Traveling is full of excitement and adventure, but if things go wrong, that adventure can turn into a stressful, expensive headache. Travel insurance can protect you from many unexpected expenses, like hospitalization in a foreign country or the loss of non-refundable hotels, airfare, or tour costs after a cancelled trip.
But travel insurance isn’t all the same, and some insurance companies offer better value and a better experience than others. From customer service to the coverage that policies provide, we’ve evaluated the top travel insurance options to help you find the policy that’s right for your trip.
Before figuring out what’s the best travel insurance for you, it’s important to get to a good understanding of what travel insurance covers — and what it doesn’t cover. Every policy is different, so it’s essential to read through the fine print. Generally speaking, travel insurance claims will be only paid out in situations that are specifically spelled out in the policy.
Another key point to understand is that travel insurance is not really needed for many kinds of trips. If the biggest expense of your trip is a hotel stay, and that hotel allows you to cancel up until 24 hours of arrival without any financial penalty, then travel insurance is probably not necessary. What’s more, if your flight is cancelled or significantly delayed because of a hurricane or any other reason, many airlines will typically allow you to cancel for a refund or change your itinerary with no fees — even if the flight was “nonrefundable,” even if you did not buy travel insurance.
But if you are traveling outside the country, and the trip is longer, more expensive, and includes many fees that are nonrefundable if you have to cancel, the decision to purchase travel insurance increasingly makes more sense.
Important Things To Know About Travel Insurance:
You may be able to add on travel insurance when you’re buying plane tickets, but this can be expensive. You’ll probably save money by buying travel insurance directly from a company, like the ones below. Trip cancelation is a common travel insurance claim, but many policies won’t pay out for trips canceled for any reason whatsoever. Be sure to review the specifics of the policy you’re considering. Frequent traveler? Consider purchasing annual travel insurance to save money and time. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, verify whether it’s included in a policy’s medical insurance provisions. Most insurance companies require you to purchase additional coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The 6 Best Travel Insurance Options of 2020
TravelInsurance.com: Best option to get and compare multiple quotes
General Global Assistance: Best emergency support services and resources
Travelex Insurance Services: Best for families with children
RoamRight Travel Insurance: Best customer service and support
World Nomads: Best for comprehensive activity and gear coverage
Allianz Travel: Best company history and reputation
Travel Insurance Reviews
TravelInsurance.com is one of our top picks because of how it simplifies the process of shopping for and buying travel insurance. This company works with some of the largest, top-rated insurers in the country, and is also a member of the US Travel Insurance Association. To start, you’ll fill out a form highlighting important factors, like the cost and duration of your trip, and that information will be sent to multiple insurance companies. You’ll receive quotes from each company, arranged in a format that makes it easy to compare the price quotes and see the pros and cons of each.
Working with TravelInsurance.com is much faster and easier than it is to request quotes from different companies individually, and you can buy directly through the TravelInsurance.com site, saving you time. Also, thanks to a price guarantee, you don’t have to worry about missing out on a better deal somewhere else. Once you check out, you’ll receive an email instantly confirming your coverage. This business has an A+ Better Business Rating.
General Global Assistance Review
With a wide range of benefits but a simple three-plan approach, General Global Assistance makes shopping for travel insurance simple. This business has a Standard, Preferred, and Premium plan, each offering trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, and medical and dental coverage at different benefit limits. With up to $1 million in evacuation and $250,000 in medical coverage, you can get a comprehensive plan with generous coverage that covers even the most expensive emergencies. The Premium plan even includes coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
These insurance plans also come with comprehensive support. General Global Assistance offers a 24-hour emergency hotline to support you no matter where in the world you happen to be. The hotline can also help connect you to its global network of doctors. Furthermore, you’ll receive access to ID theft resolution support, as well as concierge services that can help with needs such as pet relocation.
General Global Assistance has a 25-year history and prioritizes customer satisfaction. Every plan comes with a “free look” period, allowing you to review your coverage details within a predetermined amount of time (generally 10 days) and cancel if you want for a full refund (assuming you haven’t already left on your trip, of course). The business has over 12,100 reviews on its site, with an average 4.8-star rating.
Travelex Insurance Services Review
Travelex Insurance Services offers two plans for easy comparison, and you can choose whether you want basic protection or premium coverage. Travelex offers coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, and can help you replace lost essentials like travel documents or prescriptions during your trip. With customizable upgrades, you can add on extra medical coverage, sports coverage, and more to tailor each plan to your needs. Coverage for sports injuries includes mountain climbing, canoeing, swimming and more.
Travelex offers particular benefits for families with children, since children under age 17 are automatically protected at no additional cost. As long as children are traveling with an adult who is covered under the plan, your children will be covered, too — no matter how many kids you have. List all of the children on the application, and they’re automatically covered. Compared to other companies, Travelex can offer significant savings for families traveling with children.
With over 55 years in business, Travelex Insurance Services has an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the US Travel Insurance Association.
RoamRight Travel Insurance Review
If you’re looking for a variety of plans and coverage, RoamRight Travel Insurance delivers. Choose from eight different plans, including an auto rental and travel medical insurance plans. The Multi-Trip Annual insurance plan offers annual coverage for an unlimited number of trips per year, so it’s ideal for frequent travelers who want coverage without the hassle of signing up for new insurance for each trip.
RoamRight is also known for offering excellent customer service. Department leaders have an average of 20 years of experience in the travel industry. RoamRight uses the latest technology, including an online claims submission option and a mobile app complete with travel alerts.
World Nomads Review
“Designed by travelers for travelers,” World Nomads offers flexibility and a wide range of coverage. You can buy additional coverage while you’re traveling and can access World Nomads’ 24-hour multi-lingual assistance team if you need help. This company offers comprehensive benefits that go beyond some of the standard options you’ll find in other plans, including the ability to insure your photography and video equipment or sports gear. Plans also include coverage for elements like trip cancellation, death overseas, stolen passports and credit cards, and assault.
If you’re planning on an adventurous, active vacation, some of those activities that you participate in might be excluded by other companies. World Nomads covers 150 activities, including camel riding, motorbiking, skydiving, snowboarding, and more. The company offers multiple plans and sports upgrades so that you can enjoy these activities while knowing that you’re covered in case of an accident.
World Nomads also focuses on responsible, sustainable travel options. The company’s Footprints program has supported global community development projects with micro-donations made by travelers.
Allianz Travel Review
Allianz Travel is uniquely positioned as a company that you can put your confidence in, thanks to its history. This company is owned by Allianz SE, the largest diversified insurance company in the world, which has been in business for over 100 years. Allianz Travel says it has insured more than 35 million travelers, providing travel insurance, corporate assistance, and concierge services.
Allianz Travel has established partnerships with thousands of travel agencies, airlines, event ticket brokers, credit card companies, and more, ensuring they can offer customers competitive service rates and travel assistance. The Allianz 24-hour hotline is staffed by multilingual specialists who can help travelers navigate problems such as replacing lost passports, finding local legal help, and even securing cash from home during an emergency. Allianz Travel offers 10 different travel insurance plans, from the basic to the comprehensive, so that travelers feel protected and supported during their journey.
How We Found the Best Travel Insurance
In ranking the best travel insurance options, we used the following factors to evaluate and compare each company:
Plans and Coverage
Travel insurance is only valuable if it covers the expenses that matter to you. We looked for insurers that had a variety of plans, as well as the ability to customize the plans with upgrades.
Ease of Use
Shopping for travel insurance shouldn’t be difficult, so in evaluating these insurance options we considered both how easily you can request a quote and how easy the material is to understand. Most of these companies either offer just a few plans to keep things simple, or provide an easy-to-view comparison page where you can quickly spot differences in each plan.
Customer Service and Support
We looked for responsive companies dedicated to providing great customer service. Factors like a 24-7 hotline, an established network of international resources, and programs to help with emergency situations, like evacuation or stolen credit cards, are just some of the elements that indicate a company is well-prepared and responsive to customer needs.
We factored in a company’s reputation when ranking the best travel insurance options. We considered factors like customer feedback, years in business, and Better Business Bureau ratings.
What You Need To Know About Travel Insurance
When buying travel insurance, attention to detail is key. Before you request a quote, you’ll need to know the details about your trip, such as how you’re traveling (flight, train, car, cruise ship, etc.), your destinations, how many people are traveling with you, and the value of the items you’re bringing. All of these factors can affect a plan’s cost.
As you review the different plans available, pay attention to the fine print. Basic plans generally cover medical expenses and qualifying trip cancelations, but possibly not much else. More extensive plans might provide things like luggage insurance, passport replacement, and more. Most plans do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, high-risk activities, or travel to high-risk destinations, so be sure to read the entire plan so that you know just what type of coverage you’re considering.
There are many ways to save money when buying travel insurance. If you’re traveling in a group, the entire group may be able to purchase a group policy at a lower rate than you’d pay for individual policies. If you’re traveling with kids, look for insurers that offer family policies. Some even insure kids for free when you pay for coverage for an adult. Your home insurance may extend its coverage to your personal belongings if you’re traveling within the country, so you may not need travel insurance that covers luggage and personal belongings.
Summary: Best Travel Insurance Options
TravelInsurance.com: If you’re looking to shop around and compare multiple quotes in one place, TravelInsurance.com makes that easy. You can buy directly through the site, streamlining the research and purchase process.
General Global Assistance: General Global Assistance offers comprehensive support and resources to help you during an emergency. Three plans are easy to understand and offer coverage for domestic and international travel.
Travelex Insurance Services: If you’re traveling with children under age 17, they’ll automatically be covered under the Travelex Insurance Services policy you choose, as long as the children are with a covered adult. This can save you money when compared to other plans.
RoamRight Travel Insurance: Staffed by experienced department leaders and account managers, RoamRight is known for providing great customer support and service.
World Nomads: Planning an adventurous vacation? World Nomads’ policies cover 150 activities and even offer gear coverage for your camera and sports equipment.
Allianz Travel: Owned by an insurance company that’s been in business for over 100 years, Allianz Travel has built a reputation that you can trust.