Is there anything more exciting than planning a trip?
After picking a destination, you get to scour the internet for the best flights, choose the perfect accommodations, and plan your sightseeing itinerary. It’s almost as much fun as actually taking the trip!
What you probably don’t get jazzed about, however, is shopping for travel insurance.
I know it’s tempting to skip it altogether and save that money for your adventures, but I strongly advise against it…because, honestly, anything can happen.
It’s especially important to consider the cost of emergency healthcare in the country you’re visiting. Even in some of the cheapest vacation spots, if you sustain an injury or get sick, it doesn’t take much to rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills. Travel insurance protects you from taking a big financial hit when things don’t go according to plan. I don’t travel without it and you shouldn’t either.
If you’re in the market for travelers insurance there is no shortage of options. In fact, sifting through the plethora of travel insurance companies can be downright overwhelming. That’s why I’ve rounded up 10 of the best travel insurance companies to consider in 2019. You’re welcome 🙂
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks
- Free Travel Insurance Options
- Best Travel Insurance Companies
- What is Travel Insurance?
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Picks
World Nomads [Editor’s Choice] – World Nomads is our Editor’s Choice for the best travel insurance company this year. Their travel medical insurance coverage is hard to beat, especially if you enjoy adventure travel. They are also our favorite company to use if you’re only looking to insure a single trip, offering good trip cancellation/interruption coverage along with the medical coverage. In our opinion, it’s hard to go wrong with World Nomads. Full review | Get a quote
Travelex Insurance [Best for Families] – If you’re traveling with your family, Travelex Insurance is a great option. With their “Travel Select” plans, children under the age of 18 are covered free when traveling with a covered adult. In addition to primary coverage, you can also customize your plan by adding additional emergency medical and dental, adventure sports upgrades, rental car collision insurance and more. Full review | Get a quote
Seven Corners [Top Annual Policy] – If you’re a frequent traveler looking for a good annual travel insurance option, Seven Corners Travel Insurance is our choice. The company specializes in travel medical insurance, and the $1M medical maximum they offer on their Wander Frequent Travel program is gigantic (although you’ll find better trip interruption coverage elsewhere). You also have the option to add on medical coverage for hazardous sports. Full review | Get a quote
Free Travel Insurance Options
Before we get to the best travel insurance companies, did you know there are actually some free options available? It’s true!
Several of the best travel credit cards offer various types of travel insurance to card members. Keep in mind, these offers typically work best as a supplement to a more robust travel insurance policy. You’ll also need to book your trip using your card (or points from the card ) to be eligible, and medical coverage is not usually included.
With that said, if you are new to travel rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is our favorite option. Here’s a list of some of the travel perks it provides:
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance (Up to $10,000)
- Primary Auto Rental Collision Coverage
- Baggage Delay Insurance (Up to $100/day – 5 day max)
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Roadside Dispatch
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement
- Accidental Death/Dismemberment (Up to $500,000)
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
Pretty sweet, right?
We’ve personally used this insurance several times. In fact, we use the card every time we rent a car so we don’t have to purchase the rental company’s insurance. A few years ago, we also filed a trip delay reimbursement claim. The process was smooth and they paid the claim exactly as expected.
In addition to travel insurance, there are lots of other awesome Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you should be aware of. Currently, new U.S. card members can earn a 60,000 point signup bonus when the spend $4,000 on the card in the first three months. That’s worth a whopping $750 in travel when booked through the Chase portal! You can also transfer your points to over a dozen transfer partners (like Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Southwest Airlines, United, and more) to stretch them even further.
The card also earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and restaurants. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other spending. The card does carry a $95 annual fee, but we think the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Best Travel Insurance Companies
Now that you’re on board, it’s time to look at some of the best travel insurance companies and what they offer.
1. World Nomads
When I started looking into World Nomads travel insurance, I immediately realized that it’s the best travel insurance for the adventurer. It’s also an excellent option if you looking for single trip insurance. I’ll explain what I mean, but first, let’s talk about the basics.
The best travel insurance companies always offer a wide range of protection, and World Nomads fits the bill. Here’s what they offer:
- Emergency medical and dental expenses
- Emergency medical transportation
- Emergency evacuation (medical and non-medical) and repatriation
- Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay
- 24-hour multilingual assistance
- Baggage protection
Like many travelers insurance providers, World Nomads offers more than one plan. The two plans they offer are called Standard and Explorer Plans. The two plans offer the same categories of coverage with the exception that the Explorer Plan includes a collision damage waiver.
Where they differ is in the amount of coverage offered in each category. Both plans provide the same coverage for emergency medical treatment ($100,000) but the Explorer Plan provides additional coverage for emergency transportation, trip insurance (cancellation, interruption, and delay), baggage and personal effects, and accidental death and dismemberment.
Insurance for the Adventurer
When I said World Nomads is the best travel insurance for the adventurer, I was referring to the fact that they explicitly cover medical treatment required as the result of participation in a list of adventure sports and activities.
The list of covered sports and activities depends on your country of residence. For U.S. residents, the list is more than 100 activities long. Your coverage also depends on your plan. As you might expect, the Explorer Plan covers more adventure activities than the Standard Plan.
Not sure what I mean by adventure sports and activities? Well, here’s a little sample of what’s covered:
- Bungee jumping
- Cliff jumping (Explorer only)
- Hang gliding (Explorer only)
- Jet skiing
- Mountaineering (Explorer only)
- Outdoor rock climbing (Explorer only)
- Sea kayaking
- Skydiving (Explorer only)
See the full list here.
As you can see, if you wanna do the really adventurous stuff like rock climbing and skydiving, you better go with the Explorer Plan. The good news? The Explorer Plan only costs a little bit extra, so you might as well get the additional coverage.
Our example: A 40-year-old from Indiana traveling to Thailand for three weeks in November 2018 would pay $115.91 for the Standard Plan and $169.26 for the Explorer Plan. Considering these prices are for comprehensive plans that include $100,000 in medical coverage plus trip insurance and adventure activities, World Nomads earns our top pick for the best international travel insurance plans.
2. Travelex Insurance
For families traveling with children under the age of 18, Travelex is one of your best travel insurance options.
Travelex offers two types of plans: Travel Basic and Travel Select. Although the Basic plan is generally cheaper for single travelers, the Travel Select plan covers children under 18 for free when they travel with a covered adult. This could represent a huge savings for you, especially if you have multiple children.
When it come to trip insurance, both the Basic and Travel Select plans include trip cancellation, interruption, and delay. They also include coverage for a missed connection, baggage delay, and loss of baggage and personal effects. In terms of coverage amounts, the Travel Select plans offer more coverage which is why it is typically more expensive. With that said, since children under 18 are covered free when traveling with a covered adult, families may actually find the Travel Select plans to be cheaper than Basic plans.
In terms of medical insurance, both the Basic and Travel Select plans offer emergency medical and dental expense, emergency medical evacuation/repatriation, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. There’s a pretty big difference in coverage between the two plans: $15,000 for medical and dental expenses with the Travel Basic Plan compared with $50,000 with the Travel Select Plan. To be honest, $15,000 is really low. Definitely consider the cost of health care where you’re traveling before opting for the Travel Basic Plan as your sole source of medical coverage.
Our Example: A 40-year-old from Indiana traveling to Thailand for three weeks in November (trip cost of $3,500) would pay $145 for the Travel Basic Plan and $201 for the Travel Select Plan.
3. Seven Corners Travel Insurance
Seven Corners offers travel medical insurance underwritten by Liaison Travel as well as separate trip insurance plans.
When it comes to customization, Seven Corners offers some of the best travel medical insurance. They have three medical plans:
- Liaison Economy
- Liaison Choice
- Liaison Elite
All three plans can be purchased for durations of 5 to 364 days, and you can renew Liaison Elite for up to three years. You can opt for coverage including or excluding the United States.
For all three plans, you can customize your coverage in terms of medical maximums and deductible. For up to age 69, you can choose the following medical maximums for worldwide coverage including the U.S.: $50,000; $100,000; $500,000; $1,000,000; $2,000,000; $5,000,000. Ages 70-79 get $50,000 and ages 80+ only get $15,000 with Liaison Economy and Liaison Choice. Liaison Elite holders get $20,000 in coverage when aged 80+. Deductibles range from $0 to $5,000.
All three plans cover medical treatment, dental, emergency services and assistance, accidental death and dismemberment, and trip delay/interruption (including loss of checked bags). Coverage for hazardous sports is optional at an additional cost. Even though the plans all cover the same categories, the level of coverage differs. As you can guess, the more expensive plans offer more coverage.
Our example: A 40-year-old American traveling to Thailand for three weeks in November who wants $100,000 in medical coverage and a $0 deductible with no hazardous sports coverage would pay $47.62 for the Liaison Travel Economy Plan, $53.12 for the Liaison Travel Choice Plan, and $70.45 for the Liaison Travel Elite Plan.
Trip Insurance Plans
Seven Corners also offers three trip insurance plans. These plans provide medical coverage as well but are much less customizable. The three plans are called:
- Roundtrip Economy
- Roundtrip Choice
- Roundtrip Elite
They all cover trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, missed cruise/tour connection, and change fee. For medical, they cover emergency medical accident and sickness medical expense, emergency dental, and emergency medical evacuation/repatriation. With these plans, you’ll also enjoy baggage and personal belongings protection and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
Like the Liaison Travel plans that focus on medical coverage, these trip insurance plans vary in price and level of coverage. So, if you want maximum protection you’ll pay more for that peace of mind with the Roundtrip Elite Plan. Beware of the Roundtrip Economy Plan unless you have alternate medical coverage – it only gives you $10,000 for medical treatment. The other two plans offer adequate coverage, though. Also, take note that these plans may not be available in all states.
Note that trip insurance pricing depends on the cost of the trip since the cancellation and interruption coverage reimburses 100% (or in some cases, 150%) of total trip costs if you file a claim. For this reason, the trip insurance plans are more expensive than the medical plans.
4. Atlas Travel Insurance
With Atlas Travel Insurance by Tokio Marine HCC, you can create a custom plan to fit your needs for travel medical insurance. There are two plans: Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium. They cover the same things, but Atlas Premium offers higher coverage amounts for many of the categories.
With Atlas Travel, travelers under 70 can choose maximum coverage limits ranging from $50,000 up to $2,000,000 with a deductible from $0 to $5,000.
Seniors aged 70-79 have good options and can choose maximum coverage of $50,000, $100,000, or $250,000. Seniors over 80, though, have minimal coverage at only $10,000. The maximum coverage amounts are the same with Atlas Premium, except seniors aged 80 and over get $20,000.
The plans cover emergency medical treatment and the expenses related to it (ambulance, hospital stay, etc.). Emergency medical evacuation is covered for up to $1,000,000 and is not subject to the deductible or the plan maximum limit. You also get coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, personal liability, repatriation of remains, and more.
Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium provide coverage for travel delay, loss of baggage, and trip interruption but not for trip cancellation. These are primarily medical plans for people who want flexible options in terms of coverage maximums and deductible. If you’re looking for robust trip insurance, you should consider a separate trip cancellation policy (which Atlas also sells).
5. AXA Travel Insurance
AXA Travel Insurance is a comprehensive travel insurance solution offering four different levels of coverage. As you might expect, each type of coverage includes different levels of protection.
With that said, the following items are included in all AXA Travel Insurance plans with varying levels of coverage depending on the plan you pick:
- Trip protection
- Accident and illness benefits
- Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
- Emergency medical evacuation coverage
- Property protection
- Round the clock World Wide Assistance via phone
- Concierge services
- Identity theft services
Travel Insurance Plans Overview
The Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans are suitable for the regular traveler who just wants protection. They are equivalent (relatively) to what you would find with other comprehensive plans.
AXA also offers an “Adventure Product” geared toward those travelers who enjoy a bit more excitement with their travel. With that said, the plan is less robust than some competitor products who also offer travel insurance for adventure sports.
Overall, AXA Travel Insurance offers a good product for the occasional traveler – particularly their Gold Plan. As with any insurance product, be sure to know exactly what each plan covers before making a purchase.
6. Allianz Travel Insurance
Allianz Travel Insurance offers three insurance plans: OneTrip Basic, OneTrip Prime, and OneTrip Premier. All three plans offer:
- Emergency medical and dental
- Emergency transportation
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Baggage loss/damage
In addition to these benefits, OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier offer:
- Change fee coverage
- Loyalty program redeposit fee coverage
The primary difference between the plans is the amount of coverage offered in each category. For example, a 40-year-old traveling to Thailand for three weeks would be covered for $10,000 in emergency medical under the OneTrip Basic Plan (cost: $132). OneTrip Prime would cover $25,000 (cost: $162), and OneTrip Premier? $50,000 (cost: $197).
According to Allianz, OneTrip Prime is their most popular plan. From my point of view, the trip insurance is great, but the emergency medical coverage is a little low. I’d go for the OneTrip Premier for the extra coverage. After all, you never know!
7. STA Travel
STA Travel is an online travel agency that sells flights, travel packages, and yes, insurance. Their target audience is students, teachers working abroad, and young explorers.
They partner with World Nomads (described above) to offer coverage to “thrill seekers, wanderlusters, and those who never want to come home.”
But STA travel has three of their own policies, too. Each comes with a discount card, so you can enjoy deals while traveling. The three policies are:
- Basic – $25
- Premium – $99
- Explorer – $199
The Basic Plan covers you for $25,000 emergency and accidental medical treatment; $250,000 for emergency medical evacuation; $50,000 for repatriation; $100 for baggage delay; $100-$250 for travel delay after 24 hours; $1,000 – $5,000 for accidental death and disability/permanent total disability.
The Premium Plan ups the coverage for all of the categories included in the Basic Plan and adds coverage for baggage loss, ATM theft, non-medical emergency evacuation, and trip interruption.
The Explorer Plan doesn’t offer extra coverage for emergency medical treatment or evacuation, but it does up the coverage for some of the other categories, like trip interruption and adds trip cancellation. What makes the Explorer Plan perfect for adventurers is that it offers coverage for hazardous sports (e.g., archery, jet skiing). The other plans cover leisure sports (think baseball and golf).
Note that STA maintains a list of “extreme sports” that are not covered by any plan (e.g., rock climbing, skydiving, piloting). That list is longer than the list of covered hazardous sports, so definitely check it out before you purchase anything if you’re the adventurous type. World Nomads covers a lot of what STA excludes.
VisitorsCoverage connects travelers with the best travel insurance for their needs, but they don’t actually provide the plans. Rather, they sell them on behalf of other issuers. Their focus is travel insurance for people visiting the U.S. (visitors insurance), although they also sell international travel plans for U.S. residents.
By answering a few questions on their website, VisitorsCoverage will recommend the best travel insurance policies for your needs. You can then choose the one that works best for your plans and your budget and purchase it directly from their site.
9. Insure My Trip
Insure My Trip is another service that recommends and sells the best travel insurance plans without issuing their own policies. They partner with 26 insurance providers to offer their customers a wide range of choices while maintaining high-quality standards.
Insure My Trip offers a best-price guarantee, so you won’t save any money by buying directly from the provider. The result is a site that lets you compare your options in one place and choose the best travel insurance for your needs. And in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim, you work with the Insure My Trip team to get it done.
Insure My Trip is an excellent place for seniors to buy insurance. Seniors face challenges when purchasing travel insurance because many plans offer inadequate coverage or have unending restrictions.
When getting an online quote, travelers answer a few quick questions, including their age. Insure My Trip then presents the best plans based on the info provided. Seniors can quickly see the policies that will cover them, the price, and thousands of reviews. There’s also a function to compare plans, so travelers (of any age) can quickly analyze coverage and choose the best travel insurance for their unique needs.
American Express (or AMEX) allows travelers to build their own travel insurance plans or choose one of their four packages.
The four packages are named Basic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As you might expect, they ascend in price and coverage. They’re comprehensive plans that offer both trip insurance and medical coverage.
The Basic Plan is very basic. The trip cancellation and interruption is only $1,000 with global medical protection only up to $5,000. This might be fine for very inexpensive trips to areas where the cost of health care isn’t terrifying, but for most, this is inadequate.
Regarding the other plans, the trip insurance benefits are good (interruption, cancellation, delay, and lost baggage), but the medical coverage can still be low, so consider this when making your decisions.
With that in mind, AMEX offers travelers insurance that’s ideal for people looking to protect their trip and maybe add on existing medical insurance.
Like many of the best travel insurance companies, IMG offers multiple plans to fit every traveler’s needs and budget.
The three comprehensive plans are called:
- iTravelInsured Travel Lite Insurance
- iTravelInsured Travel SE Insurance
- iTravelInsured Travel LX Insurance
These are described as travel insurance, rather than travel medical insurance. The Travel Lite offers basic coverage for the budget-minded traveler, while the other two plans offer increased coverage for higher price tags.
Even though it’s the base model, the iTravelInsured Travel Lite Insurance offers pretty impressive coverage. Not only does the trip insurance cover up to $25,000 for cancellation and 125% of the trip’s cost for interruption, but this budget plan also covers $100,000 in accident and sickness medical expenses. That’s a lot more than most first-tier comprehensive plans.
A 40-year old from Indiana taking a $3,500 three-week trip to Thailand in November would pay $125 for the iTravelInsured Travel Lite Insurance.
Travel Medical Insurance
IMG also offers customizable travel medical insurance. So, instead of comprehensive plans that focus on trip insurance and provide a set amount of coverage for medical expenses, these plans focus on medical coverage and allow travelers to choose the coverage and deductible they’re comfortable with.
IMG’s most popular plan is called Patriot Travel Medical Insurance. This plan allows travelers to choose coverage limits ranging from $50,000 to $2,000,000, with deductibles from $0 to $2,500.
If our 40-year-old friend from Indiana wanted medical coverage for his three-week Thailand trip, he’d pay $49.50 for $100,000 in coverage with a $0 deductible. For just $56.38, he could jump to $500,000 in coverage. That’s a lot of coverage for a pretty low price, making IMG worth considering if you’re shopping for the best travel medical insurance and you have other trip cancellation coverage.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance protects you from financial loss related to unexpected events that occur during, or even just before, a trip. Different policies cover different events, but two broad categories you need to consider are medical coverage and trip insurance. If you want the best international travel insurance, you should make sure you have both.
When traveling internationally, medical coverage is a must. The cost of health care in some countries is astronomical. Even if you have a health insurance policy or belong to a healthcare sharing ministry in your home country, medical costs may not be covered in another. You don’t want to wipe out your savings to pay for emergency medical treatment because you didn’t bother to buy travel insurance.
Most medical travel insurance policies include coverage for emergency medical treatment (sometimes including dental), medical transportation, emergency medical evacuation, accidental death or dismemberment (AD&D) coverage, and repatriation to your home country in the event of your death.
Note that many policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, or only cover the acute onset of a problem related to a pre-existing condition. Be sure to read the fine print carefully to make sure you understand what their definition of pre-existing is!
When considering how much medical coverage you need, do a little research on the cost of healthcare in the country you’re visiting. In most cases, I wouldn’t suggest going for less than $50,000 in coverage for emergency medical.
Trip insurance protects your investment in your trip. It includes trip cancellation and trip interruption. Trip cancellation covers you when you have to cancel your trip before departure. Sometimes canceling a trip last minute means you lose non-refundable deposits or even the full cost of accommodations or airline tickets. Trip cancellation protects you from that.
Trip interruption covers the costs associated with having to suddenly return home during a trip. Usually, only specific reasons are covered, such as a close family member falling seriously ill.
Most travel insurance policies also cover you for costly inconveniences that can be part of the travel experience, like losing your luggage or other personal effects. It might not sound like a big deal, but if an airline has ever lost your luggage, you know how annoying and expensive it can be. If they don’t recover it for a few days, you’ll have to buy new clothes at your destination, which can eat into your travel budget.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a trip insurance policy. Whether you’re looking for cruise insurance, international medical coverage, or simple trip insurance, we hope this list of best travel insurance companies has been helpful.
Remember, don’t cheap out on travel insurance. Make sure you protect both your travel investment and your health.
Thanks for reading and happy traveling!