Where to buy travel insurance
There are many options where you can buy travel insurance. Most travel agents offer travel insurance and almost every tour operator, airline, and cruise line have specially designed travel insurance plans for their clients.
Our best advice is to buy through a third party travel insurance comparison web site and to avoid plans offered by travel agents, tour operators, airlines, or cruise lines. This advice is based on the following research:
Travel Agents: usually offer travel insurance plans from only one travel insurance company. The plans that they offer may provide adequate coverage but with over a 300% variance in the price of travel insurance offered in the USA your best course of action is to visit a travel insurance comparison web site and find the plan that best fits your needs without overpaying.
Tour operators: most tour operators offer specifically designed travel insurance plans to their customers. However, many plans contain more restrictions than general travel plans and many have inadequate limits for medical and medical evacuation coverage. In addition some tour operators offer a "cancellation waiver" instead of trip cancellation. The problem is that the "cancellation waiver" is generally self insured by the tour operator and in many instances they refund a cancellation by providing a credit for a future trip rather than a cash refund.
Airlines: plans offered are designed for mass marketing and are offered at extremely low prices however, since insurance pricing is mostly a function of how much is paid out in claims the extremely low prices are justified by very restrictive coverages.
Cruise lines: like tour operators they offer specifically designed travel insurance plans to their customers. Like the tour operator plans they usually contain more restrictions than general travel plans and some have inadequate limits for medical and medical evacuation coverage. Also, many plans offer "community rating" rather than age rating. The former results in lower prices for older travelers and higher prices for younger ones.
EDITORS RECOMMENDATIONS: Always compare prices and plans by visiting and buying your coverage through an online travel insurance comparison web site. They offer many plans and in most cases their customer service staff is better trained and more knowledgeable than almost any other source.