Budget-minded travelers are often tempted to skip buying travel insurance for their trip. Unfortunately, having something go wrong while you're traveling can result in huge expenses you never planned on. That's why Allianz Global Assistance created the Basic Plan. It's the best travel insurance for budget travelers and people who aren't going too far from home.
The Basic Plan is like a lightweight rain jacket: It always goes in your suitcase to provide a layer of protection from life's storms. Even though you hope you won't need it, you'd hate to be stuck without it. Here's an examination of the Basic Plan, as part of Allianz Global Assistance's series of travel insurance reviews.
The Basic Plan Travel Insurance Review: Here's What You Get
The Basic Plan is intended to give travelers low-cost coverage for the big three travel threats: getting sick or injured, needing medical evacuation and having to cancel your trip or go home early.
- Trip cancellation and interruption protection: This coverage reimburses you for non-refundable trip payments when you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason. The Basic Plan includes coverage for the full cost of your trip.
- Emergency medical and dental coverage: The Basic Plan can reimburse you for covered emergency medical or dental care received while you're traveling, up to a maximum of $10,000.1
- Emergency medical transportation benefits: You get up to $50,000 in coverage for covered medically necessary emergency transportation if you must be taken to a medical facility or returned to your home.
- Existing medical condition coverage: This is vitally important for anyone who has a chronic or recently diagnosed health condition. The Basic Plan can cover existing medical conditions, but only if you meet certain requirements. For instance, you must insure the full cost of your trip within 14 days of paying your first trip deposit, and you must be medically able to travel when you do so. Talk to an Allianz Global Assistance travel adviser to make sure you're covered.
The Basic Plan includes some extra benefits too:
- Baggage coverage up to $500 to reimburse you if your bags get damaged, lost or stolen.
- Baggage delay coverage up to $200 to reimburse you for essentials — like extra clothes and a toothbrush — if your luggage is delayed at least 24 hours.
- Travel delay coverage up to $300 to reimburse you for meals, accommodations and lost prepaid expenses if your trip is delayed at least six hours. This means no more sleeping on airport floors! There's a daily limit of $150, however.
- 24-hour hotline assistance to help with travel or medical emergencies. This is a big one. When you have the Basic Plan, or any other travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance, you can call for free help, wherever you are. Hotline experts can help you replace a lost passport, find a qualified doctor, send a message home or rearrange your travel plans.
The Limitations of Basic Plan Travel Insurance
Remember the Basic Plan is just a rain jacket, not a down parka rated for Antarctic expeditions. Its coverage levels are pretty low compared to other travel insurance plans. For instance, $50,000 for emergency medical evacuation may sound like a lot, but it may not cover the complete cost of getting you to a hospital if you need to be airlifted from Easter Island. Domestic medical evacuations average $10,000 to $20,000, according to MedjetAssist, while international transport can cost more than $100,000.2
Compared to other Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance plans, the Basic Plan includes fewer covered reasons for trip cancellation. For instance, the Basic plan does not cover cancellations due to divorce, your destination becoming uninhabitable, normal pregnancy or financial default.
The Basic Plan also lacks some of the benefits included in other travel insurance plans from Allianz Global Assistance. You don't get:
- Missed connection benefits to help you catch up if you miss your flight or ship
- Change fee benefits, in case you need to change your flight
- Frequent flyer mile redeposit fee benefits so you don't lose your miles
- Financial default protection in case your travel operator goes under
- However, for most travelers these benefits aren't as crucial as emergency medical and trip cancellation coverage.
Who Should Buy Basic Plan Travel Insurance?
The Basic Plan is the best travel insurance for travelers who want to know they're protected in case of an emergency or trip cancellation, but who aren't too worried about incurring big medical costs. The Basic Plan may be right for you if you are:
- Taking a short, relatively inexpensive trip
- Traveling internationally, but not going too far from home, such as Caribbean vacations
- Generally healthy and traveling somewhere with access to modern medical facilities
Need help figuring out which plan is best for your next trip, or have questions about coverage? Call our travel insurance advisers at 1-866-884-3556. Safe travels!