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By Ruben Ramos
Updated: March 5, 2021 7:33 AM ET | Originally published: February 24, 2021
Three suitcases under a large umbrella
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Travel insurance reduces the stress of unforeseen travel costs by protecting your trip plans from unexpected medical expenses or cancellations of non-refundable hotels or flights. To help you figure out what travel insurance covers — and what it doesn’t — here are the best travel insurance companies of 2021.

We also include individual company information and links to the latest COVID-19 related updates for each of our recommended travel insurance providers.

Our Top Picks for Best Travel Insurance

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Best Travel Insurance Companies Reviews

TravelInsurance.com Review: Best for Comparing Quotes

Pros Cons
Fast and easy quotes Quotes from different companies each have their own policies
Price guarantee Certain activities, such as extreme sports, might require policy buyers to obtain additional coverage
Instant confirmation email once you check out
Glossary of insurance terms

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.

As a travel insurance marketplace, you’ll be able to get quotes for travel insurance costs from multiple insurance providers by filling out a form with information such as the cost and duration of your trip.

This information will be sent to multiple insurance companies, and you’ll receive quotes from each one arranged in a format that makes it easy to compare costs and examine their pros and cons, as well as policies regarding trip cancellations or interruptions.

TraveInsurance.com COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

Many of the companies on TravelInsurance.com provide trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical, medical evacuation coverage, and other benefits due to COVID-19. However, for most companies, fear of getting infected with COVID-19 is not a valid reason for canceling a trip since the disease is now classified as a foreseeable event.

Click here to learn more about their policies regarding COVID-19.

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Generali Global Assistance: Best for Emergency Support Services

Pros Cons
10-day “free look period” Higher cost compared to similar options
Cancel for a full reimbursement if you haven’t already left on your trip
24-hour emergency hotline
Access to a global network of doctors via phone or video
ID theft resolution support

Generali Global Assistance offers a 24-hour emergency hotline and a global network of doctors via phone or video, no matter where in the world you happen to be. You’ll 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 with comprehensive support for trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, and medical and dental coverage at different benefit limits.

The Premium plan, their top tier offering, includes up to $1 million in evacuation and $250,000 in medical coverage, generous benefits for delay coverage and lost baggage claims (up to $2,000 per person), and benefits for lost sporting equipment. The plan even includes coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and rental car damage.

Generali COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

Plans provide coverage if you, a family member, or a traveling companion contract COVID-19 and plan requirements are met. However, the service will not provide coverage if you cancel your trip due to fear of travel. A full description of the company’s COVID-19 policies is available here for potential buyers to examine before purchase.

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Travelex Insurance Services: Best for Families with Children

Pros Cons
Savings for families traveling with kids Sparse information available on the claims process
Customizable upgrades Customer Service has limited operating hours
Expedited passport service in as little as 24 hours
An international driving permit allows you to rent and drive in over 150 countries

With Travelex Insurance Services, all children under age 17 are automatically protected at no additional cost as long as they travel with an adult covered under the plan. Just list all of the children on the application, and they’re automatically covered.

Travelex offers two plans for easy comparison: basic protection and premium coverage. The company provides coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage and can help replace lost essentials such as travel documents or prescriptions. With customizable upgrades, you can add on extra medical coverage and sports coverage.

For international travel, Travelex also provides an expedited passport service where customers can obtain a passport in as little as 24 hours and an international driving permit to rent a car and drive in over 150 countries.

Travelex Insurance Services has over 55 years in business and is a member of the US Travel Insurance Association.

Travelex Insurance Services COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

Trip cancellations or interruptions due to causes related to the COVID-19 pandemic may still be covered. Travelers who contract coronavirus or are physically quarantined while coverage is in effect qualify for benefits. However, fear of travel, travel advisories, or the destination being inaccessible due to COVID-19 are not covered under Travelex’s insurance plan. More details on the company’s COVID-19 policies can be found here.

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RoamRight Travel Insurance: Best for Frequent Flyers

Pros Cons
Multi-Trip Annual insurance plan covers unlimited trips Coverage for hazardous sports may require an additional policy upgrade
File paperless claims directly from your phone Only available to citizens and permanent US residents
24-hour emergency travel assistance Medical information required to determine if a condition is covered
Receive mobile alerts while traveling
Covers trip cancellation due to natural disasters or geopolitical instability

RoamRight Travel Insurance offers different plans with a variety of pricing and coverage combinations. Among these, the Multi-Trip Annual insurance offers 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 on every single trip.

If you’re not interested in trip cancellation coverage, you can choose a plan with medical emergency and evacuation coverage instead. RoamRight also offers a standalone auto rental insurance plan if you do not require trip cancellation and medical coverage.

RoamRight uses the latest technology, including an online claims submission option and a mobile app complete with travel alerts. They also provide 24/7 assistance, translation of over 150 medical terms in seven languages, and information on local equivalents for medications you may be taking.

RoamRight COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

As with most travel insurance companies, fear of travel due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is not accepted as a covered reason for trip cancellation/interruption, nor are travel restrictions, quarantines, travel alerts to any destination affected by COVID-19, unless you have the Cancel For Any Reason coverage.

For more information on RoamRight’s COVID-19 policies, click here.

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World Nomads: Best Travel Insurance for Comprehensive Activity and Gear Coverage

Pros Cons
Over 200 adventure activities covered No Cancel for Any Reason option
Purchase additional coverage while traveling Coverage may not be the same or available for residents of all countries, states, or provinces
24/7 multilingual assistance
Insurance for photo and tech gear, as well as sports equipment

“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 some of the standard options you’ll find in other plans, 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 multi-lingual assistance team, and their website has several travel blogs and podcasts with valuable information from customers’ experiences throughout the world.

World Nomads COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

World Nomads may protect specified benefits if you test positive for the COVID-19 virus before or during your trip. If the plan’s policies and conditions are met, the company will cover pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses such as flights, hotels, and excursions. Keep in mind that, as with other companies, pre-existing conditions are excluded.

For more information on COVID-19 related policies, click here.

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Allianz Travel: Best Reputation

Pros Cons
Ten different plans to accommodate all types of travelers Requires some effort on the buyer’s side to read through the different plans
Rental car damage protector with 24-hour emergency assistance Benefits and coverage availability may vary by state
Download the TravelSmart app to obtain alerts, trip information, and file claims
24-hour multilingual hotline

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 company’s TravelSmart app allows the traveler 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 even secure cash from home.

Allianz Travel COVID-19 Response as of February 2021

Allianz will not process claims due to “known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories, or fear of travel.” At the moment, the company is offering emergency medical care, up to a specific limit of days, for customers that become ill with COVID-19 while on their trip.

For more details and the latest information on COVID-19 policies, click here.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover

There are many different types of coverages and benefits available. Ahead we list some of the standard coverage plans and common add-ons.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption

Trip cancellation insurance will refund up to 100% of the pre-paid, non-refundable travel costs as long as the reason for cancellation is covered under the policy and the cancellation takes place before the trip.

Suppose the trip already started and you can’t continue and need to return home for some reason. In that case, trip interruption insurance will reimburse you for the unused portion of the trip and even 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 to pay 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

Your health insurance will generally not cover your medical expenses out of the country, so emergency medical can give you some comfort knowing that if you need medical attention, you’ll be covered. Benefits for medical expenses can range from $15,000 to $50,000, and in some cases, additional coverage can be purchased.

For serious conditions, you can also get Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage. Suppose you suffer an injury, dismemberment, or illness that cannot be properly treated locally. In that case, 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

Baggage delay coverage has a 2-6 hour wait-period before a claim can be made. 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 lists of items that prove what was in the luggage. It’s recommended that travelers keep their receipts and/or this list of items on their person.

Worldwide Assistance

Make sure whichever insurer you choose has 24/7 services available in the country you’re travelling to. Request local contact information, including phone numbers and addresses, and keep the information handy with your other travel documents.

Add Ons

Customizable coverages allow customers to increase benefits limits and cover activities that may be excluded from standard policies. Common add-ons include:

Cancel for Any Reason: Standard travel insurance policies will reimburse for canceling a trip as long as the reason for cancellation is covered. With Cancel for Any Reason, you can do just that — cancel your travel plans for any reason whatsoever and get reimbursed for your pre-paid travel costs.

Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver: Most emergency medical policies will not cover you for medical assistance related to a pre-existing condition. You can get a waiver for this exclusion, basically setting it aside and receiving medical coverage as long as you meet the waiver’s requirements.

Rental Car Insurance: Basically, a car insurance add-on for your travel insurance package. Coverage will include damages to the rental car and injuries to yourself or others should an accident occur while traveling.

Adventure Sports: Most standard travel insurance policies exclude injuries or losses caused by participating in adventure sports such as skydiving or bungee jumping. Adding adventure sports to your coverage ensures you’ll have coverage in case of injury.

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Important Things You Should Know When Buying Travel Insurance

Know where you’re going and what you’re doing

When traveling to more exotic locales where access to medical services may not be that easy to find, you’ll want a policy with a more robust medical emergency and evacuation benefit. If you’re renting a car and traveling across Europe, car rental insurance may be a priority.

Before you request a quote, you’ll need to know the details of your trip, such as transportation, destinations, how many people will travel with you, and the value of the items you’ll bring with you. All of these factors will affect the underwriting that determines the plan’s cost.

Consider ways to save on travel insurance

If you’re traveling in a group, the entire group may be able to purchase a group policy at a lower rate than you’d pay for individual policies. If you’re traveling with kids, look for insurers that offer family policies. Some, like Travelex, insure kids for free when you pay for coverage for an adult.

Your homeowners or renters insurance may extend its coverage to your personal belongings if you’re traveling within the country, so you may not need to purchase travel insurance that covers luggage and personal effects.

Choose a policy without trip cancellation/ interruption/ or delay benefits if these are covered by other sources, such as certain credit cards. If you only choose medical and baggage insurance, you can get significant savings on cost.

Read the fine print

It pays to read the policy before you buy travel insurance. As you review the different plans available, pay attention to the fine print.

Basic plans generally will cover medical insurance and qualifying trip cancelations, but possibly not much else. More extensive plans might provide things like luggage insurance, passport replacement, and more.

Most plans do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, high-risk activities, or travel to high-risk destinations. Pay attention to the exclusions in the policy you’re considering.

Compare multiple quotes before buying

Always take some time to shop and compare. By doing a little extra digging, you may find a company that offers the coverage you want at a more affordable cost or that has just the added coverage you need to make it worth spending more money.

Best Travel Insurance FAQs

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance policies cover unforeseen losses and expenses while traveling. Policies regularly include coverage for trip cancellation, both before and during your trip, emergency health care, car rental insurance, as well as lost baggage or costs for trip delays. Some companies include coverage for trip specifics, such as extreme sports coverage or professional photo and video equipment.

What is the best travel insurance company?

The best travel insurance company is the one that covers you and your travel companions, as well as the gear, reservations, and all the specifics of your trip. When buying, make sure to create a checklist of your travel expenses and your belongings, so you can request various quotes and see what plan best fits your budget and needs.

What is the best travel insurance during COVID?

COVID-19 has posed some unique challenges for the travel industry. Some companies have even opted out of offering travel insurance products for the time being.

All of our recommendations offer COVID-19 coverage to some extent. Each potential buyer needs to read on each company's COVID-19 policies before they buy. Links to the latest information for each of our recommendations can be found at the bottom of each company review.

Is it worth it to buy trip insurance?

Travel insurance is worth it for longer or international trips where medical facilities or medical care may not be available. However, it's not usually necessary for shorter, standard trips. If the most significant expense of your trip is a hotel that allows you to cancel up to 24 hours of arrival without any financial penalty then travel insurance is probably not necessary but it will bring you peace of mind.

What’s more, if your flight is cancelled 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.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance can cover the price of plane tickets, hotel reservations, excursions, cancellations, as well as emergency medical care and transportation, including interruption coverage and the costs to repatriate back to your home country. Some plans offer individual coverage for specific parts of your trip, such as medical, high-value objects, or car rental insurance. Before you buy travel insurance, make sure you fully understand what the policy covers.

What does travel insurance not cover?

Some travel insurance companies won’t cover certain pre-existing medical conditions, extreme sports, or expensive tech and equipment.

In many cases, you will need to purchase additional coverage. Additionally, canceling due to fear of travel or other non-medical reasons won’t pay out for trips. Be sure to review the specifics of the policy you’re considering.

It’s important to note that most travel insurance policies won’t pay for accidents that happen while you’re intoxicated. Most companies include specific clauses that exclude coverage when drugs and alcohol are involved.

Does my credit card have travel protection?

Credit cards may offer some travel protection, usually regarding the costs of tickets and reservations when the card is used for travel purchases. But for most, these can be partial costs, and benefits can be capped.

Most basic credit cards won’t go to the extent of covering the full cost of emergency medical services, return flights from a location other than the one on your return ticket, repatriation costs, identity protection, nor car rental protection.

It’s best not to go out on a limb and read on your credit card’s policy to understand what costs will be covered fully.

How much is travel insurance?

Travel insurance costs vary. We found that the average is somewhere between 4-12% of your total trip cost. Some insurance companies offer better value and a better experience than others for individuals, families, frequent flyers, and groups.

You’ll probably save money by buying travel insurance directly from a company. If you are a frequent traveler, consider purchasing annual travel insurance to save money and time.

Is travel insurance tax deductible?

Only travel medical insurance is eligible to be claimed as a medical expense. Other types of travel insurance like trip cancellation or interruption insurance are not eligible.

How We Found the Best Travel Insurance

In ranking the best travel insurance coverage options, we used the following factors to evaluate and compare each company:

Plans and Coverage

Travel insurance is only valuable if it covers the expenses that matter to you. We looked for insurers that had a variety of plans and the ability to customize the plans with upgrades.

Companies offering unique add-ons such as adventure activities, coverage for lost sports gear, or other equipment also contributed to our choices.

Ease of Use

Shopping for travel insurance shouldn’t be difficult, so in evaluating these insurance options, we considered both how easily you can request a quote and how easy the material is to understand.

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.

Companies offering a straightforward online purchase experience were also graded higher than companies requiring more documentation.

Customer Service and Support

We looked for responsive companies dedicated to providing excellent customer service. Factors like a 24-7 hotline, an established network of global resources, and programs to help with emergencies, such as evacuation or stolen credit cards, are just some of the elements that indicate a company is well-prepared and responsive to customer needs.

Companies with mobile apps, multiple ways of accessing customer support, and additional services such as obtaining passports or driving permits also earned points, as did those with added perks like concierge and translation services.

Reputation

We factored in a company’s reputation when ranking the best travel insurance options. We considered factors like customer feedback and ratings, years in business, and financial stability as gauged by their ratings on all major credit rating agencies, including Moody’s and AM Best.

Summary: Best Travel Insurance Companies of 2021

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