It’s dangerously easy to forget about travel insurance. Between the stress of packing and the excitement of travel, something as unexciting as travel insurance is typically the last thing on a traveler’s mind. On a recent trip, I forgot about it until I was at the airport, and had to use my phone to buy coverage at the last minute. The experience taught me that trying to crack the enigma of travel insurance using the airport’s sub-par free Wi-Fi is no small task.
Buying on the fly shouldn’t be so hard. So I decided to time and test the mobile websites of some of the best names in travel insurance to find out which providers offer the easiest last-minute, mobile-device-based buying experience.
For each test, I used the same scenario: A one-week trip to London for one 23-year-old female traveler, estimating a total trip cost of $2,000. I started my timer as soon as I clicked on the link from the search engine and ended when I was brought to the payment page. Times may vary depending on your trip details and internet speed, but these results will give you a general sense of what to expect from each provider.
How to Get Travel Insurance in Under 5 Minutes
The Allianz homepage opens straight to a form that lets you put in all your information and is easy to use. After filling in details about the trip, I simply needed to enter my home address before I was brought to the payment screen. It was easy to review the plan I was purchasing, and Allianz was one of the quicker websites to use.
Price: $68 for OneTrip Prime
Coverage: Trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical, emergency medical transportation, baggage loss/damage, baggage delay, travel delay, missed connection, change fee coverage, frequent traveler loyalty plan, 24-hour assistance
Time Spent: 2m 40s
The Berkshire Hathaway mobile website seems user-friendly, beginning by simply asking for your destination, but it’s actually pretty time-consuming. For each question, a new page has to load, which can be frustrating if you’re accessing the page through a weak Wi-Fi connection. Aside from this, the mobile site is quite clear and makes it easy to compare the prices of different packages; however, finding specifics on those packages will take additional time.
Price: $44 for ExactCare
Coverage: Trip cancellation and interruption, trip delay, missed connection, baggage coverage, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, repatriation of remains, accidental death and dismemberment
Time Spent: 2m 55s
On the World Nomads mobile site, pages load quickly and it is very easy to plug in your information. However, I was initially confused by the page where the site listed my two coverage options. It wasn’t immediately obvious what the details were for each plan; it just listed two of them with a “buy” option for each. I hit the back button in case I missed something, and my information hadn’t been saved on the initial entry page, so I had to fill it all out again. The second time through, I realized that the coverage details were lower down on the results page. The standard coverage plan is a little on the expensive side, but it specifically covers numerous adventure activities. Overall, World Nomads is a solid option for the forgetful adventurer.
Price: $69.62 for the Standard package
Coverage: Various adventure activities, medical emergency and evacuation, 24/7 emergency assistance, emergency dental treatment, trip cancellation and interruption, trip delay, baggage and personal effects, baggage delay, accidental death and dismemberment
Time: 4m 54s
UnitedHealthcare Global SafeTrip
If you’re looking for travel insurance with medically-specific coverage, you might turn to SafeTrip, which offers plans specifically geared to medical and evacuation emergencies in addition to coverage for trip cancellation and lost baggage. The cost was shockingly low until I chose the optional trip cancellation insurance and put in the cost of my trip, which made the policy more than 10 times more expensive.
The coverage options are easy to understand, with a side-by-side plan comparison, but there were quite a few screens to go through, and the site loaded more slowly than others I tested. In the end I spent more than five minutes getting from the first screen to the payment screen.
Price: $12.72 for SafeTrip 1 without trip cancellation coverage, or $132.72 with it
Coverage: Medical/accident coverage, medical evacuation and repatriation, 24-hour assistance, accidental death and dismemberment, optional trip cancellation, lost/delayed baggage protection
Time: 5m 41s
The Seven Corners homepage starts you off with some quick and easy questions, and there weren’t too many screens to click through. However, aside from a bunch of optional coverages such as rental car damage and “cancel for work reasons,” which I could accept or decline, I couldn’t find a description of exactly what my plan included without having to download a PDF brochure (which isn’t ideal if you’re on a slow connection or paying for your data). The PDF wasn’t optimized for mobile, so I had to squint and pinch the screen to enlarge in order to read all the details. This plan was also more expensive than most of my other options.
Price: $76 for RoundTrip Elite
Coverage: Trip cancellation and interruption, trip delay, missed connection, emergency medical expense, emergency evacuation and repatriation, lost luggage, baggage delay, accidental death and dismemberment
Time: 4m 21s
More from SmarterTravel:
- Everything You Need to Know About Travel Insurance
- Travel Insurance Coverage: 17 Things Your Policy Won’t Cover
- How Annual Travel Insurance Could Save You Money
Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.