There is no one-size-fits-all best travel insurance policy since they are suited to your individual needs. However, your travel insurance policy should offer you reasonable coverage and should cover at least the basics, such as medical emergencies and trip interruption and cancellation.
You should also research and make sure you are purchasing travel insurance from a reputable company. Although we cannot choose a travel insurance policy for you, we can tell you where to look and what you should be looking for in a policy.
Best Travel Insurance Companies
Some of the best travel insurance companies include:
- Allianz Travel Insurance.
- Europ Assistance.
- Generali Global Assistance.
- IMG Travel Insurance.
- HTH Travel Insurance.
- World Nomads Travel Insurance.
- Seven Corners.
AXA is one of the leading companies when it comes to travel insurance, offering insurance plans to travellers from anywhere in the world. AXA offers medical and trip insurance for single or multiple trips abroad as well as annual policies. You can choose a plan intended for families, couples, solo travellers, or even backpackers.
The prices will differ depending on where you are from, where you are travelling to, as well as the duration of your trip, but you can expect to pay as little as $2/day for a month-long trip to Europe, for example.
You can purchase a plan online or visit one of their stores in the US or Europe.
Allianz Travel Insurance
Another insurance company, operating in multiple countries across the world, is Allianz. You can choose from their Single Trip or Annual travel insurance plans, as well as their Rental Car insurance plans.
Additionally, if you are travelling during Covid times, you can get additional epidemic coverage, which will cover trip disturbances and medical emergencies related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Europ Assistance is a travel insurance company catered mainly to European travellers as well as anyone travelling to the Schengen Area. Apart from the typical travel health insurance, EA also claims to assist you to prepare for your trip, support your while away as well as help you to return home safely.
Generali Global Assistance
Generali Global Assistance is the US branch of Europ Assistance, offering travel insurance and assistance to American citizen travellers. Other than travel insurance, GGA also offer travel assistance, travel risk management, and identity theft protection among their services.
IMG Travel Insurance
Another renowned insurance provider, IMG provides coverage for benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, reunion and emergency assistance services, as well as travel insurance. You can choose from several different plans depending on your nationality and travel destination(s).
There will be differences in pricing based on whether you need coverage in the US. or not, and you can use their comparison feature on the website to compare between different available plans.
HTH Travel Insurance
HTH Travel Insurance is a US-based company, offering travel health insurance, which includes hospital care, surgery, doctor’s office visits, prescription medicine and medical evacuation. These plans however, are only available to US residents.
World Nomads Travel Insurance
World Nomads is a favorite among frequent travellers, backpackers, adventure seekers, or digital nomads. Their plans cover medical emergencies, evacuation, emergency assistance, and even several adventure activities (for an extra fee, of course).
Seven Corners Travel Insurance
This is another US-based insurance company, but they offer a selection of insurance plans for non-Americans travelling to the US as well as for American residents travelling outside the US. Their insurance policies include coverage for medical emergencies, trip disruption, and loss of belongings.
What Should a Travel Insurance Policy Include?
A travel insurance policy should offer you enough coverage for your basic needs during a trip:
- Medical emergencies coverage
- Trip disruption (cancellation, delay) coverage
- Coverage for loss of personal belongings
- Coverage for emergency evacuation or repatriation
You can then add to the policy through what are known as “add-ons”. This means that on top of the “basics” package, you can choose to pay more so you have coverage for things not normally included in a regular travel insurance policy, such as winter sports, insurance of expensive gadgets, or liability insurance.
How Much Travel Insurance Coverage Should I Get?
There is really no specific amount of coverage you should get, as it depends on:
- Your destination. For certain countries, such as Europe’s Schengen Zone, you need at least €30,000 worth of travel health insurance, but you can choose to have more. In countries such as the US, where healthcare costs are very high, a $30,000 policy maximum may not be much help if you require extended medical care. You could spend the $30,000 entirely, and still be left with tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in additional medical bills.
- The duration of your trip. If you are only spending a few days abroad, you don’t really need a million-dollar/euro policy maximum, but it could be necessary for months-long trips.
- What you will be doing on your trip. If you intend to do a lot of increased-risk activities, such as camping, skiing, scuba diving, surfing, etc, a higher policy maximum makes sense due to the increased probability of getting into an accident.
There are health insurance policies with different amounts of coverage, ranging from $20,000 or less to millions of dollars.
The policy maximum is the highest amount that the travel insurance policy will pay for any damages or accidents during your trip. Naturally, policies with a higher amount of coverage will cost more, and it is you who chooses how much you are willing to pay.
How Much Does a Travel Insurance Policy Cost?
The cost of your travel insurance plan is usually between 4% to 12% of the overall cost of your trip. It depends on:
- The overall cost of your trip. If you have a more expensive trip, then the insurance plan will be more expensive simply because if you do need to make a claim, it will cost the insurance company more to reimburse you.
- The coverage you need/choose. If your plan has just basic health coverage, it will cost less than if you were to include other factors as well, such as trip cancellation, baggage insurance, terrorism, or different sports activities.
- How long you will be away for. Travel insurance policies are usually priced by day, so a 30-day trip will cost more than if you were only travelling for one week or a few days.
- Your destination. Since some countries or activities involve a higher risk, then the price of travel insurance will change depending on your destination.
- Is it a single or group policy? If it is a group policy, how many people are included in your plan?
- Your age. The prices of travel insurance plans increase along with the age of the client. So, people over the age of 65 will have to pay more for the same plan (since they are more likely to make a claim), while very young children can sometimes be added to the parent’s plan with no extra costs.
When Is the Best Time to Buy Travel Insurance?
You should buy your travel insurance as soon as you book a trip, or at least two weeks prior to your trip. Naturally, the coverage will begin on the date you intend to travel, but in the meantime, you will have coverage in case your trip is cancelled, delayed, or you run into other problems.
Additionally, as the date of your departure nears, you will likely make more deposits so you can continue to include them on your coverage. But if you purchase your insurance at the last minute, you may not be able to get full coverage.
Understanding Different Types of Travel Insurance
- Travel Insurance for Medical Emergencies. This type of insurance will cover your medical treatment costs during your trip, for things like:
- Emergency services, such as the ambulance and ER
- Surgical procedures
- Doctor’s visit
- The cost of prescription drugs and medicine
- Travel Insurance for Trip Disruption. You should get trip disruption insurance so that in case you have to cancel your trip, or your trip is cut short or delayed, you do not lose all your trip deposits. A good trip disruption travel insurance policy can include:
- Trip cancellation coverage.
- Trip interruption coverage.
- Missed departure coverage.
- Trip delay coverage.
- Travel Insurance for Evacuation or Repatriation. With this type of insurance, in case you become severely ill or get into a major accident, the cost of evacuating you back home or to a more competent facility for treatment are covered.
- Travel Insurance for Loss or Theft of Personal Belongings. If your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged during your trip, then this type of insurance will reimburse you for their loss. However, you must have the receipts of the items that have been lost and proof you had them with you on the trip.
- Travel Insurance for “Adventurous” Activities. Some insurance companies will offer coverage for medical treatment as a result of injuries obtained due to taking part in dangerous activities or sports, such as skiing, scuba diving, climbing, white-water rafting, etc.
- Travel Insurance for Expensive Items or Technology. If you are travelling with very expensive equipment, which would cause you a financial burden to lose, you can insure them. Not all companies offer coverage for expensive technological equipment, and even if they do, they usually will not cover the entire cost of the item.
- Travel Insurance for Personal Liability. If, during your trip abroad, your actions cause bodily injury to someone or damage to a property, then personal or legal liability insurance will cover for the resulting costs.