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The last time you took a trip, did you have travel insurance? If you were impacted by a natural disaster, suffered the hassle of lost baggage, or had a medical emergency, chances are good that you were wishing you had purchased a policy!
When it comes to tavel insurance, some people make the mistake of thinking that their credit card company offers protection, only to find out that their travel problems aren't covered. Other people forego travel insurance, assuming that their traditional health insurance policy will be enough to cover medical expenses - only to discover that it can't be used in another country.
Friday, January 22nd
With over one million insured customers, Squaremouth is no lightweight when it comes to travel insurance. With over 15 years in the travel insurance industry under their belt, Squaremouth has been internationally acknowledged as having one of the best customer service teams in the world. And, with more than 10,000 positive reviews from happy customers, this company stands out as the best travel insurance company.
One helpful feature of the Squaremouth site is the prominently-featured list of Current Events. You may not be aware that certain situations are not covered unless you purchase your travel insurance before the occur; named storms, transportation strikes, and acts of terrorism are just a few of these types of events. Squaremouth makes sure you know what's going on worldwide, so you can be better informed about your travels and your insurance coverage.
There are a number of features why Squaremouth leads the pack in terms of travel insurance. Some of these include:
Getting your quote is easy. After answering a few questions, such as the date of your trip, where you're going, and how many people you'd like to cover with your insurance, Squaremouth quickly narrows down the 100+ travel insurance policies to just the ones that fit your trip. You'll also be asked the trip cost, and whether or not you want to include cancellation coverage. If you're trying to book a multi-trip policy or coverage for a group, be sure to click on those links in the box at the top of the quote page.
Fun fact: as you enter your details, you can see how many other travelers Squaremouth has insured who match your demographic. There were almost 100,000 people in our age group, 27,500 who had the same trip cost, 760 that were going to our destination country, and 61,000 people from our state of residence. Squaremouth isn't kidding when they say, "We insure people like you"!
Lots of policy choices
After Squaremouth processed our information, we were given a list of 21 policies that matched our needs. We liked that Squaremouth also makes it possible to see the policies for which we were ineligible for various reasons (such as purchasing our policy too many days after making the initial deposit). You can use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down the options by specific coverage, like Cancel for any Reason and Medical Evacuation; the most common filters are listed at the top, and you can scroll down to find more detailed filters like Money Back Guarantee (under Other Benefits) or Sports (Hazardous and/or Amateur).
At the top of the results page, you can easily sort all of your results by cost, provider, popularity/reviews, or even by a particular coverage aspect like Cancel for Work Reasons. It just can't get any easier to find the right policy at the right price.
Sets the standard
Because of their extensive selection of providers and policies, ironclad commitment to their customers, and streamlined search features, Squaremouth is our favorite site for purchasing travel insurance. They earn our ighest rating for the best travel insurance.
For almost 50 years, Arch Insurance has been a trusted business, as evidenced by an A+ rating as an accredited business with the BBB. They offer many levels of travel insurance under their brand name of RoamRight: everything from just the basic coverage for domestic travels through multi-trip policies that protect the most avid globetrotters.
5 different travel policy types
Take a look at their list of products on the Travel Insurance Info tab. There, you can see an overview of each of their policy types, to determine what kind you need for your travels. In a nutshell, RoamRight's policies are:
Hazardous Sports Upgrade available
If you've purchased plans from RoamRight in the past, you may notice that they no longer offer two types of plans that were previously included: Adventure and Active. As of the date of our review, most activities were covered under all of their travel insurance plans (for example, biking, hunting, hot air ballooning, sailing, kayaking, and several others). You may need to purchase the Hazardous Sports Upgrade - available with the Elite, Medical, and Multi-Trip Medical plans - if you plan on more dangerous adventures like skydiving, bungee jumping, or caving.
Getting a quote
The easiest way to start your travel insurance policy with RoamRight is by getting a quote. On the main page, you'll be asked to select your state of residence, what type of coverage you need, your departure/return dates, trip cost per person or per trip, the date your deposit was paid, and the dates of birth of all covered travelers.
One limitation of RoamRight is that they only provide policies that are underwritten by their parent company, Arch Insurance. That does make it so that you don't get as many possibilities to choose from. For example, when we got quotes from other sites, we were offered multiple levels of coverage; for some reason, RoamRight only offered us their Preferred plan with no options for changes or upgrades. Their pricing on that plan was competitive with other companies.
Excellent customer service
However, RoamRight earns high marks for their attention to customer service. Customers have been extremely impressed with fast payments on claims, sometimes within just a few days of submitting the documentation. And, with a history spanning nearly a half-century - with A+ ratings from the BBB as well as A.M. Best - Arch Insurance has proven that they have what it takes to succeed within the world of travel insurance.
If you're looking for travel insurance, you should feel very comfortable getting a policy from RoamRight. With a solid history, competivie pricing, and superior customer service, RoamRight is a strong choice for your travel insurance needs.
Insure My Trip has come a long way, with a sleek new format to their website that brings them much closer to the top when compared with other companies.
The first question you'll have to answer is your destination, which was unique. From there, you'll be asked the usual questions about your travel dates, ages and state of residence of any travelers, and so forth - pretty standard so far.
Then, we really were blown away by Insure My Trip's results page. Right at the top, we were shown three recommended plans selected by their SMART algorithm: one matching the top coverage, one that was middle-of-the-road, and a third that was best for the budget (almost like the story of the Three Bears). There were a total of 14 different insurance companies represented in our quote; in general, Insure My Trip offers policies through 20 providers.
And, above the results, there was a place to select any must-haves for our policy: Cancel for Work Reasons, Cancel for Any Reason, Pre-Existing Condition Waiver, and so on. That made it very easy to make sure we got the policy we needed.
Comparing the policy choices
Finally, within the results list, each policy had a rating from 1 to 5 stars, along with numerous customer reviews (one policy, the Generali Global Assistance Standard plan, had over 7,000 reviews!). Every policy had an "Add to compare" button, so that we could easily keep track of our preferred options.
Insure My Trip gives you a review period; if you buy your policy and then find something you don't like in the fine print, you can cancel and get your money back. The terms and length of that period vary according to the provider, policy, and by your state of residence, so do check the fine print.
We also got a helpful live chat pop-up when we got to our quote results page; we could ask a licensed agent any questions we had about the policies. This level of customer support is also shown in Insure My Trip's "Anytime Advocates": if you make a claim that's denied by the insurance company, you'll be assigned a representative that will work on your behalf to understand the denial and even help with your appeal process. According to the Insure My Trip site, this advocacy program saved travelers over one million dollars since its inception in 2009!
Left us impressed
Everything about our experience using the Insure My Trip site for our travel insurance left us feeling informed and impressed. We're confident you'll be able to quickly find the policy that best meets your needs, and that you'll have plenty of support should you need to file a claim.
Travel Insurance offers plans from 11 different insurance companies: not as many as our first-place site, but still an impressive range that will cover the needs of practically any traveler.
Start your quote by answering basic questions like trip cost and travel dates; all of the questions are helpfully located all on one page (compared with several other sites that make you go through several pages in the quote process). You'll be given an initial results page; our trip particulars resulted in 17 plans that matched our needs. From there, if you have specific features in mind - Trip Cancellation, Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Waiver, and so forth - you'll be able to check those boxes to further filter your results. You can also sort your results in a number of ways, such as by price, provider, or customer reviews - just be aware that you may not see this sort option if you don't have the browser window at full size. v
Showing us what we want
Travel Insurance gets high marks for showing customers at a glance the kind of details they want to know right away: customer reviews, basic coverage details and limits, A.M. Best ratings, and percentage of customers who would recommend each plan. You can also click the Add to Compare button for all of the plans that look like a good choice for your trip coverage.
If you need help from their customer service department, you can use Travel Insurance's toll-free number from 9a-8- Monday through Friday (though the site doesn't specify which time zone that covers).
Responsibility ends with the policy
This leads us to one small drawback with using Travel Insurance as your comparison site: there's no indication that they offer any support should you need to make a claim. In fact, on the Claims page, you'll only find the contact information for each of their providers, but nothing that says that Travel Insurance will help you make your claim (or contest the decision if your claim is denied). To be more competitive with our top-ranked services, we'd love to see Travel Insurance offer something to the people who purchase through their site.
On the other hand, we were very impressed with the number of positive ratings from customers: more than 30,000 at the time of our review. Granted, most of the customer comments talked about the easy-to-use website and the affordable coverage; few mentioned anything about how claims were handled or how customer service representatives managed concerns or questions. But, with 98% of all Travel Insurance customers recommending the service, we're sure you'll have a good experience using their site to find a policy that fits your travel plans.
Did you know that you could have your trip insured by the same company that covered the Wright Brothers' first flight and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge? It's possible! Allianz Travel has been protecting adventurers, endeavors, and everyday travelers for more than 100 years.
A variety of plans
Allianz Travel offers a total of nine different insurance policies, five covering single trips and four annual plans for multiple trips within a 365-day period (as opposed to a calendar year). These plans range from coverage for domestic trips with only cancellation and trip interruption benefits, through the maximum coverage for international trips with substantial emergency benefits. Both the Prime and Premier plans include free coverage for children 17 and under when traveling with a parent or grandparent.
The process for getting a quote is easy: enter your travel information, including traveler ages, dates of your trip, and total cost, and you'll be taken to a page with the plans that match your needs. When we entered our trip details, we were only offered two of the five single-trip plans, Premier and Prime; the Cancellation Plus plan didn't apply to our international trip, and we weren't given the option to choose the Basic or the Emergency Medical plans.
The prices we were quoted were comparable to similar plans with other providers, though Allianz Travel was slightly higher. We also didn't find any options for including "Cancel for Any Reason" or "Cancel for Work Reasons", which can be important for some travelers. When you get your matching policy page, you can click on the "Covered Reasons" button towards the bottom - you can then check to see if each policy has the coverage you want.
Allianz Travel customers have great things to say about their travel insurance, especially in the case of a claim. Hundreds of reviews praise Allianz Travel for courteous, knowledgeable customer service representatives who helped customers to get claims filed and paid very quickly.
We also like the Coverage Alerts feature on the bottom of the site, helping travelers understand which current events have already been established and thus are not included in coverage purchased after that date (such as named hurricanes or winter storms, travel alerts, and international incidents). You may also enjoy the featured articles on the main Allianz Travel page, from comparing Travel vs. Travel Health insurance to practical jokes for making unpacking a little more humorous.
Allianz Travel has a great reputation in the travel insurance industry, and their website is easy to use. But, with only 9 total plans to choose from, and limited options for add-ons like Cancel for Work Reasons, they don't quite keep up with some of the more comprehensive sites we checked out.
If you've ever gotten a travel insurance policy through a travel agent, it's likely you're familiar with Travel Guard. Backed by insurance giant AIG, Travel Guard is one of the best-known companies within the industry.
3 travel insurance plans
They currently offer 3 basic plans for your travel insurance needs:
To get your quote, you'll need to enter your destination, whether you're traveling by air or sea, the dates of your trip, and the trip cost. From there you'll be taken to a results page showing your options for all 3 available plans. For our quote, children were included at no additional cost for the Silver and Gold plans but not for the Platinum package - it seems that the highest level of coverage would have the most benefits, but apparently not.
Upgrades and limitations
The Platinum and Gold coverage both had Cancel for Any Reason as an optional upgrade, and all three plans offered a Pre-existing Condition Waiver if coverage was purchased within a specific timeframe of the initial deposit (usually 15 days).
One interesting limitation is that all travelers must live in the state of residence entered. We're not sure how this would work for grandparents traveling with grandkids who live in another state or for friends traveling together who live on opposite sides of the country.
Travel Guard enjoys an A+ rating as an accredited business with the BBB and has been in operation for nearly 40 years. Their reputation is positive, as shown by the fact that many comparison travel insurance sites include Travel Guard policies. But, shopping directly through Travel Guard does limit you to only 3 base plans that may not have all of the options you could get through a higher-ranked travel insurance site.
QuoteWright was started by professionals who started their careers with the first provider of Travel Insurance in the United States. The company's goal is to provide "old-fashioned quality" in their service to the customer. So, how well do they deliver?
Given the outdated look and feel of the site - including "Recent Blog Posts" dated three years before our review - it seems like QuoteWright leans a little heavily on the "old-fashioned" label. You won't find any current travel advisories, up-to-date advice for travelers, or many of the other features seen on competitor websites.
You will find the same basic quote process used by most travel insurance providers: enter your trip details (number of travelers and their ages, state of residence, trip cost, and so on) and you'll be taken to an easy-to-understand comparison chart with the plans that QuoteWright has available for you. For our trip, they offered plans through 6 different providers - all well-known insurance brands, but fewer to choose from than other comparison services.
Solid reputation but experience was lacking
We appreciate that QuoteWright has a solid reputation with the Better Business Bureau, and that they offer responses to customer questions via toll-free phone and live chat (10am-5:30pm Eastern Time), as well as via email from 7A-10P 7 days a week. But, they get left in the dust by most other travel insurance companies, who offer a much more comprehensive experience with helpful information and more providers to choose from.
If you're planning a trip that includes high-risk sports, activities, or adventures, World Nomads is one of the few places where most of them will be covered as part of their standard policy - though the riskier ones do require you to upgrade to their Explorer package.
Risky activities covered
Here are some of the activities they do cover in the event of an injury:
Explorer (also includes everything in the Standard package)
In fact, the only activities we found that were specifically excluded from any coverage were Base Jumping, High-Altitude Mountaineering.
One huge restriction with World Nomads: you have to be under 70 years of age to be eligible for their policies, eliminating any older adventurers from getting their next bungee jump or safari covered. Another drawback is that there is no coverage at all for pre-existing conditions; most of their competitors cover such conditions as long as the insurance is purchased within a certain amount of time prior to travel.
Limited coverage options
World Nomads does have fewer coverage options overall; you only get to choose between the Standard and Explorer levels of coverage, which limits you to the following:
Missing from World Nomads' coverage is any option to "cancel for any reason" or "cancel for work reasons" - so if you get scheduled for a work conference or lose your job and can't afford your adventure, you'll be out of luck.
Responsive to urgent needs
On the other hand, a big perk that World Nomads offers is the ability to get coverage while traveling: in other words, if you're on a fabulous trek through the Australian outback and decide to extend your trip, World Nomads can also extend your insurance coverage. We were able to get a policy for travel that started on the following day.
Also, when we looked for coverage for a trip starting in 8 months, we were also able to get a quote - a vast improvement over World Nomads' previous coverage, which only allowed for trips with start dates ranging from two weeks to three months from the date the quote was requested.
Great choice for adventurers
In short, for one particular type of traveler - the adventurous sort - World Nomads is an excellent choice for travel insurance. But, for the average trip-taker, they will probably find a more comprehensive range of policies with another provider.
Travel Insurance Center is one of several brands owned by Senior Market Sales, Inc. - and, as the name suggests, their target market for their products is the 50-and-up set. No worries if you are younger than that; they've still got travel insurance for you too.
This site is less polished than most of the travel insurance companies we reviewed. You start by entering the usual information about your trip, such as dates of travel, trip cost, and age of traveler(s). From there, you'll be taken to a grid with all of the plans that meet your needs. In our quote, there were a total of 9 different providers, such as AIG, Travel Insured, and Trawick International. The prices quoted were competitive with other providers. We didn't like that, for some policies, we had to click to see the price details rather than seeing them listed directly in the results chart. It was also confusing to have to click on multiple footnotes to see all of the different exclusions and other details for each policy.
Confusing website navigation
We also got lost with the different tabs on our results page. We started out looking at Trip Protection plans, but several of the quotes had no coverage for trip cancellation. Then, there were additional tabs for Travel Medical, Emergency Evacuation, Global Insurance Benefits and Accidental Death. Would we have to piece together multiple insurance policies to cover those needs as well? The site didn't make it easy to answer that question. (Although we thought it was interesting to see that there are policies that specifically cover Kidnap/Ransom and War Risk.)
On the plus side, Travel Insurance Center's parent company has been in business for several decades and has an A+ rating as an accredited business with the BBB. Also, their customer service department is easily reached via toll-free number or email five days a week, for those who want to talk to an agent in person before deciding on an insurance plan for their travels.
Travel Insurance Center is trustworthy and reputable - but just not as sleek and up-to-date as many of the other companies we checked out.
Based in Indiana, Seven Corners offers a wide variety of policies that they service themselves. In fact, Seven Corners is the preferred partner for AmeriCorps volunteers and was the only site we saw that offered unique coverage like Faculty/Student Travel Insurance and Visitor/Immigrant Insurance for people visiting or immigrating to the U.S.
Start the process
To begin your quote, choose the blue button for either domestic or international coverage. If you're traveling domestically, you'll be asked if you're a US resident, visiting the US for business or pleasure, immigrating to the US, or a Student/Faculty member on a visa. For international travel, you'll need to indicate if you're traveling for less than or more than a year. As you select the descriptions that correspond to your travel insurance coverage needs, you'll be taken to a simple summary of the plans that match your trip.
3 levels of coverage
Seven Corners offers three basic levels of coverage:
At the bottom of your results page, you'll find an easy-to-understand comparison chart of the benefits of each coverage level. On our results, we were told that we were not eligible for the Choice package; it was only when we scrolled down that we saw the fine print indicating that Seven Corners' Choice plan is not available in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, or Washington - so, if you live in one of those 11 states, you essentially have only the highest and lowest tiers of coverage to choose from.
Customizing your coverage
Once you choose from the available plans in your area, you'll be given options for customizing your coverage, such as Rental Car Damage and Flight Accident. The Seven Corners site doesn't make it easy to determine details like what reasons would be covered for cancellation; we had to click through several screens to get to the list, and then we couldn't find any options for popular upgrades like Cancel for Work Reasons or Cancel for Any Reason. If those are important to you, you may not find them with Seven Corners.
Claim servicing frustration
And, if customer reviews are any indication, there's another thing you may not find with this company: paid claims and support from their customer service department. While we found many reviews that were happy with Seven Corners' website, policies, and coverage, that satisfaction rating fell through the floor when we looked at customers who actually had to make a claim. We found dozens of complaints that said that their claims for covered reasons were denied, delayed, or just ignored altogether.
Given that the company only offers their own policies, and that their service on those policies has a less-than-stellar reputation, we can't recommend Seven Corners as one of our top choices for your travel insurance needs. We strongly suggest that you consider the higher-rated travel insurance sites in our review.
Like most types of insurance, travel insurance is bought in the hopes that you'll never need it. But, for most travelers, it's worth the added expense for the protection it provides.
Just like more traditional forms of insurance, such as medical and auto, travel insurance varies in terms of coverage, options, and costs. Depending on what you select, your policy may cover just the bare basics, like trip cancellation/interruption and baggage/personal items coverage. Or, you may opt for a very comprehensive plan that allows you to cancel your trip for any reason - not the standard list of covered cancellation reasons - and includes coverage for accidental death, emergency evacuation from a foreign country, and so forth.
There are many different companies that specialize in travel insurance. How do you know which one to choose? As you consider your options, here are several aspects to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Travel Insurance companies currently available. We're confident that this information will help you select the right travel insurance policy to cover yourself - and your travel companions - in the event of any unforeseen complications with your trip!
If you're making plans for your vacation or your family's vacation, you need to determine whether you want to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance may be another expense, but it can be well worth it so that you're covered in case of an emergency or problem.
Not many years ago, few people purchased travel insurance. However, that's changing fast. In fact, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, in the last 10 years the percentage of American travelers purchasing travel insurance increased from 10 to 30 percent. Travelers purchase insurance for a few reasons including protection against unexpected events, loss of the financial investment in the trip, and peace of mind.
Like many things, travel insurance can cover a wide variety of problems and will reimburse your costs for many situations. But you should know what type of insurance you need for your specific situation.
Here are a couple of tips on when you should buy travel insurance.
There are a variety of reasons to purchase travel insurance and a variety of options to cover you and your vacation. Be sure to look for a travel insurance policy from a dependable company so that your vacation investment is protected, and you can relax and enjoy your trip!
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