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Best Travel Insurance for Students in 2024

Are you preparing to study overseas but need help determining which insurance for international students you should get? It can be overwhelming, and the confusion around insurance policies and coverage limits can cause even more stress. Fortunately, this guide covers everything you need to know about student travel insurance.

Studying abroad in the USA is super exciting, but you must remember that healthcare in this country is incredibly expensive. It’s worth buying international student health insurance before your trip so you can rest assured that you’re covered should an emergency arise. Besides, the U.S. requires most individuals studying abroad here to have an insurance plan.

Brooklyn Bridge at night, travel insurance for students

Best travel insurance for students

You can see specific requirements here if you’re studying abroad in the UK. Students spending more than six months in the UK automatically get healthcare through the NHS, but a separate insurance policy can ensure you’re covered for emergencies. For EU citizens studying abroad in the European Union, I recommend consulting this website for more information and guidelines on student travel insurance for Europe.

Before we dive in, I’ll tell you now that SafetyWing is a good, cheap travel insurance for students who don’t mind having a deductible. However, if you prefer to pay a bit more for higher coverage, Heymondo is the best student travel insurance, offering excellent medical and travel-related coverage, a $0 deductible, and medical expenses paid upfront. Plus, you can save a bit on your policy by using our code to get a discount on Heymondo.

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Best international student insurance

In summary, the 5 best student travel insurance options are:

  1. SafetyWing, the best cheap insurance for international students
  2. Heymondo, the best international student insurance
  3. Trawick International, a good medical travel insurance for students
  4. IMG Global, the best student travel insurance for trip benefits
  5. Travelex, another great international health insurance for students

Below, I’ll share the best international student health insurance plans for each company, pricing, and coverage limits.

Student travel insurance cost comparison

Whether you’re looking for cheap travel insurance or the most comprehensive travel insurance for students, you can find exactly what you need. In this table, you can see the five best international student health insurances along with their prices, coverage limits, and other key benefits.

For this chart, I simulated the costs for a 20-year-old U.S. citizen studying abroad in the UK for three months:

SAFETYWING NOMAD INSURANCE

HEYMONDO PREMIUM

TRAWICK INTERNATIONAL SAFE TRAVELS VOYAGER

IMG GLOBAL PATRIOT EXCHANGE PROGRAM

TRAVELEX TRAVEL SELECT

Price

$145

$202.15

$157.20

$179.55

$177

Deductible

$250

$0

$0

$0

$0

Medical Expenses Paid Upfront

No

Yes

No

No

No

Emergency Medical

$250,000

$200,000

$250,000

$100,000

$50,000

Repatriation

$100,000

$500,000

$1,000,000

$50,000

$500,000

Trip Cancellation

Not covered

$10,000

100% of $1,200†

Not covered

100% of $1,200†

Trip Interruption

$5,000

$10,000

150% of $1,200†

Not covered

150% of $1,200†

Baggage Loss

$3,000

$3,000

$2,500

Not covered

$1,000

Electronic Equipment

Optional*

$1,500

$500

Optional**

$500

COVID-19 Coverage

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

†Price used for example

*Only covers cases of theft

**Only covers cell phones

From our list, SafetyWing is the cheapest travel insurance for students, but remember that it has a $250 deductible per claim. A great alternative would be Heymondo, which has no deductible and a 24/7 traveler assistance app you can use to find the nearest doctor and have your medical bills paid upfront without you having to pay out of pocket.

1. SafetyWing, the best cheap insurance for international students

As I mentioned, SafetyWing is one of the cheapest travel insurances for students. Its affordable Nomad Insurance comes with a good amount of medical coverage, including $250,000 in emergency medical expenses and $100,000 for repatriation should you need to return to your home country due to injury or illness.

Also, you can get coverage in your home country for 30 days after you’ve been abroad for 90 days, so it’s a good deal if you want supplementary protection for any medical issues. While it’s the cheapest travel insurance of all the options we analyzed, you should know there is a $250 deductible per claim, so you’ll have to pay that amount before medical coverage kicks in.

SafetyWing, student discount on travel insurance

It’s also worth noting that SafetyWing’s travel-related benefits are minimal. There is no trip cancellation benefit, but you’ll have decent trip interruption and baggage loss coverage. You can also add the electronic equipment upgrade for theft protection.

If you don’t want a deductible, I recommend looking into Heymondo. It costs more, but you’ll have a higher amount of medical and travel-related coverage. If you’re interested in medical-only travel insurance, SafetyWing is one of the top choices.

PROS CONS
  • One of the cheapest options on the market
  • Good medical-related coverage
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • Trip interruption and baggage loss benefits
  • You can get coverage in your home country for 30 days after being abroad for 90 days
  • $250 deductible
  • Limited travel-related benefits
  • You must pay your medical expenses upfront and file a claim for reimbursement

2. Heymondo, the best international student insurance

Heymondo is one of the best student travel insurance options on the market. The Heymondo Premium plan is a great deal, offering a good amount of medical expense coverage, trip cancellation, and interruption protection. This policy even covers electronic equipment, a benefit we took advantage of when we lost our cameras and laptops in a boat accident in the Amazon.

Heymondo, best international student health insurance

With Heymondo, you’ll have a $0 deductible and $3,000 in baggage loss coverage, making it one of the most comprehensive policies on the market. If you get injured or sick, contact Heymondo customer service through the 24/7 traveler assistance app, and they’ll tell you where the nearest doctor is located. They’ll also arrange the medical payments for you, so you don’t have to pay the bill out of your own pocket.

You can learn more about this company in our Heymondo insurance review, but for now, here are the main pros and cons:

PROS CONS
  • Pays your medical expenses upfront
  • $0 deductible
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • High amount of medical- and travel-related coverage
  • Great price-to-coverage ratio
  • 24/7 traveler assistance app and free emergency calls
  • Not the cheapest option available

Heymondo has a variety of plans, including medical-only policies and annual multi-trip insurance, which we currently have. I’m okay with paying a bit more for a high amount of emergency medical expense coverage and excellent trip cancellation and interruption benefits. It’s not the cheapest option on our list, but you can save on your policy by taking advantage of our Heymondo discount code.

3. Trawick International, a good medical travel insurance for students

Trawick International has several student travel insurance plans. For example, the Safe Travels Voyager plan offers $250,000 in emergency medical expenses and $1,000,000 for repatriation to your home country. Considering the outrageous healthcare costs in the United States, I think this is one of the best travel insurance policies for the U.S.

Trawick International, best international student health insurance plans

In addition to the medical-related coverage, the trip protection benefits are great, too. This policy covers up to 100% of your trip costs in case of cancellation and up to 150% in case of trip interruption. Coverage for baggage loss and electronic equipment is also included, making this one of the best international student health insurance deals.

With a $0 deductible option, Trawick International is considered one of the best long-term travel insurances, so it’s a good choice for individuals who are studying abroad. Just keep in mind that the lower the deductible, the more expensive your policy will be. Also, you must buy the insurance within seven days of your initial trip payment.

PROS CONS
  • Good amount of medical- and travel-related coverage
  • $0 deductible
  • One of the most affordable plans
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • Electronic equipment coverage included
  • Short amount of time to purchase plan after initial trip payment (7 days)
  • You must pay your medical expenses upfront and file a claim for reimbursement

4. IMG Global, the best student travel insurance for trip benefits

IMG Global is another company that has several policies geared toward students. The Patriot Exchange Program is for students who meet the U.S. J1 and J2 visa requirements and covers emergency medical expenses up to $100,000. You can even add a spouse and children to the plan, something you can’t do with most student travel insurance.

IMG Global, student travel insurance for europe

In addition to urgent care and emergency room visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions, the Patriot Exchange Program covers repatriation to your home country. The range of medical-related benefits makes this one of the best international student health insurances.

Even so, IMG Global isn’t my first choice. The coverage limits are pretty low, especially considering the price. Plus, this particular plan is lacking when it comes to travel-related protection. You could check out IMG Global’s cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance or switch to Heymondo, which offers much more coverage at a slightly higher price. Unlike IMG Global’s Patriot Exchange Program, Heymondo offers trip cancellation insurance, so you can rest assured that you’ll be covered if you need to cancel your trip due to injury or illness.

PROS CONS
  • Offers a variety of plans catered to students
  • $0 deductible option
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • You can add a spouse and children to your policy
  • Optional electronic equipment coverage
  • Very few travel-related benefits on the Patriot Exchange Program
  • You can get a lot more coverage for a slightly higher price
  • The lower the deductible, the more expensive the policy is
  • You must pay your medical expenses upfront and file a claim for reimbursement

5. Travelex, another great international health insurance for students

Finally, Travelex is another company to consider when looking at travel insurance for students. They have two plans: Travelex Basic and Travelex Select, with the latter providing a higher amount of coverage for emergency medical expenses ($50,000) and repatriation ($500,000).

Moreover, Travelex Select is one of the best travel insurances for pre-existing conditions. It has a short lookback period of 60 days, meaning the company will only go back two months to see if there have been any changes to your medical history. Just keep in mind that if you qualify for pre-existing condition coverage, you must buy a policy within 15 days of your initial trip payment.

Travelex, best international student health insurance usa

Regarding travel-related benefits, this plan offers trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of the trip cost and up to 150% for trip interruption. It also includes $1,000 in baggage loss protection and $500 for electronic equipment.

If you’re considering Travelex for student travel insurance, be aware that it offers more coverage in trip-related categories than in medical-related ones. So, if you’re more concerned about emergency healthcare expenses, you’re better off going with another company like Heymondo, which has excellent medical and travel-related benefits and pays your bills upfront.

PROS CONS
  • Good travel-related coverage
  • $0 deductible
  • Covers pre-existing conditions
  • Short lookback period
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • Relatively low medical-related coverage, especially for its price
  • You can get similar or better coverage for a lower price
  • You must pay your medical expenses upfront and file a claim for reimbursement

Do you need international student health insurance?

Whether or not you need student travel insurance depends on where you’re studying abroad. In the U.S., insurance is required for international students, and some universities may even offer it through a preferred provider.

International students in the United States typically have to present proof of coverage to be able to register for classes. Individuals with an F visa are exempt from the insurance requirement, but it’s still wise to get a policy. Healthcare costs in the U.S. are ridiculously high, with a simple urgent care visit costing up to $200. That doesn’t even factor in any tests, prescriptions, or treatments you may need.

Studying in Washington DC, buy travel insurance for studying abroad

Do you need international student health insurance?

In the UK, international students studying abroad for six months or more are eligible for healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). International student insurance isn’t mandatory for those who will be in the UK for less than six months, but I highly recommend it.

As for international students in the EU, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is required for citizens of the European Union. This card covers the costs of state-provided healthcare throughout the EU. Insurance is mandatory in most European countries, so if you’re from outside the EU, you must purchase student travel insurance for Europe.

What does student travel insurance cover?

When shopping around for international student travel insurance, you should know what kind of coverage to look for. Below, you can see the must-have benefits of any student travel insurance policy. Remember that the coverage limits may vary depending on your chosen plan.

Emergency medical expense coverage

First, coverage for emergency medical expenses is a non-negotiable when it comes to the best international student health insurance. All the best companies offer this type of protection, although the maximum amounts may vary depending on the specific plan.

With this type of protection, you’re covered for any medical expenses you incur from an illness or injury. Things like hospital stays, treatment, and even COVID-19 are included in this benefit. It’s a crucial component of student travel insurance for the USA, where healthcare costs are extremely high. Of course, it’s a must-have, no matter where you travel.

Evacuation and repatriation

Another thing to look for in a policy is evacuation and repatriation protection, which covers transportation costs to a hospital or back to your home country due to injury or illness. This type of benefit is often overlooked, but it’s too important to ignore. It’s scary enough getting hurt in a foreign country; make sure you’re covered for the transportation costs!

Trip cancellation

Medical-related benefits aren’t the only thing to consider when buying international student insurance. You should also make sure your policy includes coverage in travel-related categories such as trip cancellation.

This type of protection usually covers reasons like illness, injury, political strikes, and natural disasters. If you want the option of canceling your trip for any reason and getting reimbursed, look into Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance, which many companies offer as an add-on.

You might also want a student travel insurance plan that includes trip interruption. This comes in handy if you need to cut your trip short because you got sick or hurt or a family member passed away. In such circumstances, you would be reimbursed for pre-paid trip expenses like flights and hotels.

Baggage loss

Baggage loss coverage is another benefit that’s easy to overlook, but once you deal with this issue first-hand, you understand how important it is. Many international student travel insurance plans offer protection for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, although the dollar amount depends on the specific plan.

With this coverage, you’ll get a reimbursement to buy new clothes and toiletries if something happens to your baggage.

Electronics coverage

Many students use laptops and other gadgets for their schoolwork, so consider getting a policy with electronics coverage. If your equipment gets lost or stolen, your study abroad insurance can reimburse you a certain amount to replace it.

Requirements to get student travel insurance

To qualify for student travel insurance for study abroad, you must be studying abroad at a university or school, doing an overseas internship, or participating in a vocational training program or work experience program.

Study session, the best international student travel insurance

Requirements to get student travel insurance

For international student health insurance in the USA, those with a J1 or J2 visa must have a policy with at least $100,000 in medical expense coverage and $50,000 in evacuation/repatriation coverage.

FAQs – International student insurance

To finish up this guide, here are the answers to some common questions about student travel insurance:

Student travel insurance is specifically designed for individuals who are studying overseas. It includes coverage for things like emergency medical expenses, repatriation, trip cancellation, and baggage loss.

With the exception of F visa holders, individuals studying in the United States need student travel insurance for the USA. Those studying in the EU must have a European Health Insurance Card, which provides basic healthcare. In the UK, students can access primary healthcare through the NHS, but it’s still a good idea to have an insurance policy.

International student insurance should cover emergency medical expenses, evacuation/repatriation, and trip-related benefits like trip cancellation and baggage loss.

If you’re looking for cheap travel insurance for students, the best option is SafetyWing. However, I also highly recommend Heymondo, which costs more but has a $0 deductible, a high amount of coverage, and medical expenses paid upfront.

Yes, especially if you’re studying abroad in the United States. Healthcare in the U.S. is notoriously expensive, so if you want to avoid huge medical bills, it’s well worth purchasing insurance for study abroad.

That said, for any other destination where you plan to study abroad, it’s still worth getting coverage if you want peace of mind.

It depends on the company you go with and how long you’ll be abroad. In our analysis, the price ranges from around $145 to $200 for a three-month policy.

If you get sick or hurt, go to the nearest hospital or medical center. Heymondo customers can use the 24/7 traveler assistance app to find the closest doctor, and Heymondo can arrange the payment, so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

If you purchase a policy with any other company, make sure you keep all medical reports and bills so you can file a claim and get a reimbursement once you’re back home.

To get student travel insurance, you must be studying abroad at a university, interning overseas, or participating in a work experience or training program abroad.

Most student travel insurance plans have a cut-off age of 30 or 35, but you should check your policy for the exact terms and conditions.

That wraps up this guide to the best international student insurance. Investing in student travel insurance is always worth it, especially in the United States, where healthcare costs are through the roof. If you decide to go with Heymondo, don’t forget to take advantage of our code below to get a discount on student travel insurance.

If you have any other questions about travel insurance for international students, please leave me a comment below so I can help you. Until then, stay safe and enjoy your trip!

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CHIEF ADVENTURER, TRAVEL GURU, AND MASTER PLANNER AT CAPTURE THE ATLAS
Hey there, I'm Ascen, your personal trip planner on a mission to help you craft the most incredible adventure of your life. While I'm based in Las Vegas, you won't find me there often. As a full-time traveler, I'm always on the go, exploring new destinations and capturing the world through my lens. From the enchanting shores of Almeria, Spain, where I grew up, to the far reaches of the globe, I'm here to provide you with detailed travel guides and practical tips to make your trip planning a breeze. Find out more about me here.
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