Travel insurance covers more than just lost or broken luggage.
And, while you don’t want to spend time thinking about all the events that could go wrong, things can and undoubtedly do.
But how do you find the most suitable travel insurance that you should buy no matter where you go?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you in this post.
Before you choose your policy and sign on the dotted line, it is crucial that you read and understand all the fine print including the inclusions and exclusions.
At the very least, it is peace of mind so you can sit back and relax, and enjoy your holiday.
If you don’t have much time, below you’ll find our favorite travel insurance covering all residents:
- Worldwide: World Nomads
- United States: Covermore, Allianz
- UK & Europe: true traveller
- Australia: Southern Cross, fastcover
- New Zealand: Columbus Direct
7 Best Travel Insurance For Travelers
Listed below are 7 best insurers that cover residents all over the globe.
Don’t forget to read the full policy over very carefully before you commit to it in full.
World Nomads (Worldwide)
World Nomads has been offering online insurance to travelers and nomads since 2002.
If your plans change and you need to extend your coverage while on the road, then World Nomads will come to your aid.
From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, WorldNomads covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
Besides standard cover such as trip cancellation, travel interruption, emergency medical and dental expenses, evacuation and repatriation, and emergency medical transportation, they also provide extra protection for your technical and sports gear including your video camera, camera lenses, laptops and skis.
World Nomads will even insure you for volunteer placements or work abroad. They have one of the most flexible travel policies and will cover travelers from over 150 countries, and are the go-to insurance choice for companies such as Lonely Planet and National Geographic Adventure.
Bottom line: World Nomads is an insurance company made by travelers for travelers. It’s extremely flexible that allows you to purchase your cover before you travel or even while you are traveling.
CoverMore (United States)
Cover-More originated in Australia in 1986 and provides insurance to travelers based in Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the UK and the US. They are a travel insurance partner to many well-known brands and have a reputable name in the industry.
Cover-More will allow you to take out travel insurance up to 11.59 PM the day before your flight. Whether you are flying out at 2.00 AM or 2.00 PM the next day, last-minute insurance can be sought. They cover issues such as trip interruption, flight cancellation, medical evacuation and emergency medical treatment. If you do intend to take out pre-existing medical coverage, you will have to be medically fit to travel when you buy your cover, and the entire trip has to be insured. With 24-hour emergency assistance, they can efficiently handle all claims. General exclusions include normal pregnancy or childbirth, trips taken outside the advice of a physician, and participation in a civil disorder.
Bottom line: Cover-More offers both budget and premium travel options to take into account any unforeseen circumstances.
Allianz (United States)
With a tagline of “How can we help?”, Allianz Global Assistance assists over 25 million travelers a year with their insurance needs.
Allianz will cover most pre-existing medical conditions if you are medically fit to travel and insure the full cost of your trip within two weeks of paying your travel deposit. The list of exclusions includes war, military duty, civil disorder, radioactive contamination, terrorist events, government regulations and travel alerts. They help their customers with an extensive range of travel insurance plans including annual, domestic and international travel as well as car rental insurance. Their benefits include emergency medical protection and transportation protection, trip delay protection, baggage benefits and access to their 24/7 assistance hotline.
They offer Essential and Basic single trip plans covering travel to the value of $10,000, as well as Classic, and Classic with Trip+ up to a maximum of $100,000. As clear leaders in the industry, Allianz Global Assistance realizes that life can be unpredictable at times.
Bottom line: Allianz has a range of multi-travel plans for frequent travelers providing up to 365 days of cover both domestically and internationally. With a mobile app to keep you connected at all times, they understand the power of knowledge is at your fingertips.
True Traveller (UK & Europe)
True Traveller was created by three like-minded individuals in London in 2010, offering single and multi-trip cover which is available even if you are already traveling. They have a wide range of policies for trekkers, holidaymakers, one-way travelers, backpackers, winter sports, gap years and multi-trips.
True Traveller offers around the clock emergency medical assistance service and also carries an Extreme Adventure Pack plan to include trekking in altitudes over 4,500 metres and scuba diving to 50 metres. They have specific plans for travelers who wish to insure their expensive valuables such as cameras, video cameras, laptops and lenses, over and above the standard insurance policies. True Traveller is of the belief that if you cannot afford travel insurance, then you cannot afford to travel. They are rated as excellent on Trustpilot by their customers and can even cover non-manual work if you are abroad on a working holiday.
Bottom line: Whether you are taking a single trip or require cover for unlimited trips up to 70 days, they have plans to suit. True Traveller insurance plans are flexible, and give you additional options such as excluding baggage cover or the ability to include different activity packs.
Southern Cross (Australia)
Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) is a web-based insurance company which began operating in New Zealand in 1982. Some of their key benefits include unlimited medical assistance and evacuation coverage for unexpected illnesses as well as unlimited hospital coverage and daily cash allowance during your hospital stay.
Whether you are traveling on a single journey, are taking multi-trips or traveling with your family, they have a wide array of policies to suit all travelers. Dependent children aged 17 and under are covered for free under the policy of their legal guardian.
SCTI asks that you declare type 2 diabetes, or any pre-existing heart, vascular or lung condition at the time of your policy purchase. Their travel insurance policy does not cover STIs, AIDS, alcohol or substance addiction, pregnancy or travel exhaustion, but will protect all policyholders for alteration and cancellation at the time of purchase until departure from Australia.
Bottom line: SCTI’s TravelCare insurance is only available for those travelers taking their holidays outside of Australia. They have a professional travel insurance team on hand 24 hours a day to handle emergency enquiries.
Fastcover has been in operation since 2010 and has call centres in Sydney and the Gold Coast. They tailor their services to suit a wide range of travelers including solo travelers, seniors, couples, families and students. Travelers can choose from a variety of covers including budget, medical only, standard, comprehensive and multi-trip.
Fastcover has policies for skiers and snowboarders and automatically cover activities such as go-karting, bungee jumping, trekking, moped riding, ballooning and kayaking. Read the list thoroughly to see whether any of them apply to your circumstances as they have 43 pre-existing medical conditions. Allergies, migraines, diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, gastric reflux and cataracts feature on Fastcover’s pre-existing medical list. They have extensive options for those seeking to work or study overseas or attend a conference abroad, protecting them for delayed luggage and credit card fraud, as well as lost or stolen items, credit cards and passports.
Bottom line: Fastcover handles both domestic and international travel. Whether you are embarking on a luxurious cruise or taking a business trip, they have a policy to suit everyone.
Columbus Direct (New Zealand)
Columbus Direct started out in the UK in 1988, and their insurance policies are now available in over 45 countries including New Zealand.
They were the first insurance company to offer a fully online travel insurance service and have a choice of two levels of cover for their customers. Three children (aged between 2 and 18) are covered free of charge under their parents’ or grandparents’ policy.
Columbus Direct covers many pre-existing medical conditions, as well as cruise ship and pregnancy provided the details are given at the time the plan is taken out. The standard policy does protect for a wide range of sports and leisure activities free of charge, although more higher-risk sports can be added as extras. Accident and injury, illness, travel delay, lost or delayed baggage, and rental vehicle excess waiver are also offered for convenient travel protection. You will have a 19-day cooling-off period to decide whether the insurance policy is suitable or NOT.
Bottom line: Columbus Direct offers protection to individuals who have lived in New Zealand for at least three months. They cover trips up to 365 days in length including short scheduled stop-overs.
Why Do You Need To Buy Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is one of those things that you don’t miss until you need it. It’s only natural that you don’t wish to spend money on insurance as you want to save it for the actual holiday.
But imagine how much worse you would feel if something did go wrong and you had to hand over all of your travel expenses budget (or more) due to a severe incident.
So take a look at the following,
Overseas Medical Treatment Is High
Chances are your home-based health policies will not cover you on holiday. So unless you are willing to pay out of your pocket if you get ill or require surgery, you need to have separate holiday insurance. Bear in mind that overseas medical treatments can be high. Depending on your destination and the treatment required, it could cost you upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. And what about the costs of an emergency evacuation back home? Travel insurance (depending on your policy) will cover you for all this and more without breaking the bank.
Protect Against Losing Possessions
Airline technology is getting smarter which means that lost luggage is occurring less and less. But it still happens, and it can be incredibly frustrating and costly waiting for your suitcase to turn up. Insurance can cover and reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses while you were waiting for your bag to arrive. And if it doesn’t, they will cover the cost of the things that went missing. The same goes if you lose any of your possessions while you are traveling. The company will be only too happy to cover the replacement cost.
Other Insurance May Not Cover Travel Emergencies
No two policies are identical, and even if you have some other kind of protection, it may not include some of the travel-related emergencies that can occur while on holidays. Again, while you don’t want to dwell on the negative, you have to bear in mind that accidents, fire, dental emergencies, robberies and weather-related incidents can occur anywhere, anytime. Having a policy which covers such emergencies is highly recommended.
Travel Insurance Is Mandatory In Some Situations
There are some situations where travel insurance is compulsory. Some tour companies have travel insurance as a necessary requirement before you can sign up for their tours. Even some countries such as Russia and Cuba will not let you enter until you have confirmed your travel insurance or at the very least medical cover, before you will be granted a visa. It is essential that you do your research thoroughly.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Travel Insurance?
It’s necessary to buy travel insurance.
At least, buying insurance is better than not buying it at all.
So you might be wondering: when is the best time to buy travel insurance?
As Soon As You Book Your Trip
Organizing and paying for your insurance as soon as you book your holiday or pay for your flights is highly recommended.
This method allows you to get the most out of your policy as you can reap the rewards of such coverage as cancellations and unexpected events. Some companies even offer additional benefits for those who book their insurance earlier rather than later. Think about whether you can afford to lose the money if for some reason you cannot travel due to circumstances outside of your control. However, in a rush to buy your insurance, don’t purchase the first policy you come across. It does pay to shop around.
Just Before You Depart
Purchasing your insurance a day or two before your departure date is less recommended but still has many advantages.
Doing it this way will protect you from issues such as lost luggage or flight delays, but you may not be eligible for cover such as cancellation costs. It is important to know that you will not save any money by leaving it until the last minute, but you will lose out on some of the benefits because you have put off making a decision. Provided you are covered from the first day to the last day of your holiday, then it is worth buying it – even at this late stage of the game.
During The Trip
Buying your insurance during your vacation is NOT recommended. However, it is never too late to protect yourself against certain travel aspects.
If your plans have changed and you intend to go skydiving, then even a late travel insurance policy purchase will have its advantages. You may find that there is a grace period before it kicks in (usually three days) but then you are good to go. Not all travel insurance companies will give you cover during the trip. But, if you do your research, you will undoubtedly find that there are some reputable and honest companies who will offer insurance while you are abroad.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Policies can vary depending on the type of cover you take out.
Consider some of your basic requirements and then assess anything extra over and above the minimum.
Although today’s insurance policies can be tailored to suit your individual travel needs, a good one should cover the following,
- Overseas medical emergencies
- Emergency evacuation/transportation
- Trip cancellation, delays or interruption
- Lost/broken baggage or belongings
- Personal liability for damage to property or injury to someone
You will also find you are covered against a wide range of other factors. Some of these will be included in your standard policy or available by paying more money for extra coverage.
- Strike action
- Ash clouds
- End supplier failure
- Airline failure
- Life insurance
- Winter sports
- Adventure travel
- Rental car collision
- Identity theft
What Are Travel Insurance Exclusions?
There are certain things that a travel insurance policy will not cover unless you pay more money to upgrade it and specifically have them added to your plan.
Travel insurance exclusions may differ from company to company, but there are some standard terms which you will notice during your early research and quote gathering stage.
- Pre-existing medical condition
- Go to dangerous or unstable countries
- Reckless behaviors (e.g: drive while drunk or use illicit drugs)
- Adventure/high-risk sports and activities
Read the fine print to see what other exclusions are listed. You may find references to the following:
- Unattended belongings
- Ignoring road rules
- Changing your mind
- Pregnancy or childbirth
- Volunteering or working abroad
- Travelling for medical purposes
- Self-inflicted Injury or suicide
- Natural disasters
- Epidemics or pandemics
By shopping around, you can find just the right policy for your personal and travel requirements.
Every holiday is unique, just as every individual is distinctive, and finding a travel insurance policy to suit your interests and needs is a necessary part of international travel.
With many policies, you will see you are covered as soon as you pay for your deposit; so the earlier you arrange your travel insurance, the better.