Tips for choosing a travel insurance provider company

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Why should you use Travel Insurance?

Tips for choosing a travel insurance provider company

Travel Insurance Protection Benefits for a Comfortable Vacation

 

 

Travel Insurance

      Many companies selling tickets or travel packages, give consumers the option to purchase travel insurance, also known as travelers insurance. Some travel policies cover damage to personal property, rented equipment, such as rental cars, or even the cost of paying a ransom. Frequently sold as a package, travel insurance may include several types of coverage. The main categories of travel insurance include trip cancellation or interruption coverage, baggage and personal effects coverage, medical expense coverage, and accidental death or flight accident coverage. Coverage often includes 24/7 emergency services, such as replacing lost passports, cash wire assistance, and re-booking canceled flights. Also, some travel insurance policies may duplicate existing coverage from other providers or offer protection for costs that are refundable by other means.

 

     Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs and losses associated with traveling. It is useful protection for those traveling domestically or abroad. According to a 2020 NerdWallet survey of 2,000 Americans, only one in five Americans bought travel insurance for leisure trips prior to COVID-19. But 45% say they’re likely to purchase travel insurance for future leisure trips.

 

Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage

Trip cancellation insurance, sometimes known as trip interruption insurance or trip delay insurance, reimbursements a traveler for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses. Providers vary on acceptable cancellation and interruption causes and the amount of reimbursement available. The most common acceptable reasons include illness, a death in the immediate family, sudden business conflicts, and weather-related issues. Trip cancellation is beneficial when paying more upfront than what you’re comfortable losing. For example, if you pay $ 2,000 for a package tour and the tour’s cancellation policy stipulates that all but $ 100 is refundable upon cancellation, travel insurance will cover only the nonrefundable $ 100. Also, there is no need to protect a refundable airline ticket.

 

 

Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage

Baggage and personal effects coverage protects lost, stolen, or damaged belongings during a trip. It may include coverage during travel to and from a destination. Most carriers, such as airlines, reimburse travelers if baggage is lost or destroyed because of their error. However, there may be limitations on the amount of reimbursement. Therefore, baggage and personal effects coverage provides an additional layer of protection. The possibility of baggage and personal belongings being lost, stolen, or damaged is a frequent travel problem. Many travel insurance policies pay for belongings only after you exhaust all other available claims. Your homeowners or renters insurance may extend coverage outside of your domicile, and airlines and cruise lines are responsible for loss and damage to your baggage during transport. Also, credit cards may provide automatic protection for things like delays and baggage or rental car accidents if used for deposits or other trip-related expenses.

Short-Term Medical and Major Medical Coverage

The two primary types of medical travel insurance policies are short-term medical and major medical coverage. Short-term policies cover a traveler from five days to one year, depending on the policy chosen. Major medical coverage is for travelers who are planning to take longer trips ranging from six months to one year or longer.

 

     Medical coverage can help with medical expenses, help to locate doctors and healthcare facilities, and even assist in obtaining foreign-language services. As with other policies, coverage will vary by price and provider. Some may cover airlift travel to a medical facility, extended stays in foreign hospitals, and medical evacuation to receive care. The U.S. government urges Americans to consult their medical insurance providers before traveling to determine whether a policy extends its coverage abroad. For example, medical insurance may cover the insured in the U.S. and Canada, but not in Europe. Also, some health insurance providers may require prior approval for coverage to remain valid.

 

     Before purchasing a policy, it is imperative to read the policy provisions to see what exclusions, such as pre-existing medical conditions, apply and not assume that the new coverage mirrors that of an existing plan. Emergency medical coverage may be redundant. Most health insurance companies pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs if you become sick or injured while traveling, but few will pay for a medical evacuation. Note that Medicare does not cover any expenses outside the U.S.

 

 

Purchasing Travel Insurance

     Travel insurance will vary by the provider on cost, exclusions, and coverage. The buyer should be aware of reading all disclosure statements before they purchase the insurance. Coverage is available for single, multiple, and yearly travel. Per-trip coverage protects a single trip and is ideal for people who travel occasionally. Multi-trip coverage protects numerous trips occurring in one year, but none of the excursions can exceed 30 days. Annual coverage is for frequent travelers. It protects for a full year. In addition to the duration of travelers insurance coverage, premiums are based on the type of coverage provided, a traveler’s age, the destination, and the cost of your trip. Standard per-trip policies cost between 5% to 7% of the trip’s cost. Specialized policy riders focus on the needs of business travelers, athletes, and expatriates.

 

Also, when traveling, it is suggested that a traveler register travel plans with the State Department through its free travel registration website. The nearest embassy or consulate can contact them if there is a family, state or national emergency.

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Benefits Travel Insurance

Medical expenses and emergency assistance

     If you or someone you are travelling with falls ill whilst on holiday, the medical expenses section of your travel insurance policy is there to help cover your doctor and/or hospital bills. Perhaps you’ve previously seen reports in the news of individuals travelling without insurance and then needing medical care abroad. They are then required to pay the cost of treatment themselves often totalling thousands of pounds.

 

     From 1st January 2021 rules around travel to Europe have changed, visit the Government website for up to date information on passports, EHIC, healthcare and more. We’ll update this page with more information as and when the Government release it. The medical cover on a travel insurance policy is for many the main reason why individuals purchase insurance; therefore it is important to check what is included before you travel. Alpha’s £10 million emergency medical expenses include repatriation, air ambulance and mountain rescue as well as a dedicated emergency assistance team available on call 24/7 365 days of the year should things go wrong.

 

Personal possessions and luggage

     This section provides cover for loss, theft and damage for your bag or suitcase as well as the items you are bringing on your trips such as clothes, jewellery and eyewear. There is usually a total monetary amount that you are covered for and this is then broken down further into sub-sections. Each item you pack will fall into one of these sub-sections and this will be the maximum amount you would be able to claim for should it be damaged, lost or stolen.

 

All policies vary with regards to what is and isn’t covered, therefore it is important that you check before travelling; some items are included as standard, whereas others require you to pay for an additional extension.

 

Personal accident and activity cover

     Holidays are meant to be memorable and as a result, many travellers heading abroad without their parents for the first time decide to take the plunge and try out a new adventure activity. Your travel insurance policy is able to provide cover for a wide range of activities, but also covers you for personal accident and medical expenses should things go wrong.

 

Cancellation cover:

      How would you feel if, after months of saving up for your well-deserved break, it was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances that were beyond your control? Getting your money back on all the different elements of your holiday can be tricky, however, the cancellation section of your travel insurance policy is there to help in these situations.

 

Legal expenses

     If you need legal advice because someone has injured you whilst abroad, travel insurance policies have a legal expenses section that will help pay for the cost. Usually, you have to pay an excess first, but this section often comes with a free 30-minute phone consultation with a solicitor to discuss your case.


Since there’s so much to consider when shopping around for travel insurance, we’ve done the legwork for you by reviewing more than 20 different companies. Our review evaluates their cost, exclusions, limits, and customer ratings. Read on to see which travel insurance makes the most sense for your needs.


Pros
  • Competitive pricing for comprehensive coverage

  • Multiple plan options with customizable features

  • Children 17 and under covered at no extra cost

Cons
  • Mixed pre-existing condition coverage depending on the policy purchase date

  • No annual plan available

  • Basic coverage plan features minimal coverage

Travelex Insurance Services is a well-known travel insurance provider based in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1996, Travelex (not to be confused with the foreign currency exchange shops) offers several insurance packages depending on the coverage needed for your trip. Policies are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance company, which earns an A++ rating from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor’s.12 Coverage is available to customers worldwide.

The Travel Select plan starts at $28 and includes trip cancellation, trip interruption, as well as emergency medical and evacuation, but there are also several ways to customize and upgrade coverage.

Travel is covered up to 100% of $50,000 for cancellations. You can receive up to 150% of the trip cost up to $75,000 for trip interruptions. Emergency medical limits are $50,000 and emergency evacuation coverage is good for up to $500,000.

In addition, Travel Select has a 15-day pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. If you purchase your policy within 15 days of paying for your trip and insure the full cost of the trip, your pre-existing injury or illness is likely covered.

Why We Chose It: Travelex offers extensive coverage (up to 150% for interruptions) for you or your whole family at a competitive price—and kids are included at no extra charge. A relatively low price for the high levels of coverage made it our top choice. Look for the Travel Select plan for the best coverage.

Pros
  • Annual or single-trip plans available

  • Many policy types fit varying needs

  • Cover yourself and your household all year even if you’re not traveling together

Cons
  • Does not cover extended travel periods

  • Some annual plans have per-trip limits while others have annual limits

  • Not the highest limit around for emergency medical transportation coverage ($250,000)

Allianz Travel is a subsidiary of Allianz, which traces its history back to 1890 in Germany. Travel policies are underwritten by insurers with AM Best ratings of A- to A+ and are only available to legal U.S. residents.34

Travelers who want to hit the road many times per year should consider annual travel insurance rather than individual per-trip policies. Allianz Travel offers four different annual plans with varying benefit levels. We particularly like their AllTrips Executive, which has the highest limits and coverage.

AllTrips Executive provides tiered limits starting at $5,000 for trip cancellation or interruption coverage. They also offer $50,000 for emergency medical, and $250,000 for emergency transportation, per insured, per trip. There is a lengthy list of exclusions, including extreme sports, so make sure to read the fine print before jumping into adventure activities.

Quotes for a single traveler, a couple, and a family of four had a price point of $500 per traveler per year. If you were going to pay for comprehensive coverage at $120 per person per trip, you’ll break even with this plan if you are going to travel at least five times per year. If you’re looking for lower costs, the AllTrips Basic, Premier, and Prime options are available from Allianz.

Why We Chose It: Allianz gets the runner-up spot because of its extensive coverage for frequent travelers with a low cost-per-trip. Get the best coverage from the AllTrips Executive plan. Individual trip coverage is also available.

Pros
  • Search for quotes from multiple reputable insurers

  • Shop around with one application for multiple trip types

  • View multiple plans from eligible insurers for your planned trip

Cons
  • Many popular insurers not included in listings

  • Initial listing pages don’t show policy limits

  • Includes some policies with low coverage limits

Founded in 2000, InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance comparison website that searches from over 20 insurers using one intake form. It offers an easy-to-use signup and comparison tool to quickly compare multiple policies based on your specific needs. Filters are available to pick policies that cover adventure sports, higher limits, increased medical coverage, and more.

A quote for a family of four to take a 14-day trip that costs $4,000 and includes plane and hotel expenses resulted in three suggested plans with costs of $100, $112, or $345 for varying levels of protection. Basic features included luggage coverage, travel delay, and medical care.

The insurers you’ll find while using InsureMyTrip have earned a variety of industry ratings and are generally considered reputable and financially stable. Still, as with policies bought directly from insurers, it’s a good idea to read the policy details before clicking the buy button. Each underlying insurer has different claims processes, exclusions, and limits. InsureMyTrip makes it easier, however, to be an informed travel insurance buyer.

Why We Chose It: Compare policies from more than 20 different travel insurance providers with one form so you know you’re getting a good deal for the coverage you need. You can find low-cost trip coverage or customize a plan to meet your needs so you don’t overpay for coverage you won’t use.

Pros
  • Extensive coverage with high limits for medical and emergency evacuation

  • Protects your bags, computers, and sports equipment when traveling

  • Explorer plan covers adventure sports

Cons
  • Only single-trip plans available

  • Most pre-existing conditions are not covered

  • Not all policies cover adventure sports

World Nomads is a good insurer for singles and couples looking for adventure. The Australia-based provider is a solid choice for worldwide travel with few excluded activities. Policies are underwritten by various insurers including financially strong and well-known Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Generali Global, AIG, and Lloyd’s.

Coverage includes terrorist attacks, assault, medical repatriation, equipment and baggage, and overseas medical and dental. The high-end Explorer Plan covers activities including snow sports, water sports, aviation, motorsports, athletics, and high-adventure experiences. More than 200 activities are named and many are specifically excluded by other insurers.

A solo 35-year-old would pay $205.37 for a month in Thailand, which is very reasonable for such extensive coverage. The lower-coverage Standard Plan costs $116.04 for the same trip, but it makes sense to choose higher coverage levels if you’re worried about something going wrong.

This U.S.-based policy is underwritten by Nationwide (A+ rated by AM Best) with a $100,000 limit for emergency accidents and illnesses, $500,000 for emergency evacuation, $10,000 for trip cancellation (or interruption), and much more.5

While it doesn’t have the same insurance reputation as some other providers, it works with very reputable companies to underwrite policies and gets generally good reviews.

Why We Chose It: Adventure travelers and digital nomads are well protected by this plan, which offers very extensive coverage ($100,000 accidents) for some of the most extreme adventures.

Pros
  • High levels of medical coverage for seniors up to 95 years old

  • Up to $1,500 allowance for someone to visit you in the hospital

  • Prices for seniors from $6.52 to $13.04 per day for $0 deductible and $1 million maximum benefit

Cons
  • Not the cheapest provider depending on your needs

  • Best plan for seniors requires existing health insurance

  • Lowest policy has a $50,000 maximum benefit per person

HTH Worldwide was founded in 1997. HTH Travel Insurance offers plans with high levels of medical coverage. That’s a big concern for seniors leaving the country, as they could end up in a doctor’s office or hospital with an expensive bill to follow. HTH Travel Insurance offers up to $1 million in total coverage for medical.

Policies for travelers with existing primary insurance enjoy 100% coverage for typical hospital charges, including surgery, tests, office visits, inpatient hospital stays, and prescription drugs outside of the U.S., among other coverage.

Medical evacuation is available up to $500,000, but trip interruption and baggage coverage are pretty light. Most people will choose this plan for medical, not travel, benefits. This policy is available to applicants who are 95 years old or younger.

Insurance is also available for people without existing health coverage. Most seniors in the U.S. are covered by some existing coverage, such as Medicare, but Medicare doesn’t work outside of the United States, leaving seniors uninsured when abroad. “HTH Travel Insurance provides policies for those without existing medical coverage. The age limit is 74 but there is a 180-day pre-existing condition exclusion.

Why We Chose It: High levels of medical coverage may be important to senior travelers who need excellent protection with flexible options while on a budget.

Pros
  • Large insurer with a strong reputation

  • Three different cruise insurance plans to choose from

  • Coverage for common cruise issues like missed connections and itinerary changes

Cons
  • Some plans have low coverage levels for some incidents

  • Benefit limits are low for trip interruption for any reason

  • Pre-existing conditions may not be covered

Nationwide has been around since 1925 and offers most popular types of insurance including auto, home, and life. They also have an array of travel insurance coverage for individual trips, multi-trips, and cruises.

To protect your single trips, Nationwide offers trip cancelation of up to $10,000 in its Essentials Plan and $30,000 in its Prime Plan. Travelers may also get an annual travel insurance package for just $59 a year to cover delays, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost luggage, and travel assistance.

Its custom-tailored plans for cruises, however, are what landed it in this category. The Universal Cruise Plan, Choice Cruise Plan, and Luxury Cruise Plan make it easy to pick the right coverage for your individual needs. The cost for a couple on a 10-day cruise to Mexico, for example, was quoted at $195.30.

Cruise insurance from Nationwide covers what you worry about most with a cruise. Things like broken down ships and itinerary changes can lead to missed excursions and flights or other costs. Emergency medical expenses are covered up to $75,000 with medical evacuation benefits up to $250,000. After seeing many medical issues on cruise ships, it’s wise to protect your trip with insurance prepared to help you.

Additionally, all plans include coverage for the weather, an extension of school sessions, work emergencies, and terrorism. The luxury plan also covers the Centers for Disease Control warnings at your destination.

Why We Chose It: Multiple options to protect your cruise vacation with tailored coverage for common cruise trip issues. Make sure to review the benefit levels so you pick the right one for your needs.

Pros
  • Coverage for medical needs when traveling

  • Gives à la carte medical coverage when other trip costs are already covered

  • Different policies allow you to cover various needs and pre-existing conditions

Cons
  • Primarily covers medical costs

  • Additional primary medical coverage required

  • No adventure sports coverage

GeoBlue is part of Worldwide Insurance Services, and policies come with a license from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Policies are issued by 4 Ever Life International Limited, a company with a history of more than 60 years and an A- rating from AM Best.6

If you need coverage just for medical needs, GeoBlue is a good choice. This insurer offers only travel medical coverage. Paying for medical coverage means you aren’t paying for the rest of your travel insurance, which may already be covered. If you already have a credit card with travel insurance included, for example, lost luggage and missed flights are likely protected by your card’s terms. Instead, you get covered just for medical, and those costs are as low as a few dollars per day.

Because you’re mostly getting travel medical coverage, you will pay a lot less than most other insurers on this list. Just make sure you completely understand what is and isn’t covered. You will only receive minimal luggage protection and travel interruption coverage with GeoBlue’s plans.

GeoBlue has two general plans for single trips, multiple trips, and long-term travel. Additionally, there are five specialty policies for niche travel medical insurance needs, like study abroad. It doesn’t cover everything related to your trip, but it makes medical coverage much more affordable.

Why We Chose It: Multiple options to buy travel medical insurance coverage for a lower price than a full travel insurance package. Offers medical coverage on its own if you don’t want or need additional travel coverage.

Best Travel Insurance Companies :

Best Overall: Travelex

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Allianz Travel Insurance

Best Value: InsureMyTrip

Most Comprehensive Coverage: World Nomads

Best for Seniors: HTH Travel Insurance

Best for Cruises: Nationwide

Best for Medical Coverage: GeoBlue

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