Weekly travel insurance rates: October 27 | Premiums go down

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You may know a lot about travel insurance — or your upcoming trip may be the first time you’ve considered getting a policy. Either way, it’s become more important than ever since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, now that testing positive for COVID-19 can force you to scrap your plans. It also comes in incredibly handy when you’re facing flight delays, cancellations, and lost baggage.

A comprehensive insurance plan should cover your expenses for situations that may go awry. Here are our picks for the best travel insurance companies of 2022.

Compare the best travel insurance companies

Best overall: Nationwide

Well-rounded alternative: AXA

Best insurance plan for cruises: AIG Travel Guard

Reputable provider: Berkshire Hathaway

Best for travelers with pre-existing conditions: Tin Leg

Good for backpackers, study-abroad students, and digital nomads: WorldTrips

Best low-cost option: Trawick

Our methodology

To come up with our list of the best travel insurance companies, we evaluated each insurer based on the following factors:

Cost

A good travel insurance policy will typically cost between 4% to 8% of total travel expenses, according to the US Travel Insurance Association. Anything beyond that price point should include additional benefits beyond the standard inclusions, such as CFAR protection or upgraded medical coverage. Anything below that 4% threshold may leave you lacking important or sufficient coverage in the event of an emergency.

Convenience and flexibility 

Whether you’re an infrequent traveler or a suitcase warrior, a good travel insurance company should have you covered — and in many cases, you might not even have to talk to a person in order to purchase your policy. 

Many people think of travel insurance in context with specific trips, but most of these top contenders sell both single-trip and multi-trip policies, also known as annual travel insurance. Some companies also offer plans specifically designed for cruisers, students abroad, and business travelers. Finally, all of these providers offer multiple options for getting the specific areas and amounts of coverage that you want. 

Coverage categories and amounts

All of the companies on this list offer enough coverage in key categories to at least make a sizable dent in any out-of-pocket travel costs you may incur abroad, even though it is still up to you to purchase sufficient coverage for your specific needs. And while some companies may not offer certain add-ons or provide high category limits, all providers cover the core basics of comprehensive travel insurance.

Claims Handling

Most travelers never have a large claim. Premiums are low, and it provides peace of mind for the just in case situations in life. So they leave reviews based on their reduced stress levels. But what happens if you lose your luggage or have to stay a few extra days due to an unexpected accident? Will your insurance carrier cover your claim without all the hassle? We check real customer reviews to sort this out for you. 

How to pick the best travel insurance company for you

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy that works perfectly for every traveler. Young, healthy solo travelers can opt for much cheaper plans that offer bare-bones coverage, while families juggling complex itineraries will do best by investing in a robust policy that can help defray any costs associated with lost baggage, delayed transportation or other trip-impeding obstacles. 

That being said, you can’t go wrong with a travel insurance provider that boasts a reputable history and offers a wide range of customizable plans. In some cases, you may be comparing plans that are only a few dollars’ difference apart from each other. In such situations, you should generally opt for the insurance company that offers stronger customer service and has been favorably reviewed by other travelers, particularly if they have undertaken similar trips to yours. 

An insurance aggregator like InsureMyTrip or Squaremouth is one of the best tools for searching travel insurance policies. Once you input the specifics of your travel itinerary, you’ll be able to see hundreds of search results to compare the ones that catch your eye. If the options are too overwhelming, use the filters to the left of your search page to eliminate as many irrelevant plans as possible. 

AIG Travel Guard

This well-known insurance provider is a great fit for travelers who want to ensure that they can get their money back in the event of canceled or interrupted travel plans.

While the company’s policies can be pricey compared to its competitors, the high medical and evacuation limits make AIG a solid choice for older travelers who value peace of mind and simplicity over highly customizable plans that may to be bolstered with medical upgrades.

Read our full review of AIG.

AXA Travel insurance

AXA offers consumers a great option for no-stress travel insurance: low-priced plans, generous coverage limits on key categories including primary insurance on lost luggage, and up to 150% reimbursement for qualifying trip cancellations.

While add-ons are limited and rental car coverage is not included by default on cheaper plans, AXA is a perfect fit for travelers who don’t plan to drive (or who already hold credit cards with rental car coverage), and don’t need any additional bells and whistles.

Read our full review of AXA Assistance USA travel insurance.

Berkshire Hathaway Trip Protection

The best-case scenario for any trip is that your travel insurance can go unused. However, Berkshire Hathaway helps travelers make the best of bad situations by simplifying the process of filing a claim down to a simple photo snap and some basic paperwork submitted directly through a dedicated app.

Approved claims are also paid out very rapidly, making it easier to carry through with a trip when luggage has been lost or alternative travel plans need to be made on the fly.

Nationwide travel insurance

One of the largest players in the travel insurance space offers nearly endless options for any customer on the travel spectrum, including annual plans which can offer frequent travelers the flexibility to “set it and forget it” on their insurance coverage.

Nationwide also offers some of the most affordable policies in the market compared to similar plans from competitors, which makes it a great pick for just about anyone. 

Read our full review of Nationwide travel insurance.

Tin Leg travel insurance

Tin Leg is a great fit for travelers with medical issues in particular. Thanks to coverage for pre-existing medical conditions as well as for potential COVID-19 infection while traveling, this company offers some of the best financial investment options for travelers who are or will be exposed to higher health risks and issues.

Read our full review of Tin Leg travel insurance.

Trawick International 

Trawick is another medically robust insurance provider that can help higher-risk and anxious travelers find peace of mind while on the road. This company offers one of the most generous medical evacuation policies in the market, although travelers will need to remember to add on rental car coverage if they need it.

Read our full review of Trawick travel insurance.

WorldTrips

WorldTrips’ affordable premiums, highly customizable add-ons and generous coverage for core categories of travel insurance make it a great option for digital nomads, students studying abroad and backpackers.

However, travelers should keep in mind that plans are not particularly flexible, and coverage amounts are limited unless you plan ahead to pay for the areas and amounts that you need.

Honorable mention: The credit card in your wallet

Believe it or not, several credit cards on the market today provide robust travel insurance coverage that can sometimes rival the plans offered by our top-pick providers.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is often considered the industry leader for comprehensive travel insurance, with the The Platinum Card® from American Express
 coming in a close second.

If you’re not a fan of the sky-high annual fees on those cards, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the American Express® Gold Card
offer a robust alternative for card-provided travel insurance at a mid-tier cost of $395 or $250 per year, respectively. 

And don’t sleep on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Each card may only cost $95 per year, but includes hearty coverage for travel interruption, cancellations, baggage loss and delays that’s comparable or even superior to many mid-range travel insurance plans. 

The travel insurance provision on each of these credit cards can yield up to $3,000 per trip for lost or damaged baggage; stipends for baggage or travel delays as short as six hours; anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 per trip for canceled, nonrefundable travel such as flights or hotels; and primary rental car coverage. 

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