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How to find the best travel insurance

Rest easy with the protection you need at a price that won't stress your budget.


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The best travel insurance policy differs by traveler and trip. But key strategies can help you narrow down the type and amount of coverage you need while taking in the sites and adventures of the world.

How to choose the best travel insurance company for you

Finding a top insurer that meets your travel needs comes down to your own coverage requirements and budget. Look for a company that answers six crucial questions.

  1. Is the policy underwritten by a trustworthy brand? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of brands and policies out there. But only a handful of brands 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 with swift, efficient claims.
  2. Is emergency assistance available 24/7? Major insurers have their own 24/7 emergency assistance team to provide overseas and domestic support when needed.
  3. Is customer service reputable? Make sure that you can contact the insurer any time of day to speak with a representative — even through live chat. It’s crucial to feel secure in the support you’ll receive during an overseas emergency.
  4. Does the company offer a range of policies? If you plan to set sail on the wide, open sea, look for cruise insurance. Hitting the slopes? Get ski coverage. Most leading brands offer policies geared toward specific types of travel, including adventure sports and business travel.
  5. Is the insurance company flexible to work with? If you’re not sure how your travel plans will unfold, it’s worth looking for a provider that allows for adjustments to your policy both before and during your vacation. You may want to add family members to your policy, increase coverage as you upgrade your itinerary or extend your policy while overseas.
  6. What do other travelers say about the company? Search online forums to learn how other people feel about the service they received. But keep an open mind: One disgruntled customer might not reflect the overall quality of the provider. Read reviews from a variety of sources to help you make an informed decision.

Four ways to find the best travel insurance

1. Understand the type of coverage you actually need.

Whether you’re going for a luxurious holiday or keeping it simple with backpacking, a range of policies out there can suit your every need. There’s no point forking out cash for luggage coverage if you plan to carry your things on your back.

2. Don’t be tricked by cheap policies.

A mistake many travelers make is purchasing a policy based on its price tag alone. The cheapest option can mean that you’re not covered for important events, which may result in hefty out-of-pocket expenses if something happens on your trip.

3. Read between the lines.

Carefully read the fine print to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need, and ask about exclusions to make sure each country, adventure and stay on your itinerary is included.

4. Compare a range of providers.

The best way to find travel insurance that fits your plans and budget is by comparing policies from different insurers. After you’ve determined the coverage you need, you can narrow down the cheapest deal you’re eligible for.

What does my policy cover?

Read up on common features of travel insurance policies — and essential extras —to find a policy that fits the bill.

FeatureHow can it help me?
Overseas hospital expensesCovers expenses if you have an accident or fall ill overseas. Look for a policy with a high limit for emergency medical and dental.
24-hour emergency assistancePays for ambulance fees, funeral arrangements and messages to family, no matter what time of day or night.
Luggage and personal itemsCovers costs that arise if your bags or belongings are lost or damaged while traveling.
CancellationCovers expenses related cancellations of flights, tours and other prepaid travel. Conditions for cancellations vary among insurers, so read the fine print.
Travel delaysCovers you if a flight is delayed for 12 hours or more.
Family emergencyCovers additional expenses related to traveling and accommodations if your traveling partner becomes seriously ill or injured.
DentalPays for dental services if you experience acute pain while traveling.
Hospital cash allowanceProvides a cash benefit for a specific number of days if you’re required to stay in hospital while overseas.
Accidental deathA lump sum benefit paid for accidental death that occurs on your journey or within the 12-month period that follows.
Loss of incomePays a benefit to help you cope with bills that result from an injury or illness while on your trip that keeps you from working once home.
FraudCovers replacement costs following the loss and use of your credit card on your journey.
Alternative transportCompensates you for additional transportation to a wedding, funeral, conference or other select events you take because of a delay.
Personal liabilityCovers legal liability for any claims made against you following bodily injury or damage to property. Be wary low-cost travel insurance policies that offer too low a limit to reasonably cover common situations.
Rental vehicle deductiblesPays for deductibles on a rental car following a crash, damage or theft.

What should I look for in a policy?

Rather than sign up for the first policy you see, make sure it covers your plans, lifestyle and health before reaching for your wallet:

  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions. Not all insurers treat pre-existing medical conditions the same. Your policy’s description should clearly state what’s covered. If your condition isn’t, contact the insurer to discuss other options.
  • Coverage for expensive items. Many policies allow you to register high-value items for additional coverage, but know the sublimit for each. You may find that you have $10,000 in coverage 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. When reviewing claims for lost or damaged luggage and other valuables, many insurers consider wear and tear when determining how much they’ll pay. Review the conditions of depreciation in your policy.
  • Consider your deductible. Most policies allow you to pay a small fee to waive the deductible you’d pay after a claim. With fees as low as $25, it’s worth considering while applying.

  • Travel Accident Coverage : up to $50,000
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition : Available
  • Concierge : Included

Our top pick: Allianz International Travel Insurance

Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.


Compare travel insurance policies

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

Compare up to 4 providers

Single trip or annual trip travel insurance?

If you’ve booked more than a couple trips this year, think about annual multitrip travel insurance.

Single tripAnnual multitrip
  • Good for covering specific medical situations or sports activities.
  • Coverage can last for up to 12 months.
  • Suitable for travelers age 65 or older.
  • Good for frequent travelers that travel at least three times a year.
  • Can provide cover for multiple destinations.
  • Covers individual trips of 45 to 90 days.

Can I find coverage if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, but you may need to shop around. Many travel insurers will cover you for select pre-existing conditions without making you purchase additional coverage. Inform your insurer about your pre-existing condition when applying.

Can I get travel insurance if I’m a senior?

Yes. But your insurer may require a specialized policy for senior travelers or an extra round of medical underwriting to determine risks that come with age.

Frequently asked questions about finding the best travel insurance

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