USAA Travel Insurance: An Option for U.S. Military Members

If you currently serve, or have served, in the U.S. armed forces and are planning a vacation, did you know that you have access to travel insurance benefits through USAA?

Founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers, USAA is a well-established Fortune 500 company with more than 13 million members as of 2020. USAA offers financial products including banking, investing and insurance to people and families who serve or have served in the U.S. military.

When you become a member of USAA (which is free if you qualify), you have access to various benefits, products and discounts, including travel insurance, which can help protect you and your nonrefundable plans if something derails your vacation. USAA’s trip insurance plans are administered by Travel Insured International, a company with over 25 years in the industry.

Here’s a look at various travel insurance options offered by USAA to help you decide if the policies are right for you.

What travel insurance plans does USAA offer?

USAA offers single-trip plans. Coverage begins when you purchase a policy and ends when you return home from your trip.

Because you have to be a member to view USAA plans, NerdWallet reached out to a USAA representative with two sample trips: a two-week trip to Italy by a 40-year-old from Hawaii ($5,000 estimated cost) and a one-week trip to Mexico by a 60-year-old from Nebraska ($3,000 estimated cost).

For both trips, we received three travel insurance plan options to choose from:

  • Worldwide Trip Protector, which also offers Cancel For Any Reason, or CFAR, as an optional add-on.

  • Worldwide Trip Protector Lite.

  • Travel Medical Protector.

It’s important to note that travel insurance policies depend on your state of residency; your USAA travel insurance plan options may differ from above if you live in another state.

USAA travel insurance cost

The total cost for coverage typically varies based on your total trip cost and your age. Generally, USAA’s Travel Medical Protector plans are more affordable than its other options. This difference in price is due to benefits and limits offered in each of the plans (more on this next).

How much does USAA travel insurance cost? Here’s how it breaks down between our two sample itineraries.

Trip 1: $5,000, two-week trip to Italy by a 40-year-old from Hawaii

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite

Worldwide Trip Protector with CFAR

Trip 2: $3,000, one-week trip to Mexico by a 60-year-old from Nebraska

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite

Worldwide Trip Protector with CFAR

About USAA’s travel insurance benefits

Below is the list of benefits offered broken down by plan, along with the limits.

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite

Missed tour/cruise connection

Accident and sickness medical expense

Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation

Medical evacuation and repatriation of remains

Baggage and personal effects

Optional rental car damage

Nonmedical emergency evac

Political/security evac and natural disaster evac

Accidental death and dismemberment – 24 hour

If you already have a premium travel credit card and you’re satisfied with the travel insurance limits, you may be fine with just getting the Travel Medical Protector plan. But if the limits offered on your credit card are insufficient or you don’t have a credit card that provides travel insurance, the Worldwide Trip Protector Lite or Worldwide Trip Protector plans are solid options.

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite benefits

The Worldwide Trip Protector Lite plan offers basic coverage, but still provides benefits like 100% trip cancellation and 100% trip interruption, $300 trip delay, $100,000 in medical evacuation and $10,000 for medical expenses, among other benefits. The maximum trip length is 30 days.

This plan also offers some add-on options including car rental damage, Cancel For Work Reason and optional flight accident. The Cancel for Work Reason add-on would allow you to cancel a trip for a work-related reason as long as the cancellation meets the guidelines set in the policy.

Worldwide Trip Protector benefits

The Worldwide Trip Protector plan is more comprehensive, with 100% trip cancellation, 150% trip interruption, $1,500 trip delay, $1 million in medical evacuation, $100,000 for medical expenses and many other benefits. The maximum trip length is 180 days.

This plan also offers a host of add-ons to choose from including CFAR coverage, rental car damage, electronic equipment and many others.

  • CFAR lets you cancel a trip for any reason whatsoever and receive up to 75% of your nonrefundable deposit back (as long as you cancel within 48 hours before departure and you add all of your travel arrangements to your trip within 21 days of the initial payment). If you’re worried that something may derail your nonrefundable trip, CFAR is a good option to have because of its flexibility.

  • Optional electronic equipment provides up to $2,000 to replace your owned or leased cell phone, laptop or other equipment if it is stolen, lost or damaged while you’re vacationing.

If you want high limits and the ability to add many a la carte benefits to your travel insurance policy, the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus is the plan to go with. However, if you’re just looking for basic coverage and some add-on options, consider the Worldwide Trip Protector Lite plan.

Travel Medical Protector benefits

The Travel Medical Protector plan is designed to offer medical coverage when you’re traveling outside the U.S. The benefits are mainly focused on medical care, with $50,000 for medical expenses, $1 million for medical evacuation and repatriation, $150,000 for nonmedical evacuation, $5,000 for trip interruption and $1,000 coverage for delays.

If you don’t need pre-departure trip cancellation coverage and are mainly concerned about unexpected medical emergencies, this is a good plan to consider. Additionally, if you hold a premium travel card that offers trip cancellation insurance (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express) and the limits are adequate, a standalone medical plan might be the most cost-effective option.

Nerdy tip: The Cancel For Any Reason supplement is offered only on the Worldwide Trip Protector plan, so if you’re looking for this benefit, that’s the plan you’ll want to go with.

What’s not covered by USAA travel insurance

Although travel insurance covers many events, not everything will be covered, including:

  • Fear of travel. Wanting to cancel a trip because circumstances have changed and you’re now scared to travel will not qualify as a covered reason. If you’d like the option to cancel your trip for any reason whatsoever, you’ll need to purchase the CFAR supplement, which you can add to your Worldwide Trip Protector policy.

  • Specific events. General exclusions not usually covered by insurers won’t be covered here either. Example events include self-harm, war, participating in dangerous activities (e.g., skydiving), committing a felony or getting into an accident while intoxicated. You’ll need to review the policy’s fine print to know exactly what is and isn’t covered.

How to get a USAA travel insurance plan

If you’re currently serving or have served in the U.S. military, joining USAA could offer some money-saving benefits, including travel insurance. Since USAA travel insurance plans are available only to members, you will need to purchase a USAA membership before seeing plan options. Then log in to your member portal to see plan quotes.

If you have any questions, reach out to USAA at 800-531-8722.

Determine if your quotes are a good deal

One way to check if USAA travel insurance is the best value is to compare your USAA quotes to those listed on an insurance comparison site like SquareMouth. To see what other plan options are available, input your trip details and cross-reference the cost and coverage of those plans to what you’re seeing with USAA.

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