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International travel insurance: compare and pick the best option

If you are planning to get an international travel insurance, but you don't know what to choose, read this article and find the best option!

Stefania S.

December 11, 2023

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If you are looking for international travel insurance and are unsure what to choose, keep reading this post. We will help you solve the most frequently asked questions about the best insurance to travel abroad. We will also give you special recommendations to help you make the best choice.

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What is international travel insurance?

International travel insurance is a coverage policy that protects you against unexpected situations that can happen at any time while traveling abroad.

Some of these situations are medical emergencies, lost luggage, trip cancellation, legal problems, and general issues related to your health, safety, and finances. So when traveling, it’s better to stay protected by having access to proper travel insurance.

Why do you need international travel insurance?

The main reason why you need international travel insurance is to help your peace of mind. Anticipating risk situations is the best decision to have the support you need in case of any emergency or unexpected problem.

Why you should get a travel insurance
Why is travel insurance necessary? Source: Freepik.

Also, in countries such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Paraguay, Israel, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Greece, Spain, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Bulgaria, and Denmark (among others), travel insurance is a mandatory requirement to enter the country, so this choice will be even more important.

Also, travel insurance is a main requirement for people who are traveling as Digital Nomads. Therefore, it’s better to stay protected whether you are traveling to meet a country or if you are traveling to work remotely while meeting a country.

What should international travel insurance include?

International travel insurance must meet basic requirements, including medical coverage; medical repatriation in case of emergency or death; economic compensation in case of trip cancellation; remuneration in case of damage, theft, or loss of luggage; and legal assistance to name a few examples.

Travel with peace of mind with a traveling insurance
Travel with peace of mind with travel insurance.

Important coverage of travel insurance

According to the basic aspects that we mentioned before, international travel insurance must include:

  • Medical assistance: Covers medical, hospital, and surgical expenses in case of emergency or accident.
  • Flight delay or cancellation: Compensation for flight delay or cancellation.
  • Loss of luggage: Economic compensation in case of damage, theft, or loss of luggage.
  • Civil liability: Legal protection and financial coverage in case of damage to third parties.
  • Legal assistance: For situations requiring legal advice or assistance in another country.
  • Repatriation: Transportation of sick or deceased people to their country of origin or residence.

Special travel insurance coverage

After considering the basic aspects, you can consider getting additional insurance coverage, such as:

  • Accompaniment of relatives: Coverage for the stay of a companion in the hospital.
  • Adventure activities or extreme sports: Specialized medical care, transfers, and financial compensation, if your trip includes risky activities.
  • Coverage for COVID-19: Expenses for illness, medical emergencies and repatriation.

All these benefits and coverages may vary depending on the insurer you choose, the type of policy you purchase, and your budget.

How to choose the best international travel insurance?

The best international travel insurance is the one that offers you a good balance between the coverage you need abroad, price and rates, and the guarantees offered by the insurance company.

So, to check these three factors, you will need to look for various alternatives, then review the details of each proposal; and finally, make comparisons to determine which is the most convenient option for your trip before choosing cheap insurance.

Step 1: Make a list of your travel needs

Here, you must include the destination country, the days of travel, define if you will travel alone or with someone, if so, the ages of those traveling with you, and if they have pre-existing medical conditions.

Also, you should take into consideration the activities you plan to do in the available budget. With this information, you will be able to identify the needs of the trip and the coverage that your international travel insurance should include.

Step 2: Look for different options

Currently, the main options on the market come with Allianz Travel, Travel Guard, and Aviva insurance for travelers. But, of course, people will find multiple travel insurance on the internet, so we recommend you choose at least three proposals to compare their characteristics, prices, and benefits.

It’s also important to check out opinions from other travelers regarding their experiences with these companies. The better the opinions are, the easier it will be for travelers to choose which insurance to take.

Step 3: Know the limits of coverage and possible exclusions

The particularities of travel insurance are the coverage limits and possible exclusions of each policy.

This is where you will know which international travel insurance is best for you, so you should review each company’s terms and conditions before making any decision.

Step 4: Compare and choose

Once you get all the information we mentioned before, you can choose the option that best suits your needs. You may also have several questions, so it is best to contact the customer service team of the insurance company you chose to help you solve them on time.

How much does basic international travel insurance cost?

Now that you know how much international travel insurance can cost, we have listed some proposals from some of the best-known insurance companies in countries such as the USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Budget – Allianz Travel insurance

  • Type of trip: Vacation
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Destination country: England/ Australia
  • One trip basic: $94 / traveler

What does Allianz travel insurance include?

Mandatory coverageBasic plan limit
Emergency medical and dental careUp to $10,000 (Dental care maximum $500)
Emergency transportation Up to $50. 000
Baggage loss/damageUp to $500
Trip interruption or cancellation Up to $2.500
Costs and associated services. Source: Allianz Travel

Advantages of Allianz Travel insurance

  • Medical Assistance and Transportation
  • Lost luggage and delay
  • Trip delay, cancellation, or interruption
  • 24-hr Hotline Assitance
  • Worldwide support

Budget – Travel Guard travel insurance

  • Type of trip: Vacation
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Destination country: Australia/ United Kingdom
  • Essential rate: $62 / traveler

What does Travel Guard travel insurance include?

Mandatory coverageBasic plan limit
Medical Expenses Up to $15,000 ($500 Dental)
Emergency evacuation Up to $150.000
Baggage coverage for lost, stolen or damagedUp to $750
Accidental Death and DismembermentUp to $30,000
Costs and associated services. Source: Travel Guard

Advantages of Travel Guard travel insurance

  • Luggage, Property, and Travel Documents
  • Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay
  • Travel Medical Coverage and Care
  • Travel Assistance Services
  • Optional car Rental

Budget – Aviva travel insurance

  • Type of trip: Vacation
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Destination country: USA
  • Single trip cover: $75 / passenger

What does Aviva travel insurance include?

Mandatory coverageBasic plan limit
Emergency medical treatmentUp to £10 million (with a £100 excess per person)
Lost or stolen passportUp to £750
Baggage coverUp to £1,500
Legal expensesUp to £50,000
Costs and associated services. Source: Aviva

Advantages of Aviva travel insurance

  • 24-hour helpline
  • Replacement of essential items if baggage is delayed more than 12 hours.
  • Missed international departure coverage
  • Unrecoverable travel and accommodation costs if you have to cancel or abandon your trip
  • You can pay and register through the website.
  • Other optional coverages could be included.

How to contact international travel insurance?

Today, many insurance companies let you contract international travel insurance from their website. You just need to choose the best insurance company for your trip, answer the questions, and fill in the fields requested on the website:

  • Trip type.
  • Select the country of residence.
  • Destination Country.
  • Start and end date of the trip.
  • Number of travelers.
  • Click calculate the price.
  • Option to compare different offers.
  • Click on the “hire” button.
  • Follow the online purchase process.
  • Fill in your personal information.
  • Enter the payment method.
  • And that’s it!

You will immediately receive an email with the details of your new international travel insurance. It includes detailed information with all the coverage and service channels to receive assistance anytime.

You may be interested in the best apps to travel around the world.

Recommendations for choosing a good travel insurance

Suppose you want to travel with peace of mind. In that case, it is very important to plan your trip beforehand because this way, you make sure you buy the tickets on time, book accommodation, take your travel backpack with what you need, and prepare your travel documents and other important matters such as finding an eSIM with mobile data to get internet and contract the best international travel insurance.

So, to make a great choice, follow the four steps we mentioned. But also, make sure you don’t get cheap travel insurance with excess or in exchange for high out-of-pocket and deductible amounts because, in the end, you’ll be paying for the unexpected bills yourself.

On the other hand, choose an insurance that adapts 100% to your travel needs. Each traveler is different, and it is not the same to take out a policy for temporary trips than a long trip, as is the case with backpackers or digital nomads.

Finally, consider policies that include early cancellations because, as you know, there are unexpected situations that force you to cancel your travel plans at any time. That way, you’ll receive a reimbursement for lost airfare and reservations.

Frequent questions about international travel insurance

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Travel insurance is mandatory in countries such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Paraguay, Israel, Holland, Hungary, France, Greece, Spain, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Bulgaria, Denmark, and others.

What is travel insurance with excess?

Travel insurance with excess refers to the amount that the insured must pay in case of using the coverage included in the policy.

What is the difference between travel insurance and travel assistance?

The travel insurance is purchased before traveling and guarantees the reimbursement of the money that the person spent to receive medical or legal assistance, occasionally to the limits established in the contract. Travel assistance is a service that supports the travelers when they need it.