Best Travel Insurance
How we picked insurance companies to evaluate:
Since travel insurance coverage and plan availability vary by state, traveler’s age, trip length, destination and other variables, we asked our comparison partner, SquareMouth, to send us travel insurance plan data for four sample Single Trip plans and four sample Annual plans. For each of these plans, we chose a different state in order to detect any differences in plan availability:
- Single Trip: California, Michigan, New York and Oklahoma
- Annual: Alabama, Maine, Nevada and Texas
We randomized our selection of these states to reduce any potential bias and represented an average U.S. traveler who may be interested in taking a two-week vacation to Europe (Single Trip) or a longer overseas trip (Annual).
To be included in our analysis, a travel insurance plan had to provide robust coverage offerings for consumers across the multiple states and various trip types we requested. In addition, we considered only plans that would be attractive to consumers who want coverage for specific concerns; we did not evaluate add-on insurance options offered through airlines, cruises or other travel providers. We addressed these specific consumer concerns in our rubric by evaluating whether plans offered certain coverage: COVID-19 coverage, trip cancellation, emergency medical and evacuation, baggage loss or delay, accidental death and adventure/sports.
For the Single Trip plans, we received quotes from 13 insurance companies encompassing 38 plans. For the Annual plans, we received quotes from four insurance companies encompassing seven plans.
To round out our analysis, we also evaluated two well-known travel insurance providers (Allianz and World Nomads) that do not provide data to SquareMouth.
How we chose the winners:
To pick the winners for both Single Trip plans and Annual plans, we used a point system assigning one point for each element of coverage. The providers with the highest point totals (that is, the most robust coverage options) won. We considered the price of the policy relative to the price of the trip when assigning point values, so as not to unfairly reward more expensive plans or punish plans that may not have certain elements of coverage due to state regulations.
How we verified our data:
NerdWallet received insurance provider and plan information directly from our comparison partner, SquareMouth. We verified this data by doing independent searches on the insurers’ websites. In addition, we conducted our own searches for the providers not included in SquareMouth’s data.