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What’s the best travel insurance?

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Going on vacation? Discover how to find the best travel insurance for you.

The best travel insurance coverage is different for everyone, but there are some key strategies you can use to find the best policy for you. This article will help you discover how to find the right cover for your needs, understand what a good policy will provide and how to get proper cover.

Compare travel insurance quotes from 5+ brands

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.

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What do you want to learn about?

  • Trip cancellation: 100% of insured trip cost
  • Trip interruption: 100% of insured trip cost
  • Trip delay: $500
  • Medical expense benefits: $15,000

Our top pick: Travelex Travel Basic

Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.

  • A+ BBB rating
  • Get a quote instantly
  • Over 50 years of experience

Four ways to find the best travel insurance

1. Understand the type of cover you actually need

Every traveler has different insurance needs. Whether you’re going for a luxurious holiday or keeping it simple and backpacking, there’s a range of policies out there to suit every need. Be sure you’re looking at policies that actually satisfy your requirements. There’s no point forking out cash for luggage coverage if you’re only traveling with a backpack. Don’t feel the need to pay for coverage you don’t need.

2. Don’t be tricked by cheap policies

A big mistake travelers make is purchasing a policy purely based on its price tag. Selecting the cheapest option can mean that you’re not covered for important events. This could lead to more out of pocket expenses if something happens on your trip.

3. Read between the lines

While reading the fine print can be tedious, know what your policy is really covering by reading and understanding it throughly. This will help you avoid situations you might not be covered for.

4. Compare

A good way to find the right travel insurance for you is to compare policies from a range of different providers. Once you’ve determined what kind of coverage you need, find yourself the best deal possible.

What does my policy cover?

When trying to find the right travel insurance policy for you, it’s important to be aware of what kind of features you need. Read up on the most common features and extras, and find a policy that fits the bill.

Feature How can it help me?
Overseas hospital expenses Make sure your policy has a high limit for emergency medical and dental. Tnhe best value travel insurance policies normally make this one of the focal points of their cover.
24-hour emergency assistance This type of coverage gives you protection 24 hours a day and includes ambulance fees, funeral arrangements and messages to family.
Luggage and personal items Make sure you find a policy that covers for the loss or damage of your personal items while traveling.
Cancellation This is one of the most important sections of cover to pay attention to when looking for the best insurance, as it covers for cancellation of flights, tours and other prepaid travel costs. Conditions for cancellations vary between insurers so check the fine print.
Travel delays Some policies provide coverage if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours.
Family emergency Family emergency covers additional expenses related to traveling and accommodation expenses if your partner or traveling companion becomes seriously ill or injured.
Dental Some policies provide coverage for dental expenses if you experience acute pain while traveling.
Hospital cash allowance A hospital cash allowance provides a benefit for a specified number of days if you are required to stay in hospital while overseas.
Accidental death This is a lump sum benefit paid for accidental death that occurrs on your journey or within the 12-month period following.
Loss of income If an injury or sickness occurs on your trip, an you’re unable to work once you get home, this coverage pays a benefit to help you cope with the bills.
Fraud This covers the replacement costs following loss and use of your credit card on your journey.
Alternative transport If you have a special event such as a wedding, funeral or conference and you experience a delay with your transportation, you’ll be compensated for additional transportation you take as a result.
Personal liability Most policies cover legal liability for any claims made against you following bodily injuries or damage to property. However, be wary of the so-called best value travel insurance policies, as these sometimes offer a lower limit when it comes to liability insurance.
Rental vehicle deductibles Find a policy that covers deductibles on a rental car following crash, damage or theft.

What do I look for in a policy?

It’s quite common for people to go with the first policy they see, either because of a low premium or to save time. Here’s what to look for before reaching for your wallet.

    • Coverage for pre-existing conditions. Each insurer has conditions for the acceptance of pre-existing medical conditions. The policy description should clearly state what is and isn’t covered. In the event that your condition is not covered you may need to contact the insurer to discuss other options.
    • Consider if you’re taking expensive items with you. Many policies allow you to register high-value items for additional cover. It’s crucial that you check for sub-limit for each item. As an example, you may have $10,000 in cover for high value items but a claim limit of $1,500 per item.
    • Coverage for your family. Most policies allow you to include your spouse, children or grandchildren on your policy provided they are traveling with you for the duration of the journey.
    • Understand depreciation. Most providers account for depreciation when reviewing claims for lost or damaged luggage and other valuables. Review in your policy the conditions of depreciation.
  • Consider your deductible. Most policies allow you to pay a small fee to remove any deductible you’ll pay in the event of a claim. This fee is usually around $25 and might be worth considering during application.

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Which is the best travel insurance company?

It really comes down to your own coverage requirements and budget, but there are crucial points to consider when comparing different options.

1. Who is the policy underwritten by? Is it a reputable brand?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of insurance brands and policies available, but there are really only a handful of brands that actually issue and underwrite the policies. Get coverage that’s backed by a highly regarded underwriter and claims team to ensure you receive adequate emergency assistance and your claim is handled swiftly and efficiently.

2. Is reputable emergency assistance available 24/7?

Each major insurer should have its own 24/7 emergency assistance team to provide overseas and domestic support when needed.

3. Is the customer service reputable?

Can you contact the insurer any time of day and speak with an actual person? Is there an online chat service available? It’s crucial to feel secure in the support you will receive from your insurer in the event of an overseas emergency. You should be confident that you can get in touch with them 24/7.

4. Is there a range of policies offered?

If you’re going on a cruise, look for cruise insurance. Hitting the slopes? Get ski coverage. Most leading brands now offer policies geared towards specific types of travel, such as cruises, winter sports or business travel.

5. Are they flexible to work with?

If you’re not 100% sure about how your travel plans will unfold, it’s worth looking for a provider that lets you make adjustments to your policy before and after the policy commences. This could include adding additional family members to your policy, upgrading your coverage with additional options or extending your policy while overseas.

6. What have other traveler’s experiences been like?

You can search online forums to find out what sorts of experiences other people had dealing with their insurers. Keep an open mind when reading online user reviews as one disgruntled customer might not really reflect the true quality of the provider. Read reviews from a variety of sources to help you make an informed decision.

Single trip or annual trip travel insurance?

If you’ve got a few trips booked this year, you might think about getting annual multi-trip travel insurance. Compare the features and discover if it’s right for you.

Single trip Annual multi-trip
  • Great if you have specific cover requirements like medical or sports activities.
  • Great for travelers who only travel a couple of times a year.
  • Cover can last for up to 12 months.
  • Can be more suitable for travelers older than 65 years old.
  • Great for frequent travelers who travel at least three times per year.
  • Can provide cover for multiple destinations.
  • Maximum length of individual trips usually 45–90 days.

Can I be covered if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Having protection against illness or injury is one of the most important reasons for taking out travel insurance. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, inform your insurer it when applying. Many travel insurers will cover you for some pre-existing medical conditions without making you purchase additional coverage.

Frequently asked questions about finding the best travel insurance

Travel coverage is crucial for ensuring that in the event you suffer a loss overseas, you minimize your financial expenses. This section provides an overview of some key considerations to make when looking for a policy.

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