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Best Travel Insurance

Last updated November 8, 2018

All your travel insurance questions will be answered with our travel insurance 101, along with our Top 5 travel insurance company picks.

What Is 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.

Why You Need Travel Insurance

Studies should that only 21 percent of travelers buy travel insurance, mostly for overseas trips. Often, it’s because people don’t realize the benefits that travel insurance can provide.

While the key 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.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

There are four main travel insurance packages, each offering different types of coverage:

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

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.

Medical Coverage: 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.

Travel insurance costs vary depending on the length of your trip and the amount of coverage you need, and some medical plans have deductibles, not unlike traditional medical insurance. Travel insurance companies offer multiple plans, so make sure you do your research before a trip to see which company’s plan best fits your travel needs.

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 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.

What Does Travel Insurance Not Cover?

Travel insurance companies vary, as do their policies, so make sure to choose a company and policy that best fits your needs. Every travel insurance policy has a list of exclusions (situations in which coverage is not provided). Common exclusions include pre-existing conditions, losses due to drunken behavior, losses resulting from mental illness, injury due to high-risk sport and more. When selecting a travel insurance provider and policy, make sure you carefully read over their list of exclusions.

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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Top 5 Travel Insurance

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

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