Travel insurance helps you protect the financial investment you made in your vacation, whether you booked a tropical cruise or a sightseeing trip to a far-flung land. Though purchasing travel insurance coverage is optional, it does help you avoid losing money on prepaid travel expenses if your travel plans go awry.
Many credit cards offer some sort of travel insurance coverage. Still, it’s important to note that credit card travel insurance does not always include medical or dental coverage, nor emergency evacuation coverage – three of the most important and protective types of travel insurance. In most cases, specific conditions must also be met to qualify for coverage. With that in mind, you should be wary of relying solely on credit card coverage unless you know for sure what is included.
Before you put down a large sum of money on a family trip, an educational journey or a dream vacation you’ve been planning for years, consider buying a travel insurance policy that can reimburse you if your plans fall apart. You can purchase robust policies that cover an array of potential issues – and even policies that let you cancel your trip for any reason at all. You can also buy basic travel insurance policies that cover your trip’s main components like your airfare or cruise fare for a low overall cost.
The best travel insurance companies will reimburse you for medical expenses, baggage loss, evacuation to your home country and more – and all for an affordable price. As your departure date draws near, consider the companies that can help protect you from financial losses if your trip is canceled or interrupted for reasons beyond your control.
To determine the Best Travel Insurance Companies, U.S. News evaluated ratings and scores from insurance websites like Squaremouth, InsureMyTrip and AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from travel industry sources and consumers. Find more information on the methodology for the Best Travel Insurance Companies here.
1-Allianz Travel Insurance
Pro: Annual and multitrip policies available
Con: Distinguishing between the company’s 10 travel insurance plans can be confusing
Allianz Travel Insurance provides a selection of 10 travel insurance plans intended to suit different traveler needs. You can purchase coverage for a specific trip, but you can also purchase an annual travel insurance plan if you travel often and want to avoid buying a new travel insurance policy each time.
When it comes to purchasing travel insurance for a specific trip, Allianz offers several levels of coverage. While each plan comes with its own inclusions and coverage limits, its most popular single-trip plan is the OneTrip Prime plan.
With OneTrip Prime, you can receive trip cancellation coverage up to $100,000, trip interruption coverage up to $150,000, emergency medical coverage for $25,000, up to $1,000 in baggage loss, theft or damage, and up to $500 in change fee coverage, among other benefits.
The OneTrip Prime plan also covers children ages 17 and younger for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent, and you can customize with additional coverage for rental cars or preexisting conditions.
Allianz also lets you apply for a travel insurance quote, file a claim, manage your policy or follow up on a claim online. Plus, the company offers a smartphone app that lets you manage your plan from your preferred mobile device. Customers can also receive 24-hour hotline assistance in case any issues arise.
2-Travelex Insurance Services
Pro: Customizable upgrades, including car rental coverage, additional medical insurance and adventure sports coverage available
Con: Adventure sport and additional medical coverage is not available with the Travel Basic plan.
Travelex offers two main travel insurance plans – Travel Basic and Travel Select. The company also lets you tailor your policy to meet your unique needs with optional add-ons.
If you’re looking for an affordable plan, you should consider the company’s Travel Basic plan. This plan covers 100% of the insured trip cost for cancellations and interruptions and up to $500 for trip delays. It also offers up to $100,000 in emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage, $15,000 in emergency medical and dental coverage, and up to $500 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen baggage and personal effects. Plus, you have access to primary coverage with no deductibles. The company recommends this plan for short, domestic vacations.
If you’re traveling internationally, you should consider the Travel Select plan. Limits are high with this plan: You will get up to $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage, $50,000 in emergency medical and dental coverage, and up to $1,000 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen baggage and personal effects. What’s more, children ages 17 and younger who are traveling with an insured adult are covered at no additional cost.
Travelex also offers custom upgrades you can add to your plans, including car rental coverage and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. The Travel Select plan allows you to add a preexisting condition waiver, provided you purchase travel insurance within 15 days of your initial trip deposit. You can also supplement the Travel Select plan with special coverage for adventure sports like mountain climbing, skiing or scuba diving. Travelex also lets you purchase a policy, request documents for your policy and file a claim online.
3-World Nomads Travel Insurance
Pro: Adventure sports are covered at no additional cost
Con: Standard plan only promises up to $2,500 in trip protection
World Nomads sells customizable travel insurance policies that vary in terms of coverage and price based on your needs. Its policy inclusions are broad, and in contrast to other travel insurance companies, it covers adventure sports, such as scuba diving, mountain biking, bungee jumping and skiing, in its standard policy.
Generally speaking, you’ll have the choice between two travel insurance plans – a Standard Plan or an Explorer Plan – when you apply for a free quote from World Nomads. The Standard Plan provides a lower level of coverage for a more affordable upfront cost, whereas the Explorer Plan offers more robust coverage for a higher premium.
For example, the Standard Plan only offers $2,500 in trip protection coverage while the Explorer Plan promises $10,000. Both plans provide $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, but the Standard Plan assures $300,000 in emergency evacuation coverage, whereas the Explorer Plan offers $500,000 worth of coverage.
Other types of coverage you receive with both plans (with varying limits) include trip cancellation, trip interruption, loss or damage of baggage and personal effects, rental car coverage, accidental death and dismemberment, and more.
World Nomads lets you apply for a quote online with ease, and you can also file a travel insurance claim online.
Pro: Travel insurance policy coverage is tailored to your specific trip
Con: Information about policy coverage inclusions is not readily available without first obtaining a quote
AIG Travel offers three types of travel insurance plans: the Annual plan for all trips in a one-year span, the Pack N’ Go plan for last-minute trips and the single-trip plan (of which there are three levels). Single trips can be insured with Essential, Preferred or Deluxe level coverage depending on the cost of your trip and the amount of reimbursement you want guaranteed. However, if you are a resident of New York state, you’ll pick from a similar Silver, Gold or Platinum plan depending on your needs.
The amount of coverage and the limits in your plan can vary depending on your trip details. This variability makes it essential to obtain a quote through the AIG Travel search engine to verify the coverage levels you can qualify for.
AIG Travel insurance plans generally cover kids 17 and younger. With a mid-tier Preferred plan, you may qualify for trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of your trip’s cost (maximum of $150,000) and trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of your trip’s cost (maximum of $225,000). Medical expense coverage can be worth up to $50,000 depending on your trip details, and trip delay coverage worth up to $800 can be included as well.
While AIG Travel offers limited details on its plans prior to requesting a quote, it does make it easy for customers to file a claim or check the status of a travel insurance claim online.
Pro: Coverage for preexisting conditions
Con: Cancel for any reason coverage costs extra
Seven Corners offers travel insurance plans for U.S. residents, but it also offers travel insurance with medical coverage for visitors traveling to the U.S. Travel medical coverage plans can be purchased with up to $5 million in coverage, but you can also purchase travel insurance for students, group travel insurance plans and annual travel insurance plans for frequent travelers.
Seven Corners’ featured travel insurance plan is its RoundTrip Trip Cancellation Insurance, which is the type of policy you might be inclined to buy to cover a single vacation you have planned for the year. This coverage is for U.S. residents and is available in three tiers – economy, choice or elite.
The following are a few of the main benefits of the mid-tier RoundTrip Choice plan:
Trip cancellation coverage up to $20,000
Trip interruption coverage good for up to 150% of the cost of the trip
Trip delay coverage worth $600
Missed connection coverage worth $1,000
Emergency medical coverage worth up to $100,000
Emergency dental coverage up to $750
Emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage up to $500,000
Lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage up to $1,500
This level of coverage can include any preexisting conditions provided you purchase your plan within 20 days of your initial trip deposit and meet other conditions.
Also note that when you buy a plan from Seven Corners, you can customize it with add-ons like rental car coverage, flight accident coverage or cancel for any reason coverage.
6-Generali Global Assistance
Pro: Sporting equipment coverage included in the company’s mid-tier plan
Con: Coverage for those with preexisting conditions is only available on the Premium plan
Generali Global Assistance offers three travel insurance plans you can customize according to your needs – a Standard plan, a Preferred plan and a Premium plan. Its Standard plan provides the lowest level of coverage, whereas the Premium plan offers more coverage and higher limits for a higher upfront cost.
The Preferred plan promises the same coverage as the Standard plan, but with special coverages for sporting equipment and sporting equipment delays. That makes this plan a valuable option if you are traveling for a golf tournament or a ski trip.
Meanwhile, the Premium plan offers the most robust coverage for pricier trips, including tours and cruises. This enhanced plan promises 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation, 175% reimbursement for trip interruption, $2,000 in coverage for loss of baggage per person and $250,000 in medical and dental coverage per person, among other benefits.
Generali Global Assistance makes it easy to obtain a free quote, and you can file travel insurance claims online or via phone. You can buy coverage as early as 18 months before the departure date of your trip or as late as the day before your departure date.
7-IMG Travel Insurance
Pro: A plan specifically designed for retired travelers ages 65 and older is available
Con: The company’s iTravel Insured Travel Lite plan does not include primary coverage
IMG Travel Insurance focuses on three main types of coverage – travel medical insurance, international health insurance and traditional travel insurance. This company also offers a GlobeHopper Senior plan suited for retired travelers ages 65 and older, as well as plans geared specifically toward expats, students, business travelers and government workers.
IMG’s three main travel insurance plans for families or business travelers include iTravelInsured Travel Lite, iTravelInsured Travel SE and iTravelInsured Travel LX.
Its mid-tier iTravelInsured Travel SE plan is a family-friendly travel insurance plan that works for both domestic and international trips. Among the benefits you will receive if you buy this plan are:
Trip cancellation coverage worth up to $50,000 per person
Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the cost of the trip
Travel delay coverage up to $500 (maximum of $125 per day)
Emergency medical evacuation coverage up to $500,000
Up to $150 in change fee reimbursement
You can purchase this plan as late as one day before your trip departs. Interestingly, the trip delay coverage can include a wide range of charges, such as additional kennel charges for a pet or costs associated with family internet usage. You also have the option to add on rental car damage protection worth up to $40,000. Further, you’ll have access to a few non-emergency travel benefits like coverage for the financial default of a supplier (e.g., a hotel that goes bankrupt before you arrive) and coverage for the theft or loss of a passport that prevents you from departing.
8-AXA Assistance USA
Pro: All plans include missed connection coverage
Con: Only the highest-tier plan allows travelers to add cancel for any reason coverage
AXA Assistance USA has three tiers of travel insurance (Silver, Gold and Platinum) for customers who want to pay more (or less) to get the right amount of coverage. The Gold Plan is AXA’s mid-tier option with 100% coverage for trip cancellation, 150% in coverage for trip interruption, $200 per day in coverage for trip delays ($1,000 maximum benefit), $1,000 in missed connection coverage, $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation, and $100,000 in accident and sickness coverage. The Gold Plan also includes $300 in coverage for baggage delays and $1,500 in coverage for baggage and personal effects.
However, you can pay for more coverage and higher coverage limits with the Platinum Plan or opt for the more cost-effective Silver Plan. The Platinum Plan even comes with specialized coverage relevant to active travelers, such as coverage for lost ski days ($25 per day), $500 in coverage for lost golf rounds and $1,000 in coverage for sports equipment rentals. What’s more, this level of coverage is also the only AXA plan that lets you add a cancel for any reason rider to your policy, where you can get 75% of your trip costs back if you decide to cancel your trip. (Note: This coverage must be purchased within 14 days of your initial trip deposit in order for it to apply.)
Additionally, AXA Assistance USA plans come with a 10-day money back guarantee. This means you can purchase a plan, change your mind and get your premiums back provided you have not started your trip or filed a claim.
9-Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
Pro: All plans include 24/7 travel assistance that can aid in finding or replacing lost luggage and assist with lost or stolen wallets, tickets and passports
Con: Some benefits, such as preexisting condition coverage, are only available if the plan is purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection lets you choose from a selection of travel insurance plans and receive a free online quote in minutes. Not only does the company offer travel insurance specifically for flights or cruises, but it also offers three tiers of coverage you can purchase for your vacation – ExactCare Value, ExactCare and ExactCare Extra. The company also offers specialized plans for adventure travel, road trips, cruise travel and more.
Berkshire Hathaway’s mid-tier ExactCare plan is best for families, and it includes:
Trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the trip cost
Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the trip cost
Trip delay coverage worth up to $1,000
Medical coverage worth up to $25,000
Emergency medical evacuation worth up to $500,000
Missed connection coverage worth up to $500
Note that all Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection plans for individual trips include worldwide travel assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can be a huge help if your wallet is lost or stolen, you need emergency translation services, you lose your passport while overseas or any other travel mishaps occur.
Berkshire Hathaway makes it easy to file a claim online using its online portal, and you can also view your policy and manage its details online. Berkshire Hathaway also touts that it pays claims five times faster than the industry average, which is worth considering if you are worried about delayed claims and reimbursement times.
10-HTH Travel Insurance
Pro: Generous coverage at the mid-tier level
Con: Preexisting conditions coverage only available at mid- and high-tier plans
With HTH Travel Insurance, consumers have a wide range of options that can fit with different goals. You can buy medical-only coverage for single trips or multiple trips, standalone trip cancellation coverage and more.
In addition to coverage for specific components of your trip, HTH Travel Insurance also offers comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Plans come in three tiers: Economy, Classic and Preferred.
The middle-of-the-road Classic plan comes with up to $25,000 in coverage for trip cancellation, 150% of the trip cost in coverage for trip interruption, up to $1,000 in coverage for baggage and personal effects, $200 in baggage delay coverage, up to $1,000 in coverage for trip delays, up to $250,000 in coverage per person for sickness and accidents, and $1 million in medical transportation coverage, among other benefits. The Preferred plan comes with even higher limits for those seeking more coverage, including up to $50,000 for trip cancellation, 200% of trip cost for trip interruption, $500,000 in medical for illness and injury, and more.
With low coverage limits in some categories, the Economy plan is probably best for less expensive trips closer to home.
The Classic and Preferred plans also let you add coverage for preexisting conditions provided you purchase your policy within 14 days (Classic) or 21 days (Preferred) of your initial trip deposit.