When you’re ready to purchase travel insurance, you’ll have a nearly endless selection of companies from which to select. You can begin, however, by narrowing your choices to those companies that are highly-rated by respected insurance financial rating companies, such as A.M. Best.
One such travel insurance company is Travelex Insurance Services (TIS). TIS and its underwriter, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, both receive high A++ financial ratings by A.M. Best.
TIS was founded, and makes its current home, in Omaha, Nebraska. The company was born when it was part of the insurance giant Mutual of Omaha Companies, then was subsequently purchased by the prominent currency exchange company, Travelex. While the company still bears the name, Travelex Insurance Services is no longer affiliated with Travelex Currency Services, Inc.
TIS is now owned by an Australian company, Cover-More Group, which facilitates the offering of TIS insurance products worldwide.
Now that we established TIS’s reputability, we can move on to discover if TIS offers a travel insurance policy that will appropriately cover your specific travel loss concerns at a price that delivers good value.
In this article, we’ll offer our take on how TIS handles coverage for COVID-19, review the types of policies the company offers, and let you know how to obtain a quote. We’ll also compare Travelex with other travel insurance companies and with the coverage that comes on your credit card.
Before we get started on TIS’s offerings, let’s talk briefly about why you would want to consider purchasing travel insurance.
Why Purchase Travel Insurance
Travel insurance, like other insurance, protects your personal investment from loss due to unforeseen circumstances. The greater the amount of money you have at risk, the more economic sense it makes to purchase travel insurance.
Travel insurance can also provide peace of mind. You can enjoy planning a trip and taking the journey knowing that you are protected should a covered event cause a trip cancellation or disruption.
You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance in the following situations:
- If your trip includes several travel providers and non-refundable deposits that would be at risk should your trip need to be canceled
- Your health insurance will not cover you during your travels
- If your only health coverage is Medicare that will not cover you abroad, except in rare circumstances
- You’re traveling to a remote area where, if you become ill or injured, you would need to be evacuated
- Your trip is expensive and you would lose a lot of money should you have to cancel or have a disruption during the trip
Bottom Line: Travel insurance is not necessary for all trips but if you have a lot of money at risk or you’re concerned about having medical coverage while traveling, it’s prudent to purchase a travel insurance policy.
Travel Insurance and the COVID-19 Virus
If you’ve had to cancel a trip recently due to a fear of contracting the coronavirus or your destination has become inaccessible, you’ve probably wished you had purchased travel insurance.
It may be surprising, but travel insurance does not cover trip cancellations due to these reasons. Travel insurance is meant to cover unforeseen events, so once coronavirus (COVID-19) became a pandemic, it was a known event so insurance no longer applied. Think of the situation similar to buying hurricane insurance after a hurricane has been sighted — it’s not possible.
While Travelex, like other travel insurance companies, does not cover voluntary trip cancellation due to COVID-19, there are cases where COVID-19 related claims may be covered.
Here are some situations where Travelex could cover a loss due to the virus:
- You become ill with the virus before traveling and need to cancel your trip (trip cancellation/interruption coverage)
- You become ill while traveling and need to be evacuated (emergency evacuation)
- A non-traveling family member or key business partner becomes ill and you must cancel your trip (trip cancellation/interruption coverage)
If you think you might have to cancel a trip, you could purchase Cancel for Any Reason insurance (CFAR) that allows you to cancel for any reason you feel is necessary. Travelex, however, does not currently offer CFAR insurance.
To find travel insurance that includes Cancel for Any Reason insurance, you can use sites such as InsureMyTrip, TravelInsurance.com, and AardvarkCompare that compare several travel insurance policies that offer the coverage.
Hot Tip: If you reschedule a trip due to COVID-19 and have purchased a travel insurance policy for that trip, you may be able to move the coverage to the new trip. Travel insurance companies, including Travelex, have become flexible in this respect. In some cases, you may also have the option of a refund.
Types of Policies Available With Travelex
Travelex offers 2 core types of policies: 1 that covers entire trips and another that covers flight-related losses. For each of these types of policies, you’ll find both a basic plan and a more comprehensive option.
Let’s take a look at the types of coverages you can expect to find on each plan.
Trip Insurance Policies
Travelex’s most comprehensive trip policy, Travel Select, offers the following coverages.
- Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay
- Baggage insurance
- Emergency medical and dental
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Cancel for Business Reason coverage
- Pre-existing condition exclusion waiver included if purchased within 21 days of initial trip deposit
- Financial default coverage included if policy purchased within 21 days of initial trip deposit
- Children 17 and under are covered for no extra charge
- Option to add additional medical and sports adventure coverage as well as car rental insurance and accidental death/dismemberment
The Travel Basic trip policy offers the following:
- Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay
- Baggage insurance
- Emergency medical and dental
- Emergency medical evacuation
The following coverages are also included in the Travel Basic plan when the policy is purchased within 15 days of your initial trip deposit.
- Cancel for Business Reason coverage
- Financial default coverage
- Pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver
Travel Basic and Travel Select plans are single-trip policies. Travelex does not offer annual multi-trip policies.
Hot Tip: Did you know that your credit card may already come with some insurance benefits? Explore the best cards for trip cancellation, delay and baggage insurance.
Flight Insurance Policies
You’ll have 2 options for purchasing flight insurance. Flight Insure and Flight Insure Plus plans offer primary flight insurance that comes with flight-related coverages.
The best plan, Flight Insure Plus, offers the following benefits.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment, up to $1,000,000
- Trip delay coverage up to $100
- Baggage and personal effects up to $1,000
- Baggage delay up to $500
- Emergency medical and dental up to $10,000
- Emergency evacuation up to $100,000
- Travel assistance and concierge service 24/7
One coverage notably absent from the flight insurance policies is the lack of coverage for flight cancellation. Plus, the basic Flight Insure plan does not cover baggage, medical and dental coverage, or medical evacuation. It is basically an Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy with a $100 trip delay benefit.
All of the policies offered by Travelex offer primary coverage, which means you do not have to file a claim with other insurance first. Also, none of its policies have deductibles that need to be paid for coverage to apply.
Bottom Line: Travelex offers 2 levels of single-trip travel insurance policies and 2 flight insurance policy options. All of these plans provide primary coverage that does not require you to file a claim with other insurance first. Also, none of the policies have deductibles.
How to Obtain a Quote
Trip Insurance or Flight Insurance
Trip insurance pricing is based on factors including the age of the traveler(s), total trip costs, and state of residence.
For example, a travel insurance policy for a person 35 insuring a $3,000 trip will cost less than a traveler age 60 purchasing the same policy. Additionally, a trip that costs $2,000 will cost less to insure than $3,000 trip, regardless of age.
To obtain a fast and easy quote via Travelex, you simply select whether you want to obtain a quote for a leisure trip policy or just flight insurance. You’ll then need to enter the total cost of your trip, the dates you’re traveling, your destination, and your age. It’s as simple as that.
Selecting and purchasing a policy is also risk-free as you will then have 15 days to review the policy and determine if it meets your needs. If not, you can cancel and receive a full refund.
Bottom Line: Securing a quote, selecting a policy, and then purchasing coverage with Travelex is a very simple process. You can also purchase risk-free as you’ll have 15 days to review the policy and decide whether to keep it. If not, you can request a refund for the entire amount.
How Travelex Compares — Summary
Let’s reflect on what we know so far — Travelex is a financially stable company offering competitive single-trip travel insurance policies that can cover the entire trip or just the flight experience.
What we don’t know at this point is how Travelex policies compare with the coverage that comes with a premium travel rewards credit card or with other insurance companies.
Let’s take a look at how Travelex compares and whether purchasing travel insurance through Travelex is worth it.
Travelex vs. Credit Card Travel Insurance
The travel insurance that comes with your credit card is not meant to replace a comprehensive travel insurance policy but it can provide back up coverage for an average trip.
Let’s look at how the best Travelex trip policy compares with the travel insurance that comes with a premium travel rewards card such as the Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Make note that enrollment may be required for some American Express benefits below, so be sure to enroll through your American Express account.
We’ve selected 2 of the top premium travel rewards cards offering travel insurance. Although premium travel rewards cards do charge a high annual fee, there is no extra charge for the travel insurance benefits that come with the cards.
|Coverage||Amex Platinum Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card||Travelex Trip Select|
|Car Rental Insurance||Secondary Coverage||Primary Coverage||Not included, available for purchase|
|Trip Cancellation||$10,000 per trip, $20,000 per 12-month period||$10,000 per trip, $20,000 per occurrence, $40,000 per 12-month period||Up to 100% of trip cost|
|Trip Interruption||$10,000 per trip, $20,000 per 12-month period||$10,000 per person, $20,000 per occurrence, $40,000 per 12-month period||Up to 150% of trip cost|
|Trip Delay||$500 per trip, limit 2 claims per 12-month period||$500 per person, per trip||$250/day up to $750 total|
|Lost/Damaged Luggage||Up to $3,000||Up to $3,000 per person, per trip||$1,000|
|Baggage Delay||N/A||Up to $500 per person, per trip||$200|
|Emergency Medical and Dental||N/A||$2,500 with $50 deductible||$50,000 ($500 limit on dental)|
|Emergency Evacuation||Covered, no limit stated||Up to $100,000||$500,000|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||N/A||Up to $1,000,000||$25,000 included with the option to purchase higher limits|
|Travel and Emergency Assistance||Included||Included||Included|
While it may appear like you’re receiving a lot of coverage on the premium travel rewards cards, there are 2 key reasons that purchasing the Travelex trip insurance is a desirable option.
First, the coverage that comes with your credit card is generally secondary to other insurance. This means you will need to deal with travel providers or other insurance first, then with the credit card’s third-party administrator if you have a claim. With Travelex, you’ll be dealing directly with the insurance company.
Additionally, the Travelex Travel Select policy offers superior medical coverage. You won’t find meaningful medical coverage, other than a rare minimal limit, on any credit card.
One downside is that you would need to purchase a Travelex policy each time you travel to ensure you have coverage. This may not be an issue if you travel on 1 or 2 major trips each year.
Bottom Line: The Travelex Travel Select policy is a good option if you are concerned about having medical coverage during your travels. It is also a good choice if you want to have primary travel insurance versus secondary travel insurance coverages that come with credit cards.
Let’s look at the cost and coverage of purchasing flight insurance via Travelex and how it compares with the coverage that comes with a premium travel rewards credit card.
You’ll have 2 flight insurance choices from which to select, the Flight Insure Plus plan at $39 or the basic Flight Insure plan at $17.
Now let’s compare coverages on these Travelex flight insurance plans with the coverages that come complimentary on the Amex Platinum card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
|Coverage||Amex Platinum Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card||Travelex Flight Insure Plus – starts at $39 |
|Trip Cancellation||$10,000 per trip, $20,000 per 12-month period||$10,000 per person, $20,000 per occurrence, $40,000 per 12-month period||N/A|
|Trip Interruption||$10,000 per trip, $20,000 per 12-month period||$10,000 per person, $20,000 per occurrence, $40,000 per 12-month period||N/A|
|Baggage and Personal Effects||Up to $3,000 per person, per trip||Up to $3,000 per person, per trip||*$1,000|
|Emergency Medical and Dental||N/A||$2,500||*$10,000 with a $500 maximum for dental|
|Emergency Evacuation||Included, no stated limit||$100,000||*$100,000|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||N/A||Up to $1,000,000||$300,000 with the option to purchase higher limits of $500,000 or $1,000,000|
*These coverages are not included on the basic Flight Insure plan ($17).
There are very few advantages to purchasing flight insurance with Travelex, especially its basic plan that only offers AD&D and $100 in trip delay coverage. Also, neither the Flight Basic or Flight Insure Plus policies come with flight cancellation/interruption coverage.
The travel insurance coverage that comes with premium travel rewards cards could be sufficient for most trips, except for medical coverage.
Bottom Line: The coverage that comes on premium travel rewards credit cards could be sufficient to provide coverage for most trips versus flight insurance with Travelex. One exception to this is medical coverage which, if important, can be obtained by purchasing the Flight Insure Plus plan with Travelex.
Travelex vs. Travel Insurance Companies
To compare TIS to other travel insurance companies, we obtained a quote for a 35-year-old traveling to Mexico for a week on a trip that cost $3,000. Policy prices are based on the age of the traveler(s), the total cost of the trip, and the state/country of residence.
We began by utilizing InsureMyTrip, a site that compares dozens of travel insurance companies and hundreds of policies.
The following coverages were including in the comparisons:
- Trip cancellation $3,000
- Trip interruption $4,500
- Pre-existing conditions waiver
- Travel delay and baggage delay
- Cancel for business reasons coverage was included on the Travelex and AIG quotes
Where the Travelex policy differed most was on medical coverage which topped out at $50,000 while the other 2 policies offered $100,000 limit. Additionally, the Travelex policy offered $500,000 emergency medical evacuation while the other 2 policies offered $1,000,000.
One key reason the Travel Insured International policy quoted lower was due to many of its coverages being secondary that would require you to file a claim with other insurance first. Coverages on the other 2 quotes are primary coverage.
Let’s look at another comparison from SquareMouth, another popular travel insurance comparison website.
While we find that Travelex looks like the least expensive option of the 3 similar travel insurance policies, both the John Hancock and TravelSafe policies include Cancel for Any Reason insurance that would cover 75% of the trip’s cost regardless of the reason for cancellation.
Bottom Line: The Travel Select insurance policy offered by Travelex, as priced in our limited sampling, held its own competitively against other travel insurance companies with similar level products for the same trip. However, in general, the policy as quoted offered less medical coverage overall, lower emergency medical evacuation limits, and the lack of an option to purchase Cancel for Any Reason insurance. On the plus side, higher limits that match the competitors could be added to the Travelex policy for just $12 more in premium.
Travelex Insurance Services is a stable, financially viable company that you can depend on for your travel insurance needs. Its Travel Select product, the best of its 4 policy offerings, is competitively priced and has all the coverage you need to be protected during your trip.
Although its shortcoming is the lack of a Cancel for Any Reason insurance purchase option, other travel insurance companies are also eliminating the option to purchase CFAR add-on coverage. TIS also does not offer a multi-trip or annual travel insurance policy option — a popular choice for those who travel frequently.
If you have a family, the Travel Select policy can be a good option as children 17 and under are covered for no extra charge. Also, a note for seniors — we were able to obtain a quote for a traveler up to 100 years of age.
When we look at how Travelex flight insurance compares, we can find the same, or better, coverage on premium travel rewards credit cards. One exception to this is medical coverage. If you are concerned at all about being covered for medical when traveling abroad, you should purchase travel insurance.
The final advantage of purchasing primary travel insurance coverage with a travel insurance company such as Travelex is so you do not have to file a claim with another insurance company first or deal with the credit card company’s third-party claims administrator.
For the rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
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