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Best Travel Insurance
How to Select Travel Insurance
We have been reviewing travel insurance since 2010, spending more than 240 hours reviewing online information, contacting providers with questions and consulting with professionals in the industry. The best travel insurance we found was Generali Global Assistance. It offers plans that cost less than average, while offering caps above the mean. Further, it offers extra features like emergency cash and reimbursement on lost medication. This travel insurance is also a great value, with plans that consistently cost less than comparable plans from other companies, yet the coverage was at or above average in nearly all areas.
Best Overall: Generali
Generali (formerly CSA Travel Protection) is one of the best travel insurance companies. As a whole, plans cost less than average and provide coverage to give you peace of mind. If you’re hurt while traveling, the medical coverage is higher than that of most other companies, with payouts of up to $2 million in medical evacuation and repatriation costs. If you are planning a potentially dangerous adventure, this is a good plan to investigate.
Generali also has your back in cases of less serious mishaps. The company caps its lost luggage reimbursement at $3,000, which is higher than most other services and is good for when you’re traveling with things like expensive camera equipment or jewelry. If your wallet is stolen on your trip, Generali offers up to a $500 emergency advance. It also provides for lost prescriptions. All of this makes Generali a worthwhile travel insurance company to investigate, even though it has more claim requirements than other companies.
- Lower than average prices
- Higher than average payouts
- $500 emergency advances
- More claim requirements than others
Read the full review here: Generali Global Assistance Review
Best Value: USI Affinity
USI Affinity is a solid company that provides all the basics at lower-than-average prices. To file a claim, you have to contact an agent, as USI Affinity does not allow for online claim filing. However, the coverage is competitive. This insurance has a cancel-for-any-reason option that lets you cancel the insurance 14 days or more before your vacation. It has coverage you don’t always find at competitive pricing, including reimbursement and aid in replacing lost prescriptions, as well as coverage should you need to evacuate the country for a non-medical emergency.
The emergency medical benefits of USI Affinity are comparable to most of the travel insurances we evaluated. The $100,000 cap on medical expenses is a standard that only a few insurances exceed, as is the $1 million for emergency medical evacuation. The contract does not detail the paperwork you must file, but we were told by an agent that all you need are receipts when filing a claim.
- Comparable to more expensive services
- No electronic claim filing
Read the full review here: USI Affinity Review
Best Cruise Coverage: InsureandGo
InsureandGo keeps pricing for its plans down by offering just the essential services. It covers the basics, like emergency medical emergencies, but not less likely occurrences, such as trip cancellation due to your airline going out of business. Not all companies have plans specifically covering cruises, but this company has one of the best cruise plans available. Its cruise plans have extra coverage for missed departures and compensation for missed cruise days should illness confine you to your cabin. It doesn’t have as many options overall as some of the other services in our lineup, but its plans are generally competitively priced.
As with other travel insurance companies, you need to download claim forms from the company website, but these forms include a checklist of the required paperwork. If you have questions of an administrative nature, call during business hours, or the 24/7 line if you have an emergency while on your trip. Unlike many travel insurance companies, InsureandGo does not offer concierge services, but even so, it offers competitively priced, basic travel insurance plans.
- Cruise-specific plans
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 emergency phone line
- Basic service
Read the full review here: InsureandGo Review
Best Claims Filing Process: Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance is a travel insurance company that covers both domestic and international destinations. Its premiums are a bit higher, on average, than other travel insurance companies we evaluated, but it somewhat makes up for the price with its coverage for flight delays, change fees and frequent flier mile reimbursements. It also has no cap for dental coverage, though most other services top out at $750. When compared side-by-side to other travel insurance plans, Allianz is lacking in some places. It has a little lower medical coverage on average, and it does not reimburse you for lost prescriptions. Allianz does, however, have one of the most straightforward claims filing processes that we found. The company offers plenty of resources to help you fill out forms correctly, including video tutorials and example forms. So, if you do need to use your insurance during your trip, figuring out how to file a claim doesn’t cause more stress than necessary.
- No dental cap
- Good coverage for delays
- Instructions for filing claims
- More expensive
- Slightly less coverage for medical expenses
Read the full review here: Allianz Global Assistance Review
Best Emergency Advances: Seven Corners
Seven Corners’ domestic and international travel insurance plans are fairly typical among the companies we evaluated. Its prices are generally competitive, though slightly higher than average for travelers over the age of 60. It covers all the basics of trip insurance, including emergency medical expenses and trip cancellation or interruption. It also accommodates less common occurrences like rental cars or flight accident coverage up to $10,000.
The most notable aspects of Seven Corners’ travel insurance plans, however, are its emergency advance options. Many companies offer insurance in the form of reimbursements, but Seven Corners advances funds to you in certain situations. These include advance hospital fees to ensure you can afford proper care, cash advances if your wallet or funds are stole and even bail money if you find yourself in trouble with the law.
- Emergency cash advances
- Flight accident coverage
- Above average prices for seniors
Read the Full review here: Seven Corners Review
Why Trust Us
We have been reviewing travel insurance companies since 2010 and in that time, we have spent more than 240 hours doing our research. We’ve done extensive online research, as noted above, 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.
How We Tested
To test travel insurance, we simulated the same type of vacation plans for each company and compared cost and coverage for each company. Since most people purchase trip insurance to recover costs, we looked at various travel scenarios with an upfront investment of $5,000 or more. We gathered quotes for two adults for a U.S.-based cruise, a French vacation and a high-adventure Antarctic vacation. Since age and state of residency affect quote rates, we varied the state and age, looking at three groups in each category.
Once we collected the quote information, we then calculated a score based on the coverage, the services available in the plan and the plan's cost. As you'll see in our reviews, rates and payouts vary. The payouts we listed 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 canceled 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.
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. Such trips often have an upfront cost of $5,000 or more, such as all-inclusive cruises, resort packages or package deals.
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.
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.