Updated: August 12, 2020
The best travel insurance plan right now is one that covers coronavirus. Some plans cover it and they don’t cost extra, so you might as well have this vital coverage. After look at 46 travel insurance quotes from 16 providers, I think TravelSafe Classic is the best travel insurance policy if you want the right coverage (including coronavirus), the most coverage, and you want a reputable company.
My Pick for Best Travel Insurance
The TravelSafe Classic plan offers Cancel For Any Reason coverage, coronavirus coverage, far better hurricane coverage, primary medical coverage, and Cancel For Work Reasons is included. TravelSafe is a reputable company with over 1300 positive reviews, and they have sold over 32,000 Classic policies.
Though it isn’t always the cheapest choice, if you want the best coverage for the current travel climate with coronavirus, TravelSafe Classic is the best option. TravelSafe plans include coverage for coronavirus-related cancellations and medical claims, which is something that most companies do not cover. This plan also offers Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which is important because fear of getting sick is not a typical covered reason for cancellation. Finally, with superior hurricane coverage, high coverage limits, and Primary medical the TravelSafe Classic plan stands on top.
Note: Since Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) is an optional upgrade, you need to make sure it is selected when quoting/purchasing. Also, the availability of CFAR is time-sensitive, meaning you need to buy within 21 days of your first payment towards your trip.
Budget Pick: Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
The Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice plan offers a great alternative at a much lower cost. It still meets the main criteria of coronavirus coverage, medical limits, Pre-existing conditions coverage, and their reputation includes over 2500 reviews and more than 10,000 policies sold since 2007. The main drawbacks are less hurricane coverage and secondary vs. primary medical coverage. More below.
- My Pick for Best Travel Insurance
- Budget Pick: Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
- Why you should trust me
- Who this plan is for
- How I picked the best trip insurance
- How I compared plans
- My Pick: TravelSafe Classic
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Budget Pick: Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
- The competition for best travel insurance
- My Pick: TravelSafe Classic
Why you should trust me
I have been writing about travel insurance since 2006 on this website, TravelInsuranceReview.net, where over 1 million visitors a year learn about travel insurance. I am a licensed insurance agent (MA #1813202) in life, health, property, casualty, and travel lines.
In the 14+ years I have operated this review website, I have answered thousands of questions from travelers, made countless recommendations, and sold tens of thousands of policies.
Who this plan is for
If you start looking for a travel insurance plan, get frustrated with all of the choices, and end up saying, “Just tell me the best plan”…this is for you.
TravelSafe Classic is package plan travel insurance, or simply “Trip Insurance”. Trip Insurance is what most people think of when they think of travel insurance. It is usually offered with cruises, airline tickets, all-inclusive packages, and other general travel plans.
Trip Insurance covers cancellations, interruptions, medical emergencies, emergency evacuations, baggage, delay, 24/7 assistance, and more.
Most people buy Trip Insurance to protect their financial investment for their trip. This can include non-refundable airfare, cruise tickets, hotels, tours, or safaris. When you pre-pay for travel and something goes wrong causing you to cancel, you don’t want to lose your money.
This plan is perfect for general travel such as:
- family trips
- retiree travel
- resort package
- Disney vacations
About Cost: This is the best choice if you want the best plan…and cost is not a main deciding factor. This plan is not necessarily the most expensive, but it tends to be higher priced.
That being said, it still averages between 5-9% for general travelers, which is in the typical range for most plans. For senior travelers it tends to be around 15% of the trip cost, which is the middle of the price range. For families, it tends to be on the lower cost side at around 6%.
In short, even though this is a ‘premium’ plan, it is not significantly more expensive.
About “Travel Medical” only insurance: The other main category of travel insurance is called Travel Medical insurance. This type of plan just focuses on emergency medical and evacuation coverage when you leave your home country and your insurance doesn’t travel with you. This coverage is included with Trip Insurance, but some travelers don’t want to pay for cancellation coverage so a standalone Travel Medical plan is their best choice.
How I picked the best trip insurance
When comparing trip insurance plans, making the right choice for your trip comes down to 3 main areas:
- Coverage and coverage limits
- Details in the fine print
We’re looking for the best plan regardless of price, so the choice comes down to coverage, coverage limits, and the small beneficial details in the fine print.
Coronavirus has changed travel in a way we have never seen before.
In the short term, you need to consider coronavirus as a major factor when purchasing travel insurance. It relates to both cancellation if you get coronavirus, and also getting coronavirus while traveling and needing medical care.
My required criteria for the best plan (more details below):
- Has “Cancel For Any Reason” upgrade available
- Minimum of $100,000 emergency medical coverage
- Minimum of $500,000 medical evacuation coverage
- Covers cancellations for Coronavirus
- Covers medical for Coronavirus
- Covers Pre-existing conditions
- Reputable company with at least 1,000 reviews
- Has sold at least 10,000 policies
- AM Best rating A
These are the starting criteria for selecting a plan. All plans considered must meet these minimum standards. Once they meet these standards, we will compare the smaller details to find the best.
Why these criteria were selected
The features above address areas that I believe are important for a travel insurance plan to have, especially right now:
Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR): This used to be a luxury upgrade, but it’s getting more common after COVID. Future outbreaks might make you want to cancel, and the only way to cover it is with CFAR. You still have the regular cancellation coverage for things like getting sick, a job loss, or death in the family…but CFAR extends that list to cover “everything”. Regular cancellation coverage reimburses 100% of the trip cost, and CFAR will reimburse up to 75%.
Coronavirus-specific coverage: Again, in the current situation I believe making sure you don’t have a claim denied because of coronavirus is vital. This way if you get coronavirus and need to cancel you are covered, and if you get coronavirus while traveling the medical expenses are covered. This problem is not going away for a while, and I expect this to become a standard feature in travel insurance policies.
High coverage limits: In the event you do have a medical emergency or evacuation claim, you want enough coverage to fully cover it. One way to keep a policy cost low is to limit the coverage amount. In this case we are not choosing based on budget, so having enough coverage is vital. The minimums above are adequate for most travelers.
Pre-existing condition coverage: A common issue with insurance is having a claim denied due to a pre-existing condition. This coverage is included in more and more plans, but making sure this is an option is important.
Reputation: You need to be able to trust the company. Having a long track record of sales and reviews show they have been around and insured many travelers, and a solid AM BEST rating shows they are financially reputable.
How I compared plans
Many of the criteria above are common among many Trip Insurance plans. What made this comparison more selective is the requirement of coronavirus-related coverage for cancellations and medical emergencies.
Many of the 46 total plans have some or even most of these coverages, but only 3 had all of the criteria…including coronavirus coverage.
The 3 plans that meet the above criteria are:
- TravelSafe Classic
- Seven Corners RoundTrip Elite
- Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
These are all great plans, and each has its benefits, but TravelSafe Classic edged out the RoundTrip plans by a little (see more below).
To give an idea of costs of the plans, I ran a quote for 3 different types of travelers.
General Traveler: Two travelers, both 35, taking a 7 day trip with a trip cost of $5,000. A general traveler would include solo, couples, groups, and friend between 18-65 years old. This is a good example for most people.
Family Travelers: Family of 4, parents both 44, kids are 13 and 10. They are taking a 7 day trip that costs $6,000. Some companies include children at no charge, so it is helpful to look at a family quote.
Senior Travelers: Two people, both 70, taking a 2 week trip costing $10,000. Since travel insurance cost is based on trip cost, trip length, and age…it is helpful to look at a sample quote for travelers 65+.
About the Low/High Comparison numbers: To give an idea of the total selection of plans, I included the lowest cost policy and the highest cost policy. To make it a fair comparison, this includes plans with Cancel For Any Reason coverage, as this is an added upgrade cost. There are plans without CFAR that are lower cost, but they don’t meet the criteria above.
As you can see in the table above, TravelSafe Classic is higher cost but not the highest. There are plans that have less coverage in the criteria above, but cost more money.
Also, notice Seven Corners’ RoundTrip Choice made the finalist list while also being the lowest cost. This makes RoundTrip Choice a great value choice (they are my Budget Pick…see below)
Get quotes from all companies: The initial comparison quote yielded 46 different plans. This was based on the travelers, trip dates, trip cost, and a few other trip details.
This is without any filters for coverage, so this selection includes everything from a budget-friendly plans to expensive “fully loaded” plans.
Filter for “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage: The first filter applied is for Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage. As stated above, in the current travel environment I believe it is important to have this coverage because it gives you the extra flexibility to cancel and receive up to 75% in reimbursement.
The filter for CFAR excluded 30 plans from our choices. This narrowed it down to 16 plans.
Filter for medical and evacuation limits: Next I used the filters to select a Medical Emergency coverage of at least $100,000, and Emergency Evacuation coverage of at least $500,000.
Note about the Coronavirus filter: There is a filter selection for Coronavirus…but this merely shows plans with some sort of coverage for coronavirus. It does not filter for plans with both medical and cancellation coverage. We’ll look at that next.
Selecting plans with coronavirus coverage: After eliminating plans without CFAR, and plans that don’t have at least $100,000 medical and $500,000 evacuation…I’m looking for plans that cover coronavirus for cancellations and medical.
Scrolling down, you can see some plans state they are covered, and some state they are not covered.
For each plan that had coronavirus coverage, I selected the Compare Policy box. This left me with 3 “Favorites”.
Next we will compare the finalists side-by-side.
Side-by-side Comparison: Now I had plans with CFAR, required amounts of medical/evacuation coverage, and they covered cancellation and medical for coronavirus. Next, we need to look at the other coverages to help make a decision.
For example, below I can see that TravelSafe Classic has better coverage for hurricanes and weather. Instead of just covering airline delays of 48 hours, they cover mandatory evacuations, destination damage, and a shorter length of time for cancelled flight to kick in.
Fine print details: Now we have looked at plans that meet our criteria, it’s time to dig in and see what makes a single plan stand out as the best.
Digging further into the hurricane coverage, TravelSafe Classic stands out because they cover warnings issued by the NOAA as opposed to just actual delays and cancellations. This greatly increases your coverage.
Primary Medical coverage and Cancel For Work Reasons included: TravelSafe Classic includes Cancel For Work Reasons. This extends your covered reasons for cancellation to things like job loss, mergers, revoked time off, and more.
Finally, TravelSafe Classic has Primary medical coverage. This means the policy will pay first without needing to deal with any other possible insurance coverage. With Secondary medical, you would need to exhaust any other insurance before the policy would kick in. In the end, both will pay…but Primary is less hassle.
My Pick: TravelSafe Classic
The TravelSafe Classic plan offers Cancel For Any Reason coverage, coronavirus coverage, far better hurricane coverage, Primary medical coverage, and Cancel For Work Reasons is included. TravelSafe is a reputable company with over 1300 positive reviews, and they have sold over 32,000 Classic policies.
Though it isn’t always the cheapest choice, if you want the best coverage for the current travel climate with coronavirus, TravelSafe Classic is the best option. TravelSafe plans include coverage for coronavirus-related cancellations and medical claims, which is something that most companies do not do. This plan also offers Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which is important because fear of getting sick is not a typical covered reason for cancellation. Finally, with superior hurricane coverage, high coverage limits, and Primary medical the TravelSafe Classic plan stands on top.
Summary of the deciding factors
|Covers hurricanes better: Includes mandatory evacuations, destination damage, and 12 hour flight stoppage||Only covers hurricanes for flight delays of 48 hours or more|
|Includes Cancel For Work Reasons which covers job loss and more.||Cancel For Work Reasons is available as $50 upgrade|
|Medical coverage is Primary, meaning it pays first and is easier||Medical is Secondary, meaning you need to use any other insurance first|
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Cost: TravelSafe Classic is not the most expensive of all plans, but it is more than the runner up RoundTrip from Seven Corners. As discussed above, the goal here was to pick the plan with the best coverage regardless of the price of the policy.
That being said, if you are looking for most of the same coverage without spending as much money, both Seven Corners RoundTrip plans offer very good coverage and would be a good choice.
Financial default coverage is time-sensitive: All of the finalists cover the financial default or bankruptcy of your travel supplier, but TravelSafe Classic requires that you purchase coverage within 21 days of your initial trip deposit date.
This is especially trivial because the availability of Cancel For Any Reason is also time sensitive with the same 21 day purchase window.
Budget Pick: Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice
The Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice plan offers a great alternative at a much lower cost. It still meets the main criteria of coronavirus coverage, medical limits, Pre-existing conditions coverage, and their reputation includes over 2500 reviews and more than 10,000 policies sold since 2007.
There are a few things you are giving up with RoundTrip Choice vs TravelSafe Classic.
First, hurricane coverage. This was the main tie-breaker when deciding between TravelSafe and Seven Corners because it can be so important for trips during hurricane season. Having the ability to cancel for a refund if there is an active hurricane warning by the NOAA extends your coverage by quite a bit.
That being said, if you are not traveling during hurricane season or to a hurricane prone area, this coverage might not be that vital to you.
The other main difference is Secondary vs Primary medical coverage, but as I said before you are covered either way, Primary is just more hassle free. If you don’t have any other insurance to claim, your Secondary coverage essentially becomes Primary.
Reminder: The coverage for Cancel For Any Reason is an optional upgrade and might need to be selected when quoting/purchasing.
The competition for best travel insurance
The main difference in selecting a best plan came down to coronavirus coverage. Most of the popular travel insurance companies offer Cancel For Any Reason, higher medical limits, Pre-existing condition coverage, and more.
These companies include:
- AXA Assistance
- HTH Worldwide
- John Hancock
However, at this time none of them offer both coronavirus coverage for both cancellations and medical. I believe this is an important coverage right now, and I would not choose a policy that does not cover it when there are reasonable options that do cover coronavirus.
I also believe that more companies will be changing their plans to include coronavirus, so this pick will be updated regularly.
My Pick: TravelSafe Classic
The TravelSafe Classic plan offers Cancel For Any Reason coverage, far better hurricane coverage, Primary medical coverage, and Cancel For Work Reasons is included. TravelSafe is a reputable company with over 1300 positive reviews, and they have sold over 32,000 Classic policies.