If you are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to book a trip, it could make sense to buy travel insurance. Travel insurance protects your investment for a trip in the event you have to cancel or cut your journey short for many reasons including weather, illness, government shutdowns, and more. Many policies also provide benefits for lost luggage or medical services received when abroad.
Since there's so much to consider when shopping around for travel insurance, we've done the legwork for you by reviewing more than 20 different companies. Our review evaluates their cost, exclusions, limits, and customer ratings. Read on to see which travel insurance makes the most sense for your needs.
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The 7 Best Travel Insurance Companies of 2020
Competitive pricing for comprehensive coverage
Multiple plan options with customizable features
Children 17 and under covered at no extra cost
Mixed pre-existing condition coverage depending on the policy purchase date
No annual plan available
Basic coverage plan features minimal coverage
Travelex Insurance Services is a well-known travel insurance provider based in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1996, Travelex (not to be confused with the foreign currency exchange shops) offers several insurance packages depending on the coverage needed for your trip. Policies are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance company, which earns an A++ rating from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor’s. Coverage is available to customers worldwide.
The Travel Select plan starts at $28 and includes trip cancellation, trip interruption, as well as emergency medical and evacuation, but there are also several ways to customize and upgrade coverage.
Travel is covered up to 100% of $50,000 for cancellations. You can receive up to 150% of the trip cost up to $75,000 for trip interruptions. Emergency medical limits are $50,000 and emergency evacuation coverage is good for up to $500,000.
In addition, Travel Select has a 21-day pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. If you purchase your policy within 21 days of paying for your trip and insure the full cost of the trip, your pre-existing injury or illness is likely covered.
Why We Chose It: Travelex offers extensive coverage (up to 150% for interruptions) for you or your whole family at a competitive price—and kids are included at no extra charge. A relatively low price for the high levels of coverage made it our top choice. Look for the Travel Select plan for the best coverage.
Annual or single-trip plans available
Many policy types fit varying needs
Cover yourself and your household all year even if you’re not traveling together
Does not cover extended travel periods
Some annual plans have per-trip limits while others have annual limits
Not the highest limit around for emergency medical transportation coverage ($250,000)
Allianz Travel is a subsidiary of Allianz, which traces its history back to 1890 in Germany. Travel policies are underwritten by insurers with AM Best ratings of A- to A+ and are only available to legal U.S. residents.
Travelers who want to hit the road many times per year should consider annual travel insurance rather than individual per-trip policies. Allianz Travel offers four different annual plans with varying benefit levels. We particularly like their AllTrips Executive, which has the highest limits and coverage.
AllTrips Executive provides limits of $5,000 for trip cancellation or interruption, $50,000 for emergency medical, and $250,000 for emergency transportation, per person, per trip. There is a lengthy list of exclusions, including extreme sports, so make sure to read the fine print before jumping into adventure activities.
Quotes for a single traveler, a couple, and a family of four had a price point of $500 per traveler per year. If you were going to pay for comprehensive coverage at $120 per person per trip, you’ll break even with this plan if you are going to travel at least five times per year. If you’re looking for lower costs, the AllTrips Basic, Premier, and Prime options are available from Allianz.
Why We Chose It: Allianz gets the runner-up spot because of its extensive coverage for frequent travelers with a low cost-per-trip. Get the best coverage from the AllTrips Executive plan. Individual trip coverage is also available.
Search for quotes from multiple reputable insurers
Shop around with one application for multiple trip types
View multiple plans from eligible insurers for your planned trip
Many popular insurers not included in listings
Initial listing pages don’t show policy limits
Includes some policies with low coverage limits
Founded in 2000, InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance comparison website that searches from over 20 insurers using one intake form. It offers an easy-to-use signup and comparison tool to quickly compare multiple policies based on your specific needs. Filters are available to pick policies that cover adventure sports, higher limits, increased medical coverage, and more.
A quote for a family of four to take a 14-day trip that costs $4,000 and includes plane and hotel expenses resulted in three suggested plans with costs of $100, $112, or $345 for varying levels of protection. Basic features included luggage coverage, activities and excursions, identity theft protection, car rental insurance, and medical care.
The insurers you'll find while using InsureMyTrip have earned a variety of industry ratings and are generally considered reputable and financially stable. Still, as with policies bought directly from insurers, it’s a good idea to read the policy details before clicking the buy button. Each underlying insurer has different claims processes, exclusions, and limits. InsureMyTrip makes it easier, however, to be an informed travel insurance buyer.
Why We Chose It: Compare policies from more than 20 different travel insurance providers with one form so you know you’re getting a good deal for the coverage you need. You can find low-cost trip coverage or customize a plan to meet your needs so you don’t overpay for coverage you won’t use.
Extensive coverage with high limits for medical and emergency evacuation
Protects your bags, computers, and sports equipment when traveling
Explorer plan covers adventure sports
Only single-trip plans available
Most pre-existing conditions are not covered
Not all policies cover adventure sports
World Nomads is a good insurer for singles and couples looking for adventure. The Australia-based provider is a solid choice for worldwide travel with few excluded activities. Policies are underwritten by various insurers including financially strong and well-known Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Generali Global, AIG, and Lloyd’s.
Coverage includes terrorist attacks, assault, medical repatriation, equipment and baggage, and overseas medical and dental. The high-end Explorer Plan covers activities including snow sports, water sports, aviation, motorsports, athletics, and high-adventure experiences. More than 200 activities are named and many are specifically excluded by other insurers.
A solo 35-year-old would pay $205.37 for a month in Thailand, which is very reasonable for such extensive coverage. The lower-coverage Standard Plan costs $116.04 for the same trip, but it makes sense to choose higher coverage levels if you’re worried about something going wrong.
This U.S.-based policy is underwritten by Nationwide (A+ rated by AM Best) with a $100,000 limit for emergency accidents and illnesses, $500,000 for emergency evacuation, $10,000 for trip cancellation (or interruption), and much more.
While it doesn’t have the same insurance reputation as some other providers, it works with very reputable companies to underwrite policies and gets generally good reviews.
Why We Chose It: Adventure travelers and digital nomads are well protected by this plan, which offers very extensive coverage ($100,000 accidents) for some of the most extreme adventures.
High levels of medical coverage for seniors up to 84 years old
Up to $1,500 allowance for someone to visit you in the hospital
Prices for seniors from $6.52 to $13.04 per day for $0 deductible and $1 million maximum benefit
Not the cheapest provider depending on your needs
Best plan for seniors requires existing health insurance
Lowest policy has a $50,000 maximum benefit per person
HTH Worldwide was founded in 1997 and holds an A- rating with AM Best. HTH Travel Insurance offers plans with high levels of medical coverage. That’s a big concern for seniors leaving the country, as they could end up in a doctor’s office or hospital with an expensive bill to follow. HTH Travel Insurance offers up to $1 million in total coverage for medical.
Policies for travelers with existing primary insurance enjoy 100% coverage for typical hospital charges, including surgery, tests, office visits, inpatient hospital stays, and prescription drugs outside of the U.S., among other coverage.
Medical evacuation is available up to $500,000, but trip interruption and baggage coverage are pretty light. Most people will choose this plan for medical, not travel, benefits. This policy is available to applicants who are 84 years old or younger.
Insurance is also available for people without existing health coverage. Most seniors in the U.S. are covered by some existing coverage, such as Medicare, but Medicare doesn’t work outside of the United States, leaving seniors uninsured when abroad. HTH Travel Insurance provides protection with no pre-existing condition exclusion. The age limit is 74 for policies without existing medical coverage and has more limited pre-existing condition coverage.
Why We Chose It: High levels of medical coverage may be important to senior travelers who need excellent protection with flexible options while on a budget.
Large insurer with a strong reputation
Three different cruise insurance plans to choose from
Coverage for common cruise issues like missed connections and itinerary changes
Some plans have low coverage levels for some incidents
Benefit limits are low for trip interruption for any reason
Pre-existing conditions may not be covered
Nationwide has been around since 1925 and offers most popular types of insurance including auto, home, and life. They also have an array of travel insurance coverage for individual trips, multi-trips, and cruises.
To protect your single trips, Nationwide offers trip cancelation of up to $10,000 in its Essentials Plan and $30,000 in its Prime Plan. Travelers may also get an annual travel insurance package for just $59 a year to cover delays, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost luggage, and travel assistance.
Its custom-tailored plans for cruises, however, are what landed it in this category. The Universal Cruise Plan, Choice Cruise Plan, and Luxury Cruise Plan make it easy to pick the right coverage for your individual needs. The cost for a couple on a 10-day cruise to Mexico, for example, was quoted at $195.30.
Cruise insurance from Nationwide covers what you worry about most with a cruise. Things like broken down ships and itinerary changes can lead to missed excursions and flights or other costs. Emergency medical expenses are covered up to $75,000 with medical evacuation benefits up to $250,000. After seeing many medical issues on cruise ships, it’s wise to protect your trip with insurance prepared to help you.
Additionally, all plans include coverage for the weather, an extension of school sessions, work emergencies, and terrorism. The luxury plan also covers the Centers for Disease Control warnings at your destination.
Why We Chose It: Multiple options to protect your cruise vacation with tailored coverage for common cruise trip issues. Make sure to review the benefit levels so you pick the right one for your needs.
Coverage for medical needs when traveling
Gives à la carte medical coverage when other trip costs are already covered
Different policies allow you to cover various needs and pre-existing conditions
Only covers medical costs
Additional primary medical coverage required
No adventure sports coverage
GeoBlue is part of Worldwide Insurance Services, and policies come with a license from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Policies are issued by 4 Ever Life International Limited, a company with a history of more than 60 years and an A- rating from AM Best.
If you need coverage just for medical needs, GeoBlue is a good choice. This insurer offers only travel medical coverage. Paying for medical coverage means you aren't paying for the rest of your travel insurance, which may already be covered. If you already have a credit card with travel insurance included, for example, lost luggage and missed flights are likely protected by your card's terms. Instead, you get covered just for medical, and those costs are as low as $0.76 per day.
Because you’re only getting travel medical coverage, you will pay a lot less than most other insurers on this list. Just make sure you completely understand what is and isn’t covered. You won't get luggage protection, travel interruption, or cancelation coverage with any of GeoBlue's plans.
GeoBlue has three general plans for single trips, multiple trips, and long-term travel. Additionally, there are five specialty policies for niche travel medical insurance needs, like study abroad. It doesn’t cover everything related to your trip, but it makes medical coverage much more affordable.
Why We Chose It: Multiple options to buy travel medical insurance coverage for a lower price than a full travel insurance package. Offers medical coverage on its own if you don’t want or need additional travel coverage.
What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers common problems when traveling. From trip interruptions to full cancellations, they can help protect the money you put down for your travel experience.
Common coverage includes more than just an unexpected trip stoppage. It can also cover lost or damaged luggage and changes to your itinerary for covered reasons, among other benefits.
Medical coverage is an important factor to consider, as your current health insurance may not work away from home. The best travel insurance includes coverage for medical treatment, dental emergencies, and medical transportation. If you have any pre-existing conditions or are at risk, it’s important to make sure your policy covers these, too.
What Does Travel Insurance Typically Include?
Travel insurance may include many different benefits. Here’s a look at some common situations covered by many travel insurance plans:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Trip delay
- Missed connection
- Baggage and possession loss, damage, and theft
- Delayed luggage
- Emergency medical treatment
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
There are additional specialty coverages as well, such as customized policies for cruises. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare before making a final decision.
What Does Travel Insurance Typically Exclude?
Just as homeowner’s insurance often excludes things like earthquakes and floods, travel insurance has common exclusions you need to know about. Here are some types of coverage you may not get with travel insurance:
- Weather-related cancellations and delays
- Trip cancellation or changes due to acts of terrorism
- Trip cancellation or changes due to a pandemic
- Injuries from extreme sports and high-adventure activities
- Cancellation for any reason
While most policies have limits and exclusions around these circumstances, not all do. In fact, some insurers on this list have special coverage for these exact causes or include them in standard plan terms. Again, this is why it’s so important to read your policy documents before paying for and locking in your policy.
What Are the Expected Costs of Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance costs vary widely by coverage and insurer. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars a day to over 10 dollars a day for short-term and single-trip coverage. The cost of your trip is another major factor in the insurance rate.
That means insurance for a single trip could cost anywhere from around $20 to hundreds of dollars. Annual policies cost around $500 per year for high levels of coverage.
There are many inexpensive travel insurance plans available, but most travelers are best protected with comprehensive coverage. It costs a bit more, but if you need to file a claim, you’ll be glad you have it.
Is Paying for Travel Insurance Worth It?
Travel insurance premiums can cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide if it’s worth the cost. It might not be worth it on lower-cost trips and low-risk vacations. However, expensive international trips or large family vacations can make additional travel insurance a reasonable investment.
If you spend thousands of dollars on a trip, it is probably worth a couple of hundred to make sure you get your money back if the trip doesn’t go as planned. If something goes wrong, which can lead to expenses valued at tens of thousands of dollars, it’s good to have a financial backstop so you don’t have to pay for everything out of pocket.
How We Chose the Travel Insurance Companies
To come up with this list of the top travel insurance providers, we looked at more than 30 different travel insurance companies and plans. Major areas of focus included coverage options, claim and policy limits, what’s covered, and typical insurance policy costs.
The biggest focus was on insurance coverage limits and what each policy covers. Cost is important, but a difference of $20 for much better coverage is often negligible. The most important features examined in this review are the ones that make your policy valuable and easy to use if you ever need it.
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