The Best Place To Buy Travel Insurance For Your Next Vacation 2020

The Best Place To Buy Travel Insurance For Your Next Vacation 2020

Joe Garza is looking for the best place to buy travel insurance for his next vacation. But like many travel insurance customers, his situation is a little complicated.

Garza, a retired airline worker, is on Medicare and has a pre-existing medical condition. He needs insurance to cover everything.

"That would also include hospitalization and recovery," he says. "And if you had a travel companion, it would cover their costs, so you're not left alone in a foreign land."

There are a lot of folks like Garza out there. As people start thinking about their upcoming winter trips, they're also looking for ways to protect themselves. Americans spent nearly $2.8 billion on travel protection, according to a 2017 survey by the US Travel Insurance Association, an increase of 19.1% from the year before. They want to know the best place to buy travel insurance.

Among their questions: Do I need separate health insurance? Does my current medical plan cover me? Do common travel insurance plans cover adventure sports? How about emergency evacuation and trip interruptions?

The answers don't have to be complicated. I've already shared my list of the best travel insurance companies. But as a consumer advocate, I also monitor the best sites for buying travel insurance. I poll my readers once a year to find out where they buy their policies. For the rest of the year, I watch the complaints to make sure customers are getting the service they deserve. Then I work up a list.

Where's the best place to buy travel insurance?
For the sake of simplicity, I'll focus on travel insurance sold to Americans for domestic and international trips. There are several terrific sites that specialize in selling insurance to international travelers, like VisitorsCoverage. I think they merit their own story.

Of course, you can buy a policy directly through an insurance company or a travel agent. Bear in mind, too, that your credit card may offer coverage. But an option I really like is a third-party website that allows you to compare and buy a policy. It gives you more control over the process.

✓ You can find a good price and the best value since the sites offer policies from a selection of insurance companies.

✓ You can also compare multiple policies across several insurance companies, finding the coverage that you need.

✓ If something goes wrong, you have an advocate -- the third-party company --to help you with a claim or an appeal.

A third-party site may be the best place to buy travel insurance. Working with independent sites helps answer pressing questions like Garza's. They'll tell you which policy has the best medical insurance or works with your health plans. Medical coverage is a huge issue for travelers, especially seniors on a bucket-list trip. When it comes to medical care, you can't be too careful. Treatment for emergency medical care can bankrupt you when you travel abroad. I've heard too many horror stories about sky-high medical expenses.

So where should you go shopping for peace of mind? Here's my latest list of the best places to buy travel insurance. Many of these companies are run by people I know personally, and whose paths to selling travel insurance online qualify them as advocates for their customers.

I've known the folks at for a long time. I'm always impressed by their intuitive user interface and can-do customer service attitude. If you want to compare policies side-by-side, GIG's process is dead simple and fast. G1G also has a fascinating backstory that has turned it into an advocate for travelers, determined to cut through the "complexity of insurance jargon." I like that. is among the most established travel insurance sellers. The site allows you to compare benefits, get quotes and buy policies from a single source. Plus, its “Anytime Advocates” can help with your claim. says it's put $1 million in coverage “back in travelers’ pockets,” presumably resulting from a wrongful denial. The site also offers a low-price guarantee. I’ve received very few complaints about policies purchased through the company. They’re usually resolved quickly and in the traveler’s favor. sets itself apart by selling quality, not quantity — “offering only the plans and companies that meet our exacting standards,” it says. John Cook,’s president, is a leading authority on travel insurance. He has extensive experience in the insurance industry, and I often turn to him for expert help on my insurance stories. Also, I've had zero complaints about Quotewright's insurance policies, which is unusual.

Among the reasons to consider a more powerful search engine for finding the best policy and a philosophy to find you the least expensive policy. Squaremouth also promises to sell insurance from financially stable companies, and offers a “zero complaint guarantee.” I can speak to that last point. Whenever I receive a grievance that involves a policy bought through Squaremouth, it’s fixed quickly. is another useful source for helping you compare plans. “Our comparison engine allows you to decipher plan benefits and coverage easily,” it says. Its claim to fame is speed. You can quote, compare and buy in just a few minutes. Then the company sends your policy confirmation and documents via email instantly. Like the others, the company stands behind the policies it sells and complaints are rare.

“ was founded by consumer-focused internet executives and not by insurance executives,” says co-founder Stan Sandberg. “Everything we do starts with the question, ‘Is this good for the consumer?” and not, ‘Is this good for the insurance company?’”

The story behind is inspiring. Dan Skilken, the site’s founder, created when he tried to navigate the insurance options for his travels. The result: a site that offers lower prices on the same coverage as the brand-name travel insurance companies. When you shop for a policy, it divides the options into “good,” “better” and “best” policies. That way, you can easily figure out which one is right for you. And like the others, it has 24/7 support and a promise to stand behind its policies.

A little shopping advice on the best place to buy travel insurance

But how do you use these sites to shop for your next travel insurance policy? Based on thousands of travel insurance cases I handle through my consumer advocacy organization every year, my first piece of advice is: Don't take the first offer.

If you're booking a trip online, your travel company may try to pressure you into choosing a policy during your initial booking. Although it can sometimes be a good deal, it often isn't. Travel insurance offered in the heat of the moment can be overpriced and stripped down. It may not even be real insurance, but a "protection" product offered directly by a company. Those plans have significant restrictions.

I recommend bookmarking all of these sites and spending a few minutes comparison shopping between them. But don’t forget your travel agent or your travel insurance company’s direct website. You might find a great price on the perfect policy there, too. In other words, shop around.

With these sites, you should be able to find the best place to buy travel insurance that meets your needs, regardless of your destination. Or a pre-existing condition.

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