Is Allianz Travel Insurance Worth It?

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  • Traveling with insurance to cover the trip makes strong financial sense.
  • Allianz is one of the oldest, most trusted travel insurance companies.
  • However, customer reviews indicate significant problems once a claim is made with Allianz.

Filing a claim should not be so frustrating that you're willing to give up.

If you have a trip coming up, there may be a tiny worry in your mind regarding how much money you would lose if your trip was canceled at the last minute. What would happen if you were to miss your connecting flight by no fault of your own and there's no room on the next flight out? If these are the kinds of thoughts that run through your mind, you may want to check out Allianz Travel, one of the oldest, most recognizable names in travel insurance.

At first glance

At a glance, Allianz Travel has a lot to offer. I requested a travel insurance quote for an upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. For the mid-level package called "One Trip Basic," I received a quote for $116 per traveler.

$116 sounds more than fair, considering all we're getting for the price. Coverage includes:

  • Trip cancellation: $2,000 per person
  • Trip interruption: $2,000 per person
  • Emergency medical: $10,000 per person
  • Emergency transportation: $50,000 per person
  • Baggage loss/damage: $500 per person

In an emergency

Allianz instructs customers who are suffering a medical emergency or are a victim of a crime to first call local emergency services. There's a 24-hour hotline in case they would later like to speak with someone from Allianz.

Let's say Sam is hiking in the Amazon and they break their leg. Once they make their way to the nearest hospital, they will likely be asked to pay the cost of medical care upfront. There's no mention on the Allianz website regarding what a traveler should do if they don't have a credit card with them to cover the expense. When Sam is safely back home (or resting comfortably in a hotel room), they file a claim with Allianz for reimbursement up to their policy limit.

Documentation required

To file a claim, a policyholder will need to provide the following:

  • A summary of what happened, including who was involved, how it happened, when and where the incident occurred, and what losses the incident caused.
  • How much the policyholder wants to be reimbursed. This is where they'll list non-refundable trip expenses, like medical bills. For other policyholders, the losses may include stolen or damaged luggage, or meal and accommodation expenses during a covered delay.
  • Proof for the claim. Allianz wants receipts, official reports or news articles, photos, a doctor's note, and notices of severe weather or travel delays.

Customer reviews

I rarely purchase anything important without checking out reviews, and was surprised to find that, out of 417 reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Allianz Travel received 1.04 out 5 stars.

I realize that folks who go to the trouble of writing a review are often in a heightened emotional state. But even discounting disgruntled customers, it's difficult to miss some of the common themes buried within their comments:

  • Partial reimbursement: A disconcerting number of reviewers talk about receiving far less reimbursement than promised. In fact, several said that the amount they were reimbursed was pennies on the dollar.
  • Circular claims process: Comment after comment talked about repeatedly being sent the same paperwork to fill out. A reviewer named Diane P. believes it's a tactic used by the insurer to wear claim recipients down.
  • Slow processing: When Allianz customers were able to get a claim through, the company appeared to be in no hurry to reimburse losses. For example, one traveler talked about first filing a claim in July 2021 and finally receiving a check in Feb. 2023.
  • Great until you need them: Amy W. wrote in February that she's used Allianz for seven different trips, with the seventh trip being the first time she's filed a claim. She began the claim process in September 2022 and by the end of February 2023, she was no farther along than when she began. Like others, Amy wrote about the company saying it needed additional information that she had already submitted. That's a long processing time for someone waiting to pay off the credit card they used to pay their expenses.
  • Difficult to contact. Many of the 417 reviewers say that they sat on hold for hours, waiting for an Allianz representative to pick up their call. Others said that they were repeatedly told that a representative would get back to them in "seven to 10 days."

Making a decision

It didn't take me long to pass on Allianz for now, although you may make a different decision. For me, it was a matter of not wanting to pay for coverage from a company that may, or may not, reimburse any losses we suffer.

Instead, I'm still looking for a travel insurance company with a stronger reputation for holding up their end of the bargain.

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