8 Best Travel Insurance Companies

8 Best Travel Insurance Companies

Last year I traveled internationally and domestically every single month. Due to the frequency of my trips, I started thinking about travel insurance and whether it made sense for me.

I didn’t know so much about travel insurance except the basics. These may include flight cancellation and lost luggage reimbursements. I was more interested in the medical coverage for accidents or an emergency. Getting hurt is scary enough but what if happens in a foreign country?

Also, the thought of a huge medical bill didn’t appeal to me either.

Then… randomly, I happened to watch a show on TV about shark attacks. The show featured a couple who traveled to the Dominican Republic and the woman got her arm bitten off by a shark.

8 Best Travel Insurance Companies to Consider

The companies listed in this list are companies that operate throughout the Internet with A.M. Best ratings and convincing reviews from real customers.

Most insurance companies offer different insurance packages, depending on how much coverage you want.

The following cost examples come from the lowest price package of the individual insurance companies. If you want a medical cost recovery of at least $ 50,000, you’ll need to choose a higher plan.

The following cost examples are based on a 30-year-old resident of California who travels 14 days to Australia. (Services and costs may vary depending on the state.)

1. AXA Assistance USA

AXA Assistance USA is one of the largest financial companies and is part of the AXA Group. With three comprehensive plans, you will receive 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 3,200 reviews on InsureMyTrip.com.

Example of coverage that costs $47:

  • Medical: $25,000
  • Medevac: $100,000
  • Trip cancellation: 100% of the cost
  • Lost luggage: $750
  • Travel delay: $100/day or $500 maximum

2. Allianz

Allianz is a popular choice for travel insurance and one of the most established insurance companies on the list.

The company consistently gets great reviews from consumers, including a 4.5-star rating from over 3,000 customers on ConsumerAffairs.com. They also offer pre-existing medical condition coverage.

Example of cost:

  • $58
  • Trip cancellation: $2,000
  • Medical: $10,000
  • Lost luggage: $500
  • Travel delay: $300

3. World Nomads

World Nomads is an Australian travel insurance company recommended by Lonely Planet.

I first heard about World Nomads from one of my favorite travel bloggers, NomadicMatt.com. World Nomads is best for backpackers or even digital nomads, who are always on the move. You can even extend coverage while you’re traveling.

Example of cost:

  • $80
  • Medical: $100,000
  • Trip cancellation: $2,500

4. AIG Travel Guard

AIG Travel Guard offers three levels of plan packages, including silver, gold, and platinum. Silver is the least expensive option while Gold is the most popular.

Gold is great for international travelers or families. Platinum is the most expensive plan. All three plans give you 24/7 travel assistance.

Example of cost:

  • $61
  • Medical: $15,000 ($500 for dental)
  • Trip cancellation: Up to $100,000 for all three plans
  • Trip delay: $500 ($100/day)

5. Amex Assurance

Amex Assurance, owned by American Express, offers exceptional, award-winning customer service. If you’re an American Express customer and purchase your ticket with your Amex card, you receive basic automatic travel insurance for local and international travel.

Unlike other listed travel insurance companies, you do not need to take any of the existing packages with you. You can customize and build your own plan, based on your travel needs.

Example of cost:

  • $59
  • Medical: Up to $5,000 ($750 for dental)
  • Baggage loss: Up to $250

6. IMG Global

IMG Global is known for offering specific plans for those who are addicted to thrilling adventures while on vacation. Plans are catered to remote or exotic locations.

Your TravelInsuredLX plan offers cover for adventure or extreme sports and even has $10,000 in search and rescue assistance.

They don’t offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

Example of cost:

  • $63
  • Medical: $150,000
  • Medevac: $500,000
  • Baggage loss: Up to $1,500
  • Trip cancellation: 100% of the trip cost
  • Missed connection: $500 per person

7. Travelex

Travelex is great for families because they insure kids under the age of 17 for free.

Example of cost:

  • $56
  • Medical: $15,000 (dental $500)
  • Medevac: $100,000 maximum
  • Baggage loss: $500
  • Trip delay: up to $500
  • Trip cancellation: 100% of the trip cost

8. TripAssure

TripAssure has been around since the 1960s and is now a part of the TripMate brand, which is huge in the travel insurance world. Because they are a part of such a large brand, they’re able to offer a variety of insurance products. They even offer worldwide travel services, for example, concierge.

Example of cost:

  • $75
  • Medical: $50,00
  • Medevac: $500,000
  • Baggage loss: $1,500
  • Trip interruption: $2,500

Reasons Why Travel Insurance May Be Worth It

Travel insurance offers more than just health insurance. The plans are often comprehensive and include a number of travel-related emergencies.

The following scenarios are generally what travel insurance may cover, but keep in mind you’d have to make sure it’s included in the package you purchase.

  • Health emergencies
  • Accidents or injuries
  • Lost luggage
  • Stolen luggage
  • Flight delays
  • Property damage
  • Bad weather that causes flight cancellations
  • You changed your mind and don’t feel like going on your trip
  • Illness preventing travel
  • You missed your connecting flight
  • You got laid off or fired from your job and can’t afford to go on the trip anymore
  • A wrecked rental car

What Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover

In order to set yourself with the right expectations, it’s important to understand what travel insurance doesn’t cover. Scour through the details with a fine-toothed comb. Look out for the following:

  • Pre-existing conditions: This is different for all insurance companies and some may or may not accept a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Extreme Travel: high-risk sports such as parachuting, diving and bungee jumping (although some plans offer this as an optional add-on)
  • Medical tourism: This is traveling to a foreign country to receive a medical treatment

What to Think About When Choosing an Insurance Company

When looking through the list of the best travel insurance companies the most important thing to understand is what’s covered in the package.

Tip: When looking at medical coverage, consider one that’s at least $50,000 which may be enough to get you through at least one week in the hospital.

Consider the following:

  • Specific dollar amounts of what is covered
  • Your travel destination activities (i.e. will you be active and doing a lot of outdoor activities where the chances of getting hurt are higher?)

Here’s what a well-rounded plan would cover:

  • Emergency medical treatment and care
  • Medical evacuation (also known as medevac)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption reimbursement
  • Lost luggage
  • Worldwide assistance 24/7

Do People Actually Buy Travel Insurance?

I had talked to a few of my seasoned traveler friends and they seemed to have very polarizing views on this topic.

Some said it’s a must, especially if your adventures involve outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, or mountain climbing. Others said they just rely on their health insurance from home since some healthcare providers will cover some overseas emergency costs.

For other travel-related mishaps like lost luggage, they referred to their travel rewards credit cards as their “insurance,” since many credit card companies cover these issues.

What About My Credit Card?

Credit cards offer you some protection from things like lost baggage, trip cancellation due to bad weather, and rental car insurance. In order to be covered, you must use the credit card when you purchase the ticket.

If you travel a lot, should you take out travel insurance or simply rely on your credit card?

Scott Keyes, CEO of ScottsCheapFlights.com, believes that your travel-related credit balance, such as flight cancellations, is sufficient.

He clarified, “The insurance automatically provided by your credit card (assuming your credit card carries travel insurance) is more than plenty. Paying for additional insurance is rarely, if ever, useful, and can [actually] negate your ability to receive compensation from your credit card.”

However, your credit cards may not be sufficient enough to cover medical costs.

Does my U.S.-Based Health Insurance Work Overseas?

I am a member of the Kaiser and have called to get information on foreign reporting. The customer service rep said only the initial emergency trip to the hospital would be covered.

In the event that I need an after treatment, I would not qualify. I’d have to return back home to receive them. They basically only cover the initial emergency cost and a trip to the hospital.

This actually made me feel a lot better, should an emergency occur overseas. I thought travel insurance would be a great way to close the gap between full coverage and what Kaiser offered.

When you call, these are relevant scenarios to ask about:

  • An emergency trip to the hospital
  • Hospital stays
  • Follow-up treatments and medication
  • Medevac

Tip: If you’re on the hunt for a new health insurance provider, HealthInsurance.net helps you find one.

Even if you do not have travel insurance, you should have the right documents with you on your travel. Bring copies of your health insurance and note any important customer service numbers you can call when you’re overseas. If you require prescription medication, make sure to have the proper paperwork for that.

What to Do After You Get Travel Insurance and Before Your Trip

As with any kind of insurance, it’s sometimes difficult to understand complicated insurance jargon and it can be confusing. There’s a reason why there are insurance reps who are happy to answer your questions.

Here are tips on what to do before the trip in case you experience a medical illness or injury:

  • Take photos of all your valuables (cameras, phone, passport)
  • Document your illness as soon as it happens and call your insurance company
  • Call the 24/7 customer service number as soon as the injury or emergency occurs

Is Travel Insurance for You?

As you can see from the list of listed travel insurance companies, the amount of health insurance coverage varies. This means you’ll have to prioritize what’s most important to you and find a company that offers the best price.

As recommended by Keyes, contact customer service and inquire about your travel benefits. When you call, ask about any travel benefits you might miss if you have travel insurance. (Note: this is only if you use a travel credit card.)

So did I ever end up getting travel insurance? I decided I would be OK without it because the frequency of my trips slowed down at the beginning of this year. However, I do plan on adding it to my overseas snowboarding trip this winter. I’ve narrowed down my two main choices to Alliance or World Nomad.

If you travel frequently, travel health insurance may be right for you. It’s great to have peace of mind in case you experience an accident or happen to miss a flight.