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The 10 Best Travel Insurance Companies

U.S. News rates the top travel insurance options, considering expert and consumer recommendations.

U.S. News & World Report

The 10 Best Travel Insurance Companies

Best travel insurance

Finding travel insurance can be overwhelming. U.S. News has done the research for you and identified the top travel insurance options to consider for your next big trip.(Getty Images)

Travel insurance helps you protect the financial investment you made in your vacation, whether you booked a tropical cruise or a sightseeing trip to a far-flung land. Though purchasing travel insurance coverage is optional, it does help you avoid losing money on prepaid travel expenses if your travel plans go awry.

Many credit cards do offer some sort of travel insurance coverage, but it's important to note that credit card travel insurance rarely includes medical or dental coverage, or emergency evacuation coverage – three of the most important and protective types of travel insurance. With that in mind, you should be wary of relying solely on credit card coverage unless you know for sure what is included.

Before you put down a large sum of money on a family trip, an educational journey or a dream vacation you've been planning for years, consider buying a travel insurance policy that can reimburse you if your plans fall apart. You can purchase robust policies that cover pretty much anything you can think of – and even policies that let you cancel your trip for any reason at all. You can also purchase basic travel insurance policies that cover the main components of your trip like your airfare or cruise fare for a low overall cost.

The best travel insurance companies will reimburse you for medical expenses, baggage loss, evacuation to your home country and more – and all for a price you can afford. As your departure date draws near, consider the companies that can help protect you from financial losses if your trip is canceled or interrupted for reasons beyond your control.

To determine the Best Travel Insurance Companies, U.S. News evaluated ratings and scores from insurance websites like Squaremouth, InsureMyTrip and AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from travel industry sources and consumers.

The Best Travel Insurance Companies are:

  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • Allianz Travel Insurance
  • Seven Corners, Inc.
  • IMG Travel Insurance
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance
  • AIG Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International
  • Generali Global Assistance
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Arch RoamRight

Read on to see the pros and cons of each travel insurance provider and determine what travel insurance policy will work best for you.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

Travelex Insurance Services

Pro: Customizable upgrades, including car rental coverage, additional medical insurance and adventure sports coverage, available

Con: Adventure sport and medical upgrade coverage is not available with the Travel Basic plan

Travelex offers two main travel insurance plans – Travel Basic and Travel Select. The company also lets you tailor your policy to meet your unique needs with optional add-ons.

If you're looking for an affordable plan, you should consider the company's Travel Basic plan. This plan covers 100% of the insured trip cost for cancellations and interruptions and up to $500 for trip delays. It also offers up to $100,000 in emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage, $15,000 in emergency medical and dental coverage, and up to $500 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen baggage and personal effects. Plus, you have access to primary coverage with no deductibles. The company recommends this plan for short, domestic vacations.

If you're traveling internationally, you should consider the Travel Select plan. Limits are high with this plan: You will get up to $500,000 in emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage, $50,000 in emergency medical and dental coverage, and up to $1,000 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen baggage and personal effects. What's more, children ages 17 and younger are covered at no additional cost.

If you have a preexisting condition, Travelex also lets you add a preexisting condition waiver to either plan, provided you purchase travel insurance within 15 to 21 days of your initial trip deposit. Travelex also offers custom upgrades you can add to your plans, including car rental coverage, additional medical insurance, and special coverage for adventure sports like mountain climbing, parasailing or hot air ballooning (except with the Travel Basic plan). This company also lets you purchase a policy, request documents for your policy and file a claim online.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Pro: Annual and multitrip policies available
Con: Distinguishing between the company's 10 travel insurance plans can be confusing

Allianz Travel Insurance provides a selection of 10 travel insurance plans intended to suit different traveler needs. You can purchase coverage for a specific trip, but you can also purchase an annual travel insurance plan if you travel often and want to avoid having to buy a new travel insurance policy each time.

When it comes to purchasing travel insurance for a specific trip, Allianz offers several levels of coverage. While each plan comes with its own inclusions and coverage limits, its most popular single-trip plan is the OneTrip Prime Plan.

With OneTrip Prime, you can receive trip cancellation coverage up to $100,000, trip interruption coverage up to $150,000, emergency medical coverage for $25,000, lost or damaged baggage coverage up to $1,000, up to $1,000 in baggage loss, theft or damage, and up to $500 in change fee coverage, among other benefits.

The OneTrip Prime Plan also covers children ages 17 and younger for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent, and you can customize with additional coverage for rental cars or business-related cancellations. Coverage for business-related cancellations can be important if you're frequently on call for work and may need to stay home for an emergency work project or scenario at the last minute.

Allianz also lets you apply for a travel insurance quote, file a claim, manage your policy or follow up on a claim online. Plus, the company offers a smartphone app that lets you do all of this from your preferred mobile device.

Seven Corners, Inc.

Pro: Coverage for preexisting conditions
Con: Cancel for any reason coverage costs extra

Seven Corners offers travel insurance plans for U.S. residents, but it also offers travel insurance with medical coverage for visitors traveling to the United States. Travel medical coverage plans can be purchased with up to $5 million in coverage, but you can also purchase travel insurance for students, group travel insurance plans and annual travel insurance plans for frequent travelers.

Seven Corners' featured travel insurance plan is its RoundTrip Trip Cancellation Insurance, which is the type of policy you might be inclined to buy to cover a single vacation you have planned for the year. This coverage is for U.S. residents and is available in three tiers – economy, choice or elite.

The following are a few of the main benefits in the mid-tier RoundTrip Choice plan:

  • Trip cancellation coverage up to $20,000
  • Trip interruption coverage good for up to 150% of the cost of the trip
  • Trip delay coverage worth $600
  • Missed connection coverage worth $1,000
  • Emergency medical coverage worth up to $100,000
  • Emergency dental up to $750
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage up to $500,000
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage coverage up to $1,500

This level of coverage can include any preexisting conditions provided you purchase your plan within 20 days of your initial trip deposit and meet other conditions.

Also note that when you buy a plan from Seven Corners, you can customize it with add-ons like rental car coverage, flight accident coverage or cancel for any reason coverage.

IMG Travel Insurance

Pro: A plan specifically designed for retired travelers ages 65 and older is available
Con: The company's iTravelInsured Travel Lite plan does not include primary coverage

IMG Travel Insurance focuses on three main types of coverage – travel medical insurance, international health insurance and traditional travel insurance. This company also offers a GlobeHopper Senior plan suited for retired travelers ages 65 and older, as well as plans geared specifically toward expats, students, business travelers and government workers.

IMG's three main travel insurance plans for families or business travelers include iTravelInsured Travel Lite, iTravelInsured Travel SE and iTravelInsured Travel LX.

Its mid-tier iTravelInsured Travel SE plan is a family-friendly travel insurance plan that works for both domestic and international trips. Among the benefits you will receive if you buy this plan are:

  • Trip cancellation coverage worth up to $50,000 per person
  • Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the cost of the trip
  • Travel delay coverage up to $500
  • Emergency medical evacuation coverage up to $500,000
  • Up to $150 in change fee reimbursement

You can purchase this plan as late as one day before your trip departs. Interestingly, the trip delay coverage can include a wide range of charges, such as additional kennel charges for a pet or costs associated with family internet usage. You also have the option to add on rental car damage protection worth up to $40,000. Further, you'll have access to a few non-emergency travel benefits like coverage for the financial default of a supplier (e.g., a hotel that goes bankrupt before you arrive) and coverage for the theft or loss of a passport that prevents you from departing.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Pro: Adventure sports are covered at no additional cost
Con: Standard plan only promises up to $2,500 in trip protection

World Nomads sells customizable travel insurance policies that vary in terms of coverage and price based on your needs. Its policy inclusions are broad, and in contrast to other travel insurance companies, it covers adventure sports, such as scuba diving, mountain biking, bungee jumping and skiing, in its standard policy.

Generally speaking, you'll have the choice between two travel insurance plans when you apply for a free quote from World Nomads – a Standard plan or an Explorer Plan. Standard plans provide a lower level of coverage for a more affordable upfront cost, whereas Explorer plans offer more robust coverage for a higher premium.

For example, Explorer plans promise $10,000 in trip protection coverage, whereas Standard plans only offer $2,500. Both plans provide $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, but the Explorer plan offers $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage while the Standard plan assures $300,000 worth of coverage.

Other types of coverage you receive with both plans (with varying limits) include trip cancellation, trip interruption, loss or damage of baggage and personal effects, rental car coverage, accidental death and dismemberment, and more.

World Nomads lets you apply for a quote online with ease, and you can also file a travel insurance claim online.

AIG Travel Guard

Pro: Travel insurance policy coverage is tailored to your specific trip
Con: Information about policy coverage inclusions is not readily available without first obtaining a quote

AIG Travel Guard allows customers to choose from an annual travel insurance plan good for all trips in a one-year span, or from three plans valid for single trips. Its plans for single trips – Essential, Preferred or Deluxe – let you buy an increasing level of coverage depending on the cost of your trip and the amount of reimbursement you want guaranteed. In several states (Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New York and Washington) and the District of Columbia, however, you'll pick from a similar Silver, Gold or Platinum plan depending on your needs.

The amount of coverage and the limits in your plan can vary depending on your trip details. This makes it essential to obtain a quote through the Travel Guard search engine to verify the coverage levels you can qualify for.

Travel Guard insurance plans generally cover kids 17 and younger. With a mid-tier Preferred plan, you may qualify for trip cancellation coverage up to 100% of the cost of your trip and trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of the cost of your trip. Medical expense coverage can be worth up to $50,000 depending on your trip details, and trip delay coverage worth up to $800 can be included as well.

While Travel Guard offers limited details on its plans prior to requesting a quote, it does make it easy for customers to file a claim or check the status of a travel insurance claim online.

Travel Insured International

Pro: Three of the company's four plans guarantee up to $1 million in emergency medical evacuation and repatriation fees
Con: Plan availability varies by state

Travel Insured International lets most travelers pick from four main plans – a Worldwide Trip Protector Lite plan, a Worldwide Trip Protector plan, a Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plan and a Travel Medical Protector plan. These policies allow you to purchase more or less coverage depending on your needs. However, you should note that the plans available to you vary depending on your state of residence.

The Worldwide Trip Protector plan is the company's mid-tier plan, meaning it offers a generous amount of coverage but with lower levels than its Plus plan.

This plan guarantees trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of the cost of your trip, as well as $250 for the reimbursement of airline miles or rewards points. Other benefits include:

  • Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the cost of the trip
  • Travel delay coverage worth $1,000
  • Missed connection coverage worth $500
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage worth $1 million
  • Medical coverage worth $100,000

Depending on the policy you buy, you may also be able to purchase special add-on coverage for flight accidents, rental cars and more. Also note that its Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plans let you pay more to add on cancel for any reason coverage.

Like other providers, this company lets you obtain a free quote and file and manage your travel insurance claims online.

Generali Global Assistance

Pro: Sporting equipment coverage included in the company's mid-tier plan
Con: Generali Global Assistance only allows customers to buy travel insurance within five days of the initial deposit of their trip

Generali Global Assistance offers three travel insurance plans you can customize according to your needs – a Standard plan, a Preferred plan and a Premium plan. Its Standard plan provides the lowest level of coverage, whereas the Premium plan offers more coverage and higher limits for a higher upfront cost.

The Preferred plan promises the same coverage as the Standard plan, but with special coverages for sporting equipment and sporting equipment delays. That makes this plan a valuable option if you are traveling for a golf tournament or a ski trip.

Meanwhile, the Premium plan offers the most robust coverage for pricier trips, including tours and cruises. This plan promises 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation, 175% reimbursement for trip interruption, $2,000 in coverage for loss of baggage per person and $250,000 in medical and dental coverage per person, among other benefits.

Generali Global Assistance makes it easy to obtain a free quote, and you can file travel insurance claims through its eClaims portal or via phone. You can buy coverage as soon as 18 months before the departure date of your trip, or as late as the day before your departure date. Note, however, that Generali Global Assistance only lets you buy travel insurance within five days of the initial deposit of your trip.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Pro: All plans include 24/7 travel assistance that can aid in finding or replacing lost luggage, and assist with lost or stolen wallets, tickets and passports
Con: Some benefits, such as preexisting condition coverage, are only available if the plan is purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection lets you choose from a selection of travel insurance plans and receive a free online quote in a matter of minutes. Not only does the company offer travel insurance specifically for flights or cruises, but it also offers three tiers of coverage you can purchase for your vacation – ExactCare Value, ExactCare and AdrenalineCare, which is designed for adventure travel experiences.

Berkshire Hathaway's mid-tier ExactCare plan is best for families, and it includes:

  • Trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the trip cost
  • Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Trip delay coverage worth $1,000
  • Medical coverage worth up to $25,000
  • Emergency medical evacuation worth up to $500,000
  • Missed connection coverage worth up to $500

Note that all Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection plans for individual trips include worldwide travel assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can be a huge help if your wallet is lost or stolen, you need emergency translation services, you lose your passport while overseas or any other travel mishaps occur.

Berkshire Hathaway makes it easy to file a claim online using its online portal, and you can also view your policy and manage its details online. Berkshire Hathaway also touts that it pays claims five times faster than the industry average, which is worth considering if you are worried about delayed claims and reimbursement times.

Arch RoamRight

Pro: Customers have the option to buy travel medical insurance without having to purchase one of the company's travel insurance policies
Con: Coverage for hazardous sports not included

Arch RoamRight is another travel insurance provider that lets you apply for a policy and pay your premium online. The company offers a variety of policies, including individual policies that cover one aspect of your trip, such as a rental car or emergency medical care. You can also purchase a multitrip annual plan that provides coverage for all your trips throughout the year.

In terms of its plans for individual trips, Arch RoamRight offers two tiers of coverage – a Pro travel insurance plan and a Pro Plus travel insurance plan. The Pro travel insurance plan guarantees up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage and up to $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. You can add on more coverage for hazardous sports with this plan, which will cover activities like bungee jumping and skydiving.

With the Pro Plus travel insurance plan, you are also guaranteed $50,000 in emergency medical coverage and up to $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. However, you also have the option to cancel for any work-related reason (e.g., your employer has an emergency project and asks you to stay home) provided you buy your travel insurance plan within 21 days of making your trip deposit. This plan also comes with the option to add on more coverage for hazardous sports.

These plans also include other types of coverage with varying limits, including baggage and personal effects coverage, emergency accident coverage, trip delay coverage and more.

Arch RoamRight also lets you file a travel insurance claim or check the status of your claim online.

Travel Insurance FAQs:

How Does Travel Insurance Work?

Travel insurance works similarly to other types of insurance, except that travel insurance intends to cover unforeseeable events. In most cases, you will pay a flat fee for a policy that covers an individual trip and all its components – like airfare, your accommodations and any prepaid excursions. However, if you travel more than a few times per year, and especially if your trips are on the pricey side, you can also buy an annual travel insurance policy.

Benefits vary among travel insurance providers and policies, meaning some travel insurance plans cover more scenarios than others, and some offer higher coverage limits as well. For example, some travel insurance policies might only offer trip cancellation coverage worth up to $2,500 per traveler, while others offer the same benefit worth up to $100,000.

With this in mind, travel insurance works like other insurance plans in the sense that you can buy a basic level of coverage all the way up to full coverage that will reimburse you up to incredibly high limits. The choice is up to you, and you should decide based on how much coverage you think you need to feel secure.

However, you should keep in mind that travel insurance cannot cover every potential situation you encounter before you travel or during a trip. In fact, many travel insurance policies list an array of exclusions you should know about like war or preexisting circumstances, and even more policies offer named peril coverage that only covers the situations specifically outlined in your policy.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance was created to cover unforeseen events – as in, events that interrupt or doom your trip that you could not possibly plan for. However, the exact inclusions of travel insurance policies can vary widely, so you will want to read over any policy you are considering to understand the types of coverage you have.

With that in mind, travel insurance typically covers situations such as:

  • Trip cancellation required for unforeseen events like a death in the family or severe weather that prevents you from reaching your destination
  • Emergency medical situations
  • Emergency medical transportation and evacuation
  • Costs incurred as the result of trip delays
  • Lost or stolen luggage
  • Canceled travel due to terrorist attacks

As mentioned previously, you can buy different levels of travel insurance that provide more coverage or less coverage in any of these categories. However, in most cases, you will want to tweak the amount of coverage you buy based on how much you paid for your trip.

For example, if you are planning a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation that costs $30,000 and lasts three weeks, you would want to purchase a more robust travel insurance policy. That way, you could apply for reimbursement for some components of your vacation if various situations play out that might ruin your trip or prevent it from moving forward in the first place.

What Doesn't Travel Insurance Cover?

Different travel insurance companies list different exclusions for their policies, so this is another situation where you will want to read all the fine print. However, most travel insurance policies refrain from covering preexisting conditions of any kind. If you are sick with a terminal illness when you purchase a travel insurance policy, for example, you cannot use that illness as a basis to cancel your trip. The same is true if you wait to buy travel insurance until a named hurricane is careening toward your destination.

In addition to situations you know about ahead of time, travel insurance also typically excludes some foreseen and unforeseen events altogether. These can include:

  • War in your destination
  • Civil disorder or civil unrest
  • Participation in high-risk sports, such as skydiving, bungee jumping and heli-skiing
  • Terrorist events
  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemics
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Government restrictions on travel
  • Pollution that threatens to harm your travel plans
  • Learning to fly an aircraft

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Only you can decide if you need travel insurance, but this type of coverage is essential if you want to protect the financial investment you made by booking a trip. Without travel insurance, you will likely be in a position where you never receive any sort of refund on prepaid travel plans, including airfare, vacation rentals and prepaid tours. It is up to you to decide whether taking this chance is worth it – and whether the investment you made in your trip is worthy of paying for a travel insurance policy.

Before you pay for insurance that covers travel arrangements, it can help to tally up all the money you spent on your trip. Consider: Is this money you are willing to lose if you cannot ultimately take your vacation, or if an unforeseen event knocks your plans off track?

Travel insurance is never required, but buying a policy can make the trip-planning experience worry-free and fun, and it can put your mind at ease while you're on vacation. You hope you won't need to use your travel insurance policy, but in the worst-case scenario, you will be glad you have one.

How Much Is Travel Insurance?

The cost of travel insurance varies depending on several factors, including the age of the travelers in your group. Older people will typically have to pay more for a travel insurance policy since these travelers are more susceptible to health issues and that risk tends to increase with age.

The total cost of your trip will also help determine the cost of your travel insurance plan, since more expensive trips require higher coverage limits.

Interestingly enough, the length of your trip and the destination you are visiting typically will not affect the cost of travel insurance coverage. Further, your health may not be part of the equation either and travel insurance companies even refrain from asking health questions when you apply for a travel insurance quote. This doesn't mean that preexisting conditions will be covered, however, so you'll want to check the details.

As an example, a few sample trip insurance quotes for a married couple who are both 40 and live in New York City are below:

  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to Florida with a purchase price of $2,500 might run about $75 to $156.
  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to Mexico with a purchase price of $3,500 could cost anywhere from $102 to $216.
  • Travel insurance for an eight-day trip to the United Kingdom with a purchase price of $4,500 may range from $130 to $266.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

When Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Many times, you are given the option to purchase travel insurance when you book your airfare, hotel or resort stay, or vacation package. Travel insurance and travel protection are frequently offered as add-ons for your trip, meaning you can pay for your vacation and some level of travel insurance at the same time.

However, many people choose to wait to buy travel insurance until after their entire vacation is booked and paid for. This helps travelers tally up all the underlying costs associated with a trip, and then choose their travel insurance provider and the level of coverage they want.

The best time to buy travel insurance is normally within a few weeks of booking your trip, however, since you may qualify for lower pricing if you book early. Keep in mind, some travel insurance providers allow you to purchase plans until the day before you depart.

Where Do I Get Travel Insurance?

You can easily research and purchase travel insurance online these days. Some consumers prefer to shop around with a specific provider, such as Allianz or World Nomads, but you can also shop and compare policies with a travel insurance platform like Squaremouth or InsureMyTrip.

With Squaremouth, you can enter your trip details and compare more than 90 travel insurance plans from more than 20 providers.

InsureMyTrip works similarly, letting you shop around and compare plans from more than 20 travel insurance providers in one place. InsureMyTrip also offers several guarantees, including a Best Price Guarantee, a Best Plan Guarantee and a Money-Back Guarantee that promises a full refund if you decide you no longer need the plan you purchased.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

Types of Travel Insurance

There are many different types of travel and trip insurance consumers will want to evaluate before deciding on the policy that's right for them. A few of the most popular travel insurance coverage options include:

Trip cancellation, interruption and delay insurance
Trip cancellation coverage can help you get reimbursement for prepaid travel expenses, such as your airfare and cruise fare, if your trip is ultimately canceled for a covered reason. Trip interruption insurance, on the other hand, kicks in to reimburse you if your trip is derailed after it starts. For instance, if you arrived in your destination and became gravely ill, it would cover the cost if you had to cut your trip short.

Trip delay insurance can help you qualify for reimbursement of any unexpected expenses you incur (think: lodging, transportation and food) in the event your trip is delayed for reasons beyond your control, such as your flight being canceled and rebooked for the next day. You will want to save your receipts in order to substantiate your claim if you have this coverage.

Lost bags or personal belongings
Coverage for lost or stolen bags can come in handy if your luggage is lost by your airline, or if your luggage is delayed so long that you have to buy clothing and toiletries for your trip.

This type of coverage can kick in to cover the cost to replace lost or stolen items you brought on your trip. It can also provide coverage for the baggage itself. It's even possible that your travel insurance policy will pay for your flight home if damages caused to your residence and your belongings while you're away force you to return home immediately.

Travel medical insurance
If you find yourself sick or injured while you are on vacation, emergency medical coverage can pay for your medical expenses. With that in mind, however, you will need to find out whether the travel medical insurance you buy is primary or secondary. Where a primary policy can be used right away to cover medical bills incurred while you travel, secondary coverage only provides reimbursement after you have exhausted other medical policies you have.

You will also need to know how travel medical coverage you purchase deals with any preexisting conditions you have, including whether you will have any coverage for preexisting conditions at all.

Evacuation insurance
Imagine you break your leg while on the side of a mountain in some far-flung land without quality healthcare. Not only would you need travel medical insurance coverage in that case, but you would also need coverage for the exorbitant expense involved in getting you off the side of a mountain and flying you home where you can receive appropriate medical care.

Evacuation coverage can come in handy if you need it, but you will want to make sure any coverage you buy comes with incredibly high limits. According to Squaremouth, emergency evacuation can easily cost $25,000 in North America and up to $50,000 in Europe, so the site typically suggests customers buy policies with $50,000 to $100,000 in emergency evacuation coverage.

Cancel for any reason insurance
Cancel for any reason travel insurance works exactly how it sounds. This type of coverage lets you cancel your trip for any reason you want – even if your reason is that you simply decided you no longer want to go.

Cancel for any reason coverage is typically an add-on you can purchase to go along with other types of travel insurance. For that reason, you will pay more to have this kind of coverage added to your policy.

Also note that this type of coverage typically only reimburses 50% to 75% of your prepaid travel expenses. For this reason, you will want to make sure you know exactly how much reimbursement you could qualify for before you pay extra for a cancel for any reason policy.

Credit card travel insurance
Credit card travel insurance can include most types of travel insurance other than cancel for any reason coverage, and some of the best credit cards for travel insurance include several different types of insurance as part of their cardholder benefits. For example, it is not uncommon to find credit cards that include trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay insurance, lost or delayed baggage coverage, travel accident insurance and more. Cards that offer this coverage include popular options like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and The Platinum Card from American Express.

Note that owning a credit card with travel insurance protections is not enough for your coverage to count: To take advantage of credit card travel insurance, you must pay for prepaid travel expenses like your airfare, hotel stay or cruise with that specific credit card. Also note that credit cards with travel insurance have their own list of exclusions to watch out for. Many also require cardholders to pay an annual fee.

How Do I Make a Travel Insurance Claim?

When you need to file a travel insurance claim, you should plan on having to explain to your provider what happened to your trip and why you think your policy applies. If you planned to go on a Caribbean cruise, but your husband fell gravely ill the night before you were set to depart, you would need to explain that situation to your travel insurance company. Information you should share with your provider include the details of why you're making a claim, who was involved and the exact circumstances of your loss.

Documentation is important, and your travel insurance provider will ask for proof of what happened. Required documentation for travel insurance typically includes any proof of a delay, receipts, copies of medical bills and more.

Most travel insurance companies let you file a claim using an online form, but you may also be able to file a claim by phone or via fax. Some travel insurance providers, such as Allianz and Travel Insured International, offer their own mobile apps you can use to buy policies and upload information or documents that substantiate your claim. In any case, you will need to provide the company with proof of your claim and the circumstances that caused it.

If your claim is initially denied, you may also need to answer some questions or submit some additional information that can highlight why you do, in fact, qualify.

Whatever you do, be honest and forthcoming with all the information in your claim. Also be willing to provide more information or answer any questions when asked.

[Protect your trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance plans for the lowest price. Get a quote.]

How Long Should Travel Insurance Claims Take to Process?

Travel insurance claims typically take four to six weeks to process once you file with your insurance company.

The longer you take to file your travel insurance claim after a loss, the longer you will be waiting for reimbursement. Also note that, with many travel insurance providers, there is a time limit on how long you can submit claims after a trip. For example, with Allianz Travel Insurance, World Nomads Travel Insurance and Travelex Insurance Services, you have 90 days from the date of your loss to file a claim.

You may be able to expedite the claim if you provide all the required information upfront, whereas the process could drag on longer than it needs to if you delay filing a claim or the company has to follow up with you to get more information.

Is Travel Insurance Worth the Money?

Paying a premium for travel insurance might feel like setting money on fire if you never file a claim, but travel insurance could easily save you tens of thousands of dollars if the worst-case scenario plays out. Only you can decide if travel insurance is worth the additional cost, but for many, the peace of mind they have in return is well worth the price alone.

Before you buy travel insurance, make sure to tally up the total amount of money you spent on the trip in question. That way, you can decide whether insuring your trip will be worth the financial cost. Also check whether any cancellation policies apply, and if it may be possible to get some of your money back from providers if you need to cancel your trip ahead of time. If you booked an Airbnb that lets you cancel without a penalty up to 24 hours before check-in, for example, then you may not need travel insurance. The same is true if you booked airfare with a generous cancellation and rebooking policy that lets you swap your flight at the last minute. If your entire trip is nonrefundable, on the other hand, then the likelihood of you needing a policy is higher.

Also, ask yourself whether you feel at risk in terms of your trip being delayed or interrupted, and whether you feel losing your luggage or any items you plan to bring along on your vacation would create financial or emotional hardship.

If you are taking a quick road trip a few states away, it is possible travel insurance isn't worth the money. But if you are flying to a far-flung destination and spending considerable sums of money on a dream trip, you will probably want some protection.

Interested in more travel insurance options? See:

Updated on Nov. 5, 2020: This piece has been updated with a frequently asked questions section and additional information on travel insurance.

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