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Allianz Global Assistance is the travel insurance branch of a family of companies that form the biggest insurer in the world, Allianz AG. They offer a wide variety of plans with different levels of coverage and different rates, including single trip, multi-trip, and business traveler plans.
About Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance is part of Allianz AG, a company founded in Germany in 1890. For 2017, Allianz AG ranked at number 34 on the Fortune Global 500 list, making them a major powerhouse worldwide. They operate in over 70 countries.
The travel insurance branch of the larger company, Allianz Global Assistance, was created in 1950 as ELVIA, a Swiss company. In 1995, Allianz acquired ELVIA and merged it with several other companies; in 2007 it began operating as Mondial Assistance and sold travel policies under the name Access Assistance in the United States. In 2012, the name was changed to Allianz Global Assistance, bringing the brand under one name. The U.S. headquarters is located in Virginia, with 33 other offices operating in 28 different nations.
Like many travel insurance companies, Allianz Global does not underwrite its own policies. In the U.S., insurance benefits are underwritten by several companies: BCS Insurance Company, Jefferson Insurance Company, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance (including its affiliates). Allianz handles all other travel benefits directly.
As a big name in travel insurance, Allianz is often coverage offered by travel sites when booking trips. Coverage is also sold online and through independent agents across the country.
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Allianz Global Travel Products
Plans are sold as a single trip or annual trip packages, with rental car coverage offered as an add-on. All single trip plans are under a new name since our last review, OneTrip, and all annual plans under the AllTrips name.
There are five pans under the OneTrip name, each with varying levels of coverage. All plans include 24-hour travel assistance. Most include coverage for pre-existing conditions if requirements are met.
Cancellation Plus is a basic plan that covers trip cancellation and interruption at 100% of trip cost. It also includes $150 for trip delay. This is the most affordable plan and does not include any medical coverage or other benefits.
Basic is the next step up plan that includes more benefits on top of simple trip protection. In addition to 100% trip cancellation and interruption, it kicks up the trip delay coverage to $300 and includes baggage loss and delay coverage. The plan has $10,000 in emergency medical and $50,000 in emergency medical transportation benefits.
Prime is a package plan that includes coverage for children 17 and under free when traveling with a parent or grandparent. Trip interruption coverage is increased to 150%, with other benefits increased as well, including trip delay and baggage coverage. This plan also includes missed connection benefits, change fee coverage, and even coverage for lost traveler loyalty program points. Emergency medical coverage is $25,000, and transportation $500,000.
Premier is the most comprehensive plan with the highest benefit limits. Both emergency medical and transportation coverages are doubled. Trip interruption is the same as Prime, but all other benefits are increased.
Emergency Medical is a medical needs-focused plan that also includes some travel coverage. This plan doe not have trip cancellation or interruption coverage, but does include baggage loss or delay, trip delay, missed connection, and itinerary change benefits. This plan has $50,000 in accident or illness coverage and $250,000 in emergency medical transportation coverage. Also included are accidental death and dismemberment and repatriation of remains.
The Basic annual plan does not include trip cancellation or interruption coverage but does have a list of other benefits. Emergency medical is covered at $20,000, with transportation at $100,000. Travel accident coverage is included, as is rental car coverage. Trip coverage includes baggage loss or delay and missed connection coverage.
Prime includes $2,000 in coverage each for trip cancellation or interruption, as well as several other travel benefits. Emergency medical and transportation coverage are the same as the Basic plan, and again, travel accident and rental car coverage are included.
Executive Plan is the annual plan designed for business travelers. Trip cancellation and interruption are both covered at $5,000. It includes emergency medical at $50,000 and medical transportation at $500,000. In addition to an array of common travel protection benefits, this plan includes coverage for business equipment and also has rental car coverage.
Premier is a comprehensive annual travel plan that works for both business and pleasure travel. It includes similar coverage levels to the executive plan and also offers business equipment and rental car coverage.
Rental Car Coverage
Allianz also offers a Rental Car Damage plan that can be purchased a la carte. It offers $40,000 in damage coverage and 24-hour assistance for a daily rate of $9.
We ran a quote for a 7-day international trip with a value of $5,000, for a single 30-year-old traveler. The quote system returned three out of the listed OneTrip plans.
The Basic plan came back at $151, Prime added only $20 to the overall price, and Premier took a big hike up to $231. These rates are mid-range for this type of travel plan; they are not the lowest we have seen, but not on the highest end either. We have seen basic plans elsewhere that offer more coverage for less money in major areas such as medical transportation.
We also ran a quote for an annual plan, which came back at a rate of $125 for the base plan. The quote also gave us a rate of $249 for the Prime option and $459 for the Executive plan. The quote system did not return a rate for the Premier option, although we would expect it to be similar in price to the Executive option due to similar coverage. For those who do a lot of traveling, these plans are definitely a better value than the per trip plans.
Since travel plan limits can vary greatly, rate comparisons are somewhat general. It is very important to look at all of the coverage when comparing two plans to determine the overall value as well as which coverage is of the greatest importance to you.
Allianz offers clear instructions for the claims process online, with simple steps to begin filing on the website, and a list of all required claims documentation. There is also a toll-free customer service line available for questions, but we did not see any specific toll-free number offered for claims. Allianz offers 24-hour travel assistance for all policyholders that includes emergency help for situations that cannot wait to file a claim later.
The website also offers the option to check up on the status of a claim with a simple, minimal form that requires the claim or policy number and the insured’s last name.
The claims information on the website is adequate but not detailed, and there should be a clear indication of what number to call with claims information.
Ratings and Customer Reviews
Allianz Global Assistance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with a total of 279 complaints on file in the past three years. This number is down by quite a bit from the last time we reviewed this company. There have been 119 complaints resolved in the past 12 months, also down from the previous review time period. For a company as large as Allianz Global Assistance, the numbers are not high, and the reduction in overall complaint volume is a positive sign.
Consumer Affairs has a list of 2,845 reviews of this company. Of the 1,531 that left a star review, the vast majority were positive; 1,239 5-star reviews to be exact. That leaves the company with an overall 4.5-star review on Consumer Affairs, a rating that speaks volumes given the fact that far more people tend to go to this type of site to complain versus to provide a positive review. The comments praise Allianz for quick and simple claims handling as well as excellent customer service.
The story is different on Yelp, where a total of 311 reviews leave Allianz with a 1.5-star overall rating. A lot of the complaints cite claims that were denied, but it is important to note that in many cases these issues are the result of policyholders who did not understand the coverage being purchased. Scattered throughout are some positive reviews, and even the negative ones frequently mentioned that the customer service representatives were friendly and polite.
Overall, the picture painted by the reviews has improved greatly since the last time we took a look at Allianz Global Assistance.
The Bottom Line
Allianz Global Assistance is a big name in travel insurance and backed by a big company, making them a popular pick with a solid financial standing. They have a good range of plans at reasonable prices and have seen an improvement in reputation over the past few years, including an impressive number of positive reviews. They’re a solid pick for comprehensive travel insurance, including (and perhaps especially) annual plans for those who travel frequently.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.