Planning and preparing for a trip can be fun and exciting. Personally I love flicking through Lonely Planets seeking out those “Must See” places and I adore trawling through forums for insider advice. I relish the challenge of arranging sophisticated logistics and revel in finding bargain flights from London to the ends of the earth.
The feeling I get during the days before I start a trip is exciting and invigorating. In fact, sometimes I wonder whether I’m equally as addicted to this “state of leaving” as I am to travel itself.
What is far less exciting though, is comparing Travel Insurance policies. There are far too many policies and providers out there with far too many fine print details to scrutinise. To make finding and buying Travel Insurance that bit easier for you, we have tried, tested and reviewed all of the best providers out there.
Allianz Travel Insurance Review
Today we are going to review Allianz Travel Insurance. I have spent hours going through their policies and breaking them down for you. By the end of this post you should know whether Allianz is the right travel insurance for you or whether you would be better served elsewhere.
Before we begin the Allianz Travel Insurance review, please note that a number of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click them, we may receive a commission. Furthermore, do note that terms and conditions of insurance policies are subject to changes and are always ultimately based on your individual circumstances. Therefore, it is very important that you read any policy terms and conditions yourself.
Do You Need Travel Insurance?
After shelling out for flights, Visa’s and a new backpack, having to find a few more bucks for travel insurance may feel a bit depressing. I mean, all you get is a “Policy Certificate” a boring 100 page booklet to read. Aren’t there more sexy & fun things to be spending that money on?
So you may well be asking yourself, ‘Do I need travel insurance?’ Afterall, most trips, vacations and odysseys end happily and safely without any ill occurrence. There is no definitive answer to this.
Here at the Broke Backpacker, we have probably spent around 10 years backpacking the globe and have probably visited over 100 countries. Most of those trips ended without incident. However, we have also clocked up a fair few mishaps along the way ranging from inflected legs, to tropical disease, all the way to gun-point robberies. These incidents were all bad enough in of themselves, sometimes leaving physical and mental scars.
Thankfully though, we were all insured at the time. This meant that we were spared the further trauma of paying out $10,000 medical bills or of having to find $400 for a new iPhone.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
To help you to decide whether you personally do need travel insurance, let’s take a general look at some of the things Travel Insurance can help with, and where you would be without it.
Luggage gets lost both on planes and in airports. It shouldn’t happen, but it sure as hell does. In fact, the aviation watchdog states that 5.73 items of luggage are lost for every 1000 passengers. That means that if you take 10 flights, then there is a 5% chance of your luggage getting lost forever. Some airports and airlines lose more baggage than others but all of them are equally as obtuse and obstructive when it comes to trying to make a claim.
Lost luggage can ruin your whole trip. I mean, imagine you head to Iceland and they lose all your cold weather gear?! That in itself is bad enough but replacing everything you own can mean you then have to find $1000 to replace your clothes, and get a new camera. Any decent travel insurance policy usually covers lost luggage, usually up to at least $1000.
Foreign medical care costs can be very high. Our founder Will Hatton was once hospitalised in Costa Rica and ran up bills in excess of $10,000. More recently he spent 1 night in a Thai hospital, was billed $1,000 and his passport was used as a ransom (that boy has no luck. Maybe he should stay at home?). Personally, I don’t have $10,000 to pay to Costa Rican Doctors, but I do have maybe $50 to buy myself a travel insurance policy.
If you come from the UK or Europe, the cost of medical care in some parts of the world can be quite a revelation. If you’re in the US, then you already know all about health extortion. But do remember, your domestic health insurance will most probably not cover you outside of the US.
Accidents do happen (and without warning…) and ill health can strike any of us down at any time, anywhere. In fact, if you have experienced the driving or the hygiene standards in India, you’ll already know that you are actually at a much higher risk of coming to some harm out on the road than you are at home. Yeah, travelling can be dangerous.
- Travel Disruption & Cancellation
Travel disruption comes in all shapes and sizes. Every year a few airlines or travel agents go out of business usually leaving passengers stranded. Recently the UK lost Thomas Cook and nearly lost FlyBE.
Booking flights home at short notice is costly. Not getting home on time on the other hand, can mean getting sacked from your job. Ouch. If you have to stay a few more nights at your destination waiting for a flight home, then that can also stretch a maxed out travel budget.
Having travel insurance can therefore mean the difference between desperately raiding your overdraft to pay for a hostel, or getting a few extra days vacation free of charge.
This can also include cancellation – if you for some reason, something comes up and you are no longer able to take your trip. For that reason, it is often worth taking out Insurance as soon as you book your trip.
Sadly, tourists are a target for thieves in many parts of the world. Our team have been robbed with guns in South America and I know people who’s hotels have been burgled, leaving them without diamond jewellery and MacBooks.
Being robbed can be scary. But having to find $400 for a new iPhone on top of that just sucks. This is why having insurance can be a good thing.
In the unlikely event of your demise, your travel insurance can cover the cost of repatriation or sending your body home. The costs of this can otherwise run into several thousands of dollars.
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Should I Get Insurance?
Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them and yet, it clearly does happen to somebody.
Furthermore, the law of averages dictates that if you travel enough, something, somewhere will eventually go wrong. Just like you should always look twice before crossing the road, and always wear your helmet before riding a bike, you really should think about getting travel insurance.
By the way, some countries even require you to obtain insurance before even letting you enter. Imagine been turned back at the airport for the sake of a few quid?!
So do you need travel insurance? Only you can decide that. But I personally never leave home without it.
Who Are Allianz?
If you’re reading this then I guess you decided that you do need travel insurance. Welcome to the world of sensible adults (AKA, accepting your own mortality and the fact that you have no control whatsoever over the universe, despite whatever bullshit “The Secret” may have told you).
Allianz are perhaps one of the biggest insurance companies in the world. They have been trading for over 120 years and they have offices a functions across the globe in a number of business areas.
Travel Insurance is by no means their primary focus or modus operandi, but this is not a bad thing. Note that even “specialist travel insurers” are often in fact, brands or shop fronts backed by big insurance companies like Allianz.
They are governed by the Financial Services regulators in pretty much every national market they trade in. This means that if you have a problem with them, you can squeal on them and have your case reviewed independently and fairly by an adjudicator free of charge.
Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s take a look at the policies they offer.
Allianz Travel Insurance Policies
Allianz are a major financial service provider and as such, they offer quite a few different cover types, policies and plans aimed at different travellers. We’re now going to quickly run through them and examine the crucial differences between them.
Firstly, Allianz can offer travellers 2 main types of policy. Within these main policy types are little variations. The main policy types are OneTrip and AllTrips.
As the name kind of suggests, OneTrip covers one single, specific trip generally with a fixed start and end date. For example, if you are headed to Amsterdam for 4 days next June and then coming home, that is One Trip.
AllTrips on the other hand covers any and all trips that you make in a one year period. The period runs from the date you take out the policy, or a date of your choosing, and lasts for 365 days (or 366 in a leap year). You can take an unlimited number of trips in the year, and spend a total of up to x days traveling. Do be sure to note that all of your chosen destinations are covered by the policy though, otherwise you may need to obtain additional cover.
Within both the OneTrip and AllTrips umbrellas are 3 variations (Basic, Prime, Premier) which vary depending on how much cover you want and how much you want to pay.
This policy covers all of the travel insurance basics such as medical costs, cancellations and lost luggage. Look at it as the entry level “classic cover” if you like.
The plan may be able to offer;
Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage up to $10,000 and $50,000 for Medical Evacuation (ie, being sent home on a stretcher). Whilst these amounts may seem high, they may not always be enough especially if you need to be airlifted home from the other side of the world, from the remote jungle, or from high mountains.
Lost or Stolen Baggage Cover up to $500 and $200 for Delayed Baggage. Now, $500 may be enough for your baggage depending on how expensive your clothes are, and whether you pack any specialist equipment. However, a decent backpack is usually worth around $200.
Cancellation Cover up to $100,00. One of the best features of the OneTrip Basic plan is that Allianz may be able reimburse the full cost of your trip if you need to cancel or terminate the trip early. However, the reason for cancellation needs to be one of Allianz Global Assistance’s list of acceptable cancellation reasons – you can’t claim simply because you got bored or changed your mind.
This policy is a good all rounder and ideal for travelers on a budget. However, it does have some limitations. Some of the coverage amounts may feel a bit on the tight side. Furthermore, OneTrip Basic plan does not include coverage for missed connections or airline change fees. There are also relatively fewer accepted reasons for claiming on the trip cancellation clause.
Broadly speaking, Prime is more or less the same as the basic package but with increased coverage amounts. The policy may be able to offer;
Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage up to $25,000 worth of and $500,000 worth of emergency evacuation coverage.
Lost and Stolen Baggage Cover up to $1,000 which should easily cover most people’s hold luggage. However, do note that the per item max is $500 so if you pack your $8000 leather jacket into the hold, you will only get $500 back for it. It also includes Baggage Delay Costs of up to $300.
Missed Connection Coverage up to $800.
Airline Change Fees up to $250.
In case you need a bit more on top of that, then we have One~Trip Premier. The Allianz OneTrip Premier policy is essentially the Prime one with even higher coverage amounts. OneTrip Premier may be able to offer cover to;
Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage of up to $25,000 to $50,000.
Emergency Evacuation Coverage also increases to $1,000,000. With international evacuation averaging around $100,000, this amount is more than adequate to cover your transportation back home.
Lost or Stolen Baggage of up $2,000. However, like with the OneTrip Prime plan, you can only claim for a maximum of $500 per item (up to $2,000 in total). $600 in Baggage Delay.
Travel Delay coverage up to $1,600.
Missed Connection Coverage up to $1,600.
Other Allianz OneTrip Options & Offshoots!
In case that wasn’t choice enough for you, Allianz also offer 2 offshoots of their OneTrip policy. If you like, look at them as the highly specialised cousins of the OneTrip family.
- OneTrip Cancellation Plus Plan
OneTrip Cancellation Plus Plan is definitely Allianz’s budget policy. With this plan, you are only covered against trip cancellations, interruptions and delays. Medical coverage, medical transportation and baggage loss is not included.
Personally I would only consider this policy if (1) you are not checking luggage (2) you have medical coverage elsewhere. For example, this may be OK if you are an EU citizen taking a short break to another EU country where you only have carry-on luggage and an EU emergency healthcare card. That said, I am not sure why you should be so concerned about delays or interruptions in such a scenario!
- OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan
This policy is great for travellers who only want Medical coverage on one single trip. It provides up to £50,00 in emergency medical coverage, and $250,000 in emergency medical transportation coverage.
Remember that this plan only offers protection for medical costs. If you are robbed, your cuts and bruises are covered but your stolen phone is not. If the airline loses your luggage it is not covered and you claim for heartbreak. If your trip is cancelled, it will not be covered.
This plan is, therefore, for anybody who’s sole and only concern is healthcare costs.
Remember, the OneTrip policies cover one specific trip. The AllTrips policies we are going to detail below cover long, or multiple trips within a one year period.
Note that AllTrips policies may also be able tp offer Rental Car damage cover as well Dismemberment Cover. On the flip side, the Cancellation Cover is either non-existent or is limited.
The AllTrips basic may be able to offer coverage for the “classic” issues on multiple trips within a one year period. Let’s see those numbers.
Emergency Medical Coverage of $20,000,00 and $100,000 in Emergency Evacuation Coverage. Note that $20,00 on medical emergencies may still be a little on the low side in the event you get very sick in an expensive part of the world such as the US.
Lost/Stolen or Damaged Baggage up to $1,000. Yes, this may be able to cover most checked bags but remember the $500 max item clause. Baggage Delay is offered up to $200 and then $300 for travel delay.
Note that the AllTrips Basic plan does not come with Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage. Remember that means you will not be reimbursed in case you are unable to go on your trip!
Rental Car Damage Coverage up to $45,000. Note that additional premiums may apply.
As you probably guessed, AllTrips Prime is more or less the same as the basic package with some increased coverage amounts. The policy may be able to offer;
Emergency Medical Coverage of $20,000,00 and $100,000 in Emergency Transportation Coverage.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage up to $2,000.00. Remember that the reason for cancellation needs to be one of Allianz Global Assistance’s list of acceptable cancellation reasons.
Lost/Stolen or Damaged Baggage up to $1,000 and $200 for Baggage Delay.
Travel Delay up to $300.
Rental Car Damage Coverage up to $45,000. Note that additional premiums may apply.
If you want even more coverage, then we have AllTrips Premier. The Allianz AllTrips Premier policy is basically the Prime one with even higher coverage amounts. AllTrips Primer may be able to cover;
Emergency Medical Coverage of $50,000,00 and $500,000 in Emergency Transportation Coverage.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage up to $2,000.00.
Lost/Stolen or Damaged Baggage up to $1,000 and $200 for Baggage Delay.
Travel Delay Coverage of up to $1,500.00.
Rental Car Damage Coverage up to $45,000. Note that additional premiums may apply.
Dismemberment and Travel Accident up to $50,000 if you lose a limb or your eyesight when traveling.
What’s Covered By Allianz Travel Insurance?
We’re now going top drill down and look at the various things that may be covered by Allianz travel insurance. Remember that some of these are covered by some policy types but not others, and note that coverage amounts and excess’ also vary depending on the exact Allianz policy type.
- Emergency Medical Coverage
Got food poisoning in Delhi? Got hit by a moped in Bangkok? Or maybe you just slipped in the shower and broke your wrist in Madrid? These things can, and do happen and will all require emergency medical treatment. Being sick, infirm and unable to play Candy Crash is bad enough as it is, so the last thing you want is a hefty medical bill which you have to pay out of your own pocket.
Emergency accident and sickness coverage is quite likely the most important aspect of any travel insurance plan.
Medical Evacuation is when you need to be sent to your home country, or another country for further or continued medical treatment, and are too sick to travel home normally as a regular passenger. For example – if you are stuck in a hospital bed on a drip in a leg cast.
Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip (after the effective date of your insurance plan) due to covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike or other covered reasons.
Includes the same stipulations as listed above in “Trip Cancellation”. Includes the caveat of covering the cost of accommodation to you if you are delayed.
Being compensated for lost personal gear is likely the second most important aspect of your insurance. This is one of the most common reason for Travel Insurance Claims. This covers reimbursement for loss, theft, or damage incurred during the trip. It can be applied to all personal items that were lost, stolen, or else accidentally blown off the roof of a chicken bus traveling at top speed.
In the event your checked baggage is delayed or misplaced by the air carrier (for more than 12 hours), you can claim reimbursement for any necessary items you need to purchase until your bag arrives. This will typically mean toiletries but may even mean some clothes if you can demonstrate the purchase to have been essential.
Travel Delay cover protects you when you’re unable to reach your destination on time due to circumstances beyond your control. If your airline cancels your flight due to a technical fault, Allianz will reimburse you for any meals, transportation or accommodation costs you incurred as a result.
Note that delays of less than 6 hours are not covered.
Have you ever tried to change or vary a flight date or add or remove a passenger?! The fees can be insanely high. This is where Change Fee coverage comes in. If you have the AllTrips Executive, OneTrip Prime or OneTrip Premier plan, you can claim up to $500 to cover the cost of the airline change fee.
If you are in an accident, you may be entitled to claim a compensation payment in addition to your medical/repatriation costs. This is usually reserved for loss of limb/eyesight type scenarios and you can’t claim for whiplash or emotional trauma from falling from a donkey!
The Travel Accident Coverage is also payable to your family in the event of your death.
- Rental Car Damage and Theft Coverage
The AllTrips polices also include rental car damage cover. This can often prove considerably cheaper than obtaining insurance direct from the rental car provider.
If you are resident of the US, this feature may not be available to you. For clarity, we suggest you speak with Allianz direct.
What’s Not Covered by Allianz Travel Insurance
There are some notable omissions from Allianz’s cover. Let’s take a look at them.
- Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition which causes you problems on your trip, it is not covered under the Allianz policies. This is fairly common amongst insurers. It is important that you do declare any pre-existing conditions when taking the policy out.
Allianz Travel Insurance does not any kind of adrenaline sport such as Quad Biking and Parachuting.
Who Is Allianz Travel Insurance Suitable For?
So as you can see, Allianz offers a lot of different policy types for a lot of different people. Allianz Travel Insurance may therefore be suitable for the following kinds of travellers;
- Annual Travelers – With the Allianz annual plan, you may be covered for a full Gregorian year! Your whole rotative journey around the sun may be covered in the policy no matter how many times you travel! Annual plans are great for frequent and long term travelers as they can save you money in the long run. If you intend on travelling a lot this year, consider this.
- Senior/Ageing Travelers – There is no age limit for Allianz insurance policyholders. Believe us, not all insurers offer this and we have had a LOT of queries from over 65’s & over 70’s who have struggled to find insurance elsewhere on the market.
- Traveling Families – Allianz travel insurance policies may allow children under the age of 17 to travel with their parents for free, on selected plans. This is great for families with kids. My earliest travel memory is of a Spanish ER department, my parents were glad they have me on their policy otherwise my foot would still be bleeding 33 years later!
Who isn’t Allianz Travel Insurance Suitable For?
Whilst they do offer a myriad of different plans to cover most travellers types, Allianz is perhaps not the ideal travel insurance company for absolutely everybody out there.
- Adventure Travelers – Allianz Travel Insurance does not offer protection for extreme activity or sport of any kind! If you plan on doing any dangerous, adrenaline type activities, then consider World Nomads who offer coverage for over 201 different extreme sports. SafetyWing are also rapidly extending their extreme coverage.
- Travelers Wanting High Medical Coverage – We usually recommend traveling with at least $100,000 of emergency medical coverage. Unfortunately, Allianz do not offer this amount of coverage under any of their plans. If you come down with a severe illness or are mangled by a badger, you might be stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills so need to be prepared. On the contrary, World Nomads do offer $100,000 in medical emergency cover.
- Corporation Haters – Allianz are a major international finance company and we know some of you prefer not to deal with such organisations. That’s a perfectly legitimate point of view. However, remember that even a lot of “boutique” insurers are in fact ultimately shop fronts for big insurers such as Zurich, Lloyds or even Allianz. In fact, all some boutique firms do is sell you the illusion of dealing with a small firm and charge you a hefty commission for the privilege.
How Much Does Allianz Travel Insurance Cost?
So now we know the details, the next burning question is how much does Allianz Travel Insurance cost? The exact pricing details do vary depending on a whole wide range of factors such as your age, location, your trip plans and numerous other factors that only the gods of insurance can compute.
However, as a loose guide we have set out some typical pricing below.
Other Travel Insurance Providers
World Nomads offers coverage for backpackers and adventure trailers. They are one of our favourite travel insurance providers and we have used them for years.
Unlike Allianz, World Nomads are a travel insurer with a focus on backpackers.
World Nomads do offer 2 separate plans depending on how much cover you want and what exactly you intend to do. World Nomads can also offer trip cancellation, electronic gadget, and theft cover in the policies.
Word Nomads can cover over 140 countries (but not Pakistan which is a shame for us). They can also cover a wide range of adventure sports which Allianz do not. However, they do not offer home country cover and do not offer open ended cover.
The big pro with World Nomads is that they can cover a lot of extreme and adventure stuff like mountaineering. For many, this gives them a big edge over Allianz.
If you are not planning on doing any adventure stiff though, then you may find World Nomads to be a bit expensive.
For more information about World Nomads – check out our World Nomads Review.
SafetyWing are a relatively new player on the scene. They are founded by travellers, for travellers and their primary target is Digital Nomads – people like me who move around the world working from our laptops. We can go many years without ever going “home” and SafetyWing recognises this and can offer open ended cover.
Another travel insurance provider for backpackers and long-term travelers is Alpha Travel Insurance.
Alpha offer insurance can cover trips up to 24 months. This is ideal for doing that 2 year working holiday in Australia. Most providers only offer up to 12 months.
With Alpha, you can choose from these insurance policies: Single Trip, Multi-Trip, Long-Stay, or Winter Sports. Alpha provides excellent value for backpackers wanting to travel long-term, with policies starting at just $0.50 per day.
When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?
By this point you may well know which travel insurance is best for you. Maybe it’s Allianz, or maybe it’s one of the others.
The question now then is, when should you buy travel insurance?
You can buy travel insurance up until the start date of your trip. Most insurers will not cover a trip that has already began with the exception of World Nomads. Note that if you ever do make a claim, you may well be asked to provide evidence of the start date so I do not recommend trying to hoodwink insurers – be totally honest or it will come back on you.
However, in our experience, the earlier you book your travel insurance, the better. This is for a number of reasons;
Things sometimes go wrong before the trip even starts. For example, what if the airline goes bust the next day after you buy your ticket?! This happens to 1000s of people every year. Or what if you get very sick a week before flying and have to cancel?! If you have the right travel insurance in place, your insurer may cover you in these scenarios.
Secondly, the vast majority of policies include a cooling off period. This is a period of time (usually 28 days) when you can cancel the policy and get all of your money back. We suggest using the cooling period to read through the policy documents and ensure that the cover fully meets your needs. If upon a closer look it does not, you have time to either contact the insurer and amend the policy, or cancel it and obtain more suitable travel insurance from somebody else.
Personally, I usually book my travel insurance the very same day I book my flight. The only exception is if I already have long term or annual cover in place at the time. In these scenarios, instead be sure to check the last date on your annual/long term cover and make sure it covers your whole trip.
How to Make an Allianz Travel Insurance Claim
First up, it is unlikely you will ever need to make a travel insurance claim. Yipee!
In case you do though, you will be very pleased to hear that the process is usually pretty straightforward and designed to be user friendly as long as you are dealing with a reputable company. If you are not – then, it may be a lot harder.
To initiate a travel insurance claim all you need to do in contact (call) Allianz and chat with their 24/hour multilingual staff. You should do this as soon as possible or as soon as you know you will need to make a claim even if the full extent of the cost is not yet known.
You will need to tell them about your claim including details of what has gone wrong, and what it the damage seems to be. You can also initiate the process online by signing into your account.
If you are claiming for lost or stolen items, you will need to write up a formal sworn statement of events, detailing what happened and what was lost. You will also need to have an official police report made up – it is highly important that you obtain this even if it means you having to pay a fee/bribe or hassle the police to do it. Try to get it in both the native language and in English if possible.
The Insurance company may well wish to contact you to discuss your claim further. You may even be subjected to a bit of an anti-fraud interview and your call may even be ran through voice detection software designed to spot deceit! However, you have nothing to worry about if your claim is legitimate and in order.
It is very helpful to get all of your receipts and invoices together first and submit all expenses for your claim at once. Do keep copies of every expense, bill, invoice and report as you will need to provide these to the claims team so they can assess your claim. They may pay out small amounts without a bill, but in the case of extra hotels, flights or electronics, the rule is usually “no proof = no payment”.
List all accrued expenses for the amount shown on your receipt/invoice and answer all other questions.
After that is sorted, you upload all of your information and documents, review the claim and then click submit. The Allianz team will get cracking and will stay in contact with you throughout this process. Note that resolution time does vary from one case to the next – it may be days, weeks or sometimes months depending on the details of your claim.
Staying Safe on your Adventure
We sincerely hope you never have to claim on your travel insurance and we wish you many a long, happy, safe adventure!
In order to help you stay safe, we do have some top tips for you.
Firstly to make things far more difficult for potential thieves to take your money, pick yourself up a backpacker security belt to keep your cash safe & hidden on the road. Also be sure to read our Backpacker Safety 101 post for tips and tricks to stay safe whilst on the road.
For hiding bigger wads of cash (hello Iran & Venezuela), check out this post on ingenious ways to hide your money when traveling.
Oh, and we strongly recommend traveling with a headlamp whilst backpacking anywhere in the world (every backpacker should have a good headtorch!). They can prevent you falling down a well on a dark night and can light darkened alleyways where thieves may lurk.
Final Thoughts on Allianz Travel Insurance
I hope you found this Allianz Travel Insurance Review to be informative – it certainly took a lot of work on our part to put together! Travel Insurance is important and you need to carefully choose the best provider for your needs. Once again, we wish you an awesome and safe trip!
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