Travel Guard vs World Nomads for April 2019

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Travel Guard vs World Nomads

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Who has the best travel insurance? 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.

TRAVEL GUARD

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.

They currently offer 3 basic plans for your travel insurance needs:

  • Silver: covers your trip with basic coverage amounts
  • Gold: most popular for international travelers and includes coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation/interruption, lost/delayed baggage, severe weather, strike, and medical evacuations
  • Platinum: highest level of medical expense coverage, additional coverage if purchased within 15 days of your initial trip deposit

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.

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.

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WORLD NOMADS

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. Here are some of the activities they do cover in the event of an injury:

Standard

  • Acrobatics
  • Air guitar (!)
  • BMX
  • Bungee jumping
  • Elephant riding
  • Flying in a glider or ultralight
  • Jet skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Paintball
  • Scuba diving to 165 feet
  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Zip lining

Explorer (also includes everything in the Standard package)

  • Abseiling
  • Ballooning
  • Bobsledding
  • Bouldering
  • Bull riding
  • Cave diving
  • Cliff diving/jumping
  • Hang gliding
  • Jet pack
  • Parachuting/Skydiving
  • Rappelling
  • Running with the bulls
  • Spelunking
  • Wingsuit flying

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.

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:

  • Emergency Accident/Sickness: $100,000
  • Emergency Dental: $750
  • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation: $300,000/$500,000
  • Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation: $25,000
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: $2,500/$10,000
  • Trip Delay: $500/$1,500
  • Baggage/Personal Effects: $1,000/$3,000
  • Baggage Delay: $750
  • Accidental Death/Dismemberment: $5,000/$10,000

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.

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.

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.

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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:

  • Reputation. Does the travel insurance company have an established track record for customer satisfaction, not just during the process of buying a policy, but more importantly when claims are made? Has the business received any accreditations from A.M. Best or the BBB?
  • Selection. Can you find a wide variety of policies through this business? Do you have the ability to add on optional features, like Cancel for Work Reasons or Pre-existing Conditions coverage?
  • Cost. Does the site offer policies within your budget range? Travel insurance premiums are strictly regulated, but not every site offers policies on both ends of the price spectrum and everywhere in between.

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!



When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

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.

  • You should consider buying travel insurance anytime the cost of the trip is more than the cost of the insurance. For example, if you're purchasing a $75 nonrefundable airline ticket, you probably don't want to invest in travel insurance that protects you from trip cancellation or interruption. However, if you've purchased a cruise vacation or all-inclusive resort stay for $3,000 - $10,000, you may want to protect that investment by purchasing travel insurance just in case you have to cancel due to illness, family emergencies, or other reasons. Travel insurance packages can also protect you in case the cruise line or resort experiences financial problems, such as going out of business between the time you pay for the trip and the time you get there. Be certain not to purchase this insurance from the cruise line or resort, as your coverage will be worthless if they go out of business.
  • You should purchase travel insurance whenever you travel outside the U.S. Whether you're traveling by cruise ship or by airplane, your health insurance may or may not cover any medical expenses you incur outside of the United States. This includes travelling on "foreign-flagged" cruise ships. If you're travelling in U.S. waters on a foreign-flagged cruise ship, your medical insurance may not cover you if you become sick or injured. Travel insurance companies that offer medical coverage can also help facilitate any medical payments needed while in a foreign country, act as your advocate, and help cover costs associated with transporting you back home for medical reasons.

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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