Planning a trip, whether domestic or international, is an exciting endeavor. However unexpected events like flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies can put a damper on your vacation. Purchasing travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection if something goes wrong.
But with so many insurance providers available, how do you know which one is right for you? We examined over a dozen top travel insurance companies, evaluating their coverage options, exclusions, customer service reputation, and value. Here are the best travel insurance providers for different types of travelers.
How We Evaluated the Best Travel Insurance Companies
We looked at the following key factors to determine the top travel insurance providers:
- Coverage options – Does the provider offer comprehensive plans to meet different needs? Are upgrade options like Cancel For Any Reason available?
- Exclusions – What circumstances may void the policy coverage? Lower exclusions mean better protection.
- Reputation – Do customers report smooth claims processes and helpful customer service? High marks here indicate reliability.
- Value – How do premium costs balance with coverage benefits? The best value optimizes both affordability and protection.
- Trip delay/interruption coverage – Robust coverage for delays and interruptions provides peace of mind for the unpredictable.
- Medical evacuation coverage – For international trips, emergency transport home is crucial in a health crisis.
- 24/7 emergency assistance – Being able to easily reach customer support at any time is important when away from home.
Using these criteria, we selected the top travel insurance picks for different types of trips and travelers.
Best Travel Insurance Companies
|Travelex||Best for Frequent Travelers|
|Nationwide||Best for Cruises|
|AIG Travel Guard||Best for Adventurers|
|Travel Insured International||Best for Seniors|
|InsureMyTrip||Best Marketplace Comparison Tool|
|World Nomads||Best for Long-Term Travel|
|Seven Corners||Best for Families|
|Generali Global Assistance||Best 24/7 Assistance Services|
|Berkshire Hathaway||Best Customer Service|
Below we detail why each provider stands out and provide key details to consider. Analyzing your specific trip plans against the strengths of each company will help you select the right travel insurance for your needs.
Allianz offers exceptional global travel protection at competitive rates, securing our vote for the best overall travel insurance.
- Broad coverage with upgrade options like Cancel for Any Reason
- Strong reputation for efficient claims handling
- Good value relative to similar providers
- Available worldwide including the U.S.
- Less specialized for adventurers, long-term travelers, seniors
- Maxwell benefit amounts cap some coverage
With affordable premiums and few exclusions, Allianz gives you excellent financial security while traveling. We especially like their Cancel for Any Reason upgrade which provides flexibility to cancel trips for reasons beyond standard policy terms.
Allianz offers its One Trip Prime plan as an optimal blend of essential benefits with add-on upgrades. Round-the-clock travel assistance gives peace of mind across the globe. When issues do arise, customers report efficiency with claims reimbursement.
Though maximum limits apply to certain benefits, overall coverage is quite comprehensive. Allianz may suit your needs less if you take frequent multi-month trips or require highly specialized elderly care. But for most travelers, this provider hits the coverage sweet spot.
Allianz excels at covering conventional vacations for singles, couples, and families. Their plans provide sound protection without lots of limitations or exclusions.
Theirerrorhandler and helpful customer service make claims smooth in the event of any covered losses. For travel insurance you can buy with confidence, Allianz delivers.
Best for Frequent Travelers
Travelex shines with flexible annual plans perfect for those who travel often domestically and overseas.
- Annual plans with multiple trip coverage
- Straightforward claims handling
- Good package add-ons
- Travel assistance and concierge services
- Less specialized coverage than some providers
- Not as strong for cruises/adventures
For road warriors racking up multiple trips per year, Travelex provides an affordable way to insure each one with their annual plans. You get protection for an unlimited number of excursions up to 30 or 45 days each.
The Travelex Travel Select plan provides strong medical, emergency, trip delay, and baggage coverage. Add-on packages like trip cancellation for work reasons and athletic gear coverage cater nicely to frequent travelers.
While better options exist for cruises and extreme adventures, Travelex holds its own for standard vacations. Straightforward claims and helpful customer service make it a great choice for simplicity and convenience when you’re regularly on the go.
From quick weekend getaways to lengthy international excursions, annual plans from Travelex safeguard frequent travelers hopping from plane to plane.
Best for Cruises
With cruise-focused coverage and highly rated service, Nationwide is the top choice for seafaring voyages.
- Specialized cruise benefits including missed port protection
- Fast claims processing and payments
- Excellent customer service reputation
- Competitive Pricing
- Less ideal for extensive international trips
- Lacks a comparison tool
Nationwide sets itself apart with cruise-specific coverage like missed port reimbursement, cabin confinement fees, and sinking/submersion protection. Combining these add-ons with standard medical, evacuation, and cancellation coverage gives you complete peace of mind on the water.
Quick claims assistance coupled with direct payments to providers takes headaches out of the equation. Nationwide draws consistent praise for seamless customer support throughout the claims process.
Though best for cruising, Nationwide also works for land-based adventures and standard trips. Just expect less extensive benefits for issues outside the cruise context compared to more globally-focused insurers. But if cruising is your passion, Nationwide should be your top choice.
With specialized protection for canceled ports, onboard emergencies, and more – Nationwide provides cruise enthusiasts the ideal insurance partner.
AIG Travel Guard
Best for Adventurers
AIG Travel Guard takes top honors for adventure travelers, with specialty coverage add-ons for high-thrill sports and activities.
- Robust coverage for adventure sports and activities
- Good emergency medical transport benefits
- Upgrade options like Cancel for Any Reason
- Strong customer service reputation
- Daily benefit limits may be insufficient for serious issues
- Lacks long-term or annual plan options
While AIG covers standard trip losses effectively, they truly excel at tailoring protection for daring travelers headed off the beaten path. Add-on riders cover high-risk pursuits like heli-skiing, spelunking, and shark diving which other providers shy away from.
Emergency medical and evacuation benefits hit coverage sweet spots important for remote treks and water sports. Customizable plans allow you to buy just the upgrade features needed for your intrepid itinerary. For tamer trips, dial back the adventure options to avoid over-insuring.
No question that AIG Travel Guard has the specialty coverage and experienced team to handle even the wildest voyages. Just be aware of capped daily limits if your plans involve extended international medical care.
Thrill-seekers get the green light to check off that bucket list with AIG Travel Guard’s specialty protection for adventurous pursuits.
Travel Insured International
Best for Seniors
With its strong medical and emergency benefits for ages 70+, Travel Insured International secures our recommendation for senior travelers.
- Excellent medical coverage with no age limits
- Generous evacuation coverage
- Intelligent trip-matching to needs
- Good customer service ratings
- Fewer extras like rental car damage
- Somewhat limited trip delay coverage
Travel Insured International shines with senior-friendly features like emergency medical coverage up to $100,000 with no age cap. They also offer up to $1 million for medical evacuation – crucial for this age group.
Their trip selection tool considers factors like age, destination, and trip length to recommend the right plan. This ensures seniors avoid gaps in protection without overpaying.
Combined with 24/7 travel assistance and experienced claims handlers, Travel Insured International gives elderly travelers and those with medical conditions the global coverage they need plus peace of mind. For the over-70 jet-set crowd, it’s a smart choice.
Travel Insured International earns its place as a favorite for senior travelers by offering robust coverage without limits based on age or health.
Best Marketplace Comparison Tool
The insurance marketplace platform of InsureMyTrip helps simplify researching policies across providers all in one place.
- Side-by-side comparisons of multiple insurers
- Filter and compare plans easily
- Educational resources on insurance
- Ok coverage is offered directly as well
- Limited details on each company’s reputation
- Own plans are not as strong as some insurers
Those seeking an insurance aggregator site will love InsureMyTrip. It allows you to filter plans by priorities like cost, medical protection, or cancellations to directly view matching options across over a dozen insurers.
You can quickly compare coverage and pricing differences between leading brands side-by-side in one view. For trip insurance made simple, the sorting and comparing features are invaluable.
In addition to the online marketplace, InsureMyTrip also sells policies directly from brands like RoamRight. But coverage here lags behind some specialized insurers. The power is really in the multi-company comparison tool.
When you want to cast a wide net and evaluate plans across top insurers all in one place, the marketplace site of InsureMyTrip is ideal.
Best for Long-Term Travel
World Nomads provides insurance specifically designed for extended excursions and living abroad long-term.
- Flexible plans with lengthy durations
- Specialized coverage for expat living
- Reputable customer service
- Broad adventure sport protections
- Limited trip cancellation coverage
- Some exclusions for high-risk countries
Those embarking on multi-month international sojourns need extended coverage aligned to their unique needs. World Nomads has plans spanning weeks to a full year, with renewals available for continued protection while traveling.
Their coverage caters nicely to expat lifestyles too, with add-ons like rental property protection, personal liability, and 24/7 global assistance services. So whether it’s backpacking across Southeast Asia or becoming a digital nomad in Europe, World Nomads has you covered.
Just be aware of certain country exclusions based on risk levels. And look to supplement with a dedicated cancelation policy from another provider if needed. But for long hauls, World Nomads is tough to beat.
With flexible coverage timeframes up to a year and expat-geared benefits, World Nomads meets the needs of long-term and location-independent travelers.
Best for Families
Seven Corners travel insurance shines with specialized features and benefits for vacationing families.
- Good child-specific coverage
- Reputable 24/7 travel/medical assistance
- Generous baggage delay reimbursement
- Intelligent recommendation tool
- Mixed customer service reviews
- Potential gaps for high-risk adventure travel
When insuring a family trip, you want protection tailored to the needs of all ages. Seven Corners fits the bill with child-friendly perks like complimentary coverage for kids under 18, missing child assistance, and child transportation covered under medical evacuation.
The intelligent recommendation tool considers your family size and makeup to suggest suitable plans to meet your needs and budget. This prevents under or over-insuring. Round-the-clock assistance provides peace of mind for parents.
While ideal for household travel, expect potential gaps in coverage if your family skews thrill-seeking. But for most family vacationers, Seven Corners simplifies insuring the whole bunch.
Seven Corners takes the stress out of ensuring family trips with benefits catered to households traveling together domestically and overseas.
Generali Global Assistance
Best 24/7 Assistance Services
With acclaimed 24/7 travel aid and emergency medical help, Generali Global Assistance takes top honors for assistance while traveling.
- Renowned emergency travel assistance
- Extensive worldwide medical network
- Expedited emergency benefits
- Insurance packages tailored to needs
- More limited trip cancellation coverage
- Daily limits on some benefits
Assistance benefits really shine with Generali, starting with their highly-rated 24/7 travel assistance hotline. Emergency medical expertise also impresses, with an expansive physician/facility network worldwide.
Once a major medical event occurs, Generali excels at quick approvals and payments for treatment and transport. This provides vital relief in urgent situations abroad.
While healthy medical and emergency benefits are clearly the focus, Generali still offers solid protections for other travel mishaps. Just expect less extensive coverage for things like cancellations and lost luggage compared to other providers. But for assistance while traveling, Generali has few rivals.
When emergency medical response is your top priority, Generali Global Assistance has the experienced team and global reach to deliver reliable aid anywhere.
Best Customer Service
Unparalleled claims support and assistance make Berkshire Hathaway our choice for 5-star customer satisfaction.
- Renowned claims handling and support
- Multi-lingual assistance with global reach
- Straightforward coverage terms
- Affordable pricing across plans
- Less niche coverage variety than some insurers
- Light offerings for high-risk adventurers
What really separates Berkshire Hathaway is exceeding expectations whenever claims arise. Experts guide you smoothly through documentation and resolution. Their hands-on style means you have a friendly voice to answer all your questions.
With in-house multilingual assistance across 200+ countries, Berkshire provides reassuring travel support worldwide. Underwriting comes directly from Berkshire too, meaning great accountability.
The coverage itself hits all the key marks like medical, evacuation, trip cancellation, and interruption. Just expect fewer specialty options for adventurers or high-risk travelers compared to other insurers. But for outstanding service, Berkshire is tough to top.
In times of claims and distress abroad, Berkshire Hathaway’s renowned customer care lifts your traveling spirit better than any other.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance provides financial reimbursement and emergency assistance services for covered losses and events that may disrupt or cancel your trip. Here are some key coverage components to look for:
- Trip cancellation – Reimburses prepaid, non-refundable costs if you must cancel due to covered reasons like illness or inclement weather.
- Trip interruption – Repays forfeited costs if you must cut a trip short for covered reasons. Also pays for added travel expenses to return home.
- Travel delay – Offsets additional costs like hotels and meals if your travel is delayed.
- Medical expenses – Pays for emergency medical treatment during your trip if you become sick or injured.
- Emergency evacuation – Covers expenses to transport you home or to the nearest capable medical facility in a life-threatening crisis overseas.
- Baggage – Provides reimbursement if your luggage or personal items are lost, damaged, or stolen during travel.
- Travel assistance services – From 24-hour emergency medical help to lost passport service, immediate worldwide assistance for various issues.
- Rental car damage – Provides primary or secondary coverage for rental vehicles if damaged or stolen.
- Adventure sports – Add-on coverage for high-risk activities like skydiving, cave diving, mountaineering, and more.
Pay close attention to covered reasons, exclusions, and cash limits when evaluating plans. This ensures the policy aligns with your specific trip and needs.
Who Needs Travel Insurance?
While not universally required, the following types of travelers commonly benefit from and often choose to purchase coverage:
- International voyagers – Medical costs abroad can be astronomical without proper insurance. Evacuation alone can top $100,000.
- Cruise passengers – Trip cancellation/interruption policies protect costly fares. Specialized coverages address risks like missing port calls.
- Adventure enthusiasts – Those partaking in high-risk activities need coverage catered specifically to their sports.
- Families – Insuring children and guardians together on one policy can be easier and more affordable.
- Seniors – Older travelers benefit from policies with strong medical/evacuation coverage and no age limits.
- Frequent travelers – Annual and multi-trip plans provide savings for those who travel regularly throughout the year.
- Expensive trips – When you invest significantly in dream vacations or bucket-list expeditions, insurance provides financial security.
- Pre-existing conditions – Travelers with ongoing health issues need pre-trip emergency coverage tailored to their needs.
While never required, travel insurance does deliver valuable peace of mind across the globe. Carefully consider your trip details, health factors, and risk tolerance when deciding.
Things to Know About Buying Travel Insurance
Investing some time upfront to learn the details of travel insurance will ensure you get optimal coverage. Keep these key tips in mind:
- Shop early – Purchase insurance right after your initial trip payment for the most comprehensive cancellation coverage
- Read carefully – Pay attention to covered reasons, exclusions, and daily limits when choosing a policy.
- Disclose fully – Being upfront about pre-existing medical conditions during enrollment ensures you get complete coverage.
- Compare comprehensively – Look beyond just price to weigh benefits, exclusions, ratings, etc. when choosing a provider.
- Consider upgrades – Additional coverages like Cancel For Any Reason give you more flexibility for cancellations.
- Confirm dates – Make sure departure and return dates align correctly with your trip length.
- Check cruise coverage – Standard policies may exclude cruise-specific issues like canceled ports.
- Review adventurous benefits – If planning high-risk activities, ensure the insurer covers your sports.
- Examine rental car protection – Many policies exclude or offer only secondary rental vehicle coverage.
- Add flight insurance – Some airlines allow you to purchase travel protection covering flight issues.
- Ensure full costs – Make sure your coverage limit exceeds the entire non-refundable prepaid trip cost.
- Save documentation – Keep records of your policy documents, medical reports, and proof of payments/losses to ease claims.
Equipping yourself to make informed insurance decisions will bring confidence and satisfaction with your travel experiences ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Travel Insurance
Travel insurance often comes with questions for first-time buyers and experienced travelers alike. Here we detail some of the most commonly asked questions.
Q: When should I buy travel insurance?
A: The optimal time is immediately after your initial trip payment or deposit. This maximizes the amount of prepaid expenses the policy covers. Many providers require purchase within 7 to 21 days from the first booking.
Q: Which is better, an annual or per-trip policy?
A: Annual plans make sense if taking multiple trips close together throughout the year. But per-trip policies allow customizing coverage to the specific needs of each unique excursion. Evaluate your yearly travel frequency.
Q: Do I have to buy insurance directly from the travel provider?
A: No, you can shop plans from third-party insurers and compare coverage and pricing. Just make sure to purchase early to get optimal protection.
Q: What if I book with airline miles or hotel/airline vouchers?
A: Many insurers do allow covering trips booked via reward points. Just save documentation showing redemption values to ease potential claims.
Q: Can I get insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?
A: Yes, most providers do offer coverage for ongoing health issues like diabetes or heart disease. Disclose conditions upfront and review policy details to confirm.
Q: Do all plans offer emergency medical evacuation?
A: No. Evacuation coverage varies widely by provider, so check carefully if traveling internationally or adventuring in remote regions.
Q: What happens if the insurer goes out of business?
A: Legitimate providers back policies with secure reserves and are regulated by departments of insurance. So coverage remains intact even if operations wind down.
Q: Can I insure high-risk adventure activities?
A: Many providers do offer coverage for adventure sports via special add-on policies – just expect an additional cost. Shop carefully for high thrills.
Q: How does the claims process work?
A: You’ll need to fully document the loss event, expenses incurred, and policy eligibility. Insurers investigate and validate claims before providing reimbursement payments.
The Bottom Line
Amid the fun and anticipation of an upcoming trip, thinking about potential mishaps isn’t high on the excitement list. But things can and do go unexpectedly wrong while traveling. When they do, travel insurance provides vital financial protection and peace of mind.
While no one size fits all, we hope our rundown of the top providers across different common travel needs offers a guidepost as you shop for coverage that best aligns with your next adventure or excursion – wherever in the world it may take you.