you need help, such as booking a flight after a missed connection, finding lost luggage, or locating a doctor or lawyer.

Generally, travel insurance companies do not cover sports or any activity that can be deemed risky. If you’re thinking of incorporating adventurous activities into your vacation, choose a plan that includes adventure sports coverage.

Most travel insurers cover a wide array of services, but the specific options vary. Some plans include concierge services, providing help with restaurant referrals, tee time reservations and more. Many services also offer information before the trip, such as required vaccinations. The only way to know what’s included is to read the policy.

» Learn more: Should you insure your cruise?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance

This coverage pays a lump sum to your beneficiary, such as a family member, if you die in an accident while on the trip. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies also pay a portion of the sum to you if you lose a hand, foot, limb, eyesight, speech or hearing. Some plans apply only to accidental death in a plane.

This coverage may be duplicative if you already have sufficient life insurance, which pays out whether you die in an accident or from an illness. You may also already have accidental death and dismemberment insurance through work, so it's best to check your policies to ensure you’re not overpaying.

» Learn more: NerdWallet's guide to life insurance

Rental car coverage

Rental car insurance pays for repairing your rental car if it’s damaged in a wreck, by vandals or in a natural disaster. The coverage doesn't include liability insurance, which pays for damage to other vehicles or for the medical treatment of others if you cause an accident and are held responsible.

Ask your car insurance company whether your policy will cover you when renting cars on the trip. U.S. car insurance policies generally don’t cover you when driving in other countries, except Canada.

Car insurance requirements are complex because they vary among countries. You can usually purchase liability insurance from the rental car company. Learn about car insurance requirements by searching for auto insurance by country on the U.S. Embassy website .

» Learn more: Best credit cards for rental car coverage

A note about single vs. long-term policies

Single trip insurance plans are a great option for those going on a single trip for a specific length of time (e.g., a two-week vacation) and then returning home. The price of the policy is usually determined by the cost of the trip.

Long-term travel policies cover you for multiple trips, but there are limitations to how long you can be away from home, if you can return home during your travels and how many trips you can take. In addition, trip cancellation and interruption coverage is either not offered or capped at a dollar amount that can be significantly below the total cost of all the trips taken during the covered period.

Long-term travel insurance plans — often called 'multi-trip' or 'annual travel insurance' — are a suitable option for those who travel often and are satisfied with the amount of trip cancellation coverage for all the trips they take over the duration of the policy.

» Learn more: How annual (multi-trip) travel insurance works

Below, we include how to obtain travel insurance, along with the pros and cons of each option.

Some credit cards offer trip cancellation and rental car insurance if you use the card to book the trip or car.

When you book a trip with your credit card, depending on the card you use, you may already receive trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

» Learn more: 10 credit cards that provide travel insurance

Here are a handful of credit cards with travel insurance benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on American Express' website

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Travel accident: Up to $500,000.

• Rental car insurance: Up to $75,000.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Travel accident: Up to $1 million.

• Rental car insurance: Up to the actual cash value of the car.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

Terms apply.

Pros: Coverage is free.

Cons: You can’t customize the insurance to meet your needs. Most credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance, which pays for the costs not covered by your regular car insurance plan.

Travel agents and travel reservation sites

You can buy travel insurance when you book your flight, hotel and car rental.

Pros: Buying is as quick and easy as clicking “yes” when you book reservations. Coverage is inexpensive.

Cons: You can’t customize the coverage.

» Learn more: Airline travel insurance vs. independent travel insurance

Travel insurance comparison sites

You can compare different policies and review quotes at once based on the trip search criteria you’ve input into the search form. Examples include marketplaces like Squaremouth or TravelInsurance.com.

Pros: You can choose a policy that fits your needs and compare policies and pricing in one place.

Cons: Comparing multiple policies takes time.

Travel insurance companies

You can purchase travel insurance directly from an insurance provider.

Pros: You can choose a policy that fits your needs. Many travel insurer websites also offer information to help you understand the coverage.

Cons: You’ll need to go to multiple websites to compare coverage and pricing.

» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies right now

Keep these tips in mind when you’re considering a trip insurance policy.

Evaluate the financial risks you face when traveling. Can you bear those costs yourself, or do you want insurance?

Examine what coverage you already have: Does your credit card offer travel insurance? Do you have renters or homeowners insurance to cover belongings? What is the deductible? Will your health plan cover you in all the locations where you travel?

Get quotes for trip insurance online. Choose a package of the benefits you need and compare prices for similar coverage among carriers.

Narrow your choices and then read the policy fine print to understand what’s covered, what’s excluded and the limits on coverage. You may find that the lowest-priced policy is too restrictive and that paying a little more gets you the coverage you need. Or you might find that the cheapest, most basic policy fits the bill.

If you don’t know which provider to go with, it makes sense to browse a list of plans on a travel insurance comparison site. These online marketplaces will often include plans from the best travel insurance companies along with customer reviews.

Squaremouth

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Compare plans from more than 30 providers.

Over 86,000 customer reviews of insurers.

Under its Zero Complaint Guarantee, Squaremouth (a NerdWallet partner) will remove a provider if any customer complaint isn't resolved to its satisfaction.

Has a filter option to see policies that provide COVID-coverage.

TravelInsurance.com

travel insurance cover ill relative

Compare plans from 13 providers.

See good and poor customer ratings and reviews for each insurer when you receive quotes.

“Learning Center” includes travel insurance articles and travel tips, including important how-to information.

Quotes provided from each provider include a link to COVID-19 FAQs, making it easy for customers to review what’s covered or not.

InsureMyTrip

travel insurance cover ill relative

Compare plans from more than two dozen providers.

More than 70,000 customer reviews.

“Anytime Advocates” help customers navigate the claim process and will work on behalf of the customer to help with appealing a denied claim.

Includes a link to plans that offer COVID coverage.

travel insurance cover ill relative

Compare plans from 11 providers.

Search coverage by sporting activity, including ground, air and water sports.

Many types of plans available for students, visiting family members, new immigrants, those seeking COVID quarantine coverage and more.

travel insurance cover ill relative

Compare different insurance plans from 35 providers.

Over 5,600 customer reviews on Trustpilot, with an average 4.9 stars out of five.

Formerly known as AardvarkCompare, AARDY includes a “Travel Insurance 101” learning center to help customers understand various policies and benefits.

Quote search results page includes COVID-coverage highlighted in a different color to make it easier for customers to review related limits.

Whether you’re looking for an international travel insurance plan, emergency medical care, COVID coverage or a policy that includes extreme sports, these providers have you covered.

Our full analysis and more details about each organization can be found here: The Best Travel Insurance Companies Today .

Allianz Global Assistance .

Travel Guard by AIG .

USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services .

Travel Insured International .

World Nomads .

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection .

Travelex Insurance Services .

Seven Corners .

AXA Assistance USA .

There are a few scenarios when spending extra on travel insurance doesn't really make sense, like:

You booked flexible airline tickets.

Your hotel room has a good cancellation policy.

It's already included in your credit card.

You haven't booked any nonrefundable activities.

» Learn more: When you don't need travel insurance

Yes, especially for nonrefundable trips and travel during the COVID-era. Whether you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy or have travel insurance from your credit card, you shouldn't travel without having some sort of travel protection in place to safeguard you and your trip. Travel insurance can protect you in case of an unexpected emergency such as a canceled flight due to weather, a medical event that requires hospitalization, lost luggage and more.

There are many good travel insurance policies out there and a policy that may be great for you may not be good for someone else. Selecting the best plan depends on what coverage you would like and your trip details.

For example, World Nomads offers a comprehensive travel insurance policy that has excellent coverage for adventure sports. Allianz provides coverage for trips of varying lengths of time through its single trip plans and multi-trip plans. Some providers offer add-on options like Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance. If you’re not sure which plan to go with, consider looking at trip insurance comparison sites like Squaremouth or Insuremytrip.

Yes, you can. However, it's better to purchase it sooner rather than later, ideally right after booking your trip because the benefits begin as soon as you purchase a policy.

Let’s say you’re going on a trip in a month and a week before departure, you fall and break your leg. If you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy, you can use your trip cancellation benefits to get your nonrefundable deposit back.

Most comprehensive travel insurance plans offer trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and dental, medical evacuation, trip delay and lost luggage coverage. Many plans offer COVID coverage, but you’ll always want to check to ensure that the policy you choose provides that benefit if you’re traveling during these times. Some plans may also allow you to add features like Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance.

It depends which credit card you have. Premium travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer travel insurance benefits if you book a trip using your card or points.

However, the coverage provided by the credit cards is usually lower than if you purchased a standalone policy. Review the travel insurance benefits on your credit card and check that the limits are adequate before foregoing from purchasing a separate plan.

Let’s say you’re going on a trip in a month and a week before departure, you fall and break your leg. If you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy, you can use your

trip cancellation benefits

to get your nonrefundable deposit back.

It depends which credit card you have. Premium travel cards like the

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Platinum Card® from American Express

offer travel insurance benefits if you book a trip using your card or points.

Unpredictability is one of the mind-opening joys of travel, but travel insurance should contain no surprises. The time you spend to understand your options will be well worth the peace of mind as you embark on your next adventure.

Whether you’re seeking a single or a long-term policy, each travel insurance option offers different strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right policy depends on your trip needs, your budget and how important various benefits are to you.

Keep reading

If you want to dig in deeper to world of travel insurance, these resources will point you in the right direction.

What is travel insurance? How much is travel insurance? Is travel insurance worth it? What does travel insurance cover? Does travel insurance cover COVID?

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On a similar note...

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

1x-5x Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

travel insurance cover ill relative

U.S. News takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

The 5 Best Family Travel Insurance Plans

travel insurance cover ill relative

Travelex Insurance Services »

travel insurance cover ill relative

Allianz Travel Insurance »

travel insurance cover ill relative

Seven Corners »

travel insurance cover ill relative

World Nomads Travel Insurance »

travel insurance cover ill relative

AIG Travel Guard »

Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best Family Travel Insurance Plans.

Table of Contents

  • Rating Details
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • Allianz Travel Insurance

The best travel insurance plans can provide you with considerable peace of mind, but the real value comes into play when you wind up using your coverage. Hassles like flight delays, lost luggage and unexpected injuries can be stressful and traumatic, yet travel insurance can reimburse you for the financial costs associated with these mishaps.

If you are planning to travel with your entire family in tow, you already know that the stakes are higher and the potential for losses even greater. For example, you'll want to make sure children traveling with you have travel medical insurance as well as coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions.

You'll need to compare the best family travel insurance plans of 2023 if you want to find the right one for you and ensure each of your dependents is covered by your policy. U.S. News has compiled this guide to the best of the best when it comes to companies offering family travel insurance, since these top picks make it easy and affordable to add children to your plan.

  • Seven Corners
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance
  • AIG Travel Guard

Best Family Travel Insurance Plans in Detail

Travel Select plan offers complimentary coverage for children 17 and younger

Primary coverage with no deductibles

Travel Select only includes up to $50,000 in protection for emergency medical expenses (optional upgrade available)

Meager policy limits ($200) for delayed baggage and sporting equipment

  • Trip cancellation protection worth up to 100% of prepaid travel expenses (up to $50,000)
  • Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% (up to $75,000)
  • Up to $2,000 ($250 per day) in coverage for trip delays
  • $750 for missed connections
  • $50,000 for emergency medical and dental expenses
  • $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains
  • $1,000 in insurance for baggage and personal effects

Single-trip travel insurance plans include free coverage for children ages 17 and younger

Allianz offers annual travel insurance plans for families

Not all plans cover kids for free

Get coverage for up to 10 people in a single policy

Generous policy limits for emergency medical expenses and evacuation

Kids aren't covered for free

Emergency dental coverage is capped at $750

  • Trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of prepaid trip costs
  • Trip interruption coverage up to 150%
  • Trip delay coverage up to $2,000 ($250 per day)
  • Up to $1,500 in protection for missed tours or cruise connections ($250 per day)
  • Up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses
  • Up to $1 million in protection for emergency evacuation

Includes coverage for up to seven children on a single policy

Provides coverage for more than 200 adventure activities and sports

No free travel coverage for kids with paid adults

No option to customize coverage with CFAR protection

  • Up to $100,000 in emergency medical insurance
  • $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • $3,000 in insurance for lost baggage and belongings
  • $10,000 in insurance for trip cancellation

Free coverage for one child 17 or younger with each paying adult relative on the plan

Choose from three tiers of travel protection based on your needs

Travel medical expense coverage is low ($15,000) with Essential plan

Essential plan also has low limits for baggage delays ($200) and lost or stolen luggage ($750)

  • Up to 100% in coverage for trip cancellation
  • 150% in coverage for trip interruption
  • $1,000 in baggage insurance
  • $300 in protection for baggage delays
  • $50,000 in insurance for emergency medical expenses
  • $500,000 in protection for medical evacuation

Family Travel Insurance: Coverages You'll Need

As you compare the best travel insurance plans for families, you might be wondering which types of coverage are most important. Ultimately, that depends on the cost of your trip, where you're traveling and the travel issues you worry about the most.

Frequent traveler Linda L. Adkins of Spokane, Washington, says she purchases travel insurance for every trip since her U.S.-based health insurance policy doesn't apply when her family travels overseas. She worries not only about emergency medical expenses that could come into play, but also about the high costs of medical evacuation if a family member needs to be transported a long distance or even back to the U.S.

Adkins has also endured scenarios where her luggage was temporarily lost by an airline while traveling internationally, and she says her delayed baggage benefit was useful when it came to purchasing clothing and toiletries. "I spent almost $100 per day for three days in a row while we waited for our bags," she says.

Adkins saved her receipts and received reimbursement through her travel insurance provider's baggage delay benefit.

U.S. News recommends having the following types of coverage (at a minimum) in place for every trip with kids:

  • $50,000-plus in primary insurance per traveler for emergency medical expenses
  • Coverage for COVID-19
  • $100,000-plus in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • Adequate protection for trip delays and lost or delayed baggage

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit card travel insurance can provide coverage for families, although the types and amounts of protection you receive can be limited. As an example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card comes with trip cancellation coverage for up to $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per covered trip, as well as lost luggage reimbursement worth up to $3,000 per passenger if the cardholder or an immediate family member has their luggage lost by a common carrier.

Fine print with the card also states that trip delay coverage can apply if common carrier travel gets delayed by more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, and that both the cardholder and their family members can be reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for incidental travel expenses including meals and lodging.

For credit card travel insurance to apply, the cardholder needs to pay for common carrier travel for all of their family members with the credit card in question. In other words, simply carrying a travel credit card with travel insurance benefits won't be enough.

Travel insurance plans are built to cover every person listed on the application for coverage. This means you can apply for travel insurance as an individual or as a family who wants all members covered under a single plan.

That said, some travel insurance plans are superior for families since they offer free coverage for dependents. Others offer comprehensive travel insurance policies that provide broad coverage for groups up to 10 people.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world, and she has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband, Greg – who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states – in their family media business.

You might also be interested in:

travel insurance cover ill relative

The Best Travel Medical Insurance of 2024

Holly Johnson

Explore protection options for unexpected health issues abroad.

travel insurance cover ill relative

Flight Insurance: The 4 Best Options for 2023

Protect your flight (and peace of mind) with the top coverage plans.

travel insurance cover ill relative

Safe at Sea: 6 Best Cruise Insurance Plans

Cruise insurance can protect your investment in the event of cancellations, delays, lost luggage and more.

travel insurance cover ill relative

5 Best International Travel Insurance Companies

Find the best international travel insurance coverage for all your trips abroad.

  • United States
  • United Kingdom

Travel insurance for a death in the family

Travel insurance can help with the expenses if a relative gets sick or dies when you’re away from home..

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In this guide

Does travel insurance cover you for a death in the family?

How am i covered by travel insurance for family emergency compare your options, what do insurers consider as a ‘relative’, am i covered if my relative falls ill or dies from a pre-existing medical condition, can i resume my trip and be covered for it, example: john and sue's trip re-arrangement, frequently asked questions.

Destinations

What you need to know

  • Travel insurance can reimburse you for costs associated with returning home at short notice.
  • To be covered, the emergency must be unexpected.
  • There is generally no cover if you were aware of any pre-existing medical condition before the policy started.

Yes. If a family member falls ill or dies while you are travelling or before you depart, comprehensive travel insurance can help you recover your cancellation costs including pre-booked tickets and hotels, costs associated with returning home at short notice and costs associated with resuming your journey at a later date. Most insurers have the following conditions:

  • The person must meet the insurer’s definition of a relative
  • The person must be under a specified age limit (according to the travel insurance policy)
  • The death or illness must be unexpected

Note: This information was last updated August 2022

In order to qualify for trip cancellation cover following the illness or death of a relative, your family member must meet the insurer’s definition of ‘relative’. The term normally refers to a:

  • Spouse, de facto partner, fiancé or a fiancée
  • Parent or parent-in-law
  • Son, daughter, son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • Brother, sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law
  • Grandchild or grandparent
  • Step-parent, step-son or step-daughter

The exact definition of a relative for each travel insurance policy will differ. It is best to check with your insurer if you're unsure.

A pre-existing medical condition is a condition that is known about prior to an insurable event.

In most cases, you won't be covered if a relative falls ill or passes away due to a pre-existing condition. This is an exclusion with most insurers. However, if you were unaware of the condition at the time you took out the policy, then travel insurance can cover you.

What is considered as 'aware'

Travel insurers will typically exclude cover if your family member is on any sort of waiting list or if you were aware of any recent:

  • Consultation
  • Required medication
  • Upcoming surgery

Most trip cancellation policies will allow you to resume your journey at a later date after being forced to return home due to the illness or death of a relative. There are normally specific conditions surrounding this type of cover, including:

  • Your trip must have been for a minimum number of days
  • Your insurance must have had a minimum period left to run (usually at least 50%)
  • You must have had no knowledge that such an incident might occur prior to your departure
  • Your resumption expenses must be pre-approved by your insurer
  • You must resume your journey before your policy expires.

John and Sue were into the second week of their month-long European holiday when their son called and told them that his 9-year-old daughter, Emily (their granddaughter), was unwell and had been admitted to hospital. She had been diagnosed with a rare blood disease and would be undergoing life-saving treatment in the next few days.

This was completely unexpected news for John and Sue, and they immediately rang their airline and insurance company to arrange to cancel their trip and return home to be with their granddaughter.

Emily remained in hospital for several weeks, but soon began to make a full recovery. A relieved John and Sue were then able to resume their interrupted European holiday, thanks to their resumption of journey cover reimbursing them for the costs associated with rebooking their flights and accommodation.

Costs incurred

  • Fee for bringing the date of original return flight forward: $200
  • New round trip flights back to resume journey: $3,500
  • Fees for changes to accommodation dates: $150

Total costs covered by insurance

Out-of-pocket costs.

  • $150 in excess

Why you can trust Finder's travel insurance experts

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We're experts

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Can you cancel a flight due to family emergency.

You may be eligible for a free change or refund with the airline, depending on their rules. However, travel insurance can cover you if you need to cancel your trip, including your flights, because of a family emergency such as the unexpected death of a relative.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to family illness?

Yes, it can. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies can cover cancellation if a close family member falls unexpectedly ill. In most cases, it can reimburse you for the cost of your flights home.

Am I still covered if my relative is over 90 years old?

Age limits apply to many trip cancellation policies in terms of the illness or death of a relative. The age your relative can be will vary with insurers, but many set a maximum age of around 90, after which the illness or death is not deemed to be 'unexpected' and no cover is offered. Some travel insurance brands do not state an age limit, but the health of your relative is a condition many policies will consider.

If your relative is elderly and you are concerned about whether you will be covered if an incident occurs while you're away, you should read your product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully and contact your insurer for further information.

When won't I be covered?

As with all forms of insurance, trip cancellation cover has certain exclusions or circumstances in which a claim will not be paid. These depend on the individual insurer, but they generally include:

  • Travelling despite suspecting that your relative might die or become hospitalised
  • Expenses that you incur while you're at home
  • The cost of a return flight home if you haven't already booked one (considered part of normal costs rather than emergency expenses)
  • Any expenses that you've already claimed for elsewhere in your travel insurance policy
  • Travel insurance methodology

travel insurance cover ill relative

Jessica Prasida

Jessica Prasida is a travel insurance expert for Finder. She lives and breathes travel, having worked as a travel agent and branch manager at STA Travel for over 4 years, then writing about travel insurance with Finder for another 5 years. Jess has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Tier 1 General Insurance qualification.

More guides on Finder

Plan to travel while pregnant? Read about the type of cover available for pregnant travellers of up to 32 weeks.

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U.S. News takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

The Best Travel Medical Insurance of 2024

travel insurance cover ill relative

Allianz Travel Insurance »

travel insurance cover ill relative

Seven Corners »

travel insurance cover ill relative

GeoBlue »

travel insurance cover ill relative

WorldTrips »

Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best Travel Medical Insurance Plans.

Table of Contents

  • Allianz Travel Insurance
  • Seven Corners

Buying travel insurance is a smart move for any type of trip, but you may not need a policy that covers everything under the sun. If you don't need coverage for trip cancellations or delays because you're relying on your travel credit card to offer these protections, for example, you may find you only need emergency medical coverage that works away from home.

Still, travel medical coverage varies widely based on included benefits, policy limits and more. If you're comparing travel insurance plans and hoping to find the best option for unexpected medical expenses, read on to learn which policies we recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions

The term travel insurance usually describes a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes coverage for medical expenses as well as trip cancellations and interruptions, trip delays, lost baggage, and more. Meanwhile, travel medical insurance is coverage that focuses on paying for emergency medical expenses and other related care.

Travelers need international health insurance if they're visiting a place where their own health coverage will not apply. This typically includes all international trips away from home since U.S. health plans limit coverage to care required in the United States.

Note that if you don't have travel health insurance and you become sick or injured abroad, you'll be responsible for paying back any health care costs you incur.

Many travel insurance policies cover emergency medical expenses you incur during a covered trip. However, the included benefits of each policy can vary widely, and so can the policy limits that apply.

If you're looking for a travel insurance policy that offers sufficient protection for unexpected medical expenses, you'll typically want to choose a plan with at least $100,000 in coverage for emergency medical care and at least that much in protection for emergency medical evacuation and transportation.

However, higher limits can provide even more protection from overseas medical bills, which can become pricey depending on the type of care you need. As just one example, Allianz says the average cost of emergency medical evacuation can easily reach up to $200,000 or more depending on where you’re traveling.

Your U.S. health insurance policy almost never covers medical expenses incurred abroad. The same is true for most people on Medicare and especially Medicaid. If you want to ensure you have travel medical coverage that applies overseas, you should purchase a travel insurance plan with adequate limits for every trip. Read the U.S. News article on this topic for more information.

The cost of travel medical insurance can vary depending on the age of the travelers, the type of coverage purchased, the length of the trip and other factors. You can use a comparison site like TravelInsurance.com to explore different travel medical insurance plans and their cost.

  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best Overall
  • Seven Corners: Best for Families
  • GeoBlue: Best for Expats
  • WorldTrips: Best Cost

Coverage for preexisting conditions is available as an add-on

Easy to purchase as needed for individual trips

Relatively low limits for medical expenses

No coverage for trip cancellations or trip interruption

  • Up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage
  • Up to $250,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage
  • Up to $2,000 in coverage for baggage loss and damage
  • Up to $600 in baggage delay insurance
  • Up to $1,000 for travel delays
  • Up to $10,000 in travel accident insurance
  • 24-hour hotline assistance
  • Concierge services

Purchase comprehensive medical coverage worth up to $5 million

Coverage for families with up to 10 people

Low coverage amounts for trip interruption

Medical coverage options vary by age

  • Up to $5 million in comprehensive medical coverage
  • Up to $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage
  • Up to $10,000 in coverage for incidental trips to home country
  • Up to $25,000 in coverage for terrorist activity
  • Up to $500 in accidental dental emergency coverage
  • Up to $100 per occurrence in coverage for emergency eye exams
  • $50,000 in coverage for local burial or cremation
  • 24/7 travel assistance
  • Up to $25,000 in coverage for accidental death and dismemberment per traveler
  • Up to $500 for loss of checked baggage
  • Up to $5,000 for trip interruptions
  • Up to $100 per day for trip delays
  • Up to $50,000 for personal liability

Qualify for international health insurance with no annual or lifetime caps

Use coverage within the U.S. with select providers

Deductible from $500 to $10,000 can apply

Doesn't come with any nonmedical travel insurance benefits

  • Up to $250,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $25,000 for repatriation of mortal remains
  • $50,000 in coverage for accidental death and dismemberment

High limits for medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation

Covers multiple trips over a period of up to 364 days

Deductible of $250 required for each covered trip

Copays required for medical care received in the U.S.

  • Up to $1,000,000 of maximum coverage
  • Up to $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $10,000 for trip interruptions
  • Up to $1,000 for lost checked luggage
  • Up to $100 per day for travel delays
  • Up to $25,000 in personal liability coverage
  • Medical coverage for eligible expenses related to COVID-19
  • Ability to add coverage for your spouse and/or child(ren)
  • Repatriation of remains coverage up to overall limit
  • Up to $5,000 for local burial or cremation 
  • $10,000 to $50,000 for common carrier accidental death

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband, Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states, in their family media business.

You might also be interested in:

travel insurance cover ill relative

12 Best Travel Insurance Companies of January 2024

Holly Johnson

Find the best travel insurance for you with these U.S. News ratings, which factor in expert and consumer recommendations.

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9 Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies Worth the Cost

U.S. News rates the cheapest travel insurance options, considering pricing data, expert recommendations and consumer reviews.

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How to Get Airport Wheelchair Assistance (+ What to Tip)

Suzanne Mason and Rachael Hood

From planning to arrival, get helpful tips to make the journey easier.

travel insurance cover ill relative

Is Travel Insurance Worth It? Yes, in These 3 Scenarios

These are the scenarios when travel insurance makes most sense.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to illness?

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Although it’s extremely likely your holiday will go ahead as planned without any issues and you’ll have a lovely time, taking out travel insurance is always a must, and provides you with peace of mind when planning a trip. One reason you could be forced to cancel your holiday is due to illness, whether that’s an illness you’re suffering from or a family member.

Most travel insurance policies cover cancellation if it’s due to unforeseen circumstances that you can’t help. But do check your individual policy to ensure this is the case. It’s always extremely important to ensure you are 100 per cent honest on your application for insurance and you don’t omit any important information about your health to make the process easier If you are struggling to find suitable insurance don’t worry. There are plenty of insurance companies out there who cater for those with both physical and mental health problems and their policies will suit you.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to my illness?

You are able to make a pre-departure cancellation and be covered for your trip (up to the covered amount) for any pre-paid non-refundable costs such as flights and accommodation as long as the reason for cancelling is covered. If you fall ill during your trip you should also be covered providing a Doctor has advised you shouldn’t continue with the trip.

Injury or illness can refer to a range of serious health problems.

Injury or illness – this can be either yours, your travel companions or family members illness or injury depending on your policy. If you’re travelling to a holiday home or B&B and the host of your destination falls ill, non-refundable costs are also covered. In order to be covered the insurance must be purchased before you found out about the illness or injury.

What must I provide for proof of illness?

A Doctor’s note

Before the trip – ensure you have your serious health condition verified by a doctor that you are advised not to travel prior to your trip.

During the trip – if you get injured or fall ill on holiday, you need a Doctor to confirm you are unable to continue participating in the trip.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to a family members illness?

If one of your parents or close relatives is ill when you’re supposed to be travelling, you may not want to go ahead with your planned trip, especially if they could pass away whilst you’re supposed to be on holiday.

When did you purchase the insurance?

If they were in a stable condition when you purchased your travel insurance and were being treated by a doctor you will still be covered for cancelling your trip or having to return home midway through your holiday. If your loved one is in end of life care when you purchase the insurance, you won’t be covered for cancelling or retuning home before the end of your trip. This is because you were aware their condition wasn’t going to improve.

If they sadly pass away whilst you are on holiday or close to your departure date you will be covered for the whole or part of the trip you missed as death is considered a dramatic downturn in health. It’s also worth noting that in-laws are considered parents, so even if your spouse’s parent falls ill, your trip cancellation will also be covered.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to a pet’s illness?

Although not many travel insurance providers cover pet health, a handful do so it’s important to check the small print of your policy. On these particular policies, you are covered for the cancellation of your trip if your pet has to undergo urgent emergency treatment a week before you are due to travel. Usually, this only covers cats and dogs.

Some insurers also cover holiday cancellation if you have become ill because of stress caused by losing your pet or your pet becoming ill. This is classed as illness so would still need a doctors note.

If your pet falls ill whilst you’re away on holiday you should also be covered as long as they have not fallen ill due to an existing condition you already knew about or if there isn’t a risk of your pet passing away.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to a mental illness?

Although mental health issues should be treated the same as physical health problems, they’re often not and it can be hard to find a suitable insurance policy to cover you if you live with a health problem. Like with any policy, ensure you read it fully before purchasing to understand exactly what you’re covered for.

Is your mental illness pre-existing?

If you are suffering from a certain mental health issue such as depression when applying for travel insurance you should state this.

What if I am turned down for travel insurance because of my mental illness?

Many insurers turn down applicants with mental health problems because they are un equipped to cover their needs. This is why it may be a good idea to go with an insurance company who offer dedicated cover for those with pre-existing medical conditions - this can cover both physical and mental health conditions. For this type of specialist cover, Free Spirit, Good to Go, and The Insurance Surgery are often reliable.

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A Guide to Travel Insurance for Cancer Patients

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When you have cancer, what can travel insurance cover?

The benefits you receive depends on the type of plan you buy. You can see all available travel insurance plans here , or get a quote to easily compare plans and pricing. That being said, here are some of the situations in which travel insurance can protect cancer patients.

  • You have to cancel your trip because of your cancer diagnosis. Trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for pre-paid, nonrefundable travel expenses if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason. One common covered reason is when you or your travel companion suffer an illness, injury, or medical condition that’s disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel their trip. Remember that a doctor must advise you (or your traveling companion) to cancel your trip before you cancel it — or, if that’s impossible, within 72 hours of the decision to cancel.
  • You have to cut your trip short because your illness gets worse. If you’re already on your trip, and you become too ill to travel, trip interruption benefits can reimburse you for your unused, pre-paid and nonrefundable travel expenses. This benefit can also pay reasonable transportation expenses to continue your trip or return home. It can even pay additional accommodation and transportation expenses (up to the stated limit) if the interruption forces you to remain at your destination for longer than you’d planned.
  • You suffer an unexpected medical emergency while traveling. Emergency medical/dental benefits can reimburse you for the cost of emergency medical care you receive while traveling for a sudden, unexpected illness, injury, or medical condition that could cause serious harm if it is not treated. The key words here are sudden and unexpected . Travel insurance can’t cover your medical emergency if it’s an expected complication of your cancer diagnosis or treatment.

Also, please understand that travel insurance can’t pay for planned medical expenses if you travel overseas to obtain treatment for cancer (or any other condition). Travel insurance will not pay for any non-emergency care, elective care, long-term care or experimental treatments, among other exclusions listed in your policy.

How can travel insurance help if a family member is diagnosed with cancer?

What if someone in your family is diagnosed with cancer right before you’re about to leave on a week-long vacation? There’s no way you’re going to leave their side — but your resort’s cancellation policy says clearly that no refunds will be given.

In situations like this, travel insurance can help. If a family member who’s not traveling with you develops an illness, injury, or medical condition that’s considered life-threatening or requires hospitalization, that can be a covered reason for trip cancellation. The same is true for trip interruption — if you’re already on your trip when a family member becomes seriously ill, then trip interruption benefits can pay for your transportation home, as well as reimbursing you for unused trip costs.

Read more: How Travel Insurance Covers Family Members

What if you’re diagnosed with cancer after you purchase travel insurance?

Let’s say you book a Mediterranean cruise for yourself and your spouse to celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary. You also purchase travel insurance to protect the trip. Six months later, a routine mammogram detects a lump in your breast, and you’re diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer. You must undergo surgery and radiation, which means you won’t be able to go on your long-awaited cruise.

Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits can be invaluable in situations like this, when you’re facing a cancer diagnosis. If your symptoms (or the side effects of treatment) are disabling enough to make you cancel your trip, and if your doctor advises you to cancel it, then trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses. That way, you can reschedule the cruise for after you’ve recovered — and the sea breezes will be even sweeter.

Related Articles

  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance Explained
  • Travel Insurance with Emergency Medical Benefits
  • Travel Insurance 101: Covered Illnesses

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IMAGES

  1. Travel Insurance Explained

    travel insurance cover ill relative

  2. Infographic: What A Standard Travel Insurance Policy Covers

    travel insurance cover ill relative

  3. Does Travel Insurance Cover Medical Benefits?

    travel insurance cover ill relative

  4. Complete Guide to Travel Insurance Claim: Process, Applicability and Forms

    travel insurance cover ill relative

  5. What is Travel Insurance and Who Should Get It?

    travel insurance cover ill relative

  6. What Does Trip Insurance Cover? A Comprehensive Guide

    travel insurance cover ill relative

COMMENTS

  1. How Travel Insurance Works if a Family Member is Hospitalized

    Buying travel insurance to cover your whole family is a great idea, since one family travel insurance plan can usually provide travel protection to you, your loved ones and your trip. But, did you know certain travel insurance coverages can kick in even if a non-traveling family member is hospitalized or dies?

  2. Travel Insurance Coverage if Parent Is Sick

    If, however, your parent dies in hospice care, this will generally be covered for both trip cancellation and trip interruption because death is always treated as a "dramatic downturn in health." A pre-existing conditions waiver in your policy may only apply to travelers and not to family members back home.

  3. If my family member or I get sick, am I covered to cancel?

    Short Answer Yes, you or your family member's unforeseen illness is generally a covered reason for Trip Cancellation coverage. More Detail An unforeseen illness, injury, or death of you, your traveling companion or your family member are standard covered reasons to cancel your trip.

  4. Travel insurance and family bereavement

    The death, or serious illness, of a 'close relative', someone you were travelling with, or a close business colleague might count as a valid reason for cancellation. You may also be covered if you cancel because a relative or friend living abroad who you'd planned to stay with during your trip has passed away.

  5. Travel Insurance 101: Covered Illnesses

    Travel Insurance 101: Covered Illnesses. A nasty case of gastroenteritis is a total buzzkill when it happens in the middle of your food and wine tour of Tuscany. When your spouse contracts hepatitis A from a bad batch of strawberries in Chicago while you're on a business trip in China, you need to rush home and take care of the kids.

  6. How Travel Insurance Covers Family Members

    A travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance can come to the rescue of family travel memories in peril, whether it reimburses you for costs incurred during a travel delay or provides emergency medical benefits after eating some bad Haggis. Different plans come with different benefits, so you'll want to review your plan closely.

  7. 5 Tips for Traveling With a Chronically Ill Friend or Relative

    5 Tips for Traveling With a Chronically Ill Friend or Relative Learn pro tips for making your next trip with a loved one safe, smooth and pain-free. By Liz Weiss | Aug. 21, 2017, at 3:15 p.m....

  8. How Does Travel Insurance Cover Your Travel Companion?

    That's not the case — although travel insurance does provide some benefits that can affect companions. Allianz Global Assistance defines a travel companion as "a person traveling with you whose name appears with yours on the same trip arrangement and who will accompany you on your trip." (A group or tour leader doesn't count, unless ...

  9. What Is Travel Insurance Medical Coverage?

    The two most common types of travel insurance to purchase for medical coverage are comprehensive plans and medical-specific plans. Each covers medical-related costs differently. Comprehensive travel insurance: With a comprehensive travel insurance plan, travelers will have travel medical coverage as a part of their coverage. If you experience ...

  10. Best Family Travel Insurance

    Overall, the average cost of a plan came out to $257.78, though one plan priced out far below the rest. Basic coverage cost. Recommended for. Allianz Travel. $453. Those with pre-existing ...

  11. Cancelling holiday due to family death or illness

    Travel insurance will only cover you for the unexpected illness or death of a close family member. This means that if they had a medical condition when you took out your policy that was related to their death, you wouldn't be covered.

  12. I need to cancel my trip because a relative is sick/injured

    What's covered. If a close relative is suddenly hospitalised or dies from a sudden illness or serious injury, then your travel insurance policy can help if you have to cancel or re-arrange your trip. the non-refundable portion of your travel expenses, including transport, accommodation, tours/experiences, tuition/course fees, travel agency ...

  13. Travel insurance & family emergencies 101

    Most insurers state that they will only pay claims concerning 'Relatives' who reside in Australia or New Zealand. If you have a family member that lives in a different country to you, chances are you wouldn't be covered for cancelling your trip.

  14. How to Find the Best Travel Insurance

    How to Find the Best Travel Insurance Find out whether you need travel insurance for your next trip, what it covers, and how to compare and shop for the best plan.

  15. What Are Travel Companion Insurance Benefits?

    Companion care is a benefit provided by many travel insurance policies that covers costs associated with having: A friend, spouse or relative be at your bedside if you're hospitalized during ...

  16. The 5 Best Family Travel Insurance Plans for 2023

    The Explorer Plan from World Nomads is the recommended option for families who want higher limits for trip cancellations and their travel gear. This plan comes with: Up to $100,000 in emergency ...

  17. Travel insurance for death in family: know your options

    What do insurers consider as a 'relative'? In order to qualify for trip cancellation cover following the illness or death of a relative, your family member must meet the insurer's definition of 'relative'. The term normally refers to a: Spouse, de facto partner, fiancé or a fiancée Parent or parent-in-law

  18. Trip Cancellation: Coverage for Sick/Injured Relatives

    For Explorer plans, under our Coronavirus Travel Costs section, if your close relative is diagnosed with COVID-19 after you've started your trip and is then hospitalised or dies, and you have to curtail your trip, you may have cover for your non-refundable, pre-paid travel arrangements. How it works

  19. Best Travel Medical Insurance of 2024

    Covered benefits you should know about include: Up to $1,000,000 of maximum coverage. Up to $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation. Up to $10,000 for trip interruptions. Up to $1,000 for lost ...

  20. Travel Insurance for Death In Family

    Updated: 04 Oct 2023 If your holiday is cancelled due to a bereavement, will your travel insurance pay out? Here's what you need to know. A death in the family will not only impact your emotions, but it can also affect plans, including deciding to cancel your holiday.

  21. Travel insurance cover if travel companion can't travel

    Travel insurance cover if travel companion can't travel. I've travelled solo a lot over the last 12 years and always buy medical travel insurance for each trip so I've only ever had to think about myself. Luckily I've not had to make any claims so far. I'm trying to think of possible scenarios cropping up on a group holiday booked last weekend ...

  22. Bereavement Flights and Family Emergency Travel

    Contact our insurance advisers at 1-866-884-3556 and they can answer any questions you have about your specific situation. Whatever the circumstances that require family emergency travel, just remember this: Take care of yourself, too. When you're grieving or acting as a caregiver for a loved one who's ill, you need to make sure you can ...

  23. Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to illness?

    Leisure | Travel Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to illness? by Yours | Updated on 13 09 2021 Although it's extremely likely your holiday will go ahead as planned without any issues and you'll have a lovely time, taking out travel insurance is always a must, and provides you with peace of mind when planning a trip.

  24. Trip cancellation travel insurance

    The cost of trip cancellation insurance. You can expect the premium for a typical travel insurance policy with trip cancellation coverage to run from 4% to 8% of your covered trip's cost ...

  25. A Guide to Travel Insurance for Cancer Patients

    Travel insurance covers cancer the same way it does any other pre-existing medical condition. Allianz Global Assistance defines a pre-existing medical condition as an injury, illness, or medical condition that, within the 120 days prior to and including the purchase date of your policy: Caused a person to seek medical examination, diagnosis ...

  26. Travel Insurance Costs Rise: January 22, 2024

    What Does Travel Insurance Cover? The best travel insurance policies combine a mixture of useful coverage types, including:. Trip cancellation: Reimburses non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs if ...