Travel Guard Review – AIG Travel Guard – Travel Insurance
Travel Guard is a travel insurance company that is part of the larger AIG corporation. Travel Guard offers travel insurance with a variety of different policy types, such as for vacations, cruises, single travel, golfing skiing, and more. There are a few things that Travel Guard is criticized for online via user reviews that are a little unfair, and some are now a little redundant, and I address the things that are not Travel Guard’s fault in this review. I also cover their good side and their bad side.
Travel Guard is not a great company, and even though I feel it has improved here and there, it still has issues that need to be resolved before they get a green light from eCheck.org. To cut to the chase, Travel Guard is an average travel insurance company that doesn’t give great value for money.
Travel Guard – Pros
- Contrary to what you may read on user review websites, Travel Guard has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 2012. Their reputation on the BBB website is less than stellar, but they are accredited and have a duty to answer your complaints if you lodge them on the BBB website.
- A common complaint was that, “The front page of the policy promises moon and heaven and the fine print takes it away.” That is not the case any more, by which I mean that the fine print is loaded with unexpected limitations and restrictions, but their website now has far fewer heavenly promises and big marketing claims. In other words, the company no longer promises the moon and heaven on their website.
- Travel Guard do offer fairly low prices. You get a low level of coverage, but if you are looking for a low level of coverage and maybe only having part of your canceled trip’s cost returned, then maybe Travel Guard is the one for you.
- If your carrier or your tour company goes into default, then Travel Guard will still cover you. It may not seem like much, but there are quite a few travel insurance companies that won’t cover you in such circumstances.
- Making a purchase is very easy, even despite its terrible user interface. Some complain about how you have to navigate through numerous different policy options in order to find the policy you want, but that is simply Travel Guard’s way of allowing you to customize your policy. Could it have been organized and laid out better, darn right it could, but it is still possible to get a quote and buy a policy without the help of somebody on the phone and/or without the help of an insurance adviser.
- They have a video on their website that shows you how to file your claim. You start a claim online, though you will also have to post things and probably have to talk to somebody in the customer service department. Nevertheless, they have a video on their website that shows you how to start your claim online.
Travel Guard – Cons
- The claims process is overly difficult. It is as if the company knowingly has a flawed system and they have kept it that way because the harder a person has to fight to have a claim paid, then the higher the chances are that the claimant will give up and stop trying.
- The customer service department it pretty bad. I have known far worse, but we shouldn’t judge the quality of Travel Guard’s customer support based on how crappy other companies are. Travel Guard needs to sort out its customer service department because they are inefficient and they mess people around.
- You need to apply for a refund within 15 days of the effective date of coverage, and you have to do it in writing. Their satisfaction guarantee is less than satisfying.
- Read the small print and the terms otherwise you may be surprised by what is and is not covered. Even in the small print at the bottom of their home page, they say that you should read your policy thoroughly because it is only in your policy where all limitations, restrictions, and so forth are displayed. For example, if you pay for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, then it has a ceiling amount of the total cost of the trip, and you only learn that once you have the paperwork.
- Claims have a funny habit of taking a long time to process. Quite a common complaint is that people call the company to find out about their claim, only to be told that their claim has not been looked at yet. You really have to stay on top of your claim if you want to get anywhere with Travel Guard.
- The people who decide if you should be paid or not are overly aggressive in their methods for finding reasons not to pay. They are highly motivated to find reasons not to pay your claim, and that isn’t good news for you. Legitimate claims have remained unpaid for even the slightest of technicalities. For example, they only pay if your flight is late more than three hours and you miss your connection.
- The online interface and the quoting system is very bad. The website TopTenReviews claimed that it was the worst online interface of any travel insurance company they had ever reviewed.
Are There Fake Reviews Online?
Travel Guard has a pretty bad online reputation, but it is a fairly big travel insurance company, which is why I am not overly concerned about their negative online reputation. It is bad, but it is not overwhelmingly bad.
You have to remember that Travel Guard is a big company and it is part of AIG Property Casualty International. Travel Guard has a lot of customers every year, and if the online complaints are in the hundreds rather than the tens of hundreds (or thousands), then I am not seeing a big problem.
This brings us to their positive online reviews because there appear to be a few of them. The problem is that Travel Guard has an affiliate program that you can access via Commission Junction. Some article writers and bloggers are inclined to give Travel Guard a good review because they get paid whenever people buy a policy after clicking on their links. I don’t mind professional reviewers and bloggers doing this because if they want to sell their good name then let them.
The review websites that bother me are the ones that take in user reviews, but they edit out the negative ones. Those types of user review websites really grind my gears because it creates such a believable and credible message that is untruthful at its core. A big offender in this field of dishonest reviews creation and curation is insuremytrip.com.
For the record, I am not blaming Travel Guard for the fake reviews online. Many companies have an affiliate program, and it is not Travel Guard’s fault if people try tell lies to make a little affiliate money. I am just saying that you shouldn’t believe every online review you read. Take every review you read with a dollop of critical thinking, which includes this review. For all you know, I may have a personal grudge against Travel Guard, or our research team may have dug up poor quality information. Don’t trust one or two websites, try a few different review websites to get a better feel for what the company is really like.
Conclusion – I Do Not Recommend Using Travel Guard
I know that they offer reasonably low prices, which suggests you are probably not getting great coverage, but I just don’t feel like people are getting value for money from this company. There are plenty of people who use the company and have their claims paid, so I do not agree with online reviews that claim the company is a fraud or a scam. I am simply saying that you do not get good value for your money.
There are other travel insurance companies out there that have better policies, better coverage, reasonable prices, better customer support, and a better claim filing process. If this was the first travel insurance company I had ever dealt with, then maybe I would be a little kinder, but I am surprised that such as large travel insurance company that is owned by such a large corporation would provide such a less-than-impressive service.
They have made some improvements over the last year, with the most notable being that they have dialed back their promotional messages so that they are not promising the earth and then taking it all away in the fine print. Still, I feel like they have purposefully kept the claim process difficult and time consuming on purpose, especially when buying online is so easy, quick and efficient.
Here is my final conclusion on the company. If you are taking a trip where your losses will probably be low, then maybe you roll the dice with a Travel Guard policy. If you are spending a lot of money on your trip, or if your trip is important, then invest in better travel insurance with another company. Travel Guard is not a scam company as so many online reviews claim, but they do not offer good value for money.