The most frequent question I am asked when speaking at travel shows is: Should I buy travel insurance? The answer all depends on what you are buying and where you are going. I say, if you are just buying a $150 ticket from Los Angeles to San Francisco and staying with family, I wouldn’t get it. However, if you’re spending a lot of money on a hotel, cruise, honeymoon, safari, going far from home or travel often like I do, then I definitely would.

I highly recommend getting travel insurance from a third party. That’s because if you buy insurance, let’s say, for a cruise from a cruise line and they go out of business, then you, my friend, are out of luck.

I also recommend first pricing out rates with since they are the Kayak of travel insurance. They have 27 suppliers but the company I usually go with is Allianz Travel Insurance since they are the giant in the travel insurance business. Allianz is competitively priced but even if they cost a little more, I would go with them, because they have offices in 44 countries that span six continents so chances are they will have people on the ground no matter where you are in the world. That right there gives me peace of mind.

What else gives me peace of mind is knowing that if I have to cancel my trip due to a sudden, unforeseen circumstance like a death in the family or losing my passport, or God forbid I get sick or injured while I’m away, I know that I’m covered.

Here are some of things that Allianz Travel Insurance will provide. This information comes directly from my plan:

1. Finding a doctor, dentist or medical facility
If you need care from a doctor, dentist or medical facility while you’re traveling, we can help you find one.

2. Paying or guaranteeing your hospital bill
If you need to be admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for longer than 24 hours, we can guarantee or advance payments up to the limit of your emergency medical/dental coverage.

3. Monitoring your care
If you’re hospitalized, our medical staff will stay in contact with you and the doctor caring for you. We can also notify your family and your doctor back home of your illness or injury and update them on your status.

4. Moving you to a hospital or medical clinic (emergency medical evacuation)
If you’re seriously ill or injured during your trip and our medical team determines that the local medical facilities are unable to provide appropriate medical treatment:

5. Finding a legal advisor
We can help you find local legal advice if you need it while you’re traveling.

6. Arranging a cash transfer
If you need to pay legal fees, we can arrange to transfer funds from your family or friends.

7. Replacing lost travel tickets
If your tickets are lost or stolen, we can contact the airline or other common carrier, and can help you with your travel arrangements if your trip is interrupted.

8. Replacing lost passports and other travel documents
If your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, we can help you reach the appropriate authorities, contact your family or friends, and assist you in getting your documents replaced.

9. Getting flight information
If you miss your flight or it’s canceled, we can give you arrival and departure times for other flights that will get you to your connecting flight or final destination.

10. Getting emergency cash
If your cash is lost or stolen or you need extra money to pay for unexpected expenses, we can arrange to transfer funds from your family or friends.

11. Delivering emergency messages
We can help you get an urgent message to someone back home. We’ll try calling up to three times within 24 hours and confirm whether we were able to reach the person you asked us to contact.

They even have a concierge service that can assist customers with many requests from the routine to the extraordinary like restaurant and local event information to golf tee times.

The list about what Allianz Travel Insurance can do goes on. So far, I’ve been nothing but pleased with their insurance offerings, coverage and service.

My Annual Executive Plan costs $459 and below is what is covered and the coverage limits in USD:

  • Baggage Coverage    $1,000.00
  • Baggage Delay Coverage     $1,000.00
  • Business Equipment Coverage     $1,000.00
  • Business Equipment Rental Coverage     $1,000.00
  • Collision/Loss Damage Insurance    $45,000.00
  • Change Fee Coverage      $250.00
  • Emergency Medical and Dental     $50,000.00
  • Trip Cancellation Protection     $5,000.00
  • Travel/Trip Delay Coverage     $1,500.00
  • Trip Interruption Protection     $5,000.00
  • Travel Accident Coverage     $100,000.00


Disclaimer: I sometimes work as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receive financial compensation. However, everything written in this post is from and based upon my own annual policy. 

30 Comments On "Do I Have Travel Insurance and Which Policy Company Do I Use?"
  1. Ellen C Elwell|

    Johnny, I started reading your daily tip and newsletter about a year ago and read this article on travel insurance. For 20+ years, I flew 45 weeks/year (all U.S.) for my business. I had an AAirPass, Admirals, permanent 3-million mile Platinum and more. But I NEVER once bought travel insurance.

    So we took the family (5) to NYC for a week at Thanksgiving (2014). Our son-in-law’s mother was very sick and I had just seen your post about Allianz Travel Insurance. So, on a whim, I bought insurance for all of us. And guess what: I got food poisoning – the most sick I’ve been in decades. My husband had the Hyatt call a doctor. Long story short, we had to stay an extra night, incur change fees and extra upgrade fees, and the doctor was expensive.

    Allianz paid a lot (most) and they were gracious about doing it. I will NEVER take a trip again without their travel insurance! It’s so reasonable and they are so honest and caring.


    1. Johnny Jet|

      Nice to hear! Thanks for the support

  2. William Chinn|

    Good concise list of info and what to ask for.

  3. LInda Perry|

    Johnny, if I have a credit card that provides travel insurance, is that sufficient or should I still buy from another independent company? If I use the card to purchase my airline tickets will it cover everything while I am gone (lost luggage, medical, hotel, etc)? When I purchased my airline tickets the other day on American and British Airways it gave me the option of purchasing insurance through the airline for $23. Was that just for the flight or would that include all of the extras mentioned above?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      It all depends on the card. You need to read the fine print or call them to make sure.

  4. Rich|

    Is the Allianz policy primary or secondary coverage? When we leave the country I buy an MH Ross Zero Cost (no trip cancellation, etc) which provides primary coverage. Very important difference!

  5. geal|

    EDITED: I am very disappointed w/Allianz. I bought a policy attached to a Delta flight LAX-MIA-LAX 12/21/14 returning 1/4/15. [I was traveling out of Miami w/Road Scholar to Cuba on 12/23/14.] Delta’s “computer glitch” bumped me from first class to economy on the 1/4/15 return flight–I by chance found out about this glitch by viewing My Flights on Delta’s website on 12/16/14–5 days before first leg of flight; Delta never notified me about the glitch. Because I have an arthritic knee and can’t sit 6hrs in cramped seat and I didn’t want to change planes and have a longer flight duration in winter on return flight, of the options Delta offered [tkt refund, Delta mileage, $200 Delta voucher] I chose to take the next/only non-stop flight out on the next day 1/5/15. Delta refused to cover all my hotel cost for 1/4 AND Allianz eventually refused to cover hotel stating that because I knew about the trip delay prior to the trip this situation is not considered a trip delay! [Ridiculously prior to my trip one of their reps [Omar] told me that I would be eligible for cost recovery, but when I returned I was informed that I had no right to cost recovery–even though it was a trip delay due to Delta’s “computer glitch.” There are many more details about this situation, too numerous to state here… But Allianz’ flight delay insurance has ridiculous criteria.

  6. Brett Schulte|

    Thanks for the tips I had wondered about travel insurance!

  7. Bev Mushinsky|

    Most policies take you to the closest hospital that can do the work… This is not always the best option! I broke my leg on Russia a few years ago and did not want to have an operation there, but they said they could do the work! The cost of a medical evacuation to Europe was around $25000.

    Med Jet sells an annual policy and takes you wherever you want to go…

  8. Jacqueline Johnson|

    Thanks for the recommendation of using Allianz Travel Insurance. I just bought a policy from them to cover my trip+ to Thailand next week. I would also like to post information of Please advise.

    Thanks again for the great tip. Jacqueline Johnson

  9. JohnB|

    I was a travel agent for almost 30 years. I always recommended trip insurance. Some of the agencies that I worked with make clients sign acknowledgements that trip insurance was offered. I encouraged trip insurance if the traveller was older, of poor health, or had relatives who had health issues. Sometimes I bought trip insurance, sometimes I did not. I learned my lesson with a special trip Europe that was cancelled by that Icelandic volcano in 2010. While we had no monetary loss, I spent hours on the phone, rebooking and begging. Last year, I was supposed to go on special 3 week trip to Asia. SO, 3 weeks before trip is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Luckily, I had purchased a very comprehensive trip policy. we regretfully cancelled trip. That policy covered every non-refundable trip component, including fees to redeposit award tickets. Getting those monies back, allowed us to re-plan the trip for this May.

    One of the reasons, I had purchased this comprehensive policy, was that it included $1 million emergency medical and evacuation clause. This is very important, as it is very easy to get injured in a foreign country. If you need to be flown back in an a special medical flight, the cost would bankrupt many people. The more remote or exotic the destination, the more costly to evacuate the injured. Johnny, your policy doesn’t include this clause. I think you should really think about including this coverage.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for noticing! I do have a separate policy with MedJet

      1. Karyn Moore|

        I have worked as a travel agent for 40+ years and always suggest travel insurance based upon cancellation penalties and the cost of the trip. I also urge clients who feel they are covered with their credit card or company health plan to read the fine print very carefully. They rarely cover to the extent of a travel insurance policy. The same goes for car rental insurance. We use a company that offers far better insurance (first party) at a lower rate than the car rental companies. Remember… a few dollars spent up front can save hundreds of thousands down the road.

  10. Ryan Lim|

    I see there is “Business Equipment Coverage” – is personal equipment not covered? Is this policy exclusively for business travllers?

  11. Jim Rydell|

    I also tried Allianz Travel Insurance a few months ago as I saw it offered for a reasonable price on my American AL ticket when purchased. (I’ve been Executive Platinum on AA for more than 15 years & have just short of 5 million miles) I decided to go for it. I got a terrible infection and had to spend 2 days in the hospital (1st time in hospital since getting tonsils out as a kid). After returning home I filled out the forms, included the hospital & doctor bills and submitted everything and Allianz paid the bill with no complaints.
    It was a surprisingly excellent experience and now I use Allianz on every trip!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Great to hear!!!

  12. Liz|

    My husband & I have a unique situation as we spend approx. 5 mos. in Canada since retirement. We know that Medicare doesn’t pay while out of the US & that we need to return to the US & re-enter Canada every 60 days. We also take a 3 wk. winter trip out of the US & purchase insurance from our Tour Co.–which I now see is not a good idea but convenient!! Do you recommend purchasing yearly insurance & which type? I’m inclined to purchase Emergency Evacuation insurance which would get us back to the US & under Medicare coverage. Our closest US facility is a 3 1/2 hr drive & in an emergency is not feasible. My biggest concern when travelling is having a medical emergency. I’m in Canada now but going on a 10 day trip (cruise) ending up in Boston but returning to Canada via Toronto. Can I still buy insurance as I was told when I booked the cruise (April) that I had to have insurance before I left my “legal” residence in the US which was last May. I actually rec’d conflicting info from different insurance companies so ended up not buying anything. I have no trouble going without trip insurance but I do worry about medical issues arising while on the cruise. Any advise from you or the readers would be appreciated. Thanks I

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Liz,

      Sorry for the delay. Here’s what Allianz had to say…

      A couple of things: They can buy insurance anytime, regardless of their location, as long as they are US residents.

      Most travel insurance policies, including annual policies, only cover trips up to 45 days in length. If they are on longer trips, they might want to consider a policy such as our Travelers Protection Plan which does not include cancellation coverage but has robust emergency medical and evacuation coverage. Details here:

  13. Eric Burney|

    READ YOUR POLICY. I did and saw this: travel insurance is meant to protect travelers against sudden and unforeseen events — not threats that are already on the horizon when the insurance is purchased. If you buy travel insurance after a winter or tropical storm is named, your plan won’t provide coverage for claims related to that event. Link: Check out this article on

  14. Janet Braslow|

    John, I really beg to differ with you about the service and availability of Allianz. I have always purchased travel insurance but never Allianz. And after dealing with an international medical accident and Allianz recently I NEVER WILL BUY ALLIANZ. My travel companion, an experienced hiker, fell in Bhutan and fractured her hip. Connectivity is difficult there, but reaching someone in Boston was extraordinarily frustrating. While she was sitting in a hotel room with a fractured hip I was trying to get through to the medical line. After being disconnected and calling back the agent who tried to connect me said the Medical line hung up on him because we did not have a claim number. A claim number was promised in 5 minutes, but not received in 2 days. Another call from Bhutan connected me with a representative who said I must fill out an online form to get that claim number. Explaining I was working with a phone and limited connectivity, I asked if she would please download it and email it to me. She said she could not do that. (I learned later it is no longer on the web site and that (after 6 agents and 6 days) I actually needed the needed the 7 digit “medical” claim number rather than the 10 digit claim number) Fsst forward, after we paid to get the front row on a small plane flight to Delhi, India and CAR transport to Hospital (unaided and no offer of air evac by Allianz) the hospital experience itself was good for her total hip replacement. However getting medical clearance before Allianz would reschedule our flights home took WAY too long. “you will have to wait until your case manager comes in in 9 hours” They called the surgeon 3 times the day after she was discharged, and we were back in a hotel room. I set the alarm to call at 2:30 am Delhi time so I could speak with the travel department, and they finally had our reservations – will almost all. They had missed my flight to my home. Shockingly after emailing and calling less than 10 hours before our flight, they were UNAWARE that at many international airports one MUST have a printed or screenshot of the air itinerary to enter the airport property (including Delhi). They did finally email me one. AND the representative had no idea what Global Entry was when I asked to have my “known traveler number” added. I hope their reimbursement process works better.

  15. John F. Caffrey|

    For every “feel good” story about Allianz there is a “horror” story. Mine is a denial of coverage when a French company cancelled a bike and barge trip. We got the cost of the actual trip refunded by the French company which owned the boat but not a penny for the flight and hotel fees (all non-refundable). Allianz claimed that there was no coverage for the acts of the French government in cancelling the boat’s permit to operate. What BS but typical. Not enough at stake to file a claim, especially since the flights were booked with ff miles. However, I do buy a policy of annual insurance for health reasons but I buy it from Blue Cross. We have had some claims and they have always come thru for us.

  16. Mike|

    What if you have a heart attack and have a large illness claim. Didn’t see any coverage for illness.

  17. Rich Eichen|

    Johnny: The first time I tried to apply, I was unable to obtain insurance, because of the state I lived (OR). Are there still restrictions for residents of certain states? Thanks, Rich

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Rich, I confirmed with Allianz that you should be able to purchase an annual policy in the state of Oregon. If you want them to email you let me know or email them at

  18. Antinéa Rivera|

    I bought Allianz Travel Insurance when I booked rooms for my 94 year old father to go to his Harvard Reunion a few years ago. He wasn’t feeling 100%, so he decided not to go. I went to cancel the rooms several weeks before the reunion festivities and Allianz would not refund our money.

  19. Ron McAlister|

    Because Johnny Jet recommended it, I decided to try Allianz for my next trip. However, after 3 days and waits on hold for up to 2 hours, I still have no travel insurance. And I press #2 for sales. If the wait for sales is over 2 hours, I can’t imaging the wait for Customer Service or someone having a problem. And might I suggest to Allianze that if you are experiencing “”Higher than normal call volume” 24/7, that isn’t higher than normal call volume, that is normal call volume.
    Sorry Johnny Jet, but this recommendation is a fail.

  20. Robin K|

    Hi Johnny, this is a few years after you wrote this article, but found it while I’m researching travel health insurance – – – you note in the comments that you have the Allianz and also the MedJet (MedJet looks great and based on your comment I’ve signed up for an annual basic membership) – my question is why would one carry both – Allianz seems superfluous if you have MedJet ? Would love your opinion, thank you – – –

    1. Johnny Jet|

      MedJet is added protection and will take you to the hospital of your choice

  21. Barbara R|

    Hi Johnny, The Allianz link above is not working. I wanted to give you credit, for buying their insurance. I am also going to purchase the yearly Medjet from the link that you posted. Thank you

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Barbara

      Thanks for letting me know. I will fix the link to just (they don’t have an affiliate program anymore)

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