Compare Travel Insurance: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Compare Travel Insurance: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide

You’ve learned about coverage and read reviews, now it’s time to compare travel insurance plans. The best way to do this is using our comparison engine, which is powered by Squaremouth.

More of a video person?

I have put together a short but thorough video showing you the steps. It’s less than 10 minute, and you can watch the step-by-step process below.

Ready to see how to compare travel insurance policies? Read on.

First…why compare travel insurance plans?

Why not just pick one that looks ok and buy it?

  1. You will save time by getting travel insurance quotes from all major companies at the same time. This is much faster than visiting various websites and entering the information over and over.
  2. You will get the best coverage by comparing travel insurance plans side-by-side. Otherwise you’re looking at a number but you have nothing to compare it to.
  3. It’s easier for you because not only are you getting all quotes at the same time, but using tools like sorting and filtering you can just look at the insurance plans that are right for your trip.
  4. You save money because oftentimes you can have plans with similar coverage, but very different prices. If it covers what you need and it’s a reputable company…why pay more?

What you’ll need ready to compare travel insurance plans

To begin you will need to enter some basic information about your trip.

You don’t need to supply any personal information yet, just some information about your trip. There is no obligation, you will see actual price quotes instantly, and if you find a plan you like you can complete the enrollment and purchase online.

Here’s what you’ll need to compare travel insurance…

Checklist of what you will need to compare travel insurance

Enter your trip information

Click the button below when you’re ready to compare travel insurance policies from all companies (there is another button at the end if this page).

(to make following along easier, button will open new tab)

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Next, you will see the screen where you enter your trip information.

It includes travel dates, deposit dates, traveler ages, trip cost, destination, and residency.

To compare travel insurance you start by entering your trip information into the comparison tool.

If you are not sure about what a question is asking, click the entry box to see a popup explanation. 

There are also short videos to explain every entry…just click the triangle play button next to each box.

Click the ‘Quote Now‘ button at the bottom when you are done.

There are pop-up help boxes and videos to help you enter your trip information

Next, you will see the quote results screen where we will compare travel insurance plans.

Here are quotes for all plans from all major travel insurance companies.

There are several useful features here to help make your decision easier…let’s talk about the most important ones.

This is the travel insurance comparison results screen, showing quotes and coverage

Use Filters and Sorting to help compare travel insurance policies

As you can see, there are a lot of results.

We need to narrow them down, and we will start by getting rid of plans that do not fit our needs. We’ll start by using the filters.

Filters hide plans that don’t meet your needs

Now, use the filters on the left side to narrow down your choices based on what is important to you.

For example: if you know you want at least $100,000 of emergency medical coverage, you can check the ‘Emergency Medical’ box and select that amount. The screen will refresh and only show plans that meet your criteria.

This feature is very powerful when you want specific coverages or coverage amounts. You might want a certain amount of Evacuation coverage, Hazardous Sports coverage, or a plan with the Pre-existing conditions waiver.

The Preset Filters are handy too.

For example: the Cruise option presets the Emergency Medical and Evacuation coverage at higher levels due to the additional risks of international travel and being isolated at sea.

Tip: Unless you have very specific coverage you’re looking for, just start by looking at the Most Popular, especially the Pre-existing Medical.

Use the filters on the left side to narrow down the plans and compare policies

You can easily add and remove filters to see what the different policy options are. Use the box just above the Filters to remove one or all filters.

Adding and removing filters is easy using the comparison tool

Sorting puts the plans in the order you decide

Next, sort the plans by Price from low to high.

This should be the default, but it is worth double checking. There are other sorting options, but I don’t think there is significant value to sorting by anything other than price.

Use the sorting feature to show plans low to high price

After Filtering and Sorting plans, we’re ready to compare travel insurance plans side-by-side

Now you can start looking at the plans and their coverage.

Each listing shows the company logo, plan name, a star rating, price, and underneath you will see the basic coverages.  

The main coverages listed include Cancellation, Interruption, Evacuation, Emergency Medical, and whether the medical coverage is Primary or Secondary.

The main coverages are listed under each plan

Compare travel insurance to make your choice simpler

Time to really start narrowing the list using the side-by-side comparison feature.

Select a few plans by checking the ‘Compare’ box. You can pick as many as you like, but 4-5 is good to start.

Now your decision is coming down to price and coverage. Just because one plan is lower priced does not mean it’s a bad plan or company. Each company has a different premium (that’s the cost of the insurance) rating system, so different plans with similar coverage can be significantly different in price.

After you have selected some plans to compare click the dark gray ‘Compare Now’ button.

Use the compare feature to see plans side-by-side and compare travel insurance
How do I know the companies are reputable?

All companies listed are trustworthy and reputable…and also meet the Zero Complaint Guarantee. In the event of a complaint, Squaremouth will mediate with the insurance provider on behalf of the client. Unless the complaint is resolved to Squaremouth’s satisfaction, the provider will be removed from the website.

Next, scan down the page and look at the coverage and compare travel insurance features. You can easily see the differences between the plans this way.

Scroll down the comparison screen to check coverage side-by-side

For more information about a coverage, click the coverage listing or the ‘more detail’ link.

Click any travel insurance coverage to see a helpful pop up with more details

Also, if you decide a certain plan falls short you can click the ‘Remove’ button at the top and bottom of the page. This will clear the plan off the screen to help you see your options.

Remove plans that don't meet your criteria

Tip: Save your work by emailing the quote to yourself

Still doing research and comparing options?

Don’t lose all the work you have done.

You can send the quote to your self using any of the Email Quote buttons. Then, when you are ready to finish it’s easier and faster to come back in and complete your purchase.

Complete your purchase online for immediate coverage confirmation

Finally, when you narrow down your choices and find a plan that fits your needs, you can enroll and purchase online.

Click the ‘Buy now’ button at the top of the listing.

Click the Buy Now button to purchase a travel insurance policy

Note About Money Back Guarantee: Every plan comes with a Free Look period, which is essentially a money back guarantee. For some coverage, such as Pre-existing waiver or Cancel For Any Reason, you need to bind coverage soon after your initial trip payment. This allows you to get the plan in place, and if you decide to cancel your plan within this period you will receive a full refund of premium. Free Look Periods are typically 10-14 days.

On the next screen, you will be asked for your contact information, additional trip information, and payment information.

Enter your trip and payment information on this screen to purchase a plan.

Coverage will be in place immediately, and you will receive an email with a confirmation.

This confirmation email has your policy information, important contact numbers, and coverage amounts.

It also has a PDF attachment with a single sheet description of coverage, which can be used as proof of insurance. This can be printed and carried with you on your trip

You will receive an email confirmation of coverage with all plan details.

That’s all! Your travel insurance policy is now in place and you are covered.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I save my quote?

There are two simple ways to save a quote: 1) Under the green ‘Buy Now’ button, click the ‘More’ drop down and you’ll see an ‘Email Quote’ option. 2) On the top-right corner of the results page you will see ‘Enter quote number’ and a box with a number. That is your unique quote number and you can make a note of it for future reference.

How can I see the cost of the insurance policy?

The policy premium is listed on the main results screen next to a green ‘Buy Now’ button.

Is the a return policy?

Yes, every plan comes with a Free Look period, which is essentially a money back guarantee. If you decide to cancel your plan within this period you will receive a full refund of premium, minus a small admin fee of around $8. Free Look Periods are typically 10-14 days.

What if I don’t know the exact trip dates or first booking date?

To get an idea of price you can use estimated dates here. Please note however, for the final policy to be legitimate you will need exact dates for this.

What if I don’t know the exact trip amount? Or if the trip is not fully planned and booked?

Again, a ballpark with give you an idea of the price. It is also very common for people to have part of their trip booked but still have plans to make. In this case, it is best to buy a plan for the current known trip cost so you have bound coverage. Then, when you know more details/costs for your trip, you can contact the insurance company and have your policy adjusted. They will update the trip cost and ask for additional premium to cover the difference.

Where can I see the coverage to compare travel insurance?

You can see the coverage two ways: 1) On the main results screen next to the prices, there is a link labeled Policy Detail, this will show you that individual plan’s coverage. 2) You can use the comparison feature (see above) to look at several plans at the same time, and this will also show you the coverage.

Are these travel insurance companies reputable?

Every policy purchased through Squaremouth comes with the Zero Complaint Guarantee. In the event of a complaint, Squaremouth will mediate with the insurance provider on behalf of the client. Unless the complaint is resolved to Squaremouth’s satisfaction, the provider will be removed from the website.

Do I get an insurance card?

You will receive an email confirmation with a printable PDF. This can be printed and carried with you on your trip, and serves as proof of coverage. It also has important contact information, such as toll-free numbers to call in the event of a claim.

How do I compare travel insurance with pre-existing medical condition coverage?

Use the filters on the left to select “Pre-existing Conditions”. This will filter out any plans that do not cover this. Note: If there are no results shown it means there is no available coverage based on your request. This is usually because you are outside the purchase time window of 14-21 days depending on the company.

How do I compare travel insurance for cruises?

Use the pre-set filter on the left side to select “Cruise”. This will raise the minimums on medical and evacuation coverage.

How do I compare travel insurance for natural disasters and hurricanes?

Use the pre-set filter on the left side to select “Hurricane and weather”. This will filter out plans without sever weather coverage coverage.

Damian Tysdal
Author
Damian

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.