How to Pick the Best Travel Insurance Company
When looking for travel insurance—or deciding if you need travel insurance, there are several things to consider before you make a purchase. Here are a few of the best choices on the market along with a run-down of the criteria involved in comparing travel insurance choices.
TravelSafe Insurance has competitive rates with its Basic, Classic or Classic Plus plans to fit your budget and coverage needs. Coverage is available to residents of the U.S. and Canada. The company has an “A-“ Excellent rating with A.M. Best. Optional coverage is available for air flight accidental death and dismemberment, rental car damage and an extended personal property package for expensive personal items such as laptops, cell phones or sports rental equipment.
Not only does TravelSafe perform well in pricing but is also highly rated in other areas including international travel and medical coverage. In additional to travel insurance coverage, Travel Safe also offer travel medical for long-term travel and group travel insurance.
TripAssure (formerly MH Ross) is a Trip Mate brand with three travel insurance plans: Asset, Bridge, and Complete which meet a variety of travel insurance needs. Before becoming TripAssure, MH Ross had been providing travel insurance programs since 1952 and received the A.M. Best “A+” Superior financial strength rating.
The Complete travel insurance plan offered through TripAssure provides $250,000 in accident & sickness, $750 emergency dental, $500,000 for emergency medical evacuation, $25,000 in non-medical emergency evacuation and $25,000 in accidental death & dismemberment insurance.
Travel Insured International performs well in the area of claims handling and even has an interactive tutorial video on its website to assist in the claims process and have customer testimonials that show satisfaction with claims and customer service. Three travel insurance plans are offered through Travel Insured International; Worldwide Trip Protector Plus, Worldwide Trip Protector and Trip Protector Lite. There is also a specialty plan, Airline Ticket Protector. Travel Insurance International has an “A-“ Excellent financial strength rating from A.M. Best. Optional features and services include trip cancellation coverage, travel assistance services and rental car coverage.
Travelex is well-known as an international travel insurance company with offices in London, Toronto, Washington, New York and Omaha. The company has foreign exchange services in financial institutions, malls, airports and other locations throughout North America, Asia, the Middle East, the UK and Africa. Travelex’s travel assistance services have been used extensively by cruise and travel agencies for domestic and international travel. Travelex and an “A” Excellent financial strength rating and offers several travel insurance packages including: Travel Basic, Travel Select, Business Traveler, Travel Max and Flight Insure Plus.
Allianz Global Assistance has a good reputation throughout the travel insurance industry and has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. Allianz has a little to offer to everyone with several package plans, travel medical plans and specialty plans. The Classic Plan offers free coverage for children 17 and under when traveling with a parent or grandparent. Almost anyone can find a plan that suits them with several single trip plans, multi-trip plans and a plan for rental car damage protection.
John Hancock does not offer free travel coverage for kids under 18 like some of the other travel insurers. It does; however, have generous benefits. If you don't have a family to consider when purchasing travel insurance, John Hancock may be worth considering. You get all the usual coverage expected including trip cancellation reimbursement with a $150 reimbursement for meals and other expenses per day should your flight be cancelled or delayed for three hours or more. John Hancock has three medical plan choices varying from $50K to $250K worth of medical coverage.
Not everyone who travels necessarily needs travel insurance. For instance, you may already have existing coverage for travel-related losses from your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. You may even have some travel coverage from your credit card company, car rental agreement or as a part of a vacation travel package.
If you are traveling domestically or internationally for a distance of 100 miles or more and have an insurable interest to protect, travel insurance may be beneficial to you. However, you sure first make sure of what existing coverage you may already have before purchasing additional travel insurance.
You can expect to pay anywhere from 5% to 10% of your total trip expenses to cover travel insurance. There are a few things you can do to save money on a travel insurance plan such as choosing a higher deductible or electing for the “basic” travel insurance policy without all of the additional policy add-ons such as identity theft protection, concierge services, rental care damage, coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, travel companion benefits, expanded luggage coverage or trip cancellation coverage for any reason just to name a few.
International vs. Domestic Traveling
Your destination will determine whether you choose an international or domestic travel insurance plan. Not all travel insurance policies cover international travel and travel to certain “named” countries may be excluded from coverage. Another thing to consider for both domestic and international travel is medical expenses. If you must have emergency care on your trip, you could likely have to have care provided by an “out-of-network” healthcare provider. If your health insurance does not cover all of the out-of-pocket charges, your travel insurance plan could make up the difference.
Comparison sites such as TravelInsurance.com allow you to compare travel insurance options from top providers based on criteria such as trip cost, destination, residence, citizenship status, department/return dates and more. You can see the pricing and options side by side and make the best choice based on your travel needs. You can compare and then—if you choose to do so—you can even buy a policy online through the comparison site. Comparison travel sites are a helpful tool when you don’t have a lot of time to spend comparing all of the travel insurance options on the market.