Best Travel Insurance Companies
Insurance Contributing Editor
Updated on 01/11/2018
Anything can happen while you’re on vacation, so it’s important to be prepared before your bags are even packed. Check out these common travel insurance scenarios to see if you could benefit from travel insurance on your next trip.
Planning the perfect vacation is a task that takes months, and many people sink thousands of dollars into a trip. A sudden emergency, bad weather or lost luggage can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Travel insurance offers peace of mind when planning a vacation. It may cover cancellations, flight delays, property damage, lost luggage, health emergencies and much more.
Compare Reviews for Top Travel Insurance Companies
|Allianz Global Assistance|
Read 2943 Reviews
Allianz is one of the oldest insurance companies in the United States, having insured the Wright Brothers' first flight as well as various movie stars' vehicles. Today, it partners with airlines, hotels and other travel services.
|Generali Global Assistance|
Read 276 Reviews
Generali Global Assistance has been offering travel insurance & assistance for over 25 years. A Generali protection plan will protect you from non-refundable costs due to unforeseen events causing you to cancel your vacation.
|Travelex Insurance Services|
Read 227 Reviews
Travelex offers travel insurance services throughout North America. It offers bankruptcy and terrorism coverage as well as trip cancellation, lost baggage and other standard travel insurance coverage to protect vacationers.
|APRIL Travel Protection|
Read 38 Reviews
With 30 years of industry experience, APRIL makes insurance easy with exclusive features that streamline the claims process. They offer single trip & annual multi-trip plans for Americans traveling domestically or abroad.
|Trip Mate Insurance|
Read 276 Reviews
Trip Mate specializes in travel insurance for both casual and frequent travelers and was the first company to waive exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Its insurance policies are underwritten by major insurers like Nationwide.
|Charles Schwab & Co.|
Read 192 Reviews
Charles Schwab has been in business since 1973. The company offers extensive financial and investing services, including online trading, managed investment and retirement accounts, banking and credit cards.
Read 61 Reviews
Travel Guard has been providing travel insurance services for over 25 years and distributes its services to over 12,000 companies. It offers international insurance options to both business and casual travelers.
Read 13 Reviews
TravelSafe Insurance provides coverage for trips around the world for consumers in Canada and the United States. It has been an industry leader since 1971 and offers several unique travel insurance packages.
Read 197 Reviews
TripInsurance.com has exclusive policies from some of the largest and most reputable travel insurance companies at direct-to-consumer rates. By eliminating the middleman, they offer better value & pass substantial savings to you.
|American Express Travel Insurance||Read 11 Reviews|
American Express Travel Insurance is underwritten by AMEX. This company offers customizable travel insurance with options such as medical insurance, trip delay insurance and lost baggage insurance.
What features matter most in a travel insurance policy?
Protection from Cancellation, Delay or Interruption
Sometimes, situations beyond your control impact your travel plans. Weather, family tragedies, illness, work and other issues can cause you to cancel, postpone or interrupt your trip.
- Weather or worker delays: Some travel insurance policies offer reimbursement for trips interrupted by worker strikes or the weather.
- Sickness, injury or death: An illness, injury or death of your or a loved one might require a trip cancellation, but with the right coverage it won't cost the policyholder financially.
- Work-related interruptions: If work interferes with your ability to travel, you can cancel and get your money back with the right coverage. The same is true if you become unemployed, making a trip an unwise expenditure.
Medical and dental coverage
Many health insurance policies will not pay for services incurred outside of their coverage network. This can leave travelers facing huge medical bills in the event of an issue during a trip. Travel insurance can make up the difference.
- Emergency transportation and care: If you suffer from a medical emergency during a trip, your travel insurance may cover medical and ambulance (and even evacuation by plane) expenses.
- Dental coverage: A dental emergency may not be immediately life threatening, but it can certainly ruin a vacation. Be sure that your dental coverage protects you where you’re visiting, or consider including it in your travel insurance plan.
- Pre-existing condition coverage: A pre-existing condition can act up at any time, but many travel insurance policies will not cover them. Ask about pre-existing conditions since premium policies may include this type of coverage.
Anything that interrupts a trip could leave you struggling to meet back up with your travel group. A missed flight connection could leave you holding the bag on an extra airline ticket. Travel insurance picks up the bill for transportation services needed to keep you on schedule.
- Cancelled flight coverage: If your flight is canceled and it causes you to miss a connection, travel insurance can pay for a hotel stay and a new flight as soon as it's available.
- Easy logistics: When you miss a flight, it can throw your entire itinerary out of whack, but your travel insurance company should be able to do the work to put you back on track.
- Interruption coverage: If something happens at home, and you need to cut your trip short, travel insurance can help cover the cost of return fare and reimburse the unused portion of your trip.
The best coverage in the world doesn't mean much if you can't use it. Poor customer service can leave you on the phone for hours or trying to contact your insurer in vain. Good customer service makes all the difference.
- 24/7 helpline: When you need to make a claim, you need to make it now, not tomorrow or after you get home.
- Available online assistance.: Phone service may not always be available, but there may be Internet access. So, it's important to be able to reach your insurance company using different avenues.
- Extra services: A good travel insurance company will offer additional services like concierge, currency exchange and travel assistance.
Property loss or damage
Lost, delayed or damaged luggage can start any trip on the wrong foot. It can also cost an arm and a leg to buy an emergency wardrobe for a vacation.
- Clothing allowance: If your luggage is lost, be sure to ask your insurer about a clothing allowance to help you get through your vacation and replace your missing items.
- Property replacement: It’s not uncommon for people to travel with valuable items; like jewelry or personal care products. Be sure to discuss them with your insurance company before traveling to ensure they're covered for replacement.
- Luggage delays: If your luggage is permanently lost, your travel insurance would probably replace it, but if it's only delayed, you might need to deal with some interim needs. Insurance could pay for an outfit or two and for toiletries, just to hold you over until your luggage can be delivered.
Extensions on demand
Typically, travel insurance covers a specific trip, which is arranged in advance. If you decide to extend your vacation, you might lose your travel insurance. With that in mind, consider the following:
- Ask about policy extensions: It’s always a good idea to know ahead of time whether you can also extend your travel insurance coverage if you decide on the fly to extend your trip.
- Long-term and short-term policies: Many travel insurance policies only cover a short time-frame, sometimes only a week or two. If you plan to travel more extensively, be sure to ask about long-term options.
- Limited coverage on extensions: Some travel insurance may allow for limited extensions with little to no extra cost. They may not include all premium services, however, so it's important to find out what is and is not covered on an extension.
What are the different types of travel insurance plans?
These plans are for a single trip and offer no extensions. Any additional coverage must be negotiated separately.
For the frequent traveler, an annual insurance policy goes into effect for every trip taken during the year. There may be some limitations on coverage.
For those planning to travel for a year or more, long-term plans are the best option.
Like many products, buying several policies at once may offer a group discount. Typically, these are sold to groups of 10 or more.
Domestic or international
Some policies only cover domestic travel, so for the world traveler, it's important to make sure insurance coverage crosses international boundaries.
Who uses travel insurance?
These travelers go on trips to have a good time and typically visit top destination spots. They often travel seasonally and may plan several trips each year.
Travel for work may entail dozens of trips each year. These trips might be for only a few days at a time, but these travelers need to maintain a professional appearance.
Those who like the adrenaline rush often choose destinations known for their extreme sports and conditions. Medical care is much more important to this group.
Often vacationing only once or twice a year, these travelers tend to go as larger groups and need coverage that includes baggage loss or delays.
Expert reviews for travel insurance companies
Allianz Global Assistance has a long history in the industry. They were the insurer on the Wright brothers' flight and on the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Travelex Insurance Services is a leader in the travel insurance industry. They offer a variety of plans with customizable upgrades so you can find the perfect plan for your trip.
APRIL International offers multiple travel insurance plans for anyone traveling internationally. Coverage includes medical, death and disability, trip cancellation, baggage and more. It has a presence across 37 countries to help cover your single-trip and annual multi-trip plans.
Trip Insurance is an online company that helps consumers compare, choose and buy travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance and coverage for devices lost or damaged during travel. Policy options are categorized as good, better or best values, allowing for fast comparison of policy features. Travelers can also find exclusive direct-to-consumer rates, buy insurance directly through the Trip Insurance website and take advantage of customer support 24 hours a day.
As the first company to waive the pre-existing condition exclusion, Trip Mate Insurance demonstrates its commitment to making every vacation as perfect as possible.
Serving millions of travelers each year, Travel Guard is one of the leading providers of travel insurance.
Founded in 1971, TravelSafe offers comprehensive insurance packages to travelers from the United States and Canada.
Providing A-rated coverage, HTH Travel Insurance offers a wide variety of health insurance products for the world traveler.
Founded in 1961, MH Ross now works with one of the industry's largest travel insurance administrators.
Founded in 1994, and formerly a part of the Travelers Insurance Group, Travel Insured works with more than 1,500 travel agencies to offer quality travel insurance products.
As a Fortune 500 company, American Express offers a wide range of financial and insurance services.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Travel Insurance Companies
Read 7 Reviews
Travel Insured has focused exclusively on providing insurance for travelers since 1994, when it was acquired from the Travelers Insurance Group. It currently works with over 1,500 travel agencies to provide services for travelers.
|HTH Travel Insurance||Read Reviews|
HTH offers travel health insurance to cover users in the event they get ill while traveling. It provides users with access to doctors and hospitals throughout the world while traveling as well as access to a mobile application.
|MH Ross||Read Reviews|
MH Ross is affiliated with Trip Mate. It has been providing customized insurance plans for travelers since 1961 and employs specialists in the travel and technological industries in order to provide comprehensive coverage.