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Best Travel Insurance for 2016

We review the best cheap travel insurance companies

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Travel Insurance Reviews

Whether you travel the country or travel the globe, preparing for a trip comes with a lot of responsibilities. Making reservations, planning your route, and packing everything you need is probably what is consuming your thoughts before any traveling you might be doing. However, one thing you might need to think about is travel insurance. Travel insurance could cover you when the unexpected happens on your trip.

Unlike home insurance and health insurance, travel insurance isn't necessarily at the top of the list of things every adult needs to buy. In fact, the only reason it may have even crossed your mind is because you saw an ad or a pop up while booking a flight or a hotel online. But just like the other insurance policies you have, travel insurance may be something you want to have in your back pocket when you travel.

Is Travel Insurance Necessary?

That is a question that any prospective traveler should, at least, think about. Around 148 million travelers are insured in the US. The answer depends on what your other insurance plans cover and what your travel habits are. First, look at what travel insurance actually covers: medical emergencies, deaths and overseas funeral expenses, evacuations, loss or damage of luggage or property, delays or missed connections when the airline is at fault and even hi-jackings.

Like other types of insurance, it is something you hope never to need but you are happy to have it when something does go wrong. Some of the bigger things on the list of coverages would probably be covered by your health, life or other insurances. Also, think about what you are actually risking if you don't have insurance. Do you tend to travel with very expensive luggage and do you check bags with precious items in them? Do you book and pay for things like rental cars, hotels and flights in advance? If the answer is no, you may have to spend more money on the insurance than you would need if something were to happen.

However, the real indication that you would need to purchase travel insurance is if you have coverage gaps in your other insurance plans. If overseas hospital expenses aren't covered by your health insurance plan or if foreign funerals aren't covered by your life insurance plan you may want to look at what a travel insurer can give you.

Best Travel Insurance: What to Consider

If you do decide that a travel insurance plan is in your best interest, then you should try to find one that gives you the most for your money. There are also some other things that you should think about:

Which Provider Covers What You Need?

The first thing you need to find out is what your other insurance plans cover. Your home, health, auto, and life insurance may cover the things you are looking for in travel insurance. No need to double up if you are already covered. If you find that what you want covered is not covered by your existing policies than you can take a look at travel insurance to cover what you are looking for.

What Type of Insurance do You Need?

Are you only planning one trip this year? Are you going to be taking multiple trips? Your trip length and frequency is something to consider when looking for the right insurance. You want to make sure your whole trip will be covered and not have your insurance expire while you are still traveling. If you plan to make multiple trips in a year, there are plans that will offer coverage on all of your trips, instead of needing to buy individual plans every time you travel. This can be quite a time saver if you know you will take multiple trips within a year.

Is There a Risk that it Could be Cancelled?

Some insurers cover unexpected trip cancellations. Something you should also consider is where you are traveling. If weather could be a factor, such as, a place that could affected by hurricane season or something similar, it may be smart to have insurance to cover those instances. If strikes are possible for the airline, this would be another consideration into whether a travel insurance plan would be right for you.

How complex your travel plans are would be another thing to consider when you are deciding whether or not travel insurance is for you. If you are taking a long trip with multiple connections, travel insurance that covers missed connections and delays may be worth it for you. Likewise, if missing flights would cancel your trip, like in the event of your flight being delayed and then you miss a cruise, in this scenario having travel insurance will allow you recoup your losses and make it an inconvenience rather than a total loss.

Other Travel Insurance Factors to Consider

Emergency translation and legal help is sometimes covered. If you are worried about being stranded in a foreign land without help, this is one to consider. Traveling in a country that is experiencing unrest may lead you to look at travel insurance options. Terrorist attacks are another thing that should now be considered. Having insurance to cover you in a moment of crisis will allow you to focus on more important things.

Meet the Best Travel Insurance Companies

Travel Guard Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Excellent BBB rating
  • Good refund policy
  • Ability to add on to existing policy
  • Many plans to choose from
  • You have the ability to customize
  • Cons
  • Some plans aren’t available in every state

Travel Guard offers three different levels of policy and pricing. Their highly rated plans will allow you to find the plan that matches your needs the best. You can easily file a claim online with a couple of clicks. They also allow you to add to your plan or get a refund up to 15 days after purchase.

Allianz Travel Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Excellent BBB
  • Large coverage maximums
  • Great annual plans
  • Reputable company
  • Helpful mobile app
  • Cons
  • No passport recovery
  • No policy upgrading
  • No concierge

Allianz has many options you can consider if you are traveling. Enter your trip information to get quotes on a policy that will fit your needs. They offer many additional plans including a yearly plan for those who travel frequently. They have one of the highest maximums in the industry and also a helpful mobile app.

Squaremouth Travel Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • User-friendly site
  • Removes providers that don't resolve complaints
  • Intuitive search technology
  • Very informative and helpful resources
  • Cons
  • Doesn't offer insurance directly

Squaremouth is a travel insurance broker that connects you to the best deals and packages you can get. Using their informative resources and intuitive search function, you can find the best insurance plan for your specific needs.

Protect Your Bubble Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Easy claims process
  • Identity theft coverage
  • Includes roadside assistance
  • Great mobile apps
  • Offers annual coverage
  • Cons
  • Trip delay coverage is very limited
  • The basic place does not cover luggage delay

Protect Your Bubble is a low cost option with many benefits of its competitors. With policies ranging from single trip to yearly, they are a great company to check out if you are not sure you want to commit to a huge policy. They also offer identity theft protection which can be very helpful if your identity is stolen while traveling. They also offer a mobile app.

Travelex Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Excellent BBB rating
  • Kids under 21 are covered for free
  • Travel Select has great customization options
  • Comprehensive midrange plans
  • Great for family and business travel
  • Cons
  • Large group plans are limited

Travelex offers a number of different plans to cover your needs and budget. From basic to comprehensive you will be able to find the coverage you need to suit your travel needs. Depending on your plan kids are free, making this a great option for families.

Best Travel Insurance Advice

Before choosing a provider, take a look at our travel insurance advice section to learn more about the industry as a whole. Understanding the finer points of travel insurance might help you make a better purchase. Here are few important points to consider:

  • What does travel insurance cover? Travel insurance is mainly going to cover anything that can go wrong on your trip (i.e. lost bags, delayed flights, missed connections). These can be headaches for sure, but whether or not you want to pay to be protected against them is up to you. Most travel plans are also going to cover medical expenses, should you become ill, but if you already have health insurance and auto insurance it's likely that your plan will already cover these things. If you do decide to buy travel insurance for your trip make sure you understand completely what the terms of your policy are. Making sure you know what instances are covered and their conditions will allow for a much smoother claims process while also avoiding confusion. If you have any questions about your policy make sure they are answered before you buy, so you know what you are covered for. Most companies boast a great turnaround time on customer service calls so don't hesitate to contact them if you are unsure when you are traveling.
  • Determine if you need travel insurance or not. Whether or not you need travel insurance depends on where you are traveling, what you're traveling with and what coverage you have with your regular health insurance plan. As has already been mentioned, it's likely that your health, auto, and life insurance may already cover you in a lot of the ways that travel insurance would. If you don't travel with expensive things or you haven't prepaid for your hotel already, travel insurance may be a bit unnecessary. However, if your checked bags are carrying valuable items or you have already paid for your accommodations at your destination, having the extra protection for losing bags and missed connections might be worth looking into a policy.
  • How can you save money on travel insurance? One of the top ways to save money is to know what you need. Instead of paying double on things your other insurance policies already provide, but a policy that covers what they don't. Know about where you are going and what kind of possibilities could happen there such as the likelihood of weather affecting your trip. This will give you a better understanding of what you need to be looking for in your policy. It is also important to know the policy rules and what they don't cover. You don't want to buy the policy only to find out something you needed isn't covered and you were relying on it.

Best Travel Insurance Review Recap

Each travel insurance agency offers some unique features. If you do decide that you can benefit from the extra coverage choose one that works for your kind of travel. Most providers allow you get a quote about your trip directly on their website allowing you to get multiple quotes easily and without a lot of hassle. Finding the right coverage for your trip can save you if the unexpected happens and give you peace of mind while you travel.

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We have not used travel insurance, but it doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Questions & Answers About Best Travel Insurance

Is travel insurance really necessary?

Travel insurance can be a valuable safety net for people who need it or a waste of money for people who don't. It depends on the other insurance plans in your life. If there are gaps in your life or health insurance that could potentially be an issue while traveling then travel insurance is valuable. Also, travel insurance can often cover overseas incidents that a US based insurance company wouldn't. To find out if travel insurance is right for you, you'll need to look at your current insurance policies or talk to your insurance provider. Also, consider the type of trip you are going on. Travel insurance can cover some specific things that wouldn't fall under any home or life insurance policies.

What kind of travel insurance do I need?

There are several different travel insurance companies out there and many of them have tailored plans for different kinds of travelers. Think about the purpose and logistics of the trip you are taking. If you are traveling for business you may have important items in your luggage. If so, you will need a plan that covers lost, stolen or delayed baggage. Are you traveling with a large group, some plans are made for groups while other have a limited number of people. Take a look at different providers and find a plan that works best for the kind of traveling you do.

When should I buy travel insurance?

Experts advise you to purchase travel insurance between 7 and 21 days from the intended date of your trip. You can, with some companies purchase it within a smaller window but that's not recommended unless you can pay the initial and deposit amounts within a shorter time period to each other. Travel insurance is best suited for individuals who are adverse travelers. By this, we mean that they are at considered financial risk and may be susceptible to medical emergencies, missed flights, travel-company bankruptcies or emergency evacuations. With that being said, a 75-year-old, traveling alone to the foothills of Tibet, may be more inclined to purchase travelers insurance than a 24-year-old visiting her parents in a neighboring state.

What is a deposit date?

Whether you're purchasing travel insurance for a flight, cruise, or tour the deposit date is the day in which you paid for any portion of your trip. Travel insurance companies request this information because many of their plans require you to purchase coverage within a window of the initial deposit (typically 10-14 days). The final payment date, as its name suggests, is the date in which you make your final payment towards your trip. This date falls between the deposit date and the departure date. If you'd prefer, some companies allow you to make the deposit and final payment on the same day. It's wise to check the certificate of insurance if you're not certain of the regulations pertaining to your particular coverage. Sometimes companies sneak reductions, limitations, and exclusions into this portion of the contract so always read the full details.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance is a way to safeguard a sum of money you've put towards any type of vacation or trip. With most policies, what you'll find is that they cover these main categories:

  • Cancellations
  • Medical emergencies
  • Emergency evacuations
  • Lost or delayed baggage and flights
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Optional coverage available for rental car collision, identity theft

Trip cancellation coverage, in effect, reimburses you in the event that you must cancel your trip prior to the departure date. Some of the reasons given (and applicable) are a sudden employment termination, work commitment, jury duty, meteorological conditions, and death or injury of you or a traveling member. Medical emergencies typically do not include preexisting conditions if traveling outside of the continental United States. So if you are taking a cruise through international waters inquire with your insurance company to determine what is and isn't covered. One of the big benefits to purchasing travel insurance is it covers lost or delayed bags as well as flights. The policy will reimburse you for expenses like hotel, meals, or clothes as a result of trip setbacks. Finally, you'll get access to a customer service line to help you with any of the aforementioned categories.

Why should I buy travel insurance?

You should purchase travel insurance if you plan on travelling anywhere outside of your immediate country. Travel insurance can cover anything from medical emergencies to death and overseas funeral expenses. It can also take care of lost or damaged luggage/property, flight delays, missed connections and evacuations.

What should I consider before purchasing travel insurance?

You need to consider many things. Some of these include whether you travel with expensive luggage/suitcases, valuable items and if you plan on renting a car while on your vacation. You also have to consider your physical and mental health because that will also dictate what kind of coverage you need. You should also consider the length and duration of your travels and what is covered by your current health plan.

How do I choose a travel insurance company that best suits my needs?

It is recommended to compare at least two travel insurance companies and their plans, to see which company offers the best coverage for you. Many travel insurance companies have a complimentary quote on their website and will ask you a series of questions to determine your ideal plan and rate.

I already have life insurance, do I need travel insurance?

The answer is yes because many life insurance policies have gaps and clauses in which you are not covered while traveling abroad. Some policies are also voided in certain countries so you'll want to ensure you're covered no matter what. Many hospitals overseas do not cover your medical and emergency expenses – that's where the travel insurance comes in.

What are some popular travel insurance companies?

Some of the most popular and reliable travel insurance companies are Allianz, Travelex Insurance, MH Ross and Travel Guard.

What is the difference between the various travel insurance companies?

Each travel insurance company has their own set of policies and procedures. One company may offer a lower rate but also less coverage while a competitor may offer a slightly higher rate but substantially more coverage. You want to be sure you aren't compromising your health by choosing the least expensive travel coverage option.

How do I know what coverage I need?

In order to determine what kind of travel coverage you need, you should take into consideration your age, current health and trip duration. Assess how many bags you are traveling with, layovers, the total cost of your trip and valuables. These are all determining factors in figuring out what coverage you need. If you are traveling to a country where there is political unease, you should consider purchasing coverage for identity theft as well as political evacuation.

I have a pre-existing medical condition, will that affect my travel insurance?

When determining the appropriate travel coverage policy, you should be upfront regarding your medical history. The ideal policy will tailor itself to suit your pre-existing health condition and be affordable. If you are not honest on your policy about your health condition(s), the travel insurance company has the right to forfeit the entire policy.

Anything else I should know prior to travelling?

Please be aware that you are solely responsible for your personal belongings. Travel insurance will not cover the cost lost belongings (i.e., luggage) should you lose it or have it stolen.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.