Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance Review
Allianz Global Assistance provides decent travel insurance options for most consumers, but it really excels in two specific types of coverage: coverage for travelers going on longer trips and for those traveling with children.
Where most companies top out around three months, Allianz covers trips up to one year in length. That’s an essential feature for college students studying abroad or recent grads taking extended backpacking trips. If you’re a frequent business traveler, Allianz also offers four different annual plans, which allow you to pay a fixed fee for continuous travel insurance throughout the year.
The other major perk that sets Allianz apart is its coverage for kids age 17 and under. As long as they’re accompanied by a parent or grandparent, they’re included on the OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier plans for free. That’s a substantial savings opportunity for families — one we only saw matched by Travelex. Ultimately, we’d recommend going with a different company like Travelex if you need higher coverage limits, but it’s worth comparing quotes if you’re traveling with your family.
Allianz Global Assistance makes a strong claim: “Whether you’re traveling for leisure or business, you’ll appreciate the benefits and coverage Allianz Travel Insurance plans can provide.” And with access to 24/7 support from travel insurance experts, Allianz Global Assistance promises to help you through any unpredictable situation that comes up while you’re away.
Is it true?
It’s true that Allianz Global Assistance offers an impressive array of options when it comes to trip lengths that it covers. In fact, in our review of the best travel insurance companies, it was named the “best for long trips” because it’s one of the only companies around to cover trips up to a year in length. If you’re a frequent traveler, Allianz also has annual plans that require a yearly fee for continuous international and domestic coverage.
Unfortunately, that flexibility doesn’t carry over to its coverage amounts. While Allianz does have a lot of different plans (five for single trips and four annual), you’re pretty much stuck with the coverage levels in each tier.
For instance, if you’re only going across the border to Canada and wanted a plan with high medical coverage but less in emergency evacuation, Allianz doesn’t offer anything that fits your needs. That stands in contrast to companies like IMG, which let you choose coverage limits from anywhere between $50,000 and $1 million and deductibles from $0 to $2,500.
Unlike other providers, Allianz also doesn’t have any add-on coverage for “extreme” activities like moped riding or scuba diving. With other companies, this supplemental coverage accounts for search and rescue costs and non-emergency evacuations related to these high-risk activities. Granted, this won’t matter to every traveler — not everyone is planning a helicopter tour on their next vacation — but it contradicts Allianz’s claim that it covers “every kind of trip.”
People traveling with kids or going on long trips
Travelers requiring more flexibility in their policies
|In business since||1890|
|Standout features|| Annual plans covering trips 360 days in length|
Fully functional mobile app
Children age 17 and under covered for free on OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier plans
|A.M. Best financial strength rating||A+|
|Plans|| OneTrip Cancellation Plus Plan|
OneTrip Basic Plan
OneTrip Prime Plan
OneTrip Premier Plan
OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan
AllTrips Prime Plan
AllTrips Premier Plan
|Emergency medical coverage|| OneTrip Cancellation Plus Plan: N/A|
OneTrip Basic Plan: $10,000
OneTrip Prime Plan: $25,000
OneTrip Premier Plan: $50,000
OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan: $50,000
AllTrips Basic: $20,000
AllTrips Prime Plan: $20,000
AllTrips Executive: $50,000
AllTrips Premier Plan: $50,000
Travel perks for families
Allianz Global Assistance provides an incredible perk for one very large segment of travelers: families traveling with kids. With the OneTrip Prime Plan and the OneTrip Premier Plan, children age 17 and under are covered for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent. We liked Travelex better for families — its policies also cover kids for free with more generous coverage limits — but it’s always a good idea to compare quotes and see which has the best rates for your trip.
Few plan restrictions
Allianz places very few restrictions on what types of trips or travelers it will cover. While many companies we looked at cap coverage at $50,000, Allianz covers anything up to $100,000. Granted, this won’t apply to most vacations, but we still appreciated the company’s willingness to cover a variety of trips.
Allianz also provides medical coverage to travelers regardless of their age. This is relatively unusual, with many companies limiting coverage to customers who are 65 years old or younger.
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Annual plans available
Frequent travelers will want to take advantage of Allianz’s annual plans, which cover an unlimited amount of trips taken within a 12-month period. This is an especially nice option for business travelers who make frequent international trips. Not only could it save money, but it also spares you the hassle of signing up for a new plan every time you have to travel out of the country.
Allianz offers four annual plans. The cheapest plan, AllTrips Basic (which provides $20,000 in medical but no trip cancellation insurance), is ideal for students studying abroad or for people taking extended backpacking trips. The AllTrips Premier Plan, on the other hand, extends its medical coverage to $50,000, in addition to $2,000 for trip cancellation.
Useful mobile app
Allianzwas the only company we tested that has an app. In theory, this would be a one-stop-shop for all your travel info while you’re on your trip — double-check your policy details, keep track of your flight and hotel reservations, and find the nearest hospital in case of an emergency.
We found it to be perfectly functional and intuitive on our test runs, though it got some less-than-stellar reviews from other customers, earning 2.4 stars on the App Store and 2.4 on Google Play. Most users had trouble even creating an account and logging in, although Allianz seems to have addressed a lot of these bugs in recent months.
Allianz requires that a trip be postponed for three or more hours (and for a covered reason) before trip delay benefits will kick in. This is a relatively lenient policy, compared to some companies that require a much longer delay time. Trawick International, for example, states that your flight must be delayed for a full 12 hours before it pays for things like food and hotel rooms. Allianz is a little bit more generous in a pinch.
Not flexible for preexisting conditions
Before you make a purchase, you should be aware of Allianz’s preexisting conditions policy. Like nearly every travel insurance company, Allianz has a general exclusion for preexisting conditions, so losses that result from a preexisting condition won’t be covered without a waiver.
Allianz does include a waiver, but you’ll have to buy your policy within 14 days of the first payment for your trip. Our travel experts recommended doing it all at once — as soon as you’re ready to book a flight or hotel, you should also be prepared to purchase a travel insurance policy.
No reimbursement for lost passports
Although Allianz accepts lost or stolen passports as an approved reason for canceling your trip, the company won’t reimburse you for the costs of replacing them. It does provide detailed instructions on how you can replace them, but this is basically free information you can get anywhere without paying for a policy.
We found it unusual that didn’t reimburse for lost passports — almost every other major travel insurance provider did — but it wasn’t a make-or-break feature for us.
Unimpressive customer service
Unfortunately, our customer service experiences with Allianz were not exceptional. We found hold times to be longer than average, and when we were finally connected with a rep, they didn’t offer much information beyond what was listed on the company’s website. No one was rude or unprofessional, but we could see this going from slightly annoying to majorly frustrating if we had to deal with a claim disagreement.
Lacks common add-ons
We were also disappointed with the company’s lack of available add-ons. While most companies offer a “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade, with Allianz, you’re stuck with its standard trip cancellation policy. This means you’ll only get your money back if you’re canceling for an approved reason like illness or severe weather — and since getting reimbursed often involves submitting thorough documentation, “Cancel for Any Reason” is a useful feature for those who want a completely worry-free policy.
Allianz Global Assistance vs. John Hancock
If you’re not taking a long trip or traveling with kids, certain perks from Allianz Global Assistance might not hold as much sway over you. For nearly every other type of trip, we preferred John Hancock. While Allianz was one of our most mediocre customer service experiences, John Hancock’s was the best. All of our test calls were answered immediately, and its reps knew the policies inside and out, patiently answering all of our hypothetical questions.
John Hancock also has much more generous coverages than Allianz. For example, its cheapest plan starts with $50,000 in medical, an amount that’s only available with Allianz Global Assistance’s most expensive plans. John Hancock also includes on optional “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade on all of its plans — a nice feature for those looking for 100% insurance.
Allianz Global Assistance vs. Travelex
Because Travelex also covers kids under age 18 for free, families are likely to find themselves shopping between the two companies. Travelex only covers trips up to 180 days in length (and anything over 30 days will earn an additional $8 per day charge), but if your family’s trip is under that time period, we recommend going with Travelex. Its coverage limits are much more customizable than Allianz Global Assistance’s.
Travelex also makes it easy to beef up your medical or evacuation coverage on any of its plans, whereas Allianz doesn’t allow any wiggle room. Like John Hancock, Travelex also offers a “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade on all of its plans. Our customer service experience was much more positive with Travelex than with Allianz, as well — our phone calls were answered almost immediately, and its reps were extremely knowledgeable about plan details.
Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance FAQ
Does Allianz offer cruise insurance?
Yes, you can get cruise insurance through Allianz Global Assistance. “Many cruise passengers don’t realize that when traveling outside the U.S., they’re not covered by their medical insurance policy or Medicare,” says travel journalist David Yeskel. “That’s why adding this coverage — along with emergency evacuation coverage — is critical. And I wouldn’t advise buying the coverage the cruise lines offer. Instead, I recommend a third-party company like TravelGuard or Allianz.”
Does Allianz Global Assistance offer the cheapest travel insurance?
That depends on a number of factors, including who you’ll be traveling with, where you’re going, and what you’re looking for. You should shop for travel insurance based on your needs and not necessarily the price — more coverage in baggage loss and emergency medical raises premiums, but it’s also important. However, you can also compare plans with different providers to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage for what you’re paying.
“Inspect your policy; don’t purchase it because it’s the cheapest,” says Jeff Miller of Our Passion for Travel. “Cheap policies can ‘get you by.’ And in certain circumstances, that might be fine. But if you’re traveling somewhere with vastly different medical coverage than where you’re from, or being out of pocket to cover expenses is going to throw your trip into disarray, think about a more comprehensive insurance policy.”
Can I get away with just having personal insurance for travel?
We wouldn’t recommend going on a trip with personal insurance alone, and neither would our experts. In fact, countries outside of the U.S. are not obligated to accept your personal insurance. Even if the hospital does accept it, it could still inconvenience you. “Many hospitals outside the U.S., if you do not have travel insurance and want to use your own personal insurance, will require you to pay them and, then, file with your insurance company upon returning home,” says Luxury Travel Adviser Kyle Bruening. “If you have travel insurance, then the travel insurance company will negotiate for you and typically the hospital will accept your travel insurance.”
The Bottom Line
With plans up to one year in length, Allianz Global Assistance is best for students studying abroad, backpackers, or business travelers looking to take advantage of its unlimited annual plans. And while we appreciated that Allianz Global Assistance covers kids age 17 and under for free on certain plans, we’d recommend comparing quotes with Travelex if this is the main appeal for you and your family.