Allianz Travel Insurance Review
Our Allianz Travel Insurance Review
Allianz provides decent travel insurance options for most consumers, but where it really excels is in two specific types of coverage: travelers going on longer trips and 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 under 18. As long as they’re accompanied by a parent or grandparent, they’re included on the plan for free. That’s a substantial savings opportunity for families — one we only saw matched by Travelex. Ultimately, we’d recommend going with Travelex for its higher coverage limits, but it’s worth comparing quotes between the two if you’re traveling with your family.
Allianz’s claim is a big one: The company “offers travel insurance plans for every kind of trip, from quick getaways to dream international vacations.” And with access to 24/7 support from travel insurance experts, Allianz promises to help you through any unpredictable situation that comes up while you’re away.
Is it true?
It’s true that Allianz 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 in which you pay 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 stark contrast to companies like IMG, which let you choose coverage limits from anywhere between $50K and $2 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.”
Allianz 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 under 18 are covered for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent. We liked Travelex better for families — its policies also includes 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.
Before you make a purchase, you should also be aware of Allianz’s pre-existing conditions policy. Like nearly every travel insurance company, Allianz has a general exclusion for pre-existing conditions, so losses that result from a pre-existing 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.
We were also disappointed with Allianz'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.
That means you’ll only get your money back if you’re canceling for an approved reason like illness or severe weather. But 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.
A Closer Look at Features
*$50K for accidents, $50K for illness
Our Deep Dive
There’s a lot of fine print involved when it comes to travel insurance. The smaller details can make or break a plan for a lot of people, so we’ve highlighted some of the important features you should consider before making a purchase.
Few plan restrictions
Allianz places very few restrictions on what types of trips or travelers it will cover. While a lot of 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 all types of trips.
Allianz also provides medical coverage to travelers regardless of their age. This is relatively unusual, with some companies limiting coverage to customers who are 65 years old or younger.
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 different annual plans. The cheapest plan is the AllTrips Basic (which provides $20,000 in medical, but no trip cancellation insurance) is ideal for students studying abroad or extended backpacking trips. At the higher end, the AllTrips Premier Plan extends its medical coverage to $50,000, in addition to $2,000 for trip cancellation.
Useful mobile app
Surprisingly, Allianz was 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, but it got some less-than-stellar reviews from other customers, earning 2.9 stars on the App Store and 2.6 in 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.
While this isn’t the most important aspect of a travel insurance plan, Allianz does require longer-than-average delay times before these benefits kick in. At six hours, it was the lengthiest requirement of any of our top picks, but not as bad as others.
Trawick International, for example, requires that your flight be delayed for a full 12 hours before it pays for things like food and a hotel room. We didn’t think of this as a dealbreaker for Allianz, but it’s worth considering if you’re on the fence between two companies.
No reimbursement for lost passports
Although Allianz accepts lost or stolen passports as an approved reason for cancelling your trip, the company won’t reimburse you for the costs of replacing them. It does provide detailed instructions on how you can replace it, 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.
10 days for a refund
One feature that Allianz likes to tout in its marketing is that you have ten days from the time you purchase your policy to request a refund (as long as you haven't started your trip or initiated a claim yet). While there’s certainly no downside to this, we didn’t find it to be especially useful, either. Why would you be dissatisfied with Allianz’s service before your trip has even started?
Poor customer service
Unfortunately, our phone experience with Allianz’s customer service was one of the worst in our tests. We were placed on hold for about five minutes when we called, and when we were finally connected with someone, they didn’t have much information beyond what was listed on our plan’s website page. 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.
Allianz vs. The Competition
Allianz vs. John Hancock
If you’re not taking a long trip or traveling with kids, Allianz’s unique perks 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 $50K in medical, an amount that’s only available with Allianz’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 vs. Travelex
Because Travelex also covers kids under 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/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’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 Allianz, as well — our phone calls were answered almost immediately, and its reps were extremely knowledgeable about every plans’ details.