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Best Travel Health Insurance in 2016

Caryn Anderson

Travel health insurance is often overlooked; but if you need it, you’ll be glad to have it. Before you start shopping around for travel health insurance, check with your existing health insurer to see what kind of coverage you already have. Some of the big-name insurers have a worldwide network, but other insurance companies, such as Medicare, don’t provide international coverage. Read on to learn more about some of the top specialty insurers and the details you should consider when you’re comparing travel health insurance policies.

Travel Insurance Reviews

Some of the better travel insurance policies include medical benefits paid directly to hospitals, doctors and facilities. They also include extras such as medical evacuation, which covers the cost of transporting you to receive treatment in a medical emergency, and repatriation of remains, which means that the insurance carrier handles all of the arrangements for transporting your body home in the event of your death. This benefit typically includes paying for embalming, transportation containers and shipping costs.

Travel insurance companies offer a multitude of options. Whether you’re looking for cheap travel insurance with bare-bones coverage or comprehensive options that provide maximum protection, our picks for the top travel insurance companies in 2016 deliver the benefits you need.

Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services caters to travelers who are looking for comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and health insurance. Medical coverage with Travelex provides reimbursement for medical expenses and evacuation to the nearest hospital or health facility to get you the care you need while traveling. Travelex offers a pre-existing condition waiver that provides coverage for recent conditions if you buy your insurance plan within 14 to 30 days of the first trip deposit.

This insurance carrier features several plans for leisure or business travel, with varying levels of coverage depending on the plan. Some of the key benefits include coverage for:

  • Trip cancellations for 100% of the cost of the trip
  • Trip interruptions for 100% to 150% of the trip’s cost
  • Trip delays for $500 to $1,000
  • Baggage delays
  • Medical expense benefits ranging from $15,000 to $100,000
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation of remains for $100,000 to $1 million

Customize the coverage to meet your needs. If you’re traveling with children under the age of 21, then they are covered under your plan at no extra cost.

HTH Travel Insurance

HTH Travel Insurance is a top choice if you want to shop a large menu of flexible options. The insurer offers several policies for short-term and long-term travel, including single-trip plans and multi-trip plans for the frequent traveler. Choose from economy options that cost less and don’t require having a regular health plan; or browse the preferred options, which require having a health plan but provide more coverage. Travelers can choose from several medical limits and deductibles to customize their coverage.

For example, with the single-trip preferred option, travelers choose their maximum benefit amount, which ranges from $50,000 to $1 million, and deductibles ranging from $0 to $500. Once the deductible is met, this plan pays 100% of:

  • Professional services, including surgery, radiation therapy, X-rays, labs and anesthesia
  • Office visits
  • Inpatient hospital services
  • Services at an ambulatory surgery center
  • Prescription medications
  • Dental care after an injury up to $250 per tooth or $500 per trip

The plan also offers certain benefits that aren’t subject to meeting the plan’s deductible. This includes:

  • Medical evacuations up to $500,000
  • Repatriation of remains up to $25,000
  • Accidental death and dismemberment: $50,000
  • Bedside visits up to $1,500

MH Ross

MH Ross earned a spot on this list thanks to the variety of available price points it offers and its coverage for dental expenses and pre-existing medical conditions. This insurer’s Advantage Series of individual plans offer four levels of protection, including two with low rates for children and a budget-friendly plan for travelers age 65 or younger. Unlike HTH Travel Insurance, these travel health plans aren’t health-only. MH Ross also covers other travel situations. For example,

  • Trip cancellation: Reimbursement for the cost of the trip
  • Trip interruption: 125% to 200% of the trip cost
  • Missed connections: Reimbursement of $1,000 to $1,500
  • Accident and sickness medical expense coverage of $50,000 to $250,000
  • Emergency dental expenses of $750
  • Emergency medical evacuation and return of remains coverage for $500,000
  • Non-medical emergency evacuation coverage of $25,000
  • 24-hour medical expense and emergency assistance coverage during the trip of $25,000

MH Ross travel insurance also covers your baggage and personal belongings with reimbursement amounts ranging from $1,500 to $2,000. To qualify for coverage for a pre-existing condition, you must buy your insurance plan within 15 days of making the first deposit on your trip.

CSA Travel Protection

CSA provides stellar customer service, 24/7 access to an emergency assistance hotline, in-house claims processing and a 10-day period to review the insurance plan and cancel it for a full refund. CSA Travel Insurance is a great option for travelers with young children. The company makes sure children return home safely if parents are hospitalized while traveling. There are two plans, each of which covers more than just health insurance. Benefits include:

  • Trip cancellation for 100% of the cost of the trip
  • Trip interruption for 150% of the trip cost
  • Travel delay of $150 per person and up to $1,000 per person or $10,000 per trip
  • Baggage coverage for $1,000 to $1,500 per person
  • Medical and dental coverage of $50,000 to $250,000 per person
  • Emergency assistance and transportation of $250,000 to $1 million

Both plans also include access to CSA’s On-Demand Medical Care Services with no out-of-pocket costs for up to $1,000. Coverage for pre-existing conditions is only available with the Luxe Plan.

International Travel Insurance

Whether you’re booking your international trip online or through a travel agent, expect to be asked whether you want to buy optional travel insurance. This specialized coverage offers protection from the unexpected so that you can concentrate on enjoying your trip with less worry. Travel insurance companies offer varying plans with coverage amounts ranging from basic reimbursements to optimal peace of mind, with many policies providing $50,000 to $1 million in medical coverage.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Nearly $2 billion of travel insurance is sold every year, but many travelers still aren’t sure if it’s actually necessary. Travel insurance plans are designed to cover the what-ifs that could derail even the most carefully planned trips. Examples include:

  • Having to cancel your trip due to illness or inclement weather
  • Lost or stolen belongings
  • Accidents while traveling abroad
  • Critical illness that requires medical care

Most travel insurance plans cover unexpected expenses such as lost baggage or trip delays that require hotel stays. They also help you recoup the cost of your trip if you have to cancel it. Many plans include medical coverage, but a few companies sell travel health insurance a la carte for travelers who only need medical.

How to Buy Travel Insurance

Before you buy travel insurance, check with your homeowners, automobile and health insurance providers to figure out how much protection you might have built into your existing policies. In some cases, your credit card might offer some protection from identity theft, lost belongings and other hazards.

When it comes to medical coverage, travelers have to walk a thin line. Even if your existing health insurance provider offers global coverage, you should call to verify that international claims qualify under the terms of your plan. Some policies, including Medicare, don’t offer any coverage for medical care, accidents or emergencies that happen while you’re traveling outside of the country. In most cases, even if your plan has global coverage, your claim might be denied unless you go to an in-network facility. This is where travel health insurance comes in handy.

Whatever you decide about your insurance needs, shop around before you decide on a policy. Get quotes from at least two or three travel insurance companies to find the one with the most competitive rates and the terms that suit your needs.

Travel Trailer Insurance

In some cases, you don’t have to be traveling internationally to require specialized coverage. Hauling a travel trailer is a perfect example. Whether you use your travel trailer to carry cargo or to serve as your living quarters during a trip, any accidents that happen along the way could add up to staggering costs. Travel trailer insurance commonly provides:

  • Liability coverage: This pays for any injury to others or property damage resulting from an accident.
  • Collision coverage: This pays to repair your travel trailer in the event of an accident while driving or towing the trailer.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This provides reimbursement for damage from a non-collision accident, such as fire or falling debris. It also helps you replace your trailer if it’s stolen.

Like any other type of insurance, you should shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. Trailer protection is offered through many big-name insurers, including the following.

  • Nationwide provides liability, collision and comprehensive in addition to coverage against uninsured or underinsured motorists, roadside assistance and medical payments coverage, which pays medical costs for you or your passengers as a result of injuries sustained in an accident.
  • Esurance offers a simple, online-only process for everything from getting a quote to finalizing your policy or filing claims. In addition to liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, you can insure the contents of your trailer, get protection from uninsured motorists or opt for emergency roadside assistance.
  • Known for low prices, Geico offers several suggestions for getting the lowest rates for your travel trailer. For example, Geico encourages you to properly store your trailer, increase your deductible and maintain a safe driving record.

You can also research options available through smaller insurers that specialize in travel trailer insurance, including Blue Sky and RV America.

Blue Sky

Blue Sky has an A+ rating for financial strength from Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best. It offers some innovative coverage options, such as:

  • Total loss replacement, which allows you to choose the color, manufacturer and floor plan of your replacement trailer in the event of a total loss after an accident.
  • Deductible buyback coverage, which reduces your deductible to zero when you replace your vehicle after a total loss.
  • Depreciation free RV insurance, which provides total loss replacement in addition to actual replacement cost coverage instead of the cash value.

RV America

RV America specializes in travel trailers, watercraft, motorcycles, collector cars and mobile homes. It insures a variety of travel trailers, including vintage trailers, fifth wheels and everything in between. RV America also covers your tow vehicle and any items that you haul inside or along with your travel trailer. Coverage options include:

  • Liability
  • Collision
  • Total loss replacement
  • Personal items replacement with $2,000+ in coverage
  • Fire, flood and theft
  • 24/7 roadside assistance with benefits such as towing, fuel delivery and fixing flat tires and battery failures

Cruise Travel Insurance

A large portion of those who opt for travel insurance are people going on cruises. This is because of the relatively high price of cruise travel and the number of risks associated with a cruise. Examples include:

  • Missing the cruise departure: Whether bad weather delays your flight or an accident happens while you’re driving to the port, there are any number of reasons that you could miss the boat.
  • Delayed or missing luggage: Just like when you fly, luggage problems can happen while you’re on a cruise.
  • Medical emergencies: No one plans on getting sick, but medical emergencies at sea are relatively common due to accidents and the possibility of quickly spreading illness.

Getting cruise insurance is particularly important if you book an expensive cruise, you’re traveling with children, you’re a senior citizen or if you simply don’t want the hassle of solving potentially expensive travel problems. For the ideal coverage, look for a policy that includes:

  • Coverage for canceling (for any reason) to recoup your pre-paid travel expenses
  • Missed connections because of unforeseen events such as labor strikes and adverse weather
  • Medical coverage for emergency dental and health care
  • Evacuation coverage to pay for the expense of your transportation costs to get treatment or returning your remains home
  • Worldwide travel assistance services that can help you if you get lost
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved.
Published September 6, 2016
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