Buying the Best Travel Insurance
Whether it’s your dream honeymoon to Fiji or your bucket-list trip to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, travel insurance is a necessity to protect yourself when you go abroad (or even when traveling domestically in many cases). Work-related issues, unexpected illnesses, family emergencies, and even inclement weather at your destination or home location can cause you to have to cancel even the best-laid plans. Fortunately, there are some great travel insurance companies out there that give you the ability to customize your coverage to meet your specific needs, at prices that suit a range of budgets. Plus, booking is easier than you think, and there are many different ways you can go about purchasing coverage for your trip; but some are more convenient than others.
Why You Need Travel Insurance
To begin with, traveling is expensive, and you’ve likely spent thousands of dollars planning your trip. However, if you encounter unforeseen events before you’re set to leave or even while abroad that require you to cancel or interrupt your trip, travel insurance provides you with a means of recovering at risk pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs.
In addition to that, it’s smart to have a backup plan in place in case you encounter a medical emergency while you’re abroad. Did you know that most domestic health insurance companies (and even Medicare) will not cover medical expenses incurred while in a foreign country? So, if you need emergency medical attention while you’re away, you’d be required to potentially spend thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. But with travel insurance, you can rest assured that if something happens while you’re away from home, you’ll have a way to cover these unexpected costs.
When you’re making travel plans, the last thing you’re focusing on is the possibility of having to cancel them or playing out hundreds of what-if scenarios that could go wrong. But, it’s always a good idea to prepare, and the peace of mind that travel insurance brings will help you enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Best Travel Insurance Companies
When it comes to purchasing travel insurance, there are hundreds of options out there that will provide you with cancellation protection as well as protection for post-departure problems. There are a variety of options when it comes to coverage, so it’s essential to look into each provider’s options and make sure that you’re getting the proper coverage for your specific needs. To help you narrow down your options and ensure you get the coverage you need, we’ve listed some of the best travel insurance companies that can provide you with personalized insurance coverage for your travels.
Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance provides one-trip, multi-trip/annual, and rental car travel insurance options to consumers. They’re the company that insured the Wright Brothers’ first flight and the building of the Golden Gate Bridge! Allianz has more options than most other providers with five different one-trip packages, from a premium offering down to simple cancellation/interruption insurance packages. They also provide emergency assistance and concierge services but do not have an option for adding coverage for Adventure sports like bungee jumping.
AXA Assistance USA
As a provider of a variety of insurance types, including automotive and home, AXA Assistance USA’s travel insurance program offers three levels of coverage for your trip. They offer quite a few customization options, including the opportunity to purchase an optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. If you’re planning a vacation full of outside activities, AXA can even help you rent equipment if yours is lost, damaged, or stolen during your trip. Talk about customized coverage!
Generali Global Assistance
As a full-service travel insurance and assistance provider, Generali Global Assistance provides three levels of coverage and concierge services to protect your trip. They have call centers in 160 countries and assistance available around the world to provide you with any help you may need while you’re away. Additionally, Generali Global Assistance offers you a 10-day “free look” period when you purchase their travel insurance, allowing you to cancel it if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
John Hancock Travel Insurance
John Hancock is a leading provider of travel insurance and known for having generous coverage even in basic plans. Choose their Bronze, Silver, or Gold level of coverage, and you have the option to add rental car insurance, AD&D, or cancellation for any reason coverage. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can cancel within the 14 day “free look period” prior to your trip happening.
Underwriter Arch Insurance went direct-to-consumer in 2012 with their RoamRight brand. By keeping their operations, claims, customer service, sales, and underwriting under the same umbrella, they’re able to provide premium products and services at better rates. Coverage options include one-trip and multi-trip coverages, medical only coverage, and additional rental car collision. Plus, RoamRight offers the opportunity to add adventure coverage, keeping you protected if you plan on skydiving or bungee jumping during your travels!
Travel Insured International
For over 25 years, Travel Insured International has protected travelers around the globe. They provide a tremendous amount of options, including the ability to customize your benefit limits and add coverage for cancellations related to work reasons. Plus, some packages include free coverage for children under 18 when traveling with a covered adult. Add in the 14-day “Free Look” period, where you can cancel your coverage and receive a full refund, and you’ve got a business that understands each customer is unique and can provide options for all.
Formerly the travel insurance division of Mutual of Omaha, Travelex Insurance has two inclusive plan options with customizations, including adding cancel for any reason, increased medical coverage, and sports equipment rental coverage. If you find that there’s too much coverage in the all-inclusive plans, you can opt for a flight only protections or flight and some post-departure protections like medical coverage. With bonus services like concierge and emergency assistance, and you have a business that understands today’s traveler and their needs. Travelex is an industry leader and trendsetter, as being the first travel insurance company to implement the pre-existing condition coverage waivers and allowing key person coverage for non-traditional families.
Comparison of Insurance Providers
|Provider||Type||Pre-Existing Condition Coverage||Adventure Coverage Available||Quote for a $6,000 Trip to Spain for 2|
|Allianz Global Assistance||One-Trip, Multi-trip/Annual, Car Rental||Yes, under certain conditions with waiver||No||$222/290/376|
|AXA Assistance USA||One-Trip||Yes, with waiver on some plans||No||$167/221/271|
|Generali Global Assistance||One-Trip||Yes with premium plans||No||$203/229/302|
|John Hancock Travel Insurance||One-Trip||Yes, with waiver||No||$264/280/370|
|RoamRight||One-Trip, Multi trip/Annual, Medical-Only||Yes, with waiver||Yes, with upgrade||$284/302|
|Travel Insured International||One-Trip||Yes, with waiver||No||$218/288/432|
|Travelex Insurance||One-Trip, Flight Only||Yes, with waiver||Yes, with upgrade||$250/348|
Click here to compare travel insurance plans from the above insurers (and more) in an easy to use side-by side format.
How to Buy Travel Insurance
Despite the overwhelming amount of information that you’ll find all over the internet, purchasing travel insurance for your trip is a lot easier than you may think, and there are a variety of ways to go about it. What’s more important is that you do your due diligence and research to make sure that you’re purchasing a plan that provides coverage for your personal needs, and that you’re getting the best price.
Travel Agents & Tour Operators
If you book your travel plans with a travel agent or tour operator, they will most likely offer you travel insurance as part of your booking. However, there is usually only one option available, and it may not be at the best price for your needs or provide adequate coverage. Most travel agents and tour operators will partner with a single travel insurance provider, so you don’t have the luxury of comparison shopping against other providers and may end up paying hundreds of dollars more than necessary. While it’s a convenient way to purchase your travel insurance, you can never really tell what you’re buying.
Travel Insurance Providers
Of course, you can always go directly to the travel insurance provider to get a quote and purchase your travel insurance. This way, you can dig into the coverage options and make sure you understand what you’re paying for.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the best price for your coverage requirements, you’ll need to do your research across providers manually, and this can be quite time-consuming (several hours or more). Don’t settle on the first one you find for the sake of getting it over with!
Even if you’ve used a travel insurance provider before, and you completed the research for a previous trip, you’ll need to check the pricing and compare again. Insurance providers can change pricing and options several times throughout the year, so you’ll need to complete this research for each trip you plan. This process takes a lot of time visiting the various sites, getting quotes, and then manually comparing sites.
Online Travel Agencies & Booking Sites
Planning travel is easier today than in past decades thanks to the many travel booking sites on the market, and the accessibility that the internet provides. Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak all allow you to quickly and easily book your flights, hotels, and rental cars in a single transaction.
You’ll find additional add-on options near the end of the booking process for travel insurance. While it’s convenient to add this on and think you’re covered, there is typically only one option available. Not only might this option not provide you with the coverage you need (or even expect), but you may not be getting the best price either. Plus, purchasing through online travel agencies (OTAs) doesn’t give you the options for additional customized coverage. Lastly, many OTAs offer vacation waivers, which are very different than comprehensive travel insurance, so you need to be careful to fully understand what you are being offered prior to purchase.
Travel Insurance Comparison Sites
There are sites available, such as TravelInsurance.com, that are strictly focused on helping consumers compare travel insurance coverage and make sure that you’re getting the best rates for your needs.
TravelInsurance.com allows you to compare multiple travel insurance quotes across top rated insurance providers, and detail out the exact features, benefits, and coverage each policy provides, along with up to the minute pricing. Comparison sites reduce the overhead of doing all the research yourself, going to each provider’s website, and manually comparing. Comparison sites are the most headache-free way to shop for travel insurance since the platform does the hard work for you.
Plus, you can purchase the travel insurance option that’s best for you directly through the comparison engine on TravelInsurance.com, making it even easier to get covered without having to jump between multiple tabs within your browser. Since travel insurance prices are regulated, you can’t find a better price anywhere else for the same plan. You’ll save the most time and money if you use travel insurance comparison sites to get covered and you can quote, compare and buy in one simple streamlined process! Once you buy, your policy documents will be emailed to you instantly, which is highly convenient for busy travelers.
Whether it’s your annual family vacation or the bucket-list trip you’ve been planning for decades, any trip you take has a certain amount of risk. Protect your investment from the unforeseeable cancellation or delay, and against the risk of an emergency by investing in travel insurance. It’s easy to obtain, and the peace of mind is priceless!
It takes just a few minutes to quote, compare and buy on TravelInsurance.com. Use our travel insurance comparison engine to find the right travel insurance for your trip.
Comparison of Insurance Purchasing Options
|Direct from Travel Insurance Provider||– Customize price & options|
– Lots of information to understand the coverage you’re getting
|– Cumbersome process of researching multiple providers by going directly to each website|
– Takes a lot of time to manually compare and find the best coverage and price
|Travel Agent or Tour Operator||– Simple to add to your trip from the beginning and it’s rolled into the price||– No customization available|
– Limited or no choice in provider
– Rarely able to understand exactly what you’re getting for coverage
– Not able to discern if you are getting the best plan at the right price
|Travel OTA Sites (Expedia, Priceline, etc.)||– Simple and convenient to add to your travel booking during checkout||– Can’t compare rates and options|
– Can’t customize
– May not be the best coverage or price for your needs
– In some cases, it isn’t travel insurance, but rather a vacation waiver
|Comparison Sites||– Easily compare multiple plans, benefits and pricing across multiple insurers|
– Find the best coverage for your trip
– Purchase directly through a comparison site as a one-stop-shop
– Lowest price guarantee
– Quote, compare and buy in just a few minutes
|– Does take some time, but you’re only on one site instead of multiple|
– An additional step to secure your trip