I recommend travel insurance to just about anyone planning a big trip. If something goes wrong before or after you leave home—anything from a flight delay to a medical emergency—you’ll be grateful to have the help you need available and just a phone call away.
I have an annual plan with and am a brand ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance, as I’ve written before, but an annual plan is far from the only good way to protect your investment. In fact, buying travel insurance in the booking pipeline may be a better option than it’s ever been. As consumer advocate Christopher Elliott wrote recently for Forbes, the insurance policies that Allianz offers through its travel partners, during the booking of a flight, hotel or other travel product, are more personalized and cost-efficient than ever. Allianz, Christopher says, has invested heavily in AI and machine-learning technology, and it’s now using that tech to take the work out of buying the right travel insurance for your trip.
Here’s more on what that means for you, the travel-booker:
1. Customized benefits
When you’re booking a trip through a travel provider that’s partnered with Allianz (there are a lot of them), the travel insurance policy presented to you for optional booking is not pulled out of thin air. Instead, it has been personalized for you using the details of your trip. Everything from the length of the trip to the number of travelers to the ages of the travelers to the length of time before the trip starts is considered, and in about a second, used to find the best fit for your trip from more the than 100 policies it offers.
Just as you want your travel insurance policy to include benefits suited to protect your specific trip, you also don’t want to pay for benefits you don’t need. Allianz’s more-personalized insurance options use the details of your trip—like the window between booking and the start of travel (aka “booking window”)—to cut out benefits so you don’t have to pay more than you need to. For example, writes Christoper Elliott, “by quickly determining the booking window, customers who don’t need cancellation coverage can purchase a product that only covers post-departure travel problems such as travel delay, delayed or lost baggage or medical emergencies. That can result in cost savings to the customer, potentially offering a product that is significantly less expensive than standard products. Post-departure products are often 30% cheaper than comparable products offering cancellation coverage and may cost as little as $19 for a trip.”
3. Coverage on award flights
The enhanced system can determine when you’re using miles or points to book a trip and protect that investment as needed. Allianz partners with most major airlines to offer flat rate plans that cost $16-28 per award flight.
Travel insurance aggregators, popular among some sets of travelers, let you shop around for the policy most appropriate for your trip. Allianz’s AI-powered personalization engine aims to find that most-appropriate policy without requiring you to spend the time shopping around for it. You should always read through a policy before paying for it, and that includes when buying travel insurance in the booking pipeline, but an easier, faster buying process is certainly a good thing.
5. “Claim now, compare later”
To the above point, you should never put your money down without doing your research. Fortunately, you can buy an Allianz policy in the booking pipeline to secure the price offered and then do research later to confirm that it is the best deal out there. That’s because Allianz offers a 10-day review period (or longer, depending on your state of residence) with travel insurance policies booked in the booking pipeline. If you find that you don’t want the policy within the 10 days, you can request a refund, provided you haven’t started your trip or initiated a claim. Not bad, eh?
Disclaimer: Johnny Jet works as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receives financial compensation.
For more information about Allianz Global, visit AllianzTravelInsurance.com.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.