The 9 Best Travel Insurance Companies Reviewed

Travel insurance is so much more than just medical coverage—it’s coverage for your entire trip. But what exactly is travel insurance, do you really need it, who are the best travel insurance companies to use and what do they cover? We answer all!

How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance
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The word “insurance” can be intimidating. Maybe it’s because big insurance companies are notorious for bullying every penny out of you. Or maybe you just don’t want to think about worst-case scenarios in which you’d actually need insurance. Either way, the best travel insurance companies make it feel a lot less daunting.

The truth is that buying the best travel insurance (and also using it) doesn’t have to suck.

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World Nomads Travel Insurance

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World Nomads

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive travel insurance with full coverage, World Nomads is it! They cover the widest number of countries and more than 300 activities. They're affordable, and the customer service is great.

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Travel insurance is ultimately your friend. It’s arguably your most loyal travel companion. In times of turmoil, travel insurance can quite literally save you. If you have to cancel or change trip plans, travel insurance is there to help you. And if you lose your luggage, travel insurance has your back.

As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” I don’t know who that wise man was, but I do know that he was right.

That said, there are some travel insurance companies that are better than others. This is especially true depending on your 2019 travel plans and needs.

Table of Contents

Quick Answers: The Best Travel Insurance Companies of 2019

COMPANYFEATURESCHECK PRICE

World Nomads Travel Insurance

World Nomads

Best Overall Travel Insurance

  • Great medical and baggage coverage
  • Covers most countries
  • Very affordable
  • Great online service

World Nomads

World Nomads Travel Insurance

World Nomads

Best Travel Insurance For Backpackers

  • Covers most countries that backpackers go to
  • Over 150 activities covered
  • Easy to file claims
  • Great customer service

World Nomads

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel

Best Long Term Travel Insurance

  • Up to one year of travel coverage
  • Children under 18 are covered for free
  • Trip delay starts at 3 hours
  • Higher than average coverage limit

Allianz Travel

IMG Patriot Adventure

Best Travel Insurance For Extreme Sports

  • Covers extreme sports where other insurances do not
  • Also includes identity theft assistance
  • Surprisingly affordable
  • Available only to those under 49 years old

IMG Patriot Adventure

Travelex Travel Insurance

Travelex

Best Travel Insurance For Families

  • Free coverage for children under 18
  • Add ons available, including extreme sports
  • Excellent customer service
  • Medical maximum policy upgrades

Travelex

Insure My Equipment

Insure My Equipment

Best Travel Insurance For Camera Equipment

  • Affordable protection for expensive gear
  • Customizable
  • Ability to specify coverage for items over $2,000
  • Doesn't include trip cancellation, delays, etc.

Insure My Equipment

GeoBlue

GeoBlue Xplorer

Best Travel Insurance for Americans

  • Unlimited annual and lifetime maximum coverage
  • Customizable deduction
  • Options to add prescriptions, dental, and vision
  • Covers your entire expat time period

GeoBlue Xplorer

Globelink travel insurance

Globelink

Best Travel Insurance for Europeans

  • Wintersports covered for free up to 17 days
  • Affordable packages
  • Children under 18 travel for free
  • Option to add extreme sports, valuables, and event coverage

Globelink

iTravelInsured

iTravelInsured

Best Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

  • Shorter look back window than most companies
  • $50,000 trip cancellation coverage
  • Maximum 90 days of travel
  • $150,000 emergency medical coverage 

iTravelInsured

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel

Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

  • No age limit for travelers
  • Up to one year of travel coverage
  • Trip delay starts at three hours
  • Higher than average coverage limit

Allianz Travel

Travel Insurance Company Reviews

By now, you know the importance of travel insurance and, above all, what to look for in a specific provider. So it’s time to buckle down and look at some of the best travel insurance companies available.

Among these, I’m certain you’ll find an insurance plan that suits your needs.

1. World Nomads: Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers

Maybe you’re wondering why backpackers have different travel requirements compared to normal travelers. While they might need the same basic coverage, backpackers tend to need more protection when it comes to certain countries and activities. And the affordable price for coverage also comes into play.

World Nomads is one of the best names in the biz for backpacker travel insurance. In short, if you’re a backpacker, you should have it, as it’s among the best travel insurance options. Not only do they cover the widest range of popular backpacking countries, but they also cover over 300 sports and activities.

World Nomads also provides more than decent medical and baggage coverage. Their standard plan includes 100,000 emergency medical coverage, $300,000 medical evacuation and repatriation, and $1,000 for stolen or lost baggage.

Backpackers will also love how easy it is to file online claims or use the online portal. It’s perfect for the traveler who is always on the go. If you want to spend a few more weeks swinging in a beach-side hammock or snowshoeing up a snow-capped mountain, then you can easily extend your coverage with a single click.

Pros Cons
  • Over 150 types of covered activities
  • Efficient online services (filing claims, extending coverage, customer service)
  • Only available for people under 70
  • Medical coverage caps at $100,000
  • Less customizability

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2. Allianz: Best Long Term Travel Insurance

If you plan to be on the road for an extended period of time, then Allianz Travel is your best option. In short, other insurance companies only cover your travels up to 90 days, but Allianz Travel allows you to have complete coverage for up to one year.

Even if you’re not traveling consecutively for a long period of time, you can still use Allianz Travel if you’re a frequent traveler. Purchasing a multi-trip plan covers every single trip you make during the year.

Depending on your needs, Allianz Travel has four different plans to choose from. OneTrip Basic is their lowest fare, which only provides $20,000 for medical coverage and no trip cancellation. Their highest OneTrip Premier Plan includes $2,000 in baggage loss/damage, $50,000 in medical coverage, and $1,000,000 for medical evacuation.

Allianz is also one of the biggest names in the insurance industry. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, you are happy knowing you’re with a provider you can trust.

Pros  Cons
  • Up to one year of travel coverage
  • Children under 18 are covered for free
  • Trip delay starts at 3 hours
  • Higher than average coverage limit
  • No option to add Extreme Sports Coverage
  • No reimbursement for lost passports

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3. IMG Patriot Adventure: Best Travel Insurance for Extreme Sports

As you now know, most travel insurance plans do not offer coverage for extreme sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, or skiing. That’s because these activities are considered high-risk, which means you’re more likely to get into an accident and cost the insurance companies way more money.

IMG Patriot Adventure insurance was built with the extreme enthusiast in mind. In other words, it’s the best travel insurance for those who do extreme sports and you can, therefore, rest assured that all the fun you’ll be having is covered.

There are two different plans from which to choose, with a basic plan including $50,000 in maximum coverage for extreme sports with only a $250 deductible. This deductible is waived if you end up in the emergency room abroad.

Although not all sports are covered, however, you will be protected if you zip line, bungee jump, skydive, kayak, whitewater raft, and paraglide. In other words, you can still have a lot of adventures.

Besides providing coverage for high-risk activities, IMG Patriate Adventure also includes identity theft assistance, trip interruption and lost baggage coverage. Therefore, you’re safe in other ways, too.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive extreme sports coverage
  • Customizable deductible and maximum coverage
  • Only available for people under 49
  • Not all extreme sports are covered

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4. Travelex: Best Travel Insurance for Families

If you’re looking for a high-rated and financially stable provider to protect your family on vacation, look no further than Travelex. In short, it’s the best travel insurance for families.

Unlike the majority of other insurance companies, Travelex provides free coverage for all children age 17 and under traveling with you. There’s no need to pay an additional fee or a discounted rate if you have multiple children.

In addition, Travelex is also one of the most customizable companies in the insurance industry today. Some add-on options include extreme sports coverage, cancel for any reason coverage, and losses due to pre-existing medical conditions.

Besides the extra additions, Travelex offers two different plans to choose from. Travel Basic, while affordable, only covers $15,000 of medical emergencies and $500 of lost or damaged baggage. However, it does include $100,000 coverage for medical evacuation.

Their second plan, Travel Select, includes $50,000 medical emergency coverage, $1,000 lost or damaged baggage coverage, and $500,000 medical evacuation coverage. Moreover, you get 150 percent of your insured trip cost reimbursed if your trip is interrupted.

Pros Cons
  • Children under 18 are covered for free
  • Plenty of add-on packages
  • Medical maximum policy upgrades
  • Fast and reliable customer service
  • Not the cheapest option on the market

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5. InsureMyEquipment: Best Insurance for Camera Equipment

Although it’s not a comprehensive travel insurance company, InsureMyEquipment is the perfect supplement if you’re traveling with expensive electronics.

Most travel insurance companies lump all your belongs into one category, which can only be reimbursed up to a certain amount. This doesn’t quite fly, however, if you’re traveling with cameras or gear worth several thousands of dollars.

With Insure My Equipment, you’ll be able to specify coverage for your individual items over $2,000. Anything under that price is covered, but just not itemized.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable protection for expensive gear
  • Customizable
  • No trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage delay, or baggage damage coverage

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6. GeoBlue Xplorer: Best Travel Insurance for Americans

Expats have vastly different requirements compared to vacation and holiday travelers. For example, since they have moved to a new country, they often sacrifice their home health insurance in favor of one that will cover them abroad. In addition, they need coverage for a much longer period of time compared to other travelers.

GeoBlue Xplorer, for example, is one of the best medical travel insurance providers for long-term American expats. Not only can you customize your deductible and prescription benefits, but you can also choose if you want to be covered in the US, as well. This comes in handy if you travel home often. Or if you simply want to take advantage of the medical facilities.

This plan also covers in-network and out-of-network doctors. Therefore, no more headaches searching for the best doctor around.

Pros Cons
  • Unlimited annual and lifetime maximum coverage
  • Customizable deduction
  • Options to add prescriptions, dental, and vision
  • Covers your entire expat time period
  • No trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage delay, or baggage damage coverage
  • No option for extreme sports coverage

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7. Globelink: Best Travel Insurance for Europeans

If you live in the United Kingdom or the European Union, your best bet for travel insurance is with Globelink. Plans start at just £14 ($18) for a single trip, therefore making it one of the most affordable options on the market.

Even the basic economy insurance includes £5,000,000 of emergency medical expenses. And £2,000 of trip cancellation coverage. In addition, if you plan to take multiple trips throughout the year, Globelink also offers multi-trip plans. They include £10,000,000 of emergency medical expenses and £6,000 of trip cancellation coverage.

Depending on where you’re traveling, you can purchase three types of destination plans. This includes Europe (and Australia and New Zealand); worldwide excluding the US, Canada, Mexico and Japan; or worldwide all inclusive. In other words, you have options.

Pros Cons
  • Winter sports covered for free up to 17 days
  • Children under 18 travel for free
  • Option to add extreme sports, valuables, and event coverage
  • Travel to the US, Canada, Japan, and Mexico cost extra

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8. iTravelInsured: Best Travel Insurance for Preexisting Medical Conditions

Preexisting condition regulations can make searching for the best travel medical insurance company a pain. In short, iTravelInsured (or iTI) is the best travel medical insurance company if you’re looking for travel protection.

While most travel insurance companies offer a 180-day look back period, iTI’s look back period is only 60 days. In addition, they also offer $150,000 emergency medical coverage and $500,000 emergency evacuation coverage.

If you’re medical condition worsens, or your medication changes after you purchase the best travel health insurance policy, then iTI also includes a 20-day time-sensitive window. This along with the short look back windows makes iTravelInsured the best travel insurance company for preexisting conditions.

Pros Cons
  • Shorter look back window than most companies
  • $50,000 trip cancellation coverage
  • No hospital of choice
  • Maximum of 90 days of travel

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9. Allianz Travel: Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

Even as we age, our passion to travel the world still persists. Unfortunately, many travel insurance companies restrict coverage for people under a certain age. However, Allianz Travel is one of the best travel insurance companies for seniors over the age of 65.

Allianz Travel offers different plans, landing it on this best international travel insurance options list. It includes $10,000 medical coverage and $50,000 emergency evacuation for basic travelers. And it’s up to $50,000 medical coverage and $1,000,000 emergency evacuation for premier travelers.

Whether you’re planning an around the world trip for your retirement, or just taking your grandkids on a European vacation, you’ll be happy to have Allianz Travel as your insurer.

Pros Cons
  • No age limit for travelers
  • Up to one year of travel coverage
  • Children under 18 are covered for free
  • Trip delay starts at three hours
  • Higher than average coverage limit
  • No option to add Extreme Sports Coverage
  • No reimbursement for lost passports

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What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance covers a number of financial losses that you may incur while traveling.

It’s important to note that travel insurance is different than the health insurance you have at home. It typically does not cover pre-existing conditions. And it, generally, will not cover you at home. In fact, you are required to have at-home health insurance in addition to your travel insurance.

The best travel insurance typically covers the following three categories:

  • Travel cancellations, interruptions and also changes
  • Stolen, lost, delay or damaged baggage and also property
  • (Usually non-preexisting) medical treatments and also expenses

However, not every travel insurance plan is the same. For instance, some plans don’t include typical coverage you might expect. Meanwhile, other plans include so many more options—perhaps more than you even need.

Who Uses Travel Insurance?

Less than 40 percent of travelers buy a travel insurance policy when they go on vacation. While some of them certainly survived their trips unscathed, in our well-traveled opinion, it’s really not a risk you should take.

Travel insurance has something for every type of traveler and for every type of trip. If you plan on traveling, you should plan on getting travel insurance.

Additionally, you deserve that relaxing holiday you’ve been planning. Incidents come up and accidents also happen. But at least you’ll sleep soundly knowing that you’re prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

Of course, purchasing travel insurance doesn’t make you a worry-wart. It does, however, make you a smart traveler. It may cost you a few bucks, but it’s a few bucks very well-spent.

Is Travel Insurance REALLY Necessary?

You’ve already spent your monthly savings on a non-stop international flight. The last thing you probably want is to cut even deeper into your travel fund. Why should you spend even more money to protect against rare instances like the hotel maid stealing your iPad or those gentle waves turning into a tsunami?

To put it simply, shit happens.

Even as the most cautious traveler, issues and complications outside of your control may still arise. You might end up in the hospital with broken ankle you got during a hike. You might even run into a natural disaster or even political violence.

You can’t predict the unpredictable, but you can plan for it.

So is travel insurance worth it? Absolutely. Because losing thousands of dollars (or your leg) hurts more than the few dollars a day it’ll cost you. And also because, again, your health insurance at home won’t do you any good when you’re on the road.

As my father always says, “They’re called ‘accidents’ for a reason.”

What Should Travel Insurance Cover?

Now that you understand how much getting yourself the best international travel insurance is a necessity, let’s dive into some more depth on what travel insurance policies should cover.

Trip Cancelations

While canceling a vacation already may mean losing relaxation time, nobody wants to also lose money for the canceled trip. When you book your vacation, you’re investing a lot of money upfront. Most flights, hotels and excursions are pre-paid and non-refundable, which means you’re outta luck if you don’t show up.

The colosseum of Rome
No matter where you are in the world, yes, you need travel insurance

However, trip cancellation coverage will reimburse any travel expenses you made if you need to cancel before your travels start. But keep in mind that you can’t get reimbursed for any ole’ reason, such as finding a better price somewhere else or simply deciding not to go. In fact, insurance companies have lists of reasons that are covered with their trip cancellation coverage.

Some of the most commonly covered reasons include:

  • You, your traveling companion or a family member is seriously sick, injured or dies
  • Natural disasters or terrorism in your destination deter you from traveling there
  • Natural disasters or burglary of your main residence at home deters you from leaving
  • An involuntary job termination or layoff deters you from traveling

Trip Interruption

Sometimes unexpected incidents occur when you’re already in the middle of your trip. For example, there might be a family emergency that requires you to change your itinerary and head back home. If you have to cut your trip short, then travel insurance will cover any unused transportation or accommodations costs.

Missed Connections

No, we’re not talking about Craigslist.

Sometimes, there are forces outside your control that cause you to miss your flight. For example, an airline might cancel the connection due to bad weather, or reschedule if the plane has a mechanical breakdown. In this case, your travel insurance with either reimburse you for the cost or rebook you on the next flight.

Did you see the recent news about WOW air closing for business, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in airports with no financial recourse? Yep, travel insurance would cover that.

Stolen, Lost or Damaged Luggage

The best international travel insurance will also cover the costs for your stolen, lost, or damaged luggage.

So this means that, if a pickpocket steals your wallet or a hotel worker snatches your laptop, for example, you can get reimbursement after submitting an insurance claim.

Additionally, if you lose on of your own items like, say, your phone while parachuting, you may be able to submit a claim and get some of the money back. Of course, you can’t say you were out partying when you lost your phone and expect the insurance company to pay you, however.

However, if you packed your DSLR or expensive jewelry in your checked bag that gets lost, you probably won’t receive anywhere close to the amount of damage done. And, since you’ll have to show the airline evidence of the cost of damages (with receipts and dozens of forms), you might not see the money for months.

But that’s why travel insurance is helpful. It’ll cover the total cost of your lost or damaged items.

Delayed Luggage

Additionally, travel insurance will come in handy if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you at the airport. If your bag is delayed, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of necessities and toiletries until your bag arrives. Keep in mind that you are not covered for the actual items that are delayed.

Medical Treatments and Expenses

If you are traveling within the country, your current health insurance should cover any medical emergencies. So it’s not necessary to purchase the best travel medical insurance.

However, once you leave your home country, you are most likely also leaving your health insurance network. If anything happens to you abroad, you’ll be responsible for paying completely out of pocket.

But, again, that’s where the best travel medical insurance comes in handy.

For example, if you catch malaria or yellow fever while visiting Brazil, you might not be able to afford hospital visits. So you risk your life. Or, say you get in a scooter accident in Vietnam. You risk your life if you can’t afford the emergency surgery you might need.

Perhaps your illness or injury requires you to be sent to an adequate facility or even back home. You will thank your lucky stars that you have emergency evacuation coverage. Being airlifted or flown to a hospital can cost upwards of $100,000. So spending a few extra bucks to protect you from this risk is, to say it plain and simply, worth investing in. This coverage is especially crucial if you are traveling in a developing country where medical facilities might not be adequate.

people on a busy street in Asia
Travel insurance keeps you prepared for anything

(Also, besides medical evacuation, travel insurance may also cover emergency evacuation from your destination if there is a natural disaster. For example: unforeseen tsunamis, earthquakes, floods or wildfires.)

Essentially, traveling internationally without travel medical insurance is like traveling with no health insurance at all. It’s also always best to be prepared in case of any unexpected traumas or emergencies abroad. You can’t put a price on your life or health. But you can insure it!

Medical Evacuation

Perhaps your illness or injury requires you to be sent to a nearby medical facility. You will thank your lucky stars that you have emergency evacuation coverage thanks to the best international travel insurance. Being airlifted or flown to a hospital can cost upwards of $100,000. So spending a few extra bucks to protect you from this risk is, to say it plain and simply, worth investing in.

Medical Repatriation

Medical repatriation coverage will make sure you are flown back to a medical facility in your home country. Having one of the best travel health insurance policies is especially crucial if you are traveling in a developing country where medical facilities might not be adequate.

Natural Disaster Evacuation

Besides medical evacuation, travel insurance may also cover emergency evacuation from your destination if there is a natural disaster. For example: unforeseen tsunamis, earthquakes, floods or wildfires.

Personal Liability

Travel insurance also includes coverage for legal liability. This means that you have legal protection if you accidentally injury another person or damage their property. Not only will travel insurance cover your lawyer or representative, but it will also pay any legal compensation you owe to the other party.

Other Additional Coverage

Depending on your travels, you may choose to add additional coverage and support to your travel insurance.

For example, extreme sports coverage provides coverage if you plan to do anything thrilling on your trip. If you plan on skydiving, bungee jumping or scuba diving, make sure you add this coverage to your plan.

Likewise, rental car collision coverage will help if you damage, collide or lose your rental. While liability insurance is often covered with your rental, collision is not usually included.

Frequent flyer insurance also guarantees coverage incase you book your flight using reward points or frequent flyer miles. If your flight is canceled, your travel insurance will redeposit the miles back into your account.

What’s NOT Included in Travel Insurance?

Unfortunately, travel insurance does have its limitations. It can save you from a life-threatening or unfortunate situation. But it can’t protect you from everything under the sun.

All Medical Conditions

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Even the best travel medical insurance will not cover any pre-existing medical conditions before your trip. The definition and time frame of a pre-existing condition will vary from company to company.

Check out the look-back period written in fine print. For instance, depending on the insurance company, the look-back period ranges anywhere from 30 to 180 days. The best travel insurance companies will have a smaller window.

For example, let’s say the look-back period is 30 days. This means the company will “look back” 30 days. They’ll check to see if your filed claim relates to any preexisting condition of yours.

To sum up, make sure you confirm with your travel insurance company about medical coverage.

High-Risk Activities

Most travel insurances include emergency medical coverage of some sort. But they often don’t cover extreme sports. These include sky diving, rafting and even snowboarding and skiing.

hikers on the trail of a mountain shrouded in clouds
Get insured for all activities!

So, if you’re planning to spend your vacation living on the edge, make sure you have extreme sports coverage. Some companies, like World Nomads, offer this as an add-on.

If you’re traveling soon and are looking for the best travel insurance, we love World Nomads. Just fill out the form below to get a quote!

Losses in Some High-Risk Areas

Most countries are completely safe for tourists to visit. However, the United States has compiled a list of countries deemed too unsafe for travelers. You might not have coverage if something were to happen to you in one of these places.

So, in short, check the government website for current high-risk areas during your travels. And confirm with your travel insurance company of choice that your destinations are covered. Even with the best travel medical insurance policy, high-risk areas might not be covered.

Unattended Items

Although travel insurance covers stolen or lost property, it doesn’t cover items that were left unsupervised. In other words, you can’t claim your lost purse that was left in a restaurant, or your laptop that was forgotten in a taxi. Travel insurance won’t protect you if the accident could have been prevented.

Travel Insurance Won’t Cover You if You Lack Evidence

Without a decent paper trail, you might not get reimbursed. Besides filing the claim within the right timeline (within 24 to 48 hours), you also need to make sure you have enough evidence.

For instance, let’s say the airline loses your baggage. You will immediately want to speak with the airport or airlines. You need to first file a property irregularity report. Without this form, your insurance company may not think the loss is adequately supported with enough evidence.

To sum up, make sure you collect as much information and materials as possible for your travel insurance company.

Glossary of Travel Insurance Terms

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s best to understand everything to which you’re agreeing. Therefore, here are some common travel insurance terms that you might encounter.

  • Deductible is the amount you, as the insurance holder, must pay before the insurance company kicks in. If your bill is $5,000 and your deductible is $1,000, you are required to pay $1,000 of your own money and the insurance company will cover the remaining $4,000.
  • Co-Pay is the amount you as the insurance holder must pay after the deductible has been reached. Let’s say your co-pay is $20. If you’ve already met your deductible, you are required to pay $20 per doctor’s visit and your insurance will cover the rest of the bill.
  • Premium refers to the cost of your insurance plan. This can be paid in monthly or annual installments, or as a lump sum to the insurance company.
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Expenses is the largest amount you as the insurance holder must pay before your insurance covers 100 percent. Your deductible and your co-pay go towards this amount. For example, your out-of-pocket maximum may be $20,000, but once you pay your deductible of $1,000 you’re still be required to pay your co-pay of $20 each visit. Once your total deductible and co-pay amount reach $20,000, you’ll no longer have to pay out of pocket; your insurance company takes 100 percent of the expense.
  • Maximum Policy Coverage is the amount of money your insurance company is required to cover. If your maximum policy coverage is $10,000, the insurance company pays up to $10,000.
  • Single Trip Plans cover one trip, whether it’s a week-long vacation, work trip, or weekend getaway.
  • Multi-Trip Plans cover the trips you take within one year. You can travel to multiple countries as many times during the year.

How to Choose Travel Insurance: What to Look for in a Great Plan

In order to choose the best travel insurance for you, you should be aware of the specific options, benefits and plans that most companies offer.

With a seemingly endless number of insurance companies from which to choose, picking the right one for your trip can therefore be a complicated process. Companies rarely come as a one-size-fits-all, and what works for a solo backpacker in Nepal might not work for a family of four in Argentina.

African elephants at a still body of water
Do you know how to look for a great travel insurance plan?

However, there are stark differences between good insurance companies and just plain awful ones. So, keep in mind the following tips when searching for a reputable company.

1. International Coverage is Important

While this may seem like an obvious box to check, you’d be surprised at how many companies only cover domestic incidents.

When deciding on an insurance provider, inform them of every single country to which you plan on traveling. For instance, you want to make sure that you have the same type of coverage in Canada that you have in Thailand. Therefore, you can be confident.

2. Inclusivity is Key

Travel insurance encompasses many different types of policies and benefits. For example, there are some insurance companies that only include trip cancellation coverage or emergency medical expenses.

While you can always pick and choose what to add to your coverage, the best travel medical insurance companies will be well-rounded and inclusive of the following items:

  • Emergency Medical Coverage
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Lost or Delayed Baggage

3. Excellent Customer Service Makes a Difference

Although the seemingly best travel medical insurance company may have a flashy website and cool graphics, none of that will help when you’re in the middle of an emergency. In other words, you need personal support.

Customer service is crucial, and you’ll be thankful that you can easily contact your provider. Look for companies that provide 24/7 global assistance, who will be at your beck and call when you need them the most.

Besides emergency support, you’ll also want a company with an efficient and easy claim filing process. No one wants to spend unnecessary hours filing paperwork so, therefore, look for the actual best travel medical insurance companies who can also handle this process online. In short, look for the people-people.

4. High Reviews Are Telling

Above all, if you need a little boost to help make your decision, there are plenty of online websites and companies that have reviewed the insurance companies for you.

Squaremouth and Consumer Affairs, for instance, are two great companies dedicated to showcasing unbiased reviews and rankings for travel insurance companies. They take into account multiple factors from cost, customer service, and coverage to outline the most reputable companies around.

5. Comprehensive Coverage Is Critical

You want to make sure that the plan you choose covers you for a multitude of different financial losses, particularly emergency medical coverage, emergency evacuation and trip cancelation.

Trust us, the bare minimum of medical coverage you will want is $100,000. Not only can you guarantee that it covers your small pains such as doctor visits or medication, but it also protects you in case of any larger injuries.

If you’re fine shelling out the big bucks, then there are companies that offer coverage as high as $2,000,000. Of course, you can also purchase medical coverage somewhere in the middle.

Further, if you need to return home in a medical situation, you will want to make sure you have adequate coverage to airlift you back. When reviewing your travel insurance options, you might come across these three types of evacuation coverages, for example:

  1. Medical evacuation will transport you to the nearest facility that will sufficiently provide the right medical services.
  2. Medical repatriation will transport you to your home country.
  3. Repatriation of remains will transport your deceased remains back to your home country. 

Since evacuation or repatriation can make a huge dent in your wallet, we recommend purchasing a medical evacuation and/or repatriation coverage of at least $100,000. Traveling to remote countries might incur a higher expense. In this case, you might think about increasing your coverage to $300,000.

And, lastly, a great plan should cover the entire cost of any necessary, unseen changes or cancellations to your trip.

Let’s say the total cost of your roundtrip flight and a seven-night stay at a hotel comes to $4,000. Your trip cancellation coverage should cover the same amount of $4,000 in case you need to cancel. The same goes for trip interruption coverage.

Travel Insurance FAQs

The world of travel insurance can get really confusing. So here are a few frequently asked questions—and the answers.

Is theft covered under travel insurance?

If your policy includes lost baggage protection, then you are covered. Your insurance policy covered your belongings from the second you depart for your trip onward. There is usually a reimbursement maximum. So check your provider’s maximum policy coverage.

Does travel insurance cover laptop theft?

While most policies cover theft, there is usually a reimbursement limit for specific items. This per-item maximum limit might not cover the original cost of your laptop. In short, you’ll get back the most money possible, but it might not cover all of the damage done.

Does travel insurance cover a lost phone?

Some policies include lost phone protection, some don’t. If your policy does cover lost phones, it still may be subject to the per item maximum limit.

Does travel insurance cover cameras?

If you damage or lose your camera equipment, your lost baggage and also your personal belonging coverage will kick in. If you are traveling with high-end or expensive camera equipment, then it might be worth your while to purchase separate gadget insurance with InsureMyEquipment.

Does travel insurance cover accidental damage?

Accidental damage is usually covered by your lost baggage protection, even if that damage was done by you. However, you will still only get reimbursed the maximum per item amount.

Does travel insurance cover personal belongings?

Yes, your lost baggage policy will cover lost or damaged personal belongings. As soon as you have departed for your trip, you’re covered in case any items are stolen, lost or broken along the way.

Does travel insurance cover stolen money?

This depends on your insurance provider as well as your insurance policy. While you might receive a certain amount back, it’s likely not going to be very high. Also, keep in mind that insurance providers will probably not reimburse money that was by negligence. You need to have an adequate reason in order to claim stolen or lost cash.

Does insurance cover a stolen wallet?

You may or may not be covered for the cash stolen in the wallet, but the wallet itself is covered under your lost baggage policy. In other words, your actual belongings will be cover, but not necessarily the money inside them.

How long do travel insurance claims take?

Depending on your company, getting reimbursed can happen anywhere from 5 business days to several weeks. In order to prevent any delays, make sure you submit as much documentation and also information as possible with the claim.

How long do you have to make a travel insurance claim?

The timeframe to submit a travel insurance claim varies depending on your travel insurance provider. The average window is between 10 and 60 days. You should always submit your claim as early as possible in order to avoid any hassles.

Does travel insurance cover stolen luggage?

Yes, travel insurance covers stolen luggage if you have a lost baggage policy. Depending on your policy, you may be reimbursed anywhere from $50 per bag to $1,000 for all your personal belongings.

Does travel insurance cover damaged luggage?

Just like stolen luggage, travel insurance should cover any damage to your luggage or property. Damaged luggage is often categorized as lost baggage in your policy.

Can you fly without travel insurance?

Of course; you’re free to travel anywhere in the world without travel insurance. However, travel insurance will protect you in all situations whether you’re staying in the country or traveling abroad.

While you might not need medical emergency coverage when traveling domestically, you should still consider a policy that covers lost or stolen property. If you choose to forgo travel insurance when traveling, remember that you will need to pay any fees, bills or incurred costs directly out of pocket.

The headache and also the hassle are not worth the risk.

Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazi
There are better travel insurance options for exploring the world

Credit Card Travel Insurance: It’s Not Always the Best Option

Credit cards these days are way more than just methods for expensing purchases at the grocery store. Along with travel rewards and also incentive bonuses, many companies are now offering some form of travel insurance to credit card holders.

Car rental insurance and roadside assistance are common travel insurance benefits offered by credit card companies. Other cards may offer a lost baggage insurance or even trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

With these travel benefits, it may be appealing to forgo stand-alone travel insurance completely. However, credit card travel insurance may not protect you as much as you think. Here’s why.

Your Time Limit is Shorter

Most travel insurance companies are customized to cover the entire length of your trip, whether it’s a short weekend away or two-years exploring the world.

With an insurance policy that your credit card provides, you’re often limited to just 30 days of consecutive travel. After that, you’re on your own. Although some credit cards offer up to three months of travel protection, coverage can’t compare to a stand-alone travel insurance provider.

If you’re a full-time traveler, backpacker or digital nomad, then credit card insurance is most definitely not for you. You’ll need more comprehensive coverage to protect you during your entire journey.

Your Maximum Policy Coverage is Lower

With your credit card’s insurance policy, you may still have to pay expenses out of pocket. And, although coverage varies with cards, most policies cap out at a certain amount. This amount is often much lower than a travel insurance maximum.

While premium cards can offer higher trip cancellation or interruption coverage amounts, the average card might barely scratch the surface of your trip. So, what’s the point in relying on your credit card to protect a $10,000 vacation when they only cover $1,000?

The same goes for medical coverage. Most credit card companies only pay a certain percentage of what stand-alone travel insurance companies offer for medical coverage.

And, also, most credit card companies just offer a small level of medical expense coverage and not medical evacuation or repatriation. So, as you now know, it’s vital to have some sort of evacuation in case you need to be airlifted to a hospital.

Your Trip Cancellation Reasons are Limited

Stand-alone travel insurance companies are picky when it comes to reimbursement reasons, but they are absolutely nothing compared to credit card companies. For credit card companies, the list of acceptable reasons for canceling a trip is quite short: illness, injury and also death.

Although these may be the most common reasons for cancellation, travel insurance companies have your back in other instances. Think: natural disasters, robbery and also terrorism.

Credit Cards Only Cover What You Purchased on the Card

Unfortunately, simply having the credit card doesn’t entitle you to an unlimited insurance policy. Coverage usually only applies to flights, accommodation and excursions purchased with your card.

You may have multiple credit cards for points. Or you may use cash to pay for any extras on vacation. In other words, if you’ve used another card or cash, forget about ever getting reimbursed.

You Lack Flexibility

The benefits you see with your credit card provider is all you get. There’s no way to customize the coverage to fit your needs. You can’t add extreme sports coverage, cover your pre-existing medical conditions or extend the length of your trip.

But with travel insurance, you can customize the exact plan that fits your style.

Using Your Travel Insurance Abroad

If something happens to you or your travel mate, you’ll be glad that you familiarized yourself with the claim process. And it’s not as complicated or complex as you might think.

Precautions to Take Before You Travel

Unexpected accidents can always occur while traveling. While you can’t predict or prevent what happens, you can be ready to tackle the situation head-on. While it may seem tedious, it’s actually quite easy to prepare for any emergencies that may arise during your trip.

  1. Keep your travel insurance information somewhere close. If your travel insurance company doesn’t send you a card in the mail, you should be able to print one online. But make sure all the necessary information including your name, identification number and also the policy number is visible.
  2. Fill out all the information in your passport. In case of an emergency, this is the first place the hospital will look in order to identify who you are and also where you’re from. So you should include your full name, address, telephone number and also possibly the number and name of an emergency contact. If you prefer to leave your passport in your hotel, make sure you have a printed copy on you at all times.
  3. Carry any necessary medications with you. Along with the medications, you should have any letters or explanations describing your pre-existing conditions. In case of an emergency, the responding doctors can reference your previous health information.
  4. Write down a list of high quality or in-network providers. If an emergency arises, you’ll want the fastest, but best care possible. By researching a list of facilities beforehand, you’ll have them at your disposal.
  5. Figure out where the nearest embassy is. You should know the location of the closest home country embassy. In some situations, the embassy will be able to help arrange for medical assistance or to inform your family.

Call the Insurance Provider’s Hotline

If you’ve signed up with a reliable provider, then you’ll be able to call the customer service line 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. From an oncoming illness to a stolen purse, the customer service representative can help advise you on next steps. They will also work with the police or hospital to make sure you are taken care of.

If you’re facing a serious emergency, then you should immediately call the local authorities. If you’ve gotten into an accident, then seek medical attention as soon as you can. Take care of yourself first and then consult the insurance company afterward.

Document the Incident or Accident

After you’ve notified the insurance company of the event, you will want to make sure you keep tabs on everything that occurred.

Although you’ve made your insurance company aware of the situation, it’s up to you to follow up with the appropriate authorities. If your bag was lost at the airport, you’ll need to work with the airlines to file a claim. If you were robbed, then you must contact the local police to file a police report.

As always, it’s your responsibility to gather all the necessary documentation. You need everything in writing, or at least in some form that can be submitted to the insurance company. The amount of reimbursement or action your insurance provider will take will depend on the paperwork and also the information with which you are able to provide them.

The same goes for keeping track of your receipts if your luggage is delayed or temporarily lost. Your insurance provider should cover the costs of essential items. However, they can only reimburse items with receipts attached to their claims.

How to File a Travel Insurance Claim

Listen closely, because this is one of the most important rules for getting reimbursed. You need to make sure to file your claim as soon as possible. Most companies have a time limit anywhere from 10 to 60 days for submitting a claim. However, it’s best to submit as early as possible in order to avoid any complications.

Depending on what type of reimbursement you’re seeking, you’ll need to submit the appropriate forms and also paperwork with the insurance company. In other words, you’ll need to do some work to get money back.

Filing a Trip Cancellation Claim

In order to get reimbursed for a trip before you depart, you need to make sure your reason for canceling is covered.

If you cancel your trip due to illness or injury, you will need documentation to support that you are unable to travel. This includes a completed medical certificate claim filled out by a doctor or nurse. If you cancel your trip due to an accident or robbery, you will need copies of the incident or police report.

Finally, you will need to provide the invoice for your trip for reimbursement. This includes the total dollar amount for your flights. It also includes accommodation.

Filing a Trip Interruption Claim

Maybe you have to leave your trip early, or maybe you missed a connection. Either way, you’ll want to be reimbursed for the unused expenses. You’ll also want any coverage for additional transportation costs needed.

Similarly to filing a trip cancellation claim, you’ll need to make sure why you’re interrupting the trip falls under the umbrella of acceptable reasons. Again, you’ll need proof from a medical professional or any corresponding reports.

Submit the final invoices for any part of your travel that is unused or non-refundable. Say you only stayed in your hotel for three out of the seven days. Then you may still be able to get reimbursed for the unused days.

If you need to rebook a flight due to a missed connection, you can also submit documentation with the associated costs. As long as your policy covers additional costs to get home or to get to your destination, you should be good.

You will also have to prove you took all the necessary measures if you missed a connection. When a flight is canceled, the airlines usually attempts to rebook you. Or it offers other means of transportation to get you to your destination. You cannot get reimbursed if you choose not to try other available options.

Filing a Lost or Delayed Baggage Claim

There are a few different ways to prove to your insurance company that your baggage was lost or stolen. Just one of the following pieces of evidence might be all the insurance company needs. But it’s always best to document as much as you can if you want your money back.

If the airlines were responsible for losing your bag, they will provide you with a receipt that shows the date and relevant information. This may or may not include a detailed description (and the value) of the items that were lost.

Beautiful Lake Tekapo in New Zealand
You probably don’t want to end up on the other side of the world without your luggage

To help support your claim, you might want to submit the receipt or credit card statement for the valuable items you lost in your bag. Whether it’s your fancy DSLR camera or simply your favorite pair of jeans, the more proof you have the higher your chances are of getting as much money back as possible.

If your personal belongs were stolen, then you need to submit an incident or police report with your claim. If your items were damaged, you will likely need to attach a copy of the repair invoice or cost estimate to fix the damage.

Filing a Baggage Delay Claim

If your baggage is simply delayed, then you can still expense items like clothing or toiletries before it arrives. Again, you will need documentation from the airlines. This should state when and for how long they lost your luggage.

Keep the receipts of any purchases. Most insurance companies only reimburse for necessities. And the expenses are limited to a certain dollar amount per day.

Filing a Medical Expense or Evacuation Claim

In the worst case scenario, you should be solely focused on getting the right level of care for your medical emergency. But it’s also important to remember that you’ll need the appropriate documentation. This is so the insurance company covers some or all of the medical bills.

First, you’ll need detailed records of your time spent in the hospital or with a doctor. This record should include the diagnosis, the treatment and also any admit/discharge information. If you’re in an accident, then it’ll also require the incident or police report.

Some insurance companies require Pre-Certification of Medical Benefits. If you plan to undergo major treatment like surgery, you might need the insurance company to pre-approve you. If you do not, you might be required to pay a penalty fee. Or, possibly, you’ll need to pay a portion of the treatment cost.

Second, you’ll need copies of all the invoices and also the bill for your medical treatment or stay in the hospital. If you need to pay these services up front, ask for a receipt or print off your credit card statement.

Finally, figure out if your travel insurance covers you for treatment that occurs after you return from your trip. Some policies include anywhere from 30 to 90 days of post-treatment. This is true even if you’re in your home country.

Get Reimbursed

Once you file the claim with your insurance provider, it’s time to wait. If all goes well, you’ll have your money back soon. However, you might need to submit additional documentation. This is to prove that you deserve reimbursement.

Not submitting everything upfront can cause delays or flat out denial. Make sure to attach as much information as possible so your claim can be filed smoothly.

Depending on your company, getting reimbursed can happen anywhere from five business days to several weeks.

Sample Insurance Costs

There are several factors to consider when figuring out how much you should pay for travel insurance. The cost of the insurance will vary widely, just like the insurance providers and also the policies themselves. For example, prices vary based on the following.

  • The age of the travelers is important when calculating the policy cost. While you probably won’t see a price difference if you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, being outside of that range might affect the price of your insurance. Some companies provide free coverage for minors, while others increase rates if for senior citizens.
  • The length of your trip impacts the total cost of your travel insurance. Longer trips usually cost more, which means they will cost more to insure. Longer trips also increase your chances of encountering something unexpected, like losing luggage or getting into an accident.
  • The type of coverage is the main factor that determines the policy rate. More frills and also higher coverage maximums directly equate to cost. If you add on different types of programs or benefits, you can also expect additional costs.

Now, let’s dive into a few sample travel insurance costs for different itineraries.

Travel Insurance for Southeast Asia

Interested in spending a few months hanging out on the secluded beaches in Thailand or summiting the lush mountains of Vietnam? Then Southeast Asia is for you. It’s a stunning destination not just for backpackers, but for all types of adventure seekers. If you’re jetting off to spend three months in Southeast Asia, then make sure to pick the best travel insurance company for your trip.

For example, let’s see what happens if you’re a 25-year old Californian traveling through Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and also Cambodia. The price of our trip is roughly valued at $2,000 and also lasts between one to three months.

World Nomads

  Standard Plan Explorer Plan
Emergency Medical Coverage $100,000 $100,000
Emergency Evacuation $300,000 $500,000
Trip Cancellation $2,500 $10,000
Trip Interruption $2,500 $10,000
Baggage and Personal Belongings $1,000 $3,000
Total Cost – 30 days

Total Cost – 60 days

Total Cost – 90 days

$119

$200

$320

$209

$316

$467

The Standard plans works out to be between $3-4 per day; meanwhile, the Explorer Plan is around $5-7 per day.

So, for just the cost of one beer per day, for example, you’ll be fully protected during your trip through Southeast Asia. And there’s no difference in price if you plan to stay just in one country, or if you want to explore all four countries.

Besides the basic coverage listed, World Nomads also includes a Standard or Explorer Sports and Activities package. But you might want to upgrade to the Explorer Plan if you plan to rent a motorbike in the city or scuba dive off the islands. There’s also an included $25,000 Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation if one of the countries you’re visiting faces civil or political unrest or natural disasters.

Allianz Travel

  OneTrip Basic OneTrip Prime OneTrip Premier
Emergency Medical Coverage $10,000 $25,000 $50,000
Emergency Evacuation $50,00 $500,000 $1,000,000
Trip Cancellation $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Trip Interruption $2,000 $3,000 $3,000
Baggage and Personal Belongings $500 $1,000 $2,000
Total Cost – 30 days

Total Cost – 60 days

Total Cost – 90 days

$67

$217

$272

$89

$239

$394

$122

$272

$427

The basic plan averages around $2 a day, so there is really no excuse not to purchase insurance while traveling. Although you don’t have the same health or evacuation coverage as the other plans, you can still protect yourself and offset even just some of the cost in case of an emergency with the best medical travel insurance.

Although it’s fairly cheap to backpack and stay in Southeast Asia, the costs associated with your trip might be more than the $2,000 we estimated in this itinerary. And, if that’s the case, you can expect to pay a few more dollars per month. This is for an increased trip cancellation and interruption coverage maximum.

Travel Insurance in Australia

Australia is an ideal destination not just for outdoor enthusiasts. It boasts rich aboriginal culture, buzzing metropolitan cities and also white sandy beaches. Australia has something for you and all of your friends.

For example, let’s take a month-long vacation in the land down under. Let’s choose World Nomads as our primary travel provider.

World Nomads

  Standard Plan Explorer Plan
Emergency Medical Coverage $100,000 $100,000
Emergency Evacuation $300,000 $500,000
Trip Cancellation $2,500 $10,000
Trip Interruption $2,500 $10,000
Baggage and Personal Belongings $1,000 $3,000
Total Cost – 30 days $99 $177

With one month in Australia, you’ll have enough time to explore multiple regions of this sprawling, diverse country. Renting a car. You can drive at your own leisurely pace. Plus, you can explore all the sites and attractions you desire.

In this case, you should sign up for the Explorer Plan. It includes $35,000 Collision Damage Waiver for your rental car.

Signing up for the Explorer Plan also includes coverage for the extreme sports that you might do in Australia. Whether you go cave diving through the Great Barrier Reef or sky diving over the Outback, World Nomads has you covered.

IMG Patriot

  50,000 Limit 500,000 Limit 2,000,000 Limit
Deductible $500 $500 $500
Emergency Medical Coverage $50,000 $500,000 $2,000,000
Emergency Evacuation $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Trip Cancellation $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Trip Interruption $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Baggage and Personal Belongings $50 per item $50 per item $50 per item
Total Cost – 365 days $298 $440 $505

IMG Patriot, for example, offers flexible and also customized plans. This is depending on your desired deductible and maximum limit. You’re also covered for $50,000 for extreme sports. This includes bungee jumping, zip lining and sky diving.

Planning on returning home to visit your friends and family during your working holiday visa? You can add on a US medical plan. Therefore, you’re covered if you want to see your normal doctor in the US.

Travel Insurance for Europe

Backpacking through Europe is the quintessential bucket list trip. It’s home to some of the most amazing countries on the planet. You can spend your days sipping wine from the Tuscan vineyards or relaxing under the Eiffel Tower.

Even in the most developed countries, however, you should be prepared. Having the protection of travel insurance will ease all your worries.

World Nomads

  Standard Plan Explorer Plan
Emergency Medical Coverage $100,000 $100,000
Emergency Evacuation $300,000 $500,000
Trip Cancellation $2,500 $10,000
Trip Interruption $2,500 $10,000
Baggage and Personal Belongings $1,000 $3,000
A) Total Cost – 30 days

B) Total Cost – 60 days

C) Total Cost – 90 days

$117

$202

$273

$207

$319

$401

The best part about traveling with World Nomads is that you’re insured for all of Europe. And now you can fully take advantage of the European railways. And you can also travel freely across borders without worrying about coverage.

Of course, no trip through Europe would be complete without photographing the landmarks and historic sites. So, if you’re traveling with pricey equipment, you’ll want to take out an insurance policy to protect your items.

With InsureMyEquipment, you’ll also pay an annual fee. But this depends on the number and cost of the pieces you want to insure. And it also covers your equipment when you’re at home. For example, for a camera that’s several thousand dollars, you’re looking at $300 to $500 in annual fees.

But InsureMyEquipment is necessary for those traveling with a lot of equipment. In short, it’s not wise to travel without it.

Final Thoughts

So, that wasn’t so bad, right? By now you’re a travel insurance pro. And you realize that travel insurance is worth investing in because your life is worth living.

With travel insurance, you can feel safe and comfortable knowing you’re protected.

So, to sum up, once you pick the best travel insurance, you can relax. Go out there and break a leg. Literally, because travel insurance actually covers that.

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