Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance Review
Our Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance Review
Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 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 Global Assistance makes a strong claim: that it “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 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance’s claim that it covers “every kind of trip.”
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 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 Global Assistance’s pre-existing conditions policy. Like nearly every travel insurance company, Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 the company's lack of available add-ons. While most companies offer a “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade, with Allianz Global Assistance, 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.
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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 wide variety of trips.
Allianz Global Assistance 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.
Annual plans available
Frequent travelers will want to take advantage of Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance offers four different 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 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance seems to have addressed a lot of these bugs in recent months.
Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance is a little bit more generous in a pinch.
No reimbursement for lost passports
Although Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance services before your trip has even started?
Unimpressive customer service
Unfortunately, our customer service experiences with Allianz Global Assistance 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.
Allianz Global Assistance vs. The Competition
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 Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance. For example, its cheapest plan starts with $50K 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 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 Global Assistance’s.
Travelex also makes it easy to beef up your medical or evacuation coverage on any of its plans, whereas Allianz Global Assistance 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 Global Assistance, as well — our phone calls were answered almost immediately, and its reps were extremely knowledgeable about every plans’ details.