The best travel insurance provides an important safety net that can protect your trip plans from the unexpected, such as emergency medical expenses, non-refundable cancellations and lost baggage or personal items.
It is especially relevant now that the COVID-19 pandemic has made travel more uncertain, with travel restrictions and lockdowns still being implemented globally, sometimes in unpredictable ways. Travel insurance can help protect your trip from unforeseen complications, and many countries are now requiring coverage as a condition for entry.
Read on to find out which companies made our list for the best travel insurance of 2021
Best Travel Insurance Reviews
- Fast and easy quotes
- Price guarantee
- Instant confirmation email once you check out
- Glossary of insurance terms
- Policies and quotes differ by company
- You may prefer a company that isn’t on the marketplace
A member of the US Travel Insurance Association, TravelInsurance.com works with some of the largest, top-rated insurers in the country to simplify the process of shopping and purchasing travel insurance.
Since it is a travel insurance marketplace, it provides quotes from multiple travel insurance providers when you input the cost and duration of your trip. After providing this information, you’ll receive quotes from each company arranged in a format that makes it easy to compare costs, examine pros and cons and find special coverages.
COVID-19 Coverage: Will vary depending on which company is chosen
- 10-day “free look period”
- 100% trip cancellation reimbursement coverage
- 24-hour emergency hotline
- Access to a global network of doctors via phone or video
- ID theft resolution support
- Higher cost compared to similar options
- Pre-existing conditions require premium policies
- Children under 17 are not covered for free
Generali Global Assistance was chosen best for emergency support services because they offer a 24-hour emergency hotline and a global network of doctors via phone or video. Customers also receive access to ID theft resolution support, as well as concierge services that can help with needs such as pet relocation.
The company offers three travel insurance plan options: standard, preferred and premium. Each plan includes coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss and medical and dental coverage at different benefit limits.
Emergency support is even more extensive with the Premium plan, which includes up to $1 million in evacuation and $250,000 in medical coverage, as well as generous benefits for delays and lost baggage (up to $2,000 per person). The plan also includes benefits for lost sporting equipment, coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and protection for rental car damage.
COVID-19 Coverage: If you or a traveling companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 before or during your trip, coverage includes: trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, medical & dental, emergency assistance & transportation
- Savings for families traveling with kids
- Over 55 years in business
- 24 hours expedited passport service
- Rent and drive in over 150 countries with the international driving permit
- Member of the US Travel Insurance Association
- Sparse information available on the claims process
- Customer Service has limited operating hours
Two of Travelex’s three plans, Travel Select and Travel America, both include coverage for children at no additional cost, making them ideal for families traveling with minors under the age of 17.
The company’s remaining plan, Travel America, was designed specifically for domestic travel within the United States. All three plans include coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption, as well as 24/7 travel assistance.
With customizable upgrades, you can add on extra medical coverage, rental car collision coverage and cancel for any reason coverage.
COVID-19 Coverage: If you or a traveling companion tests positive for the COVID-19 virus before or during your trip, coverage includes: trip cancellation and interruption, trip delay, emergency medical and evacuation.
- Unlimited trips with the multi-trip annual insurance plan
- File paperless claims directly from your phone
- 24-hour emergency travel assistance
- Mobile alerts while traveling
- Trip cancellation due to natural disasters or geopolitical instability
- Coverage for hazardous sports requires an additional policy upgrade
- Available only for US citizens and permanent residents
- Medical information required to determine if a condition is covered
RoamRight Travel Insurance offers different plans with a variety of pricing and coverage combinations. Among these, the Multi-Trip Annual insurance is an annual plan with coverage for an unlimited number of trips per year, ideal for frequent travelers looking for coverage without the hassle of signing up for insurance before every single trip.
If you’re not interested in trip cancellation coverage, you can choose a plan with only medical emergency and evacuation coverage. RoamRight also offers a standalone auto rental insurance plan if you do not require trip cancellation or medical coverage.
RoamRight uses the latest technology, including an online claims submission option and a mobile app complete with travel alerts. The company also provides 24/7 assistance, translation of over 150 medical terms in seven languages and information on local equivalents for medications.
COVID-19 Coverage: If you or a traveling companion tests positive for the COVID-19 virus before or during your trip, coverage includes: emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation, trip interruption.
- 200 + adventure activities covered
- Purchase additional coverage while traveling
- 24/7 multilingual assistance
- Insurance for photo and tech gear, as well as other sports equipment
- No cancel for any reason option
- Coverage varies by country, state, and province
“Designed by travelers for travelers,” World Nomads covers over 200 adventure activities, including bungee jumping, scuba diving, camel riding, motorbiking, skydiving and snowboarding.
The company offers comprehensive coverage benefits beyond standard options, including coverage for photography, video or sports gear equipment. Plans also include coverage for trip cancellation, assault, death overseas and stolen passports or credit cards. Customers can purchase additional coverage for activities not initially planned while traveling.
World Nomads offers a 24-hour multilingual assistance team and their website has several travel blogs and podcasts with valuable information from customers’ experiences throughout the world.
COVID-19 Coverage: If you or a traveling companion tests positive for the COVID-19 virus before or during your trip, coverage includes: emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, trip delay and trip interruption.
- Single-trip and multi-trip/annual plans available
- Solo rental car damage protection coverage
- Download the TravelSmart app to get travel alerts and file claims
- 24-hour multilingual hotline
- Benefits and coverage availability may vary by state
- No cancel for any reason option
Owned by Allianz SE, the largest diversified insurance company in the world, Allianz Travel has established partnerships with thousands of travel agencies, airlines, event ticket brokers and credit card companies to ensure competitive service rates and travel assistance.
Allianz offers ten different insurance plans with several coverage combinations and benefits that any world traveler will find useful. The Alltrips Executive plan features higher limits and added business rental benefits, and OneTrip Cancellation Plus may be the perfect plan for domestic travelers who don’t need many post-departure services.
The TravelSmart app allows travelers to access their plan information, file and track claims, locate hospitals and access local emergency numbers. The Allianz 24-hour hotline features multilingual specialists to help travelers replace lost passports, obtain local legal assistance or secure cash from home.
- Affordable multi-trip coverage, especially for couples and families
- Plans available for U.S. and non-U.S. residents
- Add cancel for any reason coverage or trip interrupt for any reason coverage to RoundTrip plans
- Coverage available for groups of 10 or more
- Excludes specific destinations from coverage
- Residents of some US states are exempted from coverage
- Pre-existing conditions have a long look-back period
Seven Corners features individual policies as well as group travel insurance plans for groups of 10 or more travelers. All plans include benefits such as emergency medical evacuation and 24/7 multilingual travel assistance services for emergencies and other travel difficulties.
The company’s LIAISON® travel insurance plans have a coverage length of up to 364 days and include coverage for coronavirus-related situations.
The Travel Plus Group plan covers travelers up to 76 years of age and some pre-existing conditions for U.S. and non-U.S. residents. In contrast, the Student Plus Group policy features medical coverage designed for traveling students and faculty members.
- Three different plans specifically designed for cruise ships
- Coverage for common cruise issues like missed connections and itinerary changes
- Cancel for any reason coverage available for select cruise and travel plans
- Large insurer with a strong reputation
- Low coverage levels for some incidents on basic plans
- Low benefit limits for trip interruption for any reason coverage
Nationwide has been around since 1925 and has an array of travel insurance coverage for individual trips, annual plans and cruises. Its custom-tailored plans for cruises, however, are what make it stand out.
Cruise insurance from Nationwide covers broken down ships and itinerary changes that can lead to missed excursions and flights or other costs. Emergency medical expenses are covered up to $75,000, with medical evacuation benefits up to $250,000. The luxury cruise plan also covers the Centers for Disease Control warnings at your destination.
Additionally, all plans include coverage for the weather, extension of school sessions, work emergencies and terrorism.
- Choice of 50% or 75% cancel for any reason reimbursement
- High maximum benefit level of $112,500
- Above average baggage loss and delay benefits
- 24-hour emergency travel assistance hotline
- Information about policy coverage inclusions is not readily available
- Relatively expensive compared to other travel insurance companies
AIG features the greatest flexibility and highest limits among all the travel insurance companies that offer cancel for any reason coverage. Many travel insurers have a flat 75% reimbursement and maximum dollar reimbursement of $75,000, whereas AIG allows for either 50% or 75% and has a very generous benefit level maximum of $112,500.
AIG offers four plans for consumers based on their needs and itineraries. The company’s basic plan is not available directly through AIG Travel but must be purchased through marketplaces. Its travel insurance plans include travel medical assistance, worldwide travel assistance, LiveTravel® Emergency Assistance and personal security assistance.
Other Companies We Considered
The following companies all offer solid travel insurance plan options for medical care and comprehensive coverage. Their policies are a good alternative to the ones listed above, but they didn’t excel enough in one particular area to make it into our main list.
American Express Travel Insurance
- Build your own plan
- Coverage for trip cancellation due to foreign and domestic terrorism
- No age limit on coverage
- Children aren’t covered for free when traveling with an adult
- 60 days emergency medical vs. 365 days for other coverage
American Express offers travel insurance that is quite flexible, with four tiers of protection, from a bare-bones policy to comprehensive coverage. Its greatest advantage is allowing travelers to create their own policy, where they can choose their preferred areas of coverage. The company’s website also provides a sample policy contract to read before you buy.
- Affordable and flexible plans with a variety of add-ons
- $100,000 per person for emergency medical
- Coverage available for pre-existing conditions 60 days before the trip
- No coverage for changes to flight tickets
- Low accidental death and dismemberment maximums
TravelSafe has been in the travel insurance business for almost fifty years, offering a selection of affordable plans suited for nearly every need. It was also one of the first companies to offer cancellation for any reason. Travel Safe allows their customers to choose the portion of their travel costs that they wish to cover, up to 100%.
- Emergency medical evacuation coverage of up to $1 million
- Trip cancellation maximum of $100,000 and travel delay reimbursement of $2,000
- Six different plans for groups coming in and out of the U.S.
- Low missed connection reimbursement of $1,000
- Medical and comprehensive coverage must be purchased separately
Trawick International is a strong alternative for travelers looking for cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage. Consumers have 21 days to add the CFAR option to their plan after the initial trip deposit and the plan features a generous $2,000 trip delay reimbursement. Trawick also has competitive coverage for large groups, but only for official groups (associations, multinational corporations, volunteer groups, missionary groups, churches, schools and others.)
- Compare quotes from 20+ top insurers
- Insurance representatives available to answer questions
- Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau
- Trip protection and medical plans only available to U.S. and Canadian residents
InsureMyTrip.com is another travel insurance marketplace that lets consumers find and compare quotes from multiple insurers. What makes this company stand out is its search interface, which allows users to find the best plan for their situation. For example, if you’re looking for the plan with the highest level of baggage protection, you can choose to display each plan’s coverage limit for baggage loss for comparison. The search also makes it easier to find plans that offer pre-existing condition waivers, cancel for any reason coverage and other features.
IMG Travel Insurance
- Three plans for individuals and families and one plan for groups of 10+ travelers
- Medical-only travel insurance available
- Global health insurance policies for many kinds of travelers, including missionaries and students
- Cancel for any reason only available for the most expensive plan
IMG offers a wide variety of travel insurance and health insurance products for international trips. Not only do they offer traditional trip protection plans with trip cancellation and delay coverage, but they also offer plans that only include travel medical coverage. These medical-only plans are ideal for students and other travelers who are more concerned about having a medical emergency than about getting reimbursed for a missed flight. IMG also offers international medical insurance for students, missionaries, expats, marine crews, and immigrants living in and outside of the U.S.
Travel Insurance Guide
What does travel insurance cover?
If you are looking to buy travel insurance you may have noticed many different types of coverage options and benefits. Ahead we list some of the standard coverage found in travel insurance plans and common add-ons.
Trip cancellation insurance will refund up to 100% of the prepaid, non-refundable travel costs as long as the reason for cancellation is covered under the policy and takes place before the trip.
If the trip has already started, trip interruption coverage will reimburse you for the unused portion of the trip and could cover expenses you may incur to get back home, such as last-minute flights. Trip interruption insurance can pay as much as 150% of the interrupted trip cost.
Some insurance providers will also offer travel delay coverage, providing a daily amount for meals or lodging during the wait. Other companies offer insurance for missed connections between flights. They will provide reimbursement for any flight change fees or additional expenses incurred while trying to catch up with your travel plans.
Emergency Medical/Dental Expenses
Travel insurance is also useful if you have a medical emergency during your trip. Benefits for medical expenses can range from $15,000 to $50,000 and in some cases, additional coverage can be purchased.
For serious conditions that require you to seek medical assistance outside of your travel area, you can also get Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage. This benefit will pay to have you evacuated to the nearest medical facility or even repatriated to a facility back in your home country. Benefits usually range between $100,000 to $500,000, but can be as high as $1,000,000.
Baggage and Personal Effects
This coverage is intended to assist you if your luggage gets lost or is delayed during your trip. With baggage delay coverage, you must wait between two to six hours for the baggage to arrive before you can file a claim. The coverage includes reimbursement for replacement items purchased during the delay, up to the policy limit.
If your bag is lost, travel insurance can reimburse you up to the policy limit, anywhere between $500 to $1,000. Claims typically require receipts or a list of items in the luggage. We recommend travelers keep this documentation on their person while traveling.
Make sure whichever insurer you choose has 24/7 services available in the country to which you’re traveling. Request local contact information, including phone numbers and addresses and keep the information handy with your other travel documents.
Popular travel insurance add-ons
If your coverage needs go beyond what a basic travel insurance policy can offer, there’s a variety of add-ons or riders you can select to increase benefit limits and cover activities that may be excluded from standard policies.
Common add-ons include:
- Cancel for any reason coverage: With cancel for any reason coverage, you can do just that —cancel your travel plans for any reason and get reimbursed for your pre-paid travel costs. See below for more information on how this coverage works.
- Pre-existing medical condition waiver: Most travel insurance companies won’t cover your pre-existing condition under the basic emergency medical expenses coverage. You can purchase a separate rider to cover your pre-existing conditions, subject to some limitations.
- Rental car insurance: This additional coverage will pay out for damages to the rental car and injuries to yourself or others should an accident occur while traveling.
- Adventure sports coverage: This rider will cover injuries or losses caused by participating in adventure sports such as skydiving or bungee jumping. These injuries are typically excluded from basic policies.
- Identity theft protection: This optional coverage can help if you lose your passport and other identification, credit card or other important documents. (To learn more about identity theft, visit our guide on the best identity theft protection).
How cancel for any reason coverage (CFAR) works
Cancel for any reason coverage is offered as an upgrade to certain policies and provides a partial refund when canceling your trip, regardless of what caused your change of heart. Among the covered reasons is “fear of travel,” which is excluded under a basic travel insurance policy.
Not every travel insurance company offers a CFAR upgrade. This policy must be purchased within 14 to 21 days of the first trip booking and adding it to your policy may increase your total travel insurance bill by about 50%.
Companies that offer CFAR travel insurance include:
- AIG Travel Guard
- C&F Travel Insured
- Generali Global Assistance
- Seven Corners
- Trawick International
- USI Travel Affinity Insurance Services
Does my credit card have travel protection?
Credit cards may include some travel protection, usually covering the costs of tickets and reservations when the card is used to purchase them. But for most credit cards, the costs may be partial and benefits may be capped. Review the terms and conditions of your credit card travel protection plan to learn about what is covered before relying solely on it for travel insurance.
What does travel insurance exclude?
Among the most common travel insurance exclusions are pre-existing medical conditions, injuries caused by extreme sports and theft/loss of some personal items like electronic devices and jewelry.
With most travel insurance policies, you may only be covered if you cancel your trip for approved reasons like a serious illness or a death in the family. If you want the flexibility to cancel for any reason, you’ll have to purchase additional CFAR coverage.
If you need to purchase travel insurance while pregnant, you should be aware that it may not cover all pregnancy-related conditions. If you give birth during your trip, the medical emergency coverage may not cover the expenses of childbirth. On the other hand, if you have an unexpected complication in your pregnancy, it may be covered by the insurance.
Additionally, most travel insurance policies won’t pay for injuries that happen while you’re intoxicated, be it with drugs or alcohol, even if the substance is legal to use at the destination.
Finally, keep in mind that insurance companies may change their coverage at any time. As it happened when the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, many companies temporarily excluded COVID from coverage and could do so again in the future. The insurer always has the final say on what is covered and what isn’t so review your policy documents thoroughly before the start of the trip.
How much does travel insurance cost?
The cost of travel insurance varies, but the average premium is between 5% and 15% of your trip cost.
Some of the factors that affect your final cost are the age and number of travelers, the duration of your trip and the coverage options you select.
Many insurers offer group travel plans which can give you a better value when traveling with a large party.
And if you’re a frequent traveler, many companies offer annual travel insurance plans so you don’t need to purchase a separate policy every time you travel.
How to choose the right travel insurance policy
- Identify your travel requirements to ensure that you’re not paying for something you don’t need.
- Verify whether the policy covers travel to your chosen destination.
- If you have a pre-existing medical condition, check whether it’s covered under the medical coverage of the policy you’re taking. If it’s not, you may need to purchase additional coverage.
- Find out what kind of assistance you can expect from the travel insurance policy if your belongings are stolen.
- Check the policy’s fine print before buying to ensure that it covers the activities you have planned for your trip.
- Choose a policy that provides emergency assistance services.
- Compare multiple quotes before making your final purchase.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that reimburses you for certain expenses and losses that happen while traveling. You must purchase the insurance policy before the trip and it typically covers situations such as having to cancel your trip due to an illness, or medical emergencies during the trip.
What does travel insurance cover?
How much is travel insurance?
How much travel insurance do I need?
How do I get travel insurance?
Most travel insurance companies sell their policies online. If you make your travel arrangements online through a fare aggregator, it’s possible you’ll be offered a travel insurance policy when you check out. You can also purchase a policy through an online marketplace that shows you quotes from many companies. This is a good option if you want to see what different companies are offering and compare their prices.
What is trip interruption insurance?
What’s more, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed because of a hurricane or any other reason, many airlines will typically allow you to cancel for a refund or change your itinerary with no fees — even if the flight was nonrefundable.
How We Chose the Best Travel Insurance Companies
In ranking the best travel insurance coverage options, we used the following factors to evaluate and compare each company:
- Plans and Coverage: We looked for insurers with a variety of plans and the ability to customize the policy with upgrades. Special consideration was given to companies offering unique add-ons, such as extreme sports coverage and coverage for lost gear or equipment.
- Ease of Use: We considered how easily you could request a quote and understand the policy information. Most of these companies either offer just a few plans to keep things simple or provide an easy-to-view comparison page where you can quickly spot the differences in each plan.
- Customer Service and Support: Factors like a 24/7 hotline and an established network of global resources to help with emergencies are some of the elements that indicate a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. Companies with mobile apps and multiple ways of accessing customer support also earned points, as did those with added perks like concierge and translation services.
- Reputation: To rate each company’s reputation, we evaluated factors like customer feedback and ratings, years in business and financial stability gauged by their ratings on all major credit rating agencies, including Moody’s and AM Best.