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How to choose the best travel insurance: policy comparison

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Travel insurance is a policy that covers the traveller against various inconveniences that may occur before departure or during the trip itself.

If for some problem the trip has to be cancelled, the insurance company will refund the money for the bookings made (transport, accommodation, etc).

It will also intervene if something goes wrong during the trip such as loss of luggage, flight delays or the need for medical treatment.

Taking outtravel insurance is, in my opinion, essential if you have small children who could easily fall ill.

But it is also very useful when travelling to non-EU countries (such as the US) where healthcare is not free of charge and where even a simple medical examination costs big quid.

For a five-minute visit to the ear doctor in the US, for example, we had to shell out a whopping $180.

Let’s not mention how much a hospitalisation might cost!

In this article, therefore, we will try to summarise the characteristics that a good travel insurance policy should have, comparing the best insurance companies.

Let’s get started!

What travel insurance covers

Normally, travel policies offer the following cover:

  • medical assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • reimbursement of medical expenses, including for Covid-19
  • interpreter available by telephone
  • return trip for a family member in the event of hospitalisation
  • accompanied return of minors
  • medical repatriation with accompanying doctor if necessary
  • early return home following bereavement of a family member
  • return of the body in the event of death of the insured person
  • loss, theft or damage to luggage (not always included, in some cases an additional policy must be paid for).

What it does not cover

On the other hand, travel insurance does not generally reimburse:

  • health problems arising during the trip, if the trip was undertaken against medical advice
  • theft of the car if the keys were left in the ignition
  • theft of luggage if left unattended
  • accidents occurring under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • accidents resulting from extreme sports (a specific policy exists)
  • dental expenses if the trip was undertaken with that purpose in mind (limits generally do not exceed €500).

▶ In order not to have any surprises, always check any clauses on the information sheet, where the details of the policy are clearly listed.

Best travel insurance: comparing different policies

HeymondoColumbusAxa AssistanceAllianz Global AssistanceCoverwise
Policy namePREMIUMLUGGAGE ASSISTANCETOTAL SCREENTRAVEL CAREALL INCLUDED
Medical examinations and medicines2.000€Unlimited1.500€1.300€1.300€
Hospitalisation€2,500,000 EU
€5,000,000 NO-EU
€10,000,000 USA
Unlimited3.000.000€Unlimited20.000.000€
Excess75€100€70€50€75€
Early return3.000€2.000€2.000€2.000€2.000€
Baggage3.000€2.000€1.000€500€1.500€
Travel Accidents50.000€25.000€100.000€No50.000€
Civil liability300.000€500.000€150.000€200.000€25.000€
Travel Cancellation3.000€2.000€OptionalNo, it is purchased separatelyOptional
Child discountNoYes, free up to 18 yearsNoNoNo

Policy Analysis

Comparing the policies offered by the main insurance companies (remember that they are all authorised byIVASS), it can be seen that the best covers for a trip where healthcare is not free of charge are undoubtedly those of Allianz and Columbus.

The latter is particularly advantageous, among other things, for family trips because children up to 18 years of age do not pay.

For trips to Europe or, in any case, outside the United States, the one that offers the most coverage (trip cancellation, liability, baggage) is definitely the policy proposed by Heymondo.

What is the best travel insurance?

In my opinion, it is important tofocus not so much on which is the best travel insurance as all the companies seen are giants in the world of insurance, but on the policy best suited to one’s needs.

The destination, the type of traveller (couple, family..), and the desired level of protection are the main factors to take into account.

If you want to learn more ➠ How to choose the perfect travel insurance.

Best travel insurance: which insurance to take out when travelling?

The following factors should be taken into account when choosing travel insurance:

  • whether the trip is a single trip or a multi-journey trip (several trips during the year, at a cheaper rate)
  • whether the trip is within or outside Europe. If in Europe, it is sufficient to show your health card to benefit from free healthcare, so you will not need unlimited cover for medical expenses. In this case, the policy proposed by Heymondo may be fine
  • if the trip is with a couple or family. If there are children, it is essential to take out a policy with cancellation included. Here again, Heymondo is perfect
  • if it covers expenses due to Covid-19 infection. All the policies seen offer this cover.

Is it compulsory?

No, it is not generally compulsory to take out travel insurance.

In any case, it is a small expense that really gives you peace of mind in the face of any unforeseen event that may occur before and during your trip.

To get an idea of the cost, a one-week travel policy for the United States can cost around €60.00, forEurope it is around €10.00.

On ViaggiareSicuri, you can check the most important information about the country you will be travelling to, such as safety, health situation, and the Farnesina ‘s recommendations on whether or not to take out travel insurance in that country.

How far in advance should I take out travel insurance?

Travel insurance should be taken out before departure.

Generally,the purchase of the policy on the insurance company’s online site is available up to 24/48 hours before the departure date of the trip.

Ideally, you should start evaluating the one best suited to your needs, after you have booked your flight and accommodation.

Best Travel Insurance: Reviews and Discount Codes valid on the purchase of the policy

Below, you can view the reviews on Trustpilot of the major insurance companies we have mentioned in this article.

As a reader of BimbeinViaggio, you are also entitled to some discount codes (they never expire).

Trustpilot ScoreStrong pointsDiscount
Axa Assistance4.8/2,407 reviewsTravel accident coverGet a quote – Click here
Heymondo4.7/1,325 reviewsTravel cancellation and baggage cover5% Discount CodeGet a quote – Click here
Columbus4.5/6,000 reviewsUnlimited medical expenses and free child policy5% Discount CodeGet a quote – Click here
Coverwise4.5/4,602 reviewsHospitalization coverGet a quote – Click here
Allianz Global4.4/68,219 reviewsHospitalization and liability coverGet a quote – Click here

Conclusions

In conclusion, the best travel policy is the one that offers coverage for various types of contingencies, but also the one best suited to the type of trip and your needs.

Crucially, customer reviews on the company’s reliability and efficiency in handling a claim is, as far as I am concerned, a decisive factor in the final choice.

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