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Best travel insurance companies 2021

Bets travel insurance 2021
(Image credit: Getty )

Sourcing the best travel insurance is vital for all kinds of travel, and indeed all kinds of traveler, from seasoned business travelers to vacationers. The right travel insurance quote can provide valuable cover for any losses that could result from unforeseen mishaps, as well as cancellation for any reason, protecting your finances against anything unexpected that could happen on your trip – or, in the case of cancellation cover, before it. 

Providing cover no matter where in the world you’re travelling, the best travel insurance policy can insure you against a whole range of misfortunes, such as if your hotel was cancelled, your flight delayed or your possessions lost or stolen. It also provides valuable medical cover should you become ill or injured on your trip, and the top rated travel insurance will include features such as medical evacuation, prescription replacements, translation services, and even rental car insurance and expenses cover should you be out of pocket as a result of delays. Some will even offer specialized COVID-19 cover, something that could be especially beneficial in the current environment.

When looking for a quote, you’ll be able to specify whether you want cover for a single trip or a whole year’s worth of travel, with annual policies ideal for those who travel regularly. The level of cover required – and the resulting cost – will vary depending on your reason for traveling, your destination, your planned activities, any pre-existing conditions and a whole range of factors besides, with the right travel insurance policy able to cater to your precise needs. 

If you’re looking for the best travel insurance companies, our list highlights those that come out top across a range of criteria, including value for money, plan options and the speed of the claims process. There’s also the company that we’ve rated as being the best overall travel insurance provider, potentially offering a one-stop-shop for your travel insurance requirements. And for those who’ll need to hire a car when they get there, we’ve compiled a snapshot of the best car rental sites, too. 

1. Generali: Best travel insurance 2021

Generali is our best travel insurance company for 2021.

(Image credit: Generali)

Generali

Generali provides the best travel insurance for most travelers, in 2021

Trip cancellation: 100% of cost | Trip interruption: Up to 175% | Travel delay: Up to $1,000 | Baggage: Up to $2,000 | Medical and dental: Up to $250,000

 Wide choice of plans 
 Higher than average coverage
Outstanding customer service
 More claim requirements than others 

Generali wins out among the best travel insurance companies for its happy combination of below average fees for above average travel cover. As well as offering three excellent travel insurance plans that should suit most, the accessible and informative Generali website allows for a clear side-by-side comparison of the benefits they each have to offer. The wider guidance and resources on offer are excellent too, while Generali is regularly recognized for its outstanding customer service. 

Should anything make you unhappy early on, there’s a 10-day satisfaction refund that can be taken advantage of. However, with almost all travel insurance bases covered, and the cost of such broad coverage widely favorable too, it seems unlikely that many travelers will need to look beyond Generali for the best travel insurance solution. 


2. USI Affinity: Best value for money 

USI Affinity offers great value for money

(Image credit: USI Affinity)

USI Affinity

USI Affinity offers great travel insurance at low prices

Trip cancellation: Up to $100,000 | Trip interruption: Up to 150% of cost | Travel delay: Up to $1,500 | Loss of baggage: Up to $2,500 | Medical: Up to $1,500

Great value-for-money cover
Plan options for all
 Dated website
Claims process unclear

USI Affinity is a well-established travel insurer that can be relied upon to provide the travel insurance basics at affordable prices. If you’re after a more comprehensive plan, or have more specialist travel cover needs, USI has plenty to offer too, while with almost half a century of trading under its belt, its all-round expertise should not be in doubt.  

USI’s trip cancellation policy offers Cancel for any reason cover if you’re willing to pay a little more, while there are three standard medical from which to choose, depending on where you might go and for how long. A travel insurance company of relatively long standing can perhaps be forgiven for a below par website, although the lack of clear direction over its claims process is something that should certainly be addressed. That said, if you’re on the lookout for value-for-money from your travel insurance, USI Affinity is a good place to start, and likely to deliver an affordable policy too. 


3. Seven Corners: Best for plan options

Seven Corners is top for plan choice

(Image credit: Seven Corners)

Seven Corners

Seven Corners will have a travel insurance solution for all

Trip cancellation: Up to $30,000 | Trip interruption: Up to 150% of cost | Travel delay: Up to $1,500 | Baggage: Up to $2,500 | Medical: Up to $250,000

 Wide coverage and numerous add-ons 
 Specialized COVID-19 cover
 Lack of easy price comparison
Some plans are similar to each other

Seven Corners has all the travel insurance plans that you’re ever likely to need, regardless of whether you’re staying relatively close to home or going much farther afield. Its standard travel cover plan comes in three different tiers, but there are many more options besides, and with some plans, the option to choose specialized COVID-19 cover too. 

Thankfully, all of the various plans are well-explained and documented across Seven Corner’s detailed website, with quick quotes available as well. The claims process is laid bare too, so there’ll be non surprises should you find yourselves in the situation of needing to make use of your policy for the payout or reimbursement of any funds. 


4. Allianz Global Assistance: Best claims process

Allianz Global Assistance offers a great claims process.

(Image credit: Allianz Global Assistance)

Allianz Global Assistance

Best travel insurance company for cruise cover

Trip cancellation: Up to $100,000 | Trip interruption: Up to $150,000 | Travel delay: Up to $1,600 | Baggage: Up to $2,000 | Medical: $50,000

Straightforward claims process 
Numerous plan options
Excellent website 
 No side-by-side comparisons 

Allianz Global Assistance is the travel insurance company that delivers when you need it most. While you won’t want to find out, Allianz offers one of the most straightforward claims filing processes that you could wish to find. Alongside the numerous resources designed to help you file your claim correctly, including video tutorials and sample documents, you’ll also come into contact with an outstanding customer service operation that regularly draws award recognition. 

Even if you don’t have to make a claim, Allianz has much to offer, including a wide choice of single and multi-trip plan options, and a well-presented website that contains all the information you should need. The quote process is straightforward too - and while you’ll hope to avoid it, you know that making a claim should be a relatively stress-free process as well. 


5. AIG Travel Guard: Best cruise cover

AIG Travel Guard offers great cruise coverage.

(Image credit: AIG)

AIG Travel Guard

AIG Travel Guard is the top choice for cruise coverage

Trip cancellation: Up to $150,000 | Trip interruption: Up to $225,000 | Trip delay: Up to $1,000 | Baggage: Up to $2,500 | Medical and dental: Up to $100,000

Cruise-specific plan options
Free cover for children
 Website could be more informative
 Little insight into claims process

AIG Travel Guard is the top travel insurance choice if you’re searching for cruise coverage. This familiar name from the world of insurance allows travelers to search specifically for cruise-related cover when looking for a quote, saving the trouble of having to find policies with cruise cover add-ons. 

Travel Guard has plenty to offer those undertaking any kind of travel as a family too, with children under 17 covered for free under a paying adult’s policy. As you would expect of an established global insurer, on-the-ground multi lingual support is available to travelers almost anywhere you can think of, and the range of cover on offer is far-reaching too. On the downside, customers who like to know the ins and outs of the claims process before they sign up will find details are sketchy, while there is the scope for improvement to the Travel Guard website also. For cruise goers and families, however, there is still definitely enough on offer to warrant a look at Travel Guard.  


How we tested travel insurance companies

We have been reviewing travel insurance companies since 2010 and in that time, we have spent countless hours conducting our research. We’ve completed extensive online research and contacted professionals and industry insiders to get opinions about the best travel insurance agencies available. Posing as people looking to insure their travel, we contacted customer support representatives at each agency. The agencies had no input or influence over our testing methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available by reading our reviews online. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication. 

Our rating is based on a number of factors, including the range of coverage and services available in the plan. As you'll see from our reviews, cover and payouts vary - also remember that payouts we list are possible payouts and may not be the same numbers you see in your policy. We also looked at the process to file claims. When filing a claim, all trip insurance companies require a certain amount of paperwork. Some companies require more documentation than others. Some let you submit your claim online; others require it to be mailed or faxed.

What protection does travel insurance provide? 

Travel insurance provides financial compensation for cancelled travel plans, emergency medical assistance, lost luggage and trip delay reimbursements. Other services include emergency medical evacuation, translation services, prescription medicine replacements and rental car insurance. If you experience significant delays on your trip, you may be able to recoup some food and hotel expenses resulting from delays beyond your control.

We compared several trip insurance plans that provide U.S. and international travel benefits. Some offer packages specifically created for cruises and high adventure vacations. Many travel insurance companies offer individual trip plans, as well as yearly, group, family and business plans. Most plans offer group and family plans, but some also cover children without adding to the cost of the premium. If you travel frequently for business, you may want to investigate business or yearly plans.

 Travel insurance provides financial compensation for cancelled travel plans, emergency medical assistance, lost luggage and trip delay reimbursements. Other services include emergency medical evacuation, translation services, prescription medicine replacements and rental car insurance. If you experience significant delays on your trip, you may be able to recoup some food and hotel expenses resulting from delays beyond your control.

We compared several trip insurance plans that provide U.S. and international travel benefits. Some offer packages specifically created for cruises and high adventure vacations. Many travel insurance companies offer individual trip plans, as well as yearly, group, family and business plans. Most plans offer group and family plans, but some also cover children without adding to the cost of the premium. If you travel frequently for business, you may want to investigate business or yearly plans.

Trip Cancellations
Our research revealed that the most common reason travelers purchase trip insurance is to protect themselves from losing money when a trip with a large, prepaid investment is canceled. Trips such as all-inclusive cruises, resort packages or package deals will often have an upfront cost of several thousand dollars. 

For an additional premium fee, many travel insurance companies can help recoup part of your upfront costs should you have to cancel your trip for any reason, even if those reasons are within your control. For the most part, the types of expenses that trip cancellation insurance companies cover are nonrefundable expenses. If your airline tickets, for example, are refundable, you will not be able to recoup the costs. But if you must cancel a costly cruise a week before leaving the dock because you suffered a major medical problem - one that is not pre-existing - chances are your upfront costs will be covered.

Medical Emergencies
The second reason consumers purchase travel insurance is to help cover the costs of a medical emergency that might happen abroad that their stateside health insurance doesn't cover. Medical assistance often includes consultation with a U.S.-based doctor. Some plans offer pre-existing condition waivers, but most do not. Most offer medical evacuations if you need to be moved from a remote location to a city with a larger hospital. And some plans will pay to have a friend or family member flown to you if you are hospitalized.