Congratulations—after years of saving and planning, you finally decided to take that trip of a lifetime. Sometime soon, you will be boarding an airplane, checking into the hotel and crossing out that to-do on your bucket list.
Booking your trip is a big step, but have you considered what could happen if something goes wrong?
All it takes is one delayed flight, lost luggage or a car accident to derail your entire trip. As a result, you could lose money due to missed connections, hotel rooms due to delays, or pre-paid tours that you can’t refund for a new ticket. After this happens, you may consider travel insurance, but unfortunately, it’s too late to go back in time and add it to your trip.
Before you take your next adventure, you may want to buy travel insurance at the same time as your trip. With all the insurance companies out there offering the “best trip insurance protection,” which one can you truly trust? After reviewing the major policies out there, these are the best travel insurance plans we found for every type of vacation: for those going halfway across the country and those going halfway around the world.
When it comes to a trip delay or baggage loss, there’s nothing quite like getting paid for your claim fast. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) offers just that for travelers: if your trip goes haywire quickly, you can receive a payment just as fast.
Built for a digitally connected traveler, one of their most popular products is AirCare. Starting at $34 for domestic travel, this travel insurance plan can monitor your trips and automatically file a claim on your behalf in the event of a delay, cancellation, or missed connection. For those that require additional documentation (like luggage loss), sending documentation is as easy as taking a picture on your smartphone and attaching it to your claim.
If your domestic flight gets canceled, you may qualify for a $150 fixed benefit. Should you get stuck on the tarmac for more than two hours, you could get up to $1,000 in benefits. And if your bags don’t arrive at the airport, you could get up to $500 per trip to recover some of your stuff. How fast are claims paid? According to BHTP Fastest payments on approved claims when debit card or other EFT method is chosen as preferred payment method—but it ultimately depends on how quick your bank accepts the money.
If you plan on traveling abroad, there is nothing more frustrating than not only remembering where all your paperwork is, but also remembering how to file a claim. This is where APRIL Travel Insurance exceeds expectations: one phone call, and your claim is already started.
With offices in over 100 countries, APRIL offers “Stress Less Benefits” from wherever you are in the world. If you experience a covered incident, all you have to do is call, send a text or e-mail, or even Skype from your hotel room to begin the process. Their team will begin the process of filing your claim and make sure your new flights home, hotel rooms and doctor’s visits are covered.
While the company offers multiple layers of insurance, one of their most popular packages is the Economy Plan. Under this plan, travelers are covered for trip cancellation or interruption, hurricane-related events, acts of terrorism, and trip delays.
One of the oldest and most diversified insurance and financial companies in the world, AXA Assistance USA offers a robust travel insurance plan for luxury travelers who have invested everything into their trips. No matter the situation, AXA Assistance USA has an insurance plan that may help.
Under their Platinum plan, travelers are insured against even the most unusual circumstances, including carrier financial default, employment layoff, and more. This plan also comes with additional purchase options for literally every scenario, including Cancel for Any Reason insurance, and Cancel for Work Reasons insurance.
However, in order to take advantage of these benefits, travelers need to be quick about purchasing their travel insurance. For financial default coverage, travelers need to make their initial insurance payment within 14 days of booking the first parts of their trip. As with many travel insurance plans, Cancel for Any Reason—which allows travelers to recover a majority of their trip expenses if they cancel for a normally uncovered reason—is an add-on product.
Unfortunately, the world can be a dangerous place for the uninitiated traveler. From the threat of terrorism to the leading causes of death abroad (which don’t involve sharks), the threat of illness and injury is always present in travel.
For those who may have some travel insurance coverage on their credit cards but want additional medical coverage, IMG Global offers a medical-only product. Featuring a low deductible, their travel insurance plans offer high maximum coverage for emergency medical care, pre-existing condition care, and medical evacuation.
On the downside, these travel insurance plans don’t offer anything beyond medical coverage. In their basic Patriot Travel Medical Insurance plan, there is no coverage for trip cancellation, trip delay, or missed connections. Be sure to understand all the travel insurance benefits you have before deciding to purchase this product.
In the unlikely event you need to catch an air ambulance home, getting one can be an expensive purchase. Depending on where you are, medical evacuation can cost over $10,000, on top of medical treatment and ground transportation.
Global Guardian Air Ambulance insurance offers coverage for travelers who are primarily concerned about getting home after an emergency. When hospitalized over 150 miles away from their primary home, Global Guardian Air Ambulance offers medical evacuation back to the United States or Canada. Their insurance plans are available for six months or up to one year.
Much like other medical products, there are no other coverage options offered alongside this plan. The upside is that travelers can receive up to two air ambulance medical evacuations per year, regardless of the total cost.