Going on a trip soon and trying to figure out what travel insurance is and which one might be the best for you? I get it, friend. We’ve been there! With so many different travel insurances out on the market, it can be hard selecting the best travel insurance for you. Moreover, you may be wondering if travel insurance is even worth getting for your trip! But here’s the thing, people spend thousands of dollars on vacations so they can have a great time. This means booking flights, hotels, and even luggage. But have you thought about what happens if your flight gets canceled or delayed? Have you thought about what would happen if the airport lost your luggage? That’s where travel insurance comes in.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is designed to protect your travel investment, covering you financially if an emergency or travel mishap happens while you’re traveling. Travel insurances cover things like emergency medical, trip delay and cancelation, and lost baggage. When people travel, they invest a lot of money in hotels, flights, and even luggage. Travel insurance is designed to protect that investment so you don’t lose out on your money if an emergency happens.
Why is Travel Insurance Important?
I’m going to be honest with you. For the first 6 months of traveling full-time, we didn’t carry travel insurance at all. During that time we climbed to the summit of Mt. Fuji, rode motorbikes like psychos through Thailand, and even went cliff jumping at a waterfall. By the grace of everything good in the universe, nothing happened to us. But when we met with some old friends for dinner, they scared the fear of God into us.
They told us a story of them doing a very tame hike in Sri Lanka when one of them split their toe open on a rock (eww). That insignificant injury got infected and ended up costing them almost $2,000. Their travel insurance at the time covered every single penny of that. Had they not had travel insurance, that unexpected injury would have cost them the rest of their trip. That’s why travel insurance is important. It protects you from the unexpected.
And then this happened…
While my husband and I were doing a motorbike trek in Northern Vietnam, we got stuck in a horrific mudslide that killed 8 people and left almost a whole village homeless. To escape from being stuck in the disaster, we had to lose out on a 2-night hotel stay we had already paid for, break our rented motorbikes to try to evacuate through the flooding, and then risk our lives going through a torrential downpour while boulders were flying off the mountain and on to the road. During this time we were in between travel insurance policies and had to lose out on the money we had paid for the hotel, find new accommodations, and get our bikes repaired all out of pocket. And THANK GOODNESS we didn’t get injured on the dangerous road, or we don’t know where we would be today.
Is Travel Insurance Worth Getting?
In short, yes. Like I mentioned, travel insurance protects you from the unexpected. It’s by no means a requirement for your trip, but it can protect the investment you’ve made in your vacation. If you have travel insurance through your credit card, and you’re taking a short beach holiday, you may not need additional insurance.
However, if you spent the last 2 years saving $5,000 to take a month-long holiday, you don’t want to lose $500 in a hotel stay just because your flight was canceled. At the end of the day, travel insurance is worth getting if you want:
- Peace of mind
- To be protected if you get hurt
- To be covered if something gets stolen or your flight gets delayed
How much Travel Insurance Do I Need?
Choosing the best travel insurance for you requires you to know the kind of traveler you are. If you are a laid-back traveler that spends all of their time on a beach, you’ll need less coverage than an advanced surfer looking for the best beach breaks. Travel insurance costs also vary based on the locations you’re planning to visit, and how long you’re traveling for. If you’re planning a month-long trip, versus a one week trip, you’ll need more coverage.
At a minimum, here’s the amount of travel insurance coverage we get:
- 50,000 Emergency Medical Coverage
- $2000 of Trip Interruption/ Cancellation/ Delay
- $1,000 of Lost/Damaged Baggage
If you get travel insurance that covers these three minimums, you should be in pretty good shape, though no guarantees!
Choosing the Best Travel Insurance for You
Because there are so many different travel insurances out there, it can be difficult to select the best travel insurance for you. At the end of the day, the best travel insurance company is going to be the one that covers what’s important to you.
The “best” travel insurance does necessarily mean the most expensive, and the most expensive may be way more than what you actually need. Below, I’m going to cover the three best travel insurances that we love the most for three different types of travelers.
The Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads
People who are location independent fall between the cracks, without proper access to insurance or national safety nets. SafetyWing is determined to change that through their comprehensive travel medical insurance designed by nomads for nomads.
To solve this, they are building a global social safety net tailored to the needs of online freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote companies. What really sets SafetyWing apart is their commitment to not just providing travel insurance, but protecting nomads medically as they travel around the world. So long as you’re traveling outside of your home country, SafetyWing overs great, reliable coverage for digital nomads and long-term travelers.
Their plans include:
Travel medical – Access a qualified global network of hospitals and doctors for unexpected medical problems and accidents. Includes coverage for: Doctors, Hospitals, Emergency medical evacuation.
Travel – Includes coverage for: Travel delay, Lost checked luggage, Emergency response & natural disasters, Personal liability.
Why we love SafetyWing & Think it’s the Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads
They Offer Great Value for the Money
At only $37 per 4 weeks, SafetyWing gives a worldwide travel medical coverage with maximum coverage of $250,000. This is 1/3rd price compared to the biggest competitor for similar coverage. SafetyWing also allows you to purchase their travel medical insurance while on the road, and with no specific start and end dates. This is an amazing benefit for digital nomads who have no earthly idea where they’re even going to be tomorrow.
SafetyWing covers its beneficiaries in 180 countries, with no cap on the duration of travel. This is one thing that other insurances falter on considering most others require you to have an end date. Something we really love about SafetyWing is that it even covers short trips back to your home country. Since we travel full-time as digital nomads, we will often go back home for a couple of weeks during the holidays to visit our families. This means that we forgo our traditional medical insurance since it typically wouldn’t cover us abroad. It’s great peace of mind to know that you’re covered even for the short time that you spend back home.
It offers great coverage for both Medical and Travel
- Offers worldwide coverage as well as limited home country coverage (up to 30 days every 3 months, or 15 days if your home country is the US).
- Overall Maximum Limit is 250,000 USD
- There is a 250 USD deductible
- They offer outpatient physical therapy
- Emergency dental
- Emergency eye
- Up to 5,000 USD trip interruption coverage (THIS IS AMAZING!)
- Lost Checked Luggage up to 3,000 USD
- Travel delay up to 2 days 200 USD total
Things that SafetyWing does not cover
- High-Risk adventure activities
- Cancer treatment
- Pre-existing conditions.
The Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers
Allianz Travel Insurance
Allianz Travel Insurance is our tried and true travel insurance for budget backpackers. After a motorbike accident in Thailand reminded us that we were not invincible, we decided that travel insurance was absolutely necessary. At the very least, emergency coverage. That’s actually the fundamental difference between Allianz Travel Insurance and SafetyWing. Allianz focuses on providing coverage only during the times that you really need it, whereas SafetyWing covers doctors around the world.
We recommend Allianz for travelers who want coverage during emergencies but are on a tight budget. This is specifically for travelers that don’t engage in high-risk activities and want the flexibility of long-term travel. Allianz does make you select a start or end date, much like SafetyWing, nor does it make you pick a country that you’re visiting.
Why we Love Allianz and Think it’s the Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers
You Only Pay for the Coverage You Really Need
Something I really love about Allianz Travel Insurance is that you can get a plan for as little $200 for a full year for a couple. This means both Daniel and I are covered in the event of an emergency for a full year no matter where in the world we are. When we first started, we were on a very tight budget and wanted the most basic insurance. Allianz came to the rescue with their basic plan that would at the very least keep us from going broke in the event the unthinkable happened.
Their Top Plan Covers A LOT – More Than I Expected
After a scare we had on year two of our travels, we decided we wanted to upgrade from the most basic plan to their best plan, the AllTrips Premier. This change cost us $500 for the year, and covered lots of random and amazing things! For example: if you are hospitalized in a foreign country, Allianz will pay for a family member to fly out and meet you at your bedside. Other things it covers include:
- Emergency Medical Up to $50,000
- Baggage Delay Up to $2,000
- Trip Cancellation Up to $2,000
- Trip Interruption Up to $2,000
- Baggage Loss/ Damage $2,000
The Allianz TravelSmart App is Amazing
The App for both IOS and Android makes it extremely easy to view your policy, file a claim, and even track your flights! What I love most about the app is that it automatically updates local emergency numbers and embassy numbers based on your location. The app isn’t just for policyholders. So, if you wanted to have something that tracks your flights and updates embassy numbers, it’s free for anyone to download!
What Allianz Does Not Cover
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Cancer treatment
- High-risk adventure activities
The Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travelers
If you’ve done any research regarding travel insurance, you’ve inevitably come across World Nomads. They are regularly touted as the most reliable and reputable travel insurance on the market. At the very least, they have the marketing budget to spread that news everywhere! World Nomads is great for travelers whose trips are shorter than 180 days and are planning on getting into some crazy shenanigans. They specialize in adventure travelers that want to scuba dive, ski, etc…
Why We Love World Nomads for Adventure Travelers
It Offers Incredible Coverage on Short Trips
World Nomads are the best travel insurance provider for single trips and is beyond reliable. The company offers a diverse range of services and protection that suitable for anyone. When you sign up for their policy, you get:
- Transportation and airlifts, for medical emergencies
- Emergency medical and dental expenses
- Trip interruptions, cancellations, and delays
- 24-hour service hotline
- Baggage insurance and protection
We would give you specifics on the coverage, but the fact is it ranges drastically based on the length of your trip, and the countries you’re visiting
It Covers High-Risk Activities other Companies Don’t Cover
World Nomads is amazing insurance for travelers out there that are looking to do high-risk activities during their travels. I’m talking snowboarding, surfing, cliff-jumping, bungee jumping, and any other crazy activities you can imagine. This factor is what really sets World Nomads apart. World Nomads specialize in covering high-risk activities and the types of cover on offer, depending on the country you’re visiting.
World Nomads covers U.S residents for the following activities while on vacation.
- Sea kayaking
- Jet skiing
- Bungee jumping
- Scuba Diving
Their Upgraded Plan: Explorer Activities
- Outdoor rock climbing
There are over 100-activities covered by World Nomads for U.S residents, and this list only scratches the surface of what you can do on vacation, and remain insured for any accidents.
My Credit Card Provides me with Travel Insurance. Do I still need a separate policy?
This depends on you. Credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve offer their users travel insurance. However, it’s important to note that their policies only cover short term trips, and have tons of exclusions. If you’re going on a long-term trip, or plan on doing adventurous activities, relying on credit card travel insurance could leave you with some giant holes of coverage. Check the policy and determine what coverage is right for you.
GIANT MANDATORY DISCLAIMER:
I hate playing legal, verbal jump rope, but here goes. I am not an insurance broker, a medical professional, insurance expert, nor do I know your personal situation. The information in this blog post is based on my own experience, opinions, and research. It should under no circumstance substitute the recommendations of a professional and licensed insurance broker.
Furthermore, I enthusiastically encourage you to read the FULL policy of every insurance plan you look into to find the most up to date and factual information. We are in no way recommending any of these travel insurances over other ones, as we have no idea about your personal situation or what would be best for you. Please do not make a decision based on a blog post you read on the internet- mine or anyone else’s. Only purchase a policy after you’ve read their entire terms, coverage, and conditions and have assessed that it is the best travel insurance for you.
*Second, slightly less giant disclaimer: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links where we earn a small commission if you make a purchase. If you’ve been following our adventures for a while, you’d know that we would never recommend something we don’t use or believe in. We appreciate you supporting our awesome and free content by using our links for purchase! If you ever have an issue with one of our recommendations, please let us know right away by contacting us here!