Travel insurance is one-size-fits-all, so the price and conditions of any policy will vary. However, it may be useful to understand pricing guidelines to plan for your insurance purchase.

In general, you should expect a policy will cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost. For example, if you purchased a trip with a total cost of $5,000, travel insurance policies available to you will likely range in price between $250 - $500 depending on variables such as the age of the travelers, the length of the trip and the cost of the trip. Let’s dive deeper into the specifics so you can understand any variation from this general rule.

The providers will use a few pieces of personal information to calculate the cost of a policy: age of the travelers, number of travelers, length of travel and type of coverage.

Among the most important of these is the age of the travelers. Typically, once a traveler reaches the age of 65, rates tend to increase. Both length of time of travel and number of insured travelers will increase the risk factor, thus increasing the premium.

The type of coverage will also affect the travel insurance premium. A basic, no-frills comprehensive policy will naturally cost less than one that includes a Cancel For Any Reason benefit. If you need a high rate of coverage for medical expenses or medical evacuation, the rates will be higher than a more standard medical benefit.

The premium should not deter you from buying the coverage that you feel you need. The kind of protection needed by a traveler who intends to hike the Himalayas, for example, is vastly different from that needed by a family taking a short cruise to the Bahamas. Only you can really decide what level of risk is acceptable for you and what kind of trip coverage will make the most sense.

Prices will always vary between plans, providers and types of coverage. So it’s important to compare prices among all the options you think are best for you. Be wise when doing so and make sure to really compare “apples to apples” – that is, only compare the plans that offer you similar levels of coverage and are absolutely appropriate for your needs. Don’t be swayed by a lower-priced plan with benefits that don’t suit you completely. Travel insurance, like any other insurance, is not the kind of purchase that should be shortchanged.