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If you’ve never considered purchasing travel insurance before, your next big trip might be a good time to explore this type of financial protection.
Attempting to travel has been risky, to say the least, for over a year. But once the world opens up again to American travelers, travel insurance can save you in many situations: loss of money if you cancel, illness while traveling, luggage that never leaves the airport.
Here are the top picks from 41 plans rated by Forbes Advisor.
HTH Worldwide TripProtector Preferential Plan
Why we chose it: HTH Worldwide’s TripProtector Preferred plan offers generous coverage for the categories we noted, including Covid-19 coverage and up to $ 500,000 in emergency medical benefits.
If you need to be evacuated for a medical emergency, you’ll get coverage for up to $ 1 million. Other benefits include up to 200% reimbursement for trip interruption and pet medical coverage if your pet becomes ill or injured while accompanying you on the trip.
This plan has the option of adding âcancel for any reasonâ coverage, which allows you to cancel the trip for any reason, even one not listed in the base policy, and receive reimbursement of 75% of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses. .
Potential Cons: First, the maximum trip cancellation coverage is $ 50,000, which is enough for many travelers but may not be enough for you. And the plan only has a five-day free consultation period, while most competitors allow 10-14 days. The free consultation period allows you to cancel the insurance and get a refund.
John Hancock Insurance Agency Gold Plan
Why we chose it: The Gold plan offers many coverage options with high reimbursement levels.
You’ll get Covid-related coverage, emergency medical bills of up to $ 250,000, and up to $ 1 million in emergency medical evacuation coverage. For travel delay coverage, you only need three hours of delay to trigger an insurance payment. You can add âcancel for any reasonâ coverage for greater cancellation flexibility.
Another feature we like is the plan’s 14-day free consultation period, which is more generous than most plans.
Potential Cons: The $ 250,000 for emergency medical bills is good, but you can find higher amounts with better competitors. And the reimbursement for the $ 500 baggage delay could be better.
Related: Compare travel insurance quotes for 2021
Seven Corners RoundTrip Elite
Why we chose it: The RoundTrip Elite plan ticks many boxes, such as Covid coverage, generous perks, and a few additional perks.
You’ll get up to $ 1 million in emergency medical evacuation coverage and up to $ 1,500 in reimbursement for missed connections and travel delays. In addition, you have the option of adding coverage for lost golf rounds and ski days, as well as reimbursement for equipment rental.
Potential Cons: $ 250,000 for emergency medical bills is fine, but you can find higher amounts elsewhere. And the maximum coverage of $ 30,000 for trip cancellation is low compared to major competitors.
Trawick International Safe Travels Voyager
Why we chose it: The Safe Travels Voyager plan offers consistently robust levels of coverage for many benefits.
With up to $ 100,000 in trip cancellation coverage and $ 2,000 in travel delay reimbursement, this is one of the more generous plans. You’ll also get $ 1 million in emergency evacuation coverage.
We also appreciated the 21 day period to add âcancel for any reasonâ coverage after your initial travel deposit. Most plans require you to add this coverage within 10 to 14 days of the first payment for the trip.
Potential Cons: The reimbursement for the missed connection of $ 1,000 is low compared to major competitors.
USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services Select Elite Travel Insurance
Why we chose it: USI Affinity’s Select Elite travel insurance plan performs well because of its many benefits.
The plan offers the best missed connection coverage with a payment of $ 1,500 and up to $ 1 million in emergency medical assessment coverage, which includes search and rescue costs. The plan also includes a service for tracking and accelerating the return of your lost baggage.
Potential Disadvantages: The maximum of $ 150,000 for emergency medical benefits is lower than that of major competitors.
Tips for buying travel insurance
- Don’t overinsure the trip. Buy only the coverage you really need. Insure the prepaid and non-refundable portions of your vacation with Trip Cancellation Insurance. If you can get a refund for something, like a plane ticket, you can’t make a travel insurance claim if you cancel.
- Use a travel insurance agent. A travel insurance agent can help you craft a travel insurance policy that addresses your primary concerns. For example, maybe you want the best medical coverage available for cruise insurance. An agent can also shop around for the prices of policies that provide the benefits you want.
- Consider the benefits of a policy. Some fonts allow you to add children to the font at no cost. It could be a big saving. Some plans include concierge services that will help you with activities such as dinner reservations.
- Consider a multi-trip policy. If you travel frequently, it may be worth considering purchasing an annual travel insurance plan. This can reduce the costs associated with travel insurance by insuring multiple trips under one policy to obtain coverage for medical expenses, trip interruption, baggage and more.
Forbes Advisor analyzed 41 travel insurance plans and rated them on several benefits, then chose the highest rated plan for each company for the final ratings. Each shot on this list received the highest possible rating.
Here are the benefits we looked at for each policy:
- Covid-19 coverage for cancellation and medical expenses guarantees: Having this blanket continues to be important
- “Cancel for any reason” coverage: This optional add-on allows you to cancel for any reason, even if it is a reason not listed in the base policy, such as a change of mind.
- Emergency medical expenses: Plans got more points for higher maximum coverage limits.
- Emergency medical evacuation: Plans scored more points for higher maximum coverage limits
- Travel cancellation reimbursement: Plans scored more points for higher reimbursement levels
- Free consultation period: If you change your mind, the free consultation period gives you the option to cancel your purchase without penalty. Plans with longer free consultation periods scored higher.
- Baggage delay: Plans have scored more points for shorter periods to claim reimbursement for delayed baggage.
Erica Lamberg is a personal finance and travel writer based in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is a regular contributor to USA Today and her writing credits include NBC News, US News & World Report, Business Insider, Oprah Magazine, and Creditcards.com.