The Best International Travel Insurance
- January 12, 2018 - We’ve updated this review to reflect changes in coverage amounts for each of our top picks. Travelex has lowered its coverage on trip delays and missed connections from $1,000 to $750, while HTH has introduced a plan for those without primary insurance. In the next month, we’ll be taking a fresh look at international travel insurance, so stay tuned for more updates.
The Best International Travel Insurance
Whether you’re teaching English abroad for a year or just planning a weekend trip to Canada, insurance is as essential as a passport for international travel. We were looking for comprehensive coverage in all the critical areas: trip cancellation, lost baggage, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and 24/7 worldwide assistance. In every case, TravelSafe outshined its competition, providing more coverage than any other company we saw. However, if you’re traveling with your family, we recommend the Travelex Select Plan, the only policy we saw that includes kids under 18 for free. And for those who plan on being out of the country long-term, HTH offers two special medical-only plans that can be extended indefinitely.
We were seriously impressed with the level of coverage TravelSafe provides in its Classic plan. It has everything we’d expect out of a solid international travel insurance policy, but it goes above and beyond in the amounts that are covered. You get reimbursed for 100% of the trip cost, up to $2,500 if you miss your connection, up to $2,500 for lost or damaged baggage, and $100,000 in emergency medical and dental expenses. For comparison, Travelex only goes up to $750 for a missed connection, $1,000 for lost or damaged baggage, and $50,000 for emergency medical expenses in its top plan.
And with TravelSafe’s 24-hour travel assistance services, accessing those benefits is incredibly simple. We also loved how it incorporated perks like interpretation assistance and restaurant or shopping recommendations. No matter what your trip involves, you can feel confident that TravelSafe will have you covered.
Best for Families
If you’re traveling with family, consider Travelex. The Travelex Select Plan is the only plan that covers kids under 18 for free. It offers everything we wanted in an international travel insurance policy: competitive rates, a broad range of coverage, and customizable plans that allow you to tailor your policy to your specific trip’s demands. (Because a weekend in Cabo doesn’t require the same coverage as a trek through the Andes.) It provides 100% reimbursement if you have to cancel your trip, up to $750 for a missed connection, and up to $50,000 for medical expenses.
With a Travelex plan, you also have access to a 24/7 Travel Assistance and Concierge Service if you need immediate assistance for things like medical emergencies and lost or stolen luggage. And that wasn’t just a marketing gimmick; we were extremely impressed by Travelex’s customer service. Our email was answered within four hours, and it took less than a minute to get through on the phone. The rep we spoke to was helpful, courteous, and didn’t ask us once for personal data, which was a nice change of pace.
Best for Long-Term Travelers
In addition to its more traditional plans, HTH Travel Insurance offers two special medical-only plans for long-term international travelers. While most international travel insurance plans only cover up to a year, HTH’s plans don’t have any time limit, a perfect choice for expatriates or students studying abroad. We also loved the flexibility offered in these plans: there are options for four different deductible amounts, so you can choose the coverage that makes sense for your trip. If you want the insurance purely for emergencies, go with a higher deductible; if you’d rather pay more monthly for a zero deductible plan, HTH has a policy for that, too. And if you need travel insurance coverage for a shorter trip, HTH has three more conventional trip-protection plans that cover all the essentials like trip cancellation, lost baggage, flight delays, and missed connections.
One of the things that really impressed us about HTH was its customer service. It offers 24/7 worldwide travel services like interpretation assistance and help with emergency cash transfers. While these weren’t must-haves for us in an international travel insurance policy, we really appreciated the extra peace of mind they provided.