#1 Best Travel Insurance 2020-21 – All Country! There’s nothing like travel to renew the spirit. A change of scene gives a fresh perspective, a chance to let go and maybe even a taste of adventure. Travel insurance provides a safety net so you can step out with confidence.
Depending on the policy, travel insurance reimburses you or offers services when something goes awry:
- You make nonrefundable reservations and then have to cancel or end a trip early because you get sick or there’s a death in the family.
- Your baggage is lost or stolen.
- You miss a flight or have an emergency and need help finding a hotel, doctor or legal help.
- You get sick while traveling and need medical care.
- You have a medical emergency and need to be transported to the nearest hospital or back home.
There’s even coverage for the worst-case scenario: if you die in an accident while traveling. Accidental death coverage pays your beneficiary a lump sum in that case.
Before you buy, take a little time to get familiar with how travel insurance works, how it’s priced and what it covers and excludes. Follow along, and we’ll take you on a tour through the following:
Who needs travel insurance
Insurance is designed to cover the big financial risks you don’t want to bear alone. You don’t need travel insurance for inexpensive trips, but it can provide a sense of security when you prepay pricey reservations or plan a big trip abroad.
More Americans are buying travel insurance. Some 42.6 million people bought some type of travel policy in 2016, an almost 24% increase from 2014, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Travel Insurance Association.
Types of travel insurance
You’ll find a wide selection of travel insurance plans when you shop for a policy. Generally, travel insurance is sold as a package, known as a comprehensive plan, which includes a variety of coverage. Some insurers and comparison sites let you customize a policy by choosing types of coverage a la carte. Here are the most common offerings:
TRIP CANCELLATION, INTERRUPTION AND DELAY
Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if the tour operator or cruise line goes out of business or you have to cancel the trip for one of the reasons outlined in the policy, such as your own illness, the illness or death of a family member who’s not traveling with you, bad weather or natural disasters.
Trip interruption insurance covers the nonrefundable cost of the unused portion of the trip if you have to interrupt a vacation because of a reason outlined in the policy. Trip delay coverage reimburses you for expenses such as hotel accommodations and meals if you’re delayed during a trip, such as if your flight gets canceled because of bad weather.
#1 Best Travel Insurance 2020-21 – All Country!
Many package policies cover all three: cancellation, interruption and delay. These policies are different from the cancellation waivers that cruise and tour operators offer, the Insurance Information Institute says. Waivers are cheap, ranging from $40 to $60, and they often include restrictions. For example, waivers might not refund your money if you cancel immediately before departure, the institute says. Waivers are technically not insurance policies.
Details to know:
- Exclusions: Read the fine print to know when cancellation, interruption and delays are covered. These vary by carrier and policy. For instance, some cover cancellation because of a recent terrorist attack at the destination; others don’t. Generally, policies won’t pay out just because you have second thoughts about traveling or if you cancel because of a pre-existing medical condition — meaning one you had when you applied for travel insurance.
- “Cancel for any reason” coverage: Some companies offer additional layers of coverage at extra cost. “Cancel for any reason” coverage will reimburse a large part of the trip cost, no matter why you back out. And some companies let you pay extra to cover pre-existing conditions if you cancel for medical reasons.
- Limits: Check the limits for the maximum amount of trip cost that can be covered due to cancellation and the per-day and policy limits for trip interruption and delay insurance.
BAGGAGE AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS
This coverage reimburses you for baggage and personal belongings that are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. Some plans also reimburse you for extra expenses if your baggage is delayed for more than a certain period, such as 12 hours.
Details to know:
- Limits: Policies include limits on how much you can be reimbursed per traveler, per item and per type of item, such as jewelry. A common total limit is $1,000.
- Check other coverage: Your renters or home insurance also covers personal belongings away from home. Your deductible will apply to any claims. The deductible is the amount you pay out before the insurance kicks in.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, EVACUATION AND REPATRIATION
This coverage pays medical expenses if you get sick or injured on a trip. Medical evacuation coverage pays for transporting you to the nearest hospital, and medical repatriation pays for flying you home.
Details to know:
- Exclusions: The policy might not cover pre-existing conditions. Although most travel insurance plans cover many recreational activities, such as skiing and horseback riding, they often exclude adventure sports, such as skydiving or parasailing, or competition in organized sporting events. You may need to buy a special travel policy designed for adventure or competitive sports.
- Limits: The policy will pay expenses up to the given limit, such as $50,000.
- Deductible: This is how much you’ll pay out of pocket for medical expenses before the travel insurance plan pays out. The deductible can range from zero to more than $2,000.
- Check other coverage: Check with your health insurance plan about coverage away from home before you buy emergency medical assistance coverage. Call your plan’s customer service line and ask some “what if” questions. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States.
MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCE
These plans are for people traveling abroad for several months or more and provide comprehensive health insurance while away from home. In some ways, they work like traditional health plans. However, they’re not subject to the Affordable Care Act, so they include limits on coverage and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
Details to know:
- Check other coverage: Check with your health insurance plan to see what coverage you would have out of the country. You may still need to be enrolled in a U.S. health plan to be eligible.
- Provider network: You’ll pay more out of pocket to see health care providers outside the plan’s network.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Check the deductibles, coinsurance and copayment amounts — the portion of costs you pay.
- Limits: Some major medical plans cap the total amount they’ll pay out and limit coverage for some benefits, such as prescription drugs.
This service is included with many package plans. The insurer provides a 24-hour hotline that you can call when you need help, such as booking a flight after a missed connection, finding lost luggage, or locating a doctor or lawyer. Many services also offer information before the trip, such as required vaccinations.
Details to know:
- Services covered: Most travel insurers cover a wide array of services, but the specific options vary. Some plans include concierge services, providing help with restaurant referrals, tee time reservations and more. The only way to know what’s included is to read the policy.
RENTAL CAR COVERAGE
This pays for repairing your rental car if it’s damaged in a wreck, by vandals or in a natural disaster.
Details to know:
Limits: The coverage is for damage to the vehicle up to a certain dollar amount.
Not included: The coverage doesn’t include liability insurance, which pays for damage to other vehicles or for others’ medical treatment if you cause an accident and are held responsible.
Check other coverage: Ask your car insurance company whether your policy will cover you when renting cars on the trip. U.S. car insurance policies generally don’t cover you when driving in other countries, except Canada. Car insurance requirements are complex because they vary among countries. You can usually purchase liability insurance from the rental car company. Learn about car insurance requirements by searching for auto insurance by country on the U.S. Embassy website.
ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT INSURANCE
The coverage pays a lump sum to your beneficiary, such as a family member, if you die in an accident while on the trip. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies also pay a portion of the sum to you if you lose a hand, foot, limb, eyesight, speech or hearing. Some plans apply only to accidental death in a plane.
Details to know:
- Check other coverage: This is unnecessary coverage if you already have sufficient life insurance, which pays out whether you die in an accident or from an illness. You may also already have accidental death and dismemberment insurance through work.
- Exclusions: An AD&D policy doesn’t pay out if a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm or other medical issue leads to an accident. The death or loss of a limb must occur within a certain time frame, such as one year, after the accident during the trip. Accidents from some activities, such as risky sports, may be excluded.
COMMON TRAVEL INSURANCE NEEDS
|If you want:||Include this in your travel insurance policy:|
|Payment of medical expenses if you get sick or injured on a trip and need emergency care that’s not covered by your regular health insurance plan||Travel medical plan|
|To be taken to the nearest adequate hospital or flown home if necessary if you’re injured or get sick on a trip||Emergency evacuation and repatriation|
|Reimbursement of nonrefundable reservations if you get sick and have to cancel or end a trip early||Trip cancellation and trip interruption|
|Reimbursement of nonrefundable reservations no matter why you cancel a trip||“Cancel for any reason” coverage|
|Payment for lost, stolen or damaged baggage||Baggage and personal belongings|
|Help finding a lawyer abroad||24-hour assistance|
|Payment for rental car damage||Car rental collision insurance|
Travel insurance costs For 2020-21
A comprehensive travel insurance plan typically will cost about 4% to 8% of the cost of a trip, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. The price will vary depending on:
- Length and cost of the trip: The longer and more expensive the trip, the higher the policy cost.
- Destination: High health-care costs in your destination can drive up the price of travel insurance.
- Medical conditions you want covering: Coverage for conditions you already have will increase the cost of travel insurance.
- Amount and breadth of coverage: The more risks a policy covers, the more it will cost.
- Your age: Generally the older you are, the higher the price.
How to get travel insurance 2020-21
|Credit card: Some credit cards offer trip cancellation and rental car insurance if you use the card to book the trip or the car. (Most credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance, which means it pays for car damage not covered by your regular car insurance plan.)|
|Travel agent and travel reservation sites: You can buy travel insurance when you book your flight, hotel and car rental.|
|Travel insurance company: You can buy directly from many companies on their websites.|
|Travel insurance comparison sites|
Travel insurance for schengen visa
Schengen Visa Insurance – Europe Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa
When visiting Europe, travelers should be able to handle and financially cover medical services in case of an accident, injury or any other sudden event.
To take care of unexpected expenses that arise while traveling, having travel insurance has been proven to help travelers with financial support and comfort to continue their travel journey without worries.
Schengen Visa Insurance Requirements
Medical insurance for Schengen visa must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum coverage of at least 30,000 EUR (equivalent to 34,000 USD).
- It should cover all member states of the Schengen Area.
- Cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
Travel Visa Insurance is a must when applying for a Schengen Visa
Extract from “Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009”, which entered into force on April 5 of 2010:
“… Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.
The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Schengen Area Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000” (…)
Who must purchase Schengen Travel Insurance for Europe?
Anyone travelling temporarily to Europe from a country that is subject to visa requirements, be it an individual visitors or group visitors, tourists, or business travelers.
Who provides Schengen Travel Insurance?
First and foremost, the health insurance policy that you might already possess through your employment contract might cover international medical emergency expenses, however, there are usually limitations to this what is covered i. therefore one shall be well aware of what to expect and what not to expect when having a medical issue in a Schengen territory.
Usually, travelers purchase an individual Schengen travel insurance policy for the days planned to spend in Europe at the rightful insurance provider.
Make sure the company you choose is licensed and accepted in the Schengen country you are planning to travel to.
We recommend buying Schengen visa insurance from Europ Assistance or AXA. Both companies are accepted by European Embassies and Consulates worldwide. You can also cancel it free of charge, if you present proof that your visa has been rejected.
How much does Schengen Travel Insurance cost?
The cost for Schengen visa insurance varies from company to company. Here are the premiums from AXA Schengen.
Duration of travel AXA Low Cost
(Schengen area only)
AXA Europe Travel
(Extended protection, Schengen area + EU)
up to 8 days 20 € 30 € up to 15 days 36 € 55 € up to 31 days 56 € 74 € up to 45 days 65 € 103 € up to 62 days 73 € 117 € up to 90 days 89 € 152 € up to 180 days 168 € 271 € Find out more Find out more
Helpful Tips about Europe Visa Insurance
As aforementioned, before purchasing another travel insurance policy for your upcoming travel to Europe make sure that the one you already have doesn’t cover or alleviate any international health emergency costs.
In case your policy does cover some international medical costs carefully check the restrictions and limitations to the travel insurance policy.
If you are traveling by car in the Schengen region and cannot afford to pay crazy amounts of money in case of an unpredictable car accident – or simply you are not willing to give all that money away, you should consider purchasing combined travel insurance including health matters as well as valuable possessions.
Depending on the travel destination the risk of illness varies with the changes in the climate or the natural habitat (unfamiliar microbe residents). It’s highly recommended for people with preexisting conditions like allergies, for example, to carry their medical file from their personal physician describing the condition and the drugs prescribed to maintain it. In case one has a chronic disease, again, it’s smart to be carrying the prescribed drugs in the amount needed for the days spent traveling in Europe.
What does Europe Travel Insurance policy usually cover?
A good travel insurance policy for Europe should cover the following costs:
- Medical emergency (accident or sickness) while in the Schengen Area
- Emergency evacuation
- Repatriation of remains
- Return of a minor
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Overseas funeral expenses
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
- Flight connection missed due to airline schedule crash
- Travel delays due to weather
- Usually, the insurers cover pregnancy-related expenses, if the travel occurs during the first trimester. After that, insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.
Should travel visa insurance policy cover all Schengen Area countries?
Yes, travel health insurance policy should cover all member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
What is presumably excluded or optional in a common Schengen travel insurance policy?
Every travel insurance company is different; however, there are ones that offer to cover additional costs if necessary. If not, additional insurance must be purchased to cover explicit costs like:
- Preexisting conditions (e.g. Asthma, diabetes)
- Sports with an element of risk (e.g. Skiing, scuba diving)
- Travel to high-risk countries (e.g. Due to war, natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions – It means a sudden and unexpected occurrence of pre-existing medical conditions without any prior warning from a health care professional. If you have pre-existing conditions, make sure to get this coverage to protect you against any emergency situation that arises due to pre-existing conditions in spite of taking care.
How to find cheap travel visa insurance for Europe?
Finding the right cheap travel visa insurance for Europe calls for an individual and more in-depth research. This means having to search online on your own for the appropriate travel insurance policy. It is recommended that you make a comparison of products and companies before you decide which company has the cheapest and the best travel insurance for Schengen visa.
Something not to be confused is the price, as not all low-cost travel insurance policies contain low-quality services and not all expensive insurance plans have a high-quality offer. That is why, the safest way to properly choose amongst boundless offers of travel insurance companies, is by choosing not the cheapest travel insurance, but the policy which covers all the areas as required by the Schengen visa application requirements.
Why we suggest you to choose AXA or Europ Assistance as your travel insurance partner when traveling to Europe?
- Both companies are top leaders in the travel insurance industry
- They both meet all Schengen visa requirements
- Ideal for
- Visitors or guests (visitor visa)
- Business travelers (business visa)
- Tourists (tourist visa)
- Group visitors (visitor visa for travel groups)
- Immediately download your Insurance Certificate / Letter
- Reimbursement in case of visa refusal (free of charge subject to presentation of proof that a visa has been refused)
Which nationals are required to purchase travel insurance for Schengen visa?
Nationals and passport holders of any of the following countries are required to buy travel insurance in order to be able to apply for a Schengen visa.
Afghanistan Gabon Oman Algeria Gambia Pakistan Angola Ghana Papua New Guinea Armenia Guinea Palestinian Authority Azerbaijan Guinea-Bissau Philippines Bahrain Guyana Qatar Bangladesh Haiti Russia Belarus India Rwanda Belize Indonesia Sao Tome And Principe Benin Iran Saudi Arabia Bhutan Iraq Senegal Bolivia Jamaica Sierra Leone Botswana Jordan Somalia Burkina Faso Kazakhstan South Africa Burma/Myanmar Kenya South Sudan Burundi Kosovo Sri Lanka Cambodia Kuwait Sudan Cameroon Kyrgyzstan Suriname Cape Verde Laos Swaziland Central African Republic Lebanon Syria Chad Lesotho Tajikistan China Liberia Tanzania Comoros Libya Thailand Congo Madagascar Timor-Leste Cote D’ivoire Malawi Togo Cuba Maldives Tonga Dem. Rep. Of Congo Mali Tunisia Djibouti Mauritania Turkey Dominican Republic Mongolia Turkmenistan Ecuador Morocco Uganda Egypt Mozambique Uzbekistan Equatorial Guinea Namibia Vietnam Eritrea Nepal Yemen Ethiopia Niger Zambia Fiji Nigeria Zimbabwe North Korea Northern Mariana’s
What is travel health insurance?
The concept of travel health insurance relates to cover your medical expenses in case of an injury or unexpected sickness arises during your trip. In case you are wondering if you need health insurance when traveling to a foreign country depends on the desired destination as well as the ability to personally cover any health care needs during the stay out in a certain foreign country.
However, travel insurance is a must for most people, especially the elderly, people who have predetermined medical conditions and are bound to constant therapy or most importantly if the traveler’s destination happens to be an underdeveloped region.
Apart from medical expenses, travel insurance is destined to cover different losses suffered during the trip, including one’s own country as well as internationally. Unexpected happenings like lost luggage, cancellation of your flight at the last moment, travel agency or accommodation bankruptcy will most definitely ruin your trip. Therefore, travel insurance policy is designed to provide also cancellation insurance by means of full or partial refund.
Whether you are traveling once or several times during a short period of time, the travel insurance policy will match and cover the exact number of the days spent in the international territory, in this case, the Schengen territory, the price ranging accordingly.
What are the common restrictions and limitations?
- As previously mentioned there are travel insurance companies that don’t provide coverage for a preexisting condition internationally. In case you have a condition prior to your departure to Europe, you’ve consulted a doctor and are already on treatment and you’ve decided to travel out of the country, in this case, you are not prone to any medical cost alleviations via your insurer. However, if one is proclaimed fit to travel having the condition under control, most commonly the travel insurance is ought to cover an unexpected emergency related to the condition when traveling in an international domain, an acute onset of the preexisting condition.
- Sports – Participation in high-risk activities such as extreme sports e.g., scuba diving, skydiving, etc., can be excluded.
- War – Policies may exclude coverage for injuries caused by war when traveling to an endangered war zone.
- Duration – Many policies specify a time limit for coverage (e.g., 60 days) and the costs differ accordingly.
- Suicide in an international or domestic domain is excluded from any insurance policy as well as the self-inflicted injuries.
- In a case of any substance abuse, drugs or alcohol, domestic or international the medical expenses won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
Is travel health insurance mandatory for visa-free third-country nationals entering the Schengen Area?
Travel medical insurance is not mandatory for visa-free third-country nationals. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended to get one in case of travel to the Schengen countries.
How do I book Schengen travel visa insurance from USA or UK?
Once you purchase your Europe visa insurance policy, you will be able to download the insurance policy letter that has to be submitted with the Schengen visa application.
For more information about Europe visa requirements and application process for US, UK, Canadian and Australian residents, please read the following articles:
Should we choose the travel insurance with 0 EUR deductible?
It is not a strict requirement to get a Schengen travel visa insurance with 0 EUR deductible, however, we strongly suggest that you get one without a deductible.
#1 Best Travel Insurance 2020-21 – All Country!