Note: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted existing and future travel plans, and turned greater attention to trip insurance. Read our take on specific information concerning travel insurance and COVID-19, or see our comprehensive guide to managing your finances during COVID-19.
As one of the world’s largest insurance companies and with a 100-year history, it makes sense that AIG would offer travel insurance. AIG’s travel insurance program, called Travel Guard, provides a number of coverage options to offer peace of mind on your trips.
Travel insurance helps you get some money back if anything goes wrong on your trip. If you’re thinking about buying coverage for an upcoming trip, first look into the coverage you may get from your travel credit cards. Many basic protections are offered on cards that you may already have.
If you’re looking for additional coverage, AIG travel insurance is a solid choice. Consumers Advocate rated AIG’s plans at 4.4 stars out of 5 stars.
Importantly, if you catch COVID-19 before or during your trip, you will be covered under Travel Guard’s trip cancellation benefit. If you become sick with COVID-19 during the trip, the medical expenses and trip interruption benefits will kick in. However, Travel Guard considers COVID-19 a foreseen event and as a result, certain other coronavirus-related losses may not be covered. Given the constantly evolving travel environment, review the Travel Guard’s coronavirus coverage policies so that you’re award of what is and isn’t covered.
Here’s what you need to know about AIG’s Travel Guard insurance plans.
Travel insurance plans offered by AIG Travel Guard
AIG travel insurance’s Travel Guard plans cover you if you need to cancel (or interrupt) your trip due to illness, injury or death of a family member. Inclement weather that causes a trip delay or cancellation is covered by all Travel Guard policies as well.
Travel Guard offers three main AIG travel insurance plans, plus a host of add-on options. Here are the most essential benefits:
Travel Guard Essential – The most basic level of coverage
Covers 100% of the cost of your trip if it gets canceled or interrupted due to illness.
Includes a $100 per day reimbursement for any delays in your trip (max $500 total).
Covers up to $15,000 in medical expenses ($500 dental), plus a $150,000 maximum for emergency medical evacuation.
Covers up to $750 in compensation for stolen luggage and a maximum of $200 if your bags get delayed by more than 24 hours.
Travel Guard Preferred – This midlevel plan gives many of the same basic coverages as the Essential, but at higher levels.
Trip cancellation pays out at 100%. If your trip gets interrupted, you’ll get 150% of the cost of the trip.
Trips delayed by more than five hours will get you up to $800 ($200/day).
You’ll be covered up to $50,000 for medical expenses ($500 dental) and up to $500,000 for emergency evacuation.
This plan offers $1,000 for lost or stolen bags and $300 for baggage delays longer than 12 hours.
Travel Guard Deluxe – The biggest benefits can be found in this highest level plan.
Like the Preferred, you’ll get 100% coverage for trip cancellation and 150% of the cost of your insured trip in the event of a trip interruption.
Up to $1,000 ($200/day) for a trip delay of five hours or more.
Up to $100,000 for medical expenses ($500 dental), $1,000,000 for emergency evacuation and $100,000 in coverage for a flight accident.
Coverage for lost or stolen bags jumps up to $2,500 and $500 for baggage delay of more than 12 hours.
A long list of “Travel Inconvenience Benefits” are also included (such as runway delays, closed attractions, diversions, etc.)
This plan also offers roadside assistance coverage for the duration of your trip, which isn’t included in the other two plans.
Easy-to-use website for selecting a travel insurance plan
Travel Guard’s website is simple to navigate and provides instant quotes that clearly spell out what’s covered. You’ll need to enter basic information about the trip you want coverage for, including:
How you’re getting there (airplane, cruise or other).
How much you paid for the trip.
The date when you paid for the trip.
Once you answer the questions, you’ll instantly get price quotes for different options of insurance for your trip. Each column clearly shows what’s covered for all options in a long list, so you can quickly compare.
This example shows options based on a two-week $5,000 trip to Spain for someone who is 40 years old. In this case, the mid-tier plan costs about 6% of the total trip cost.
It’s also important to know that plan offerings change based on what state you live in; not all states are covered.
If you purchase a Travel Guard plan and need to file a claim, you can do it on their website or by calling (866) 478-8222. You can also track the status of the payment of your claim on the site.
Additional travel insurance options and add-ons
If you’re planning multiple trips that you would like covered, look at Travel Guard’s Annual Travel Insurance Plan. This 12-month option covers multiple trips and could save you money over insuring each trip separately.
Another option is the “Pack and Go” plan, which is a good choice if you’re going on a last-minute getaway and don’t need trip cancellation protection.
Going on an extreme adventure trip? The Travel Guard Plus option is a comprehensive package that specifically covers adventure sports.
There are also options to add rental vehicle damage coverage, Cancel For Any Reason coverage, and medical and security bundles to the plans. You’ll be able to select these add-ons when you’re purchasing a policy.
What’s not covered by a Travel Guard plan
While the Essential, Preferred and Deluxe plans all offer varying degrees of coverage for your trip, there are some things that won’t be covered by any of the plans. Here are a few highlights of things that aren’t included; you’ll find full lists on each policy:
Coverage for trips paid for with frequent flyer miles or loyalty rewards programs: Travel Guard will only protect the trips you pay for with cash. If you’re redeeming your points for that bucket list trip, unfortunately, you won’t qualify for coverage. However, the cost of redepositing miles back into your account is covered.
Baggage loss for eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids or false teeth: These items should be kept with you in your carry-on as a general rule, since a Travel Guard policy won’t cover them.
Known events: If you knowingly book a trip with some inherent risks, it won’t be covered. For example, once the National Weather Service issues a warning for a hurricane, it becomes a known event. Once COVID-19 became a pandemic, it was categorized as a foreseeable event and was no longer covered. You can cancel the policy you purchase up to 15 days prior to your trip to receive a refund for the premium paid.
Who should get a Travel Guard insurance policy?
Many trips may be sufficiently covered by your credit card benefits, but you should do research to see which cards provide the best options (and remember to use that card to book the trip).
However, if you’re planning major international travel or embarking on a big cruise trip, Travel Guard’s Preferred and Deluxe plans may offer better coverage than your credit card. Overall, Travel Guard plans offer a variety of coverage options with an easy-to-navigate website that could be a good fit for your next trip.
If you’re not finding what you’re looking for with a Travel Guard plan, check out an insurance comparison site like Squaremouth, where you will have a lot of different plan options to choose from.
Travel Guard offers several trip insurance plans with varying degrees of coverage. Some plans also allow you to purchase optional upgrades such as CFAR and auto rental coverage. Plan availability differs by state, so make sure you input your trip details to see what plans are available to you.
If you have a premium travel credit card, you may already have some elements of travel insurance coverage included for free. Before you decide to purchase a comprehensive policy, check what coverage you may already have from your credit card.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for: