Person with suitcase looking at flight information board

Protect yourself and your wallet by getting travel insurance for your next getaway. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

Why You Need Travel Insurance — and How Acquiring It Just Became Seamless

Travel insurance has been around for centuries, since 1864 in the United States. I started buying travel insurance years ago after hearing stories of friends and family who got sick while traveling domestically and/or internationally and either were stuck with astonishing bills or, worse, being denied healthcare.

That’s a scenario I never want to experience, especially during a global pandemic.

In fact, since 2020, travel insurance numbers have jumped. According to a survey conducted by AAA: “One-third (31 percent) of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips … specifically due to the pandemic.”

In response, many travel insurance companies are creating new policies and making insurance even easier to purchase. For example, Allianz Global Assistance, which has long been a world leader in travel protection and for whom I have worked as a brand ambassador for years, has collaborated with Marriott International to provide a truly seamless experience for travelers.

This collaboration means that Marriott guests residing in the U.S. can insure their domestic and international travels while booking their hotel stays on Marriott.com.

Flight taking off at sunset
Even non-refundable airfare can be reimbursed with Allianz Global Assistance plans developed for Marriott. (Photo: Getty Images)

Who Is Covered?

Unlike typical travel insurance for individuals, Allianz Global Assistance plans developed in conjunction with Marriott can cover everyone staying in the room(s), including friends or family members (even if they are not listed on the reservation), and offer more than hotel insurance, covering things like transportation, airfare and change fees, activity costs, event tickets and even nonrefundable hotel expenses.

This is huge as it may provide reimbursement for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses like airfare; expenses incurred during covered travel delays; and medical emergencies.

Trip Cancellation Protection

As always, be sure to read the fine print on whichever plan you select, but many plans available to Marriott guests may include protection for eligible trip-cancellation costs incurred due to a covered illness, injury of you or a travel companion, jury duty and more.

This protection includes getting cash back for nonrefundable trip expenses, like airfare, activity fees, event tickets and hotel reservations.

The plans may also include benefits for unexpected expenses caused by covered travel delays and trip interruptions, such as the cost of rebooking flights, booking an airport hotel room for the night or taxi service.

Person with backpack boarding plane
Enjoy peace of mind knowing that someone’s got your back if your trip doesn’t go as planned. (Photo: Getty Images)

Trip Interruption Protection

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenarios when planning a trip, but they’re necessary to consider. This is where trip interruption protection comes into play.

If your trip is cut short or has to be extended due to a covered illness, injury or other circumstance, some plans will allow you to get cash back for the entire lost trip cost or extra transportation expenses.

Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage

Some plans even provide reimbursement for covered emergency medical and dental costs, and Allianz Global Assistance can also arrange and pay for medically necessary transportation to an appropriate medical facility and, once you’re in better shape, get you home after treatment.

Baggage and Personal Belongings

Lost or stolen luggage? While the scenario is at best a headache, some travel insurance plans can give you peace of mind should your belongings get lost, stolen or damaged during the trip — this includes phones, luggage, wallets and more.

Woman with computer, phone, and cup of coffee
No matter where you are or what time it is, you can get the help you need. (Photo: Getty Images)

24-Hour Assistance

The onset of an emergency, illness or injury doesn’t follow a predictable schedule, which is why some travel insurance plans offer 24-hour emergency assistance that connects travelers with a team of trained, multilingual experts that can help with medical and other travel-related emergencies.

Travelers can call asking for everything from destination information and help arranging roadside assistance to making transportation arrangements, replacing prescriptions, helping with lost passports and more.

Concierge Services

If you’ve ever wanted to experience life with a personal assistant, there are Marriott and Allianz Global Assistance insurance plans that offer something nearly as helpful: concierge services. The travel concierge can help with services like finding tickets to shows, making restaurant reservations and even booking tee times.

How to Buy Travel Insurance

Upon booking your hotel through Marriott.com and the Marriott Bonvoy iOS app, you’ll have the option to add travel insurance. The plans that include cancellation coverage must be purchased at least 24 hours prior to the start of your trip and are available to purchase at the time of booking; cost is based on a percentage of the hotel cost.

Plans that do not include cancellation coverage can be purchased anytime prior to the trip — even the same day the trip begins. The plans are available both at time of booking and via the Allianz Global Assistance eSite; these include two fixed price products, and the cost is either $7 or $20.

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Plan(s) underwritten by BCS Insurance Company or Jefferson Insurance Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.   

Insurance products offered in collaboration with Marriott Insurance Agency LLC in Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, and Wyoming. Compensation & other disclosures