Top5 » Travel Insurance
More Reviews »

The 5 Best Travel Insurance for Travelers in 2018

Last updated December 12, 2018
Editor's Choice

Generali Global Assistance offers simple, comprehensive travel insurance packages for all over the world.

  • Up to $1,000,000 in medical emergency coverage
  • Unsure of what to do? Use the purchase guide to help find the right plan for you.
  • Emergency cash advance of $500

Seven Corners is a travel insurance company specializing in international medical insurance.

  • Offers flexible plans for students, seniors, missionaries and business travelers, as well as those embarking in medical tourism
  • Plans offer access to Well Abroad, an online resource for travelers.
  • Offers comprehensive medical insurance plans for new immigrants to the U.S.

Allianz is a large travel insurance with a wide range of travel insurance policies for every type of traveler.

  • Family-friendly plans that offer free coverage for kids under 17
  • Offers both bare-bones coverage and up to $1,000,000 in medical emergency coverage
  • Make your travel claim from your mobile device.

Travelex travel insurance provides four unique plans with up to $500,000 in emergency medical coverage.

  • Children under 17 are covered for free.
  • 24/7 customer service assistance before and during the trip
  • Flight insurance offerings

World Nomads offers flexible travel plans designed for young, adventurous travelers who are always on the go.

  • Mid-trip coverage offered
  • 24/7 multilingual assistance
  • Extreme sports coverage

Top 5 Travel Insurance

Travel insurance should never be an afterthought. It offers peace of mind and protection against the unexpected, whether it’s a medical emergency, lost luggage, an unforeseen weather calamity or worse. Travel Insurance is there to cover you when things go wrong on your trips and believe us, you never know when they will.
The thing about travel insurance is, shopping around for it can be quite tricky. There are plenty of travel insurance companies out there and each one is slightly different from the next. Depending on your individual needs, you’ll need to pick a company and a plan that offers just what you need. Get the coverage you need, here are the 5 best travel insurance companies if you’re looking to get a quote.

Top5 Travel Insurance Companies

Best Value for Money: Generali Global Assistance

Generali offers the most comprehensive packages when it comes to the money you spend and the deductibles. Out of all of the travel insurance companies, Generali has some of the highest payouts. They offer three different packages, standard, preferred and premium, and all of these have relatively high payouts. Opting for the standard package will give you a maximum of $150,000 in medical and dental coverage and $250,000 in emergency medical transportation costs. With the premium package, you will be covered up to $1,000,000, which is one of the highest payouts in the industry for the same prices as other companies.

Pros

  • Out of all of the travel companies, Generali has some of the highest payouts.
  • If you’re pressed for cash you can receive an emergency cash advance up to $500
  • Need to talk to a doctor? Generali offers over the phone medical consultation with U.S. based doctors so you can get a second opinion.

Cons

  • Should you need it, the pre-existing medical condition waiver is only available at the premium level.
  • Your children are not covered for free with any Generali plan.

Best Overall Options: Travelex Travel Insurance

Travelex is one of the most flexible travel insurance companies you could choose because of the different packages they offer and the unique features of each. Travelex splits their plans into two different tiers, travel insurance, and flight insurance plans. Everyone is unique and has different concerns based on their individual or familial needs. With Travelex, you have the option of choosing the level of coverage based on what means most to you. Worried about flight cancellation? Choose one of the two flight cancellation plans which are the accident-only coverage options. In need of medical coverage while abroad? With the Travel Basic or Travel Select, you have medical and dental coverage as well as trip cancellation insurance.

Pros

  • All of your kids under 17 years old are fully covered for free with all of Travelex’s packages.
  • There are several add ons including extensive adventure sports coverage.
  • Almost all plans offer coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Cons

  • You’re locked into your plan once you leave, the plans are unadjustable once you’re abroad.
  • If you want to add the “Cancel for Any Reason” option, you can only do it at the Premium level.

Best for Students: Seven Corners Travel Insurance

Seven Corners is best known for their excellent international medical coverage. They provide curated coverage for students, missionaries, and medical tourism travelers. Seven Corners is a great option for those who want to make sure their expensive medical bills abroad will be covered should anything happen. This makes Seven Corners a great option for anyone who is a student traveling, studying or working abroad. Their plans rank high in both affordability and coverage. It’s great for anyone who may be worried about any parasites and diseases they may encounter while traveling around the world.

Pros

  • Seven Corner’s plans are available to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is available at every level of coverage.
  • There are several specialized student plans available to choose from.

Cons

  • The basic plan doesn’t cover you If you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Best for Families: Allianz Global Travel

Traveling with the whole family can be hard as it is- choosing a location and activities that are great for the whole family can be tedious and stressful. What is even harder about traveling with a family is the cost, especially if you have several children. If you’re traveling with your family, Allianz should be your top choice because of their comprehensive plans that won’t break the bank. Once you purchase a plan with Allianz, your children under 17 will be covered for free. This takes off a huge amount of cost when it comes to covering your family and can offer you a peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation with your loved ones.

Pros

  • You can sign a pre-existing medical waiver for any Allianz plan.
  • Both your children and your grandchildren are covered for free with an Allianz plan.

Cons

  • Your travel insurance plan cannot be extended while you’re already abroad.
  • If you’re looking for coverage for extra sports or equipment, the options are slim.

Best for Nomads: World Nomads

No traveler is created equal, and it’s important for a travel insurance company to take that into consideration. Not everyone is going on vacation to a resort for 5 days in a beach town, therefore a good travel insurance package should also reflect that. Some people are adventurous travelers, frequent and/or spontaneous travelers and they may need specific coverage for that.
Let’s say you’re a backpacker and not really sure where you’re going or when your travels will end, World Nomads offers you the option to extend said coverage while you’re already abroad.

This feature is pretty unheard of in the travel insurance world. Additionally, if you are planning to partake in any extreme adventure sports, World Nomads has plans that cover you in the case of an accident. World Nomads is great for adventure junkies who live life on the edge, their plans make sure you are covered while off enjoying your adventures.

Pros

  • World Nomads is one of the few companies that allows you to extend your coverage while you’re already abroad.
  • World Nomads also has the most extensive list of extreme sports and equipment coverage on the market.

Cons

  • World Nomad caters to young travelers so they have an age cap of 70 years old.
  • For the basic plans, the payout limits are pretty low compared to other companies.

a small airplane with a man on a laptop researching the best travel insurance

Why You Need Travel Insurance

Travel Statistics

When you really think about it, travel insurance seems like a great idea. Having your trip covered in the case of an emergency is responsible and could save you tons of money. So why is it that only 21% of Americans actually buy travel insurance when booking their flights? Studies show that a mere 78% of Americans don’t ensure their trips because of several reasons. Most people think travel insurance companies are confusing, time-consuming and costly. But once you check out our reviews on the best travel insurance companies, this step should be much easier.
The bottom line is, you need travel insurance because you never know what could go wrong. Most things are unfortunately out of your control, and when they do go wrong, it has to come out of your own pocket. Instead of taking the risk and not protecting your trip, choose the right travel insurance plan for you today and save yourself a world of trouble.

Use Cases

There are several, real-life cases where having travel insurance has come in handy. Sometimes the situations are much more common than you think. Not everything has to do with an emergency medical situation, sometimes it can be as simple as having a flight delay.

For example when Jeri of Temecula, CA lost one night of hotel lodging when her flight was delayed. Luckily she was able to file a claim with Allianz and get a full refund of the first night stay in the hotel. Without the travel insurance, she would have lost that money due to a circumstance that was out of her control.

“Our flight was delayed a day and we lost the 1st night of hotel lodging. The Insurance claim was easy to make, just scanned in the flight info that I had and a copy of the hotel bill that I got from our travel agent and we were refunded quickly. Thank you for great service!!”

Sometimes things come up that prevent us from traveling. Life happens, and we never know when an emergency medical situation may cause a trip cancellation. That was just the case with this Travelex customer Greg of Cleveland, Ohio. Had he not been insured, all of the money spent on the flights and reservations would have gone down the drain.

“We had a trip planned and my father was taken into the hospital for an emergency operation. We canceled our trip and later filed for reimbursement through Travelex after getting his doctor to fill out the simple form.”

As you can see, travel is risky business when it comes to losing money. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and travel insurance can come in handy when you most need it.

everything you need to know about getting travel insurance with pre-existing conditions

What Does Travel Insurance Cover

While the main travel insurance coverage components for most plans are trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical coverage, and lost baggage, travel insurance can cover much more. Plans vary, so you can get as minimal or as in-depth coverage as you need.
Travel insurance companies vary, as do their policies, so make sure to choose a company and policy that best fits your needs.
There are five main travel insurance components, each offering different types of coverage.

International Coverage

The majority of people who book travel insurance are covering their overseas trips. While most travel insurance companies do cover domestic travel, flying internationally is even more of a reason to get a coverage plan. International flights are more expensive, and some countries have greater health risks than the US. A standard travel insurance plan will cover the costs of any loss of money due to flight cancellations and delays. You can also count on being covered in any country that you travel to but double check beforehand as this may vary company to company.

Trip Cancellation

Like we said, life happens and sometimes it happens at the most unfortunate times, like right before a huge trip that you’ve spent a lot of money on. Well with travel insurance, if you have to cancel your trip for a variety of reasons, you can count of full reimbursement for non-refundable purchases made. The most important thing to keep in mind with trip cancellation is that these covered reasons vary by provider.

Most common trip cancellation reasons

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Death of you or a family member
  • Terrorism-related evacuation

Trip cancellation coverage provides reimbursement for non-refundable purchases should your trip be canceled or interrupted due to injury, illness or a variety of other reasons (these reasons vary by provider).

Cancel for any reason

Some travel insurance providers have a special cancel for any reason feature that will reimburse you for your trip’s costs for whatever reason you choose. This is great for any inconveniences that fall outside of the reasons mentioned above. Insurance providers like Travelex provide the Cancel For Any Reason option available in some of their plans.

Baggage Coverage

Baggage coverage provides reimbursement should your luggage get lost, stolen or damaged. Some plans also cover replacement needs for items such as toiletries, clothing and more should you bags be delayed. Depending on the company, you may be reimbursed for any purchases made in the case of baggage delay. So if your bags arrive later than you and you are forced to buy emergency purchases, companies like Allianz will reimburse you up to $200. In the world of travel, something like this is unfortunately common, so having this peace of mind is important.

Medical Coverage

One of the most important coverages out there is the cost of your medical bills should anything happen. Paying medical bills out of pocket in any country is extremely costly, and not everyone has medical coverage that extends overseas. It is important to be covered in case something goes wrong. Whether you have a pre-existing condition that may require emergency attention on your travels or you just want to be safe on an adventurous trip, getting a travel insurance plan with medical coverage is extremely useful.

Medical coverage provides payment for emergency medical care should you get hurt or sick while traveling. Plans vary, and different companies offer different maximum coverage amounts. In addition to emergency care, medical coverage typically provides emergency evacuation.

Primary Medical and Evacuation coverage

In addition to your primary medical coverage for any doctors visits you may need, you will also be covered in case of a more serious medical issues. If your medical issue is life-threatening and requires you to be evacuated in an ambulance or even transported back home, your bills will be covered up to a certain amount of money, depending on your plan. Check with your service provider to see exactly how much is covered, because some plans offer more support than others do.

It is important to note that when you’re shopping around for travel insurance, the coverage cap is something that you should pay attention to. Most companies offer a variety of plans ranging from the “bare-bones coverage” to high payout ultimate coverage. Some bare-bones plans do not offer things like evacuation coverage or cancel for any reason features, and some do not extend their medical coverage to pre-existing conditions.

travel insurance coverage doctors

Does Travel Insurance Cover Cancellation Due to Illness?

Yes. If you need to cancel a trip to due to unexpected injury or illness, a trip cancellation package will reimburse you of any financial losses.

However, any cancellations due to medical purposes need proper documentation. You cannot simply call your insurance company and ask them to reimburse you because you have the flu. You will need to visit a doctor and, similar to grade school, have a doctor’s note. Otherwise you risk having your travel insurance claim rejected.
So, if you get a coverage plan that includes cancellation and your reasons fall under one of the aforementioned reasons, once you file your claim and attach all of the proper documents you should be able to be reimbursed for the cost of the trip.

What exactly can you get reimbursed?

Travel insurance companies usually will reimburse any non-refundable reservations made during your trip. That could include flight costs, hotel reservations, and other prepaid reservations during your stay. The cancellation due to illness also can cover relatives in your family, even if they aren’t traveling. Check with your insurance provider to see if your relatives and children are covered under this policy.

travel insurance claim documents

How to Use Travel Insurance

Filing a Claim

Even though an astounding more than 90% of claims are successful, there is still a chance, although a small one, that your claim can be rejected. To avoid this type of unexpected frustration it’s important to make sure that you file your claim correctly, with all of the proper documents needed.

Depending on the provider, your claim filing process can range anywhere from simple to a bit more complicated. A lot of travel insurance companies allow you to easily access your account and submit documents online, making this process fairly simple. Some companies even have a free mobile app so you can keep track of your documents while you’re on the go. Familiarize yourself with the company’s terms and conditions and the filing process ahead of time to avoid any headaches.
Your claim may be rejected because of any of the following issues:

  • Lacking proper documentation
    The biggest rule in filing a claim is making sure that you have every official document to support your claims. When it comes to reimbursement of purchases that means keep every single receipt. Yes, every single one. A travel insurance company cannot properly refund you for something they don’t have any proof of, and sometimes bank statements aren’t enough to prove anything. If your insurance claim is rejected because of missing documentation, this could make your process drag on and prolong the amount of time it takes to get reimbursed. Avoid this by making sure you properly download and file your claims the first time.
  • Travel insurance purchased at the wrong time                    Another huge reason why it’s important to check the terms and conditions of filing a claim is that some companies do not allow you to purchase travel insurance within a certain time frame. Remember when we mentioned that World Nomads allows you to purchase a package even while you’re on your trip, do not expect this to be the case for all companies. Most companies have a specific time period that makes your claim eligible. Unfortunately, in most cases, a few days before you leave is too soon. Also, purchasing a package because of a bad weather report or some type of threat will also make filing your claim cumbersome, and most likely will result in a rejection.
  • Reason for cancellation is not eligible with your specific plan Similar to how to no two companies are created the same, two plans, even within the same company are not usually created the same. As we mentioned above, familiarizing yourself with your plan and exactly what is covered is crucial, because you don’t want any unexpected rejections. So if you opt for a more bare-bones, basic package that doesn’t cover preexisting conditions or won’t offer a baggage delay reimbursement. If you want the highest amount of coverage and payout limits, choose a plan that offers you plenty of options, flexibility, and high payouts.

Using in Emergencies

When an emergency does happen while you’re traveling, after taking the necessary emergency procedures, the next step is to call your travel insurance customer hotline. Each company’s policy vastly varies, so the next steps will be a bit different from each. For example, if you get an emergency cash advance with your policy like Generali, then promoting your provider as soon as possible is going to serve you well.
The convenient thing about most companies is the reliable customer service hotlines that are typically open 24/7. They are typically also available in multiple languages and can even offer medical consulting via phone to reassure you during your emergency.

what is travel insurance

When to Purchase Travel Insurance

How to Get and Compare Quotes

So, you’ve finally decided to do what’s best for you and get travel insurance, but now you’re faced with choosing between the plethora of companies. Comparing different brands is essential to finding the insurance that will work for you. It can be the most difficult and most important step in finding a plan that fits your needs. We recommend checking out our series of travel insurance reviews where you can compare some of the top travel insurance companies out there.

On our review page, you can find a side to side breakdown of the best and worst things about each company. The main page will lay out the top features of each company, including highlights that make it stand out from the rest of the companies. If you see something you like, you can click through and find out even more details about the company’s different travel plans. Let’s say you’re looking for an option that includes coverage with preexisting conditions for you and your family. Our thorough reviews can point you in the right direction for whatever it is you’re looking for.

Once you read up on all of the benefits and offerings of each company you can then make your choice and be directed from our site to the insurance providers website.

To get a quote, the website typically requires you to enter in the following data:

  • Your travel dates– The cost of your travel insurance coverage depends on the number of days you will need coverage for. It’s best to book travel insurance once your travel dates are finalized and the plane tickets are purchased. Most insurance companies usually will charge or don’t let you change the dates that you need coverage for so to avoid any extra fees or the risk of having no coverage, finalize this beforehand.
  • Age– Like most other types of insurance, the cost of your coverage highly depends on the age of the traveler(s). When you’re looking to get a quote for your trip, your age and the ages of the members of your family matter. For example, if you are traveling with a family and kids under 17, in a lot of companies they can be covered for free. This meaning once your children will be covered under your policy should anything happen to them on your trip. By checking out our reviews you can find out which companies offer this great family incentive.               On the other hand, many travel insurance companies prices do increase depending on your age. This is especially important if you are ages 65 and older because travel insurance prices can be very pricey too. There are some companies, like World Nomads that are catered towards young travelers, particularly under the age of 30. If you’re around 40 and above it would be best to avoid this company so you don’t spend a fortune. For people who are older, companies like Seven Corners have plans specifically designed for seniors that make sure the costs are affordable enough.
  • Total trip cost– The total trip cost is the cost of all of the non-refundable parts of the trip including flights. Apart from the flights, if you’ve purchased any extra parts for your trip you can factor that into the total cost of your trip. Let’s say you’re headed on a trip to Venice for the summer and in order to avoid lines, you’ve gone ahead and booked your gondola rides and city tours ahead of time. These packages aren’t refundable, so you would factor that into the total trip cost. This goes along with pre-purchased transportation and hotel costs as well. Make sure to enter in the correct trip amount so that your rates can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Destination– Make sure that the place or places you’re traveling to are under the travel insurance companies’ range. If not then check out how home page for some of the top companies that offer coverage in almost every country. The destination is also an important factor for your travel quote because of weather and even the possible activities that you’ll be doing there. For example, if you’re headed to a ski trip in the Alps, its important that you have a good trip cancellation policy in your package. Usually, this means that if you have to cancel your trip for unforeseen (usually meaning your plan was purchased at least 24 prior to when the news reported of the weather).

Buy Early Tips

The number one tip for purchasing travel insurance is making sure to purchase it shortly after you’ve booked your flights. A lot of travel insurance companies only let you insure your trip within a certain amount of time after you’ve bought your flights and its always best to get insured as soon as possible. Why buy the insurance early? Because depending on the type of coverage you have, it may not start right away, and you don’t want to risk any complications should you need to cancel your trip for any reason.

Read More