Home > Travel Insurance Reviews > AIG Travel Guard Essential Travel Insurance - 2021 Review

AIG Travel Guard Essential Travel Insurance - 2021 Review

AIG Travel Guard Essential Travel Insurance - Review

AIG Travel Guard Essential Travel Insurance - Review
Insurance Partner
Coverage Options


  • Includes a Waiver of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
  • Primary Medical Coverage
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Reputable Insurer


  • Low Medical Coverage for traveling outside the US
  • Low Medical Evacuation for traveling outside the continental US

In this review, we highlight the features and benefits of the AIG Travel Guard Essential Travel Insurance policy. AIG Travel Guard Travel Insurance is a valued partner of AARDY.

AIG Travel Guard trip insurance plans use dynamic pricing based on the traveler’s state of residence, age, trip cost, trip duration, and length of time between policy purchase and date of travel. Pricing can fluctuate from day-to-day.

AIG Travel Guard Essential

One child per adult is included at no cost.

AIG Travel Guard Essential is ideal for travel within the continental US or for travelers needing only Cancellation and Interruption protection with Pre-existing Medical Condition coverage.

AIG Travel Guard Essential Features

Now, let’s inspect the AIG Travel Guard Essential trip insurance plan.

The AIG Travel Guard Essential has all the features you want in a travel insurance plan:

  • Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage
  • Medical Insurance
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Baggage Insurance
  • Travel Delay

The Essential plan reimburses your trip cost if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason.

The most common covered reason for cancellation is an unforeseen injury, illness, or death of the insured, family member, or traveling companion.

It is important that you read the policy certificate carefully for the details on these benefits.

Cancellation and Interruption Insurance – AIG Travel Guard Essential

The Essential plan from AIG Travel Guard includes a sufficient list of Trip Cancellation and Interruption reasons.

If you must cancel your trip for a covered reason, the policy reimburses you for 100% of the trip cost.

Likewise, if you must curtail your trip due to a covered reason, like a family emergency back home, the policy provides a refund for the unused portion of the trip, plus the added cost to return home early.

Later in this article, you’ll find more detail about the covered reasons for cancellation and interruption.

Travel Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation – AIG Travel Guard Essential

We consistently advise travelers to purchase at least $100,000 of Emergency Medical Insurance and $250,000 Medical Evacuation when heading out of the US. We feel these are the most appropriate minimum amounts in an overseas trip insurance policy.

AIG Travel Guard Essential offers $15,000 Medical Insurance, perfect for travel within the US where your health insurance may also cover you. However, if your travels will take you outside of the US, we advise you to look for a policy with more robust medical insurance.

Happily, Travel Guard Essential is a Primary Medical plan so it pays before any other health insurance you have.

Also, the Essential plan includes $150,000 of Emergency Medical Evacuation. Medical Evacuation covers the cost of ground and air transportation to a local hospital for treatment, and if medically necessary, to a hospital near your home. Again, this amount is great for travel within the United States but isn’t enough to bring you home in a medical jet from places outside the US.

However, if you plan to travel abroad, the AIG Travel Guard Deluxe and AIG Travel Guard Plus are better choices. Each of those plans includes $100,000 Medical Insurance and $1,000,000 Medical Evacuation per person.

Pre-existing Conditions Coverage – AIG Travel Guard Essential

All AIG Travel Guard policies provide a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver. AARDY Compare encourages all travelers to purchase a trip insurance policy with a waiver whenever possible because it closes a gap in coverage.

The Pre-existing Condition Waiver does not cost extra but is only part of the policy when it's purchased within 15 days of your initial trip payment or deposit.

AIG Travel Guard Essential is the optimal travel insurance plan for trips within the continental US. If you travel to Alaska or Hawaii, we recommend a higher amount of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage—at least $250,000. You’ll find that level of coverage with the AIG Travel Guard Preferred.

Benefits Included – AIG Travel Guard Essential

These are the Maximum Limits Per Person listed in the AIG Travel Guard Essential plan:

Trip Cancellation
100% Trip Cost up to a maximum of $100,000*

Trip Interruption
100% Trip Cost up to a maximum of $100,000**

Trip Interruption – Return Transportation Only

Accident & Sickness Medical Expense

Emergency Dental Expense

Medical Coverage Type
Primary Medical Insurance

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Pre-existing Condition Waiver
Available when purchased within 15 days of initial trip deposit

Baggage & Personal Effects

Baggage Delay
$200 after the initial delay of 24 hours

Travel Delay
$150 per day, $500 max

Missed Connection
$150, included when purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment

Change Fee
Traveler supplier change fee included

Reimbursement of Miles or Reward Points
The policy can only insure the redepositing fee to reinstate miles or reward points.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Single Occupancy
Up to 100% Trip Cost, max $100,000

*The trip cancellation benefit is determined by the amount of your trip you elect to protect, up to the maximum benefit stated above.

**The trip interruption benefit is determined by the amount of trip cancellation benefit purchased. All benefits are per insured person.

Covered Perils – AIG Travel Guard Essential

Emergency Sickness/Illness/Injury/Death – Yes

Hijacking, Medical Quarantine, Subpoena or Jury Duty – Yes

Home uninhabitable due to fire, flood, burglary or Natural Disaster – Yes

Direct involvement in a documented traffic accident while en route to your departure –Yes

Organized Labor Strike – Yes

Terrorist Incident – Yes

Inclement Weather and Natural Disaster – Yes

Hurricane at Destination – Yes

Revocation of previously granted military leave – Yes

Financial Default of Travel Supplier – Yes, when purchased within 15 days of initial trip deposit

Theft of passport or visa that prevents departure – Yes

Laid off or terminated from employer – Yes

Additional Information – AIG Travel Guard Essential

Maximum Trip Duration
364 days

Maximum Age Insured
No maximum age

Pre-Existing Condition Waiver
Available if purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment

Pre-Existing Condition Review Period
180 days

Premium Refunds
Available in the first 15 days of the effective date of the travel insurance or scheduled departure date.

Latest date plan can be purchased
One day before departure

24/7 Emergency Travel Assistance

Minimum Trip Cost to be insured

Minimum Trip Distance
At least 100 miles

Cancel For Work Reasons

AIG Travel Guard Essential also protects you with a number of work-related benefits.

The policy includes Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption benefits if:

  • Traveler is laid off or terminated before departure
  • Involuntary employer-initiated transfer of 100 miles or more
  • Disabling injury, illness, or death of a business partner

AIG Travel Assistance

These are just a few of the services Travel Guard provides:

Travel Medical Assistance – Services that arrange medical transportation, repatriation of remains, return transportation, prescription replacement, relay medical information to family back home, arrange for hospital bedside visitor.

Worldwide Travel Assistance – Helps with any travel emergency, such as lost baggage search, replace stolen luggage, lost passport/travel documents, emergency cash transfer, emergency telephone interpretation

Emergency Travel Assistance – rebooking flights, emergency return travel arrangements, rental vehicle roadside assistance and return, and missed connection coordination.

Concierge Services – A personal assistant helps you with restaurant and hotel reservations, ground transportation arrangements, event ticketing, and even sending floral arrangements.

Personal Security Assistance – Services include the arrangement of evacuations, safety advisories and more.

About AIG Travel Guard

Insurance coverage is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania Insurance Company, NAIC No. 19445 with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10038 and currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia.

The amount of benefits provided depends upon the plan selected. Premium is based on the traveler's age and the trip cost. Rates are subject to change at any time.

You can purchase the plan any time after 15 days of the initial trip booking, but you will not be eligible for the pre-existing condition waiver. Other benefits will apply as per the terms and conditions of the policy.

The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Full details of coverage are contained in the Policy. If there are any conflicts between the contents of this document and the Policy, the Policy will govern in all cases.

Coverage may not be available in all states.

This coverage is valid only if the appropriate plan cost has been paid. Please keep this document as your record of coverage under the plan.

This is only a summary of the AIG Travel Guard Essential program. Please read the policy carefully to fully understand the coverages, terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions. Not all plans or coverages are available in every state. This summary does not replace or change any part of your policy. If there is a conflict between this summary and the policy, the policy will control.


What if I buy it and decide the coverage isn’t right for me?

You may cancel this insurance by giving the company or AARDY written notice within the first to occur of the following:

If you do this, the company will refund your premium paid provided no insured filed a claim under this certificate.

The refund option may not be available in all states. Check the certificate for details.

If I already have medical coverage, why do I need to pay for it again within travel insurance coverage?

AIG Travel Guard Essential Medical Insurance provides some protection if you have an accidental injury or illness while traveling.

If you travel within the US and your private health insurance charges out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays or deductibles, the $15,000 Travel Medical Insurance can help cover those costs.

Many domestic health insurance plans have limited or no coverage for overseas travel. If you have an HMO-type health insurance plan, coverage limitations may also apply within the United States.

However, if you travel outside the US, we recommend more robust Medical Insurance—at least $100,000 for each traveler.

Seniors should note that Medicare insurance does not cover you overseas.

Also, many Medicare supplement plans have low maximum coverage with a lifetime limit, as well as deductibles and co-pays. If your supplement plan has a $50,000 emergency treatment benefit, you might be surprised to learn you must pay 20% out-of-pocket. It makes sense to have more Medical Insurance as a senior.

If you have Medicare, we recommend you consider another policy with more Medical Insurance, like AIG Travel Guard Deluxe or AIG Travel Guard Plus.

Check directly with your health insurance provider if you are uncertain of your coverage when away from home.

What is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

A Pre-Existing Condition is an injury, sickness, or other condition of you, your traveling companion, family member, host at the destination, or business partner to which any of the following apply and which occur within the last 180 days prior to and including the date of purchase of this plan:

  • Worsened, became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted an ordinarily prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment, or
  • Care, testing, or treatment was given or recommended by a physician, or
  • Required a change in prescribed medication

Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication unless the change is:

  • Between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage, or
  • An adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.

Death resulting from a pre-existing medical condition will not be excluded. The death must occur prior to the termination date of the benefit under which the claim is being made.

Can the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion be waived?


The Company will waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion if the following conditions are met:

  • This plan is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment; and
  • The insured is medically able to travel when the plan is purchased; and
  • The amount of coverage purchased equals all trip costs (up to the maximum shown in the Schedule) including any subsequent arrangements made for the same trip. The Insured must update the coverage to include the additional cost of the subsequent arrangements within 15 days of payment to the travel supplier.

What situations are covered for Trip Cancellation?

Trip Cancellation reimburses you for 100% of your trip cost if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason.

Covered reasons for AIG Travel Guard Essential include:

  • Sickness, Injury, or death of an insured, family member, traveling companion, or business partner. Sickness or injury must be certified by a physician.
  • Sickness or injury of an insured, traveling companion, family member traveling with the insured, which results in medically imposed travel restrictions as certified by a physician at the time of loss.
  • Sickness or injury of a family member not traveling with the insured must be because their condition is life-threatening or because they require the insured’s immediate care.
  • Sickness or injury of the business partner must be so disabling as to reasonably cause the insured to cancel the trip to assume daily management of the business.
  • The insured or traveling companion is hijacked, quarantined, subpoenaed, required to serve on a jury, or required to appear as a witness in a legal action; provided the insured or traveling companion is not a party to the legal action or appearing as a law enforcement officer.
  • The insured or traveling companion is called to active military service or as a reservist, or military leave is revoked or reassigned. The military leave for the dates of travel must be approved prior to the effective date of coverage.
  • The insured or traveling companion, (or, if the insured is a child, the insured’s parent or legal guardian), is involuntarily terminated or laid off from their employment. The termination notice must occur at least 30 days after the Insured’s effective date of coverage. The employee must have been an active employee with the same employer for at least 1 year. This provision is not applicable to temporary employment, seasonal employment, independent contractors or self-employed persons.
  • The insured or traveling companion (or, if the insured is a child, the insured’s parent or legal guardian), has an involuntary employer-initiated transfer of 100 or more miles which requires the insured’s primary residence to be relocated; provided that he or she has been an active employee with the same employer for at least 1 year. Notification of the transfer by the employer to the Insured must occur after the effective date of coverage.
  • The insured’s or traveling companion’s primary residence is made uninhabitable, or the destination is made uninhabitable or inaccessible, by natural disaster (other than a hurricane), fire, vandalism, or burglary.
  • A named hurricane making the insured’s primary residence uninhabitable, or making the destination inaccessible or uninhabitable. coverage for a hurricane applies only if insurance was purchased prior to the tropical storm first being upgraded to a hurricane.
  • The insured or traveling companion is delayed due to a traffic accident while en route to the insured’s destination. The traffic accident must be substantiated by a police report.
  • Strike causing cancellation or delay of the insured’s pre-arranged travel services.
  • Inclement weather causing cancellation or delay of the insured’s trip for at least 12 consecutive hours.
  • A terrorist incident in a city listed on the insured’s itinerary within 30 days of the insured’s scheduled arrival.
  • Coverage will be provided for the following additional unforeseen event if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment: financial default of a travel supplier; provided the financial default occurs more than 14 days following the insured’s effective date for the trip cancellation benefit. There is no coverage for the financial default of any person, organization, agency, or firm from whom the insured purchased travel arrangements supplied by others.

What events are covered under the Trip Interruption benefit?

You can interrupt your trip for the same reasons as Trip Cancellation.

The difference is that Trip Interruption applies after your trip starts. You receive reimbursement for any prepaid, non-refundable, and unused travel costs.

Coverage also applies to any additional transportation expenses incurred while returning home early from your trip or rejoining your trip.

What does Baggage Delay cover?

This benefit reimburses up to $200 for the purchase of necessary personal effects if your baggage is delayed for 24 hours or more during a trip.

Reimbursements include:

  • Clothing
  • Toiletry items
  • Expense to clean the clothing items purchased

Necessary personal effects do not include jewelry, perfume or alcohol.

Incurred expenses must be accompanied by receipts.

Is the loss of baggage covered?


AIG Travel Guard Essential covers loss and damage of baggage and personal effects up to $750.

The company will reimburse the insured up to:

  • $500 for the first item and thereafter
  • $250 per each additional item
  • $500 aggregate on all Losses to jewelry, watches, furs, cameras and camera equipment, camcorders, computers, electronic devices, including but not limited to laptop computers, cell phones, electronic organizers and portable CD players.

Items over $150 must be accompanied by original receipts.

The company will pay the lesser of:

  1. The cash value (original cash value less depreciation) as determined by the company, or
  2. The cost of replacement

The Baggage coverage maximum limit also includes:

  • The cost to replace the insured’s passport or visa if it is lost, stolen or damaged during the Trip. The loss, theft or damage must be documented by a police report.

What does the Travel Delay benefit cover?

The company will reimburse the insured up to $100 per day ($500 max) for expenses of:

  • Meals
  • Essential telephone calls
  • Local transportation (taxi fares, mass transit, rental vehicle, etc.)
  • Parking costs
  • Internet usage fees
  • Lodging

which are necessarily incurred as the result of a trip delay and are not provided by the common carrier or any other party free of charge.

If the insured is separated from their baggage during the trip delay, the company will also reimburse the insured for necessary personal effects.

The trip must be delayed 12 or more consecutive hours and prevents the Insured from reaching the intended destination as a result of a cancellation or delay of his/her trip for one of the unforeseen events listed below:

  • The insured being delayed due to a traffic accident while en route to a departure as substantiated by a police report
  • The insured’s or traveling companion’s lost or stolen passports, travel documents, or money
  • The insured or traveling companion is quarantined
  • Natural disaster
  • Injury, sickness, or death of the insured or traveling companion
  • Civil Disorder
  • Hijacking
  • Common carrier delay
  • Strike
  • Inclement weather

Incurred expenses must be accompanied by receipts.

This benefit is payable for only one delay per Insured per Trip.

What does the Missed Connection benefit cover?

Coverage on AIG Travel Guard Essential is provided for this benefit if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of Initial Trip Payment.

If, while on a trip, the insured misses a departure resulting from a delay of the insured’s scheduled common carrier transportation due to inclement weather or common carrier delay, the company will pay up to $150 for:

  • additional transportation expenses incurred by the Insured to join the departed trip, and
  • cancellation penalties for missed portions of the Trip.

This benefit does not apply if the insured’s domestic travel arrangements allow less than 1 hour between connections, or the Insured’s international travel arrangements allow less than 2 hours between connections.

Can I buy travel insurance after an incident has occurred?


Travel insurance coverage applies only to unforeseen issues that occur after the policy is in effect.

Insurance does not cover events that are no longer unexpected or unforeseen.

Are there any coverage exclusions?

Yes. For a complete list of exclusions, refer to the policy certificate.

How do I use Travel Assistance while on a trip?

Travel Guard provides excellent Travel Assistance benefits.

Whether you have a lost bag or hospital visit, contact AIG Travel Guard’s 24-Hour Worldwide Assistance as soon as reasonably possible.

If you’re in the USA, call 1-800-826-1300. If you’re outside the US, call collect +1-715-345-0505.

How do I make a claim with Travel Guard?

The Insured must contact Travel Guard as soon as reasonably possible, and be prepared to describe details regarding the loss and the insured trip. Travel Guard will provide the claim form to the Insured for his or her review and signature.

The Insured may initiate the claim online at www.aig.com/travelclaims. Utilizing this method will allow the Insured to view the status of the claim in real time.

Contact information:

Online: www.aig.com/travelclaims
Mail: PO Box 47, Stevens Point, WI 54481
Telephone: 1-800-826-1300
E-mail: claimsdoc@aig.com
Fax: 715-345-1141

All claims will be administered by AIG Claims Inc., in those states where it is licensed.

The claim forms must be sent back to Travel Guard no more than 90 days after a covered loss occurs or ends, or as soon after that as is reasonably possible.

All claims under the policy must be submitted to Travel Guard no later than one year after the date of Loss or insured occurrence or as soon as reasonably possible.

If Travel Guard has not provided claim forms within 15 days after the notice of claim, other proofs of loss should be sent to Travel Guard by the date claim forms would be due.

The proof of loss should include written proof of the occurrence, type and amount of loss, the Insured’s name, the participating organization name, and policy number. The insured must return all unused, nonrefundable tickets.

Claims will be paid as soon as Travel Guard receives complete proof of loss and verification of age.

What is considered a Loss?

A loss is financial or physical damage to you or your belongings because of one or more of the events covered under the policy occurred.

What is the definition of a “Trip”?

Trip means a period of travel at least 100 miles away from home to a destination outside the insured’s city of residence.

The trip has a defined departure date and return date and does not exceed 364 days.

What if a trip is longer than 364 days?

Coverage would apply for the first 364 consecutive days of a trip.

Coverage would end at 12:01 am on the 365th day of the trip.

When does insurance coverage begin?

Trip cancellation benefits begin at 12:01 am local time on the date following payment to the company or the company’s authorized representative of the required cost.

All other coverages begin at 12:01 am local time on the scheduled departure date shown on the travel documents.

When does coverage end?

Trip cancellation coverage ends on the earlier of

All other coverages end on the earliest of

What does the Single Occupancy benefit do?

The company will pay a benefit to reimburse the insured, up to the single occupancy maximum limit shown in the schedule or declarations page, for the additional costs charged by the travel supplier for the trip as a result of a change in the per-person occupancy rate if a person booked to share accommodations with the insured has his or her trip canceled or interrupted due to any of the unforeseen events shown in the trip cancellation or trip interruption section, and the insured does not cancel or interrupt. the trip cancellation and trip interruption exclusions will also apply to this benefit.

What is considered an Accident?

An accident is a sudden and unforeseen event that happens at a specific time and place during your trip. The event may occur on a common carrier on which you are traveling, walking around town, or slipping in the shower.

What is Accidental Death and Dismemberment?

The Company will reimburse the Insured for this benefit for one of the Losses shown in the Table of Losses if the Insured is Injured other than while riding as a passenger in or boarding or alighting from or struck or run down by a certified passenger aircraft provided by a regularly scheduled airline or charter and operated by a properly certified pilot.

The Company can pay a maximum of $30,000 for this benefit.

Please read the insurance certificate for complete coverage details and limitations. Note that benefits and exceptions may vary from state to state due to law.

Are there any destinations or countries that are not covered by this insurance?


Travel Guard excludes coverage for Excluded Countries. The excluded countries are typically under economic and trade sanctions by OFAC.

Excluded countries means any country where providing coverage or paying a claim would expose the Company, the Company’s parent company, or the Company’s parent company’s ultimate controlling entity, to any sanction, prohibition or restriction under the United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the United States of America.

Contact AIG Travel Guard at 1-800-826-1300 for details.

Note that travel insurance will not reimburse expenses or provide benefits if sanctions laws expressly forbid doing so.

What is OFAC?

OFAC stands for the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The United States Department of the Treasury directs OFAC.

OFAC is responsible for the enforcement of economic sanctions against countries linked to terrorism. Freezing assets, trade restrictions, and embargoes are tools used by OFAC to increase national security.


AIG Travel Guard Essential is a simple, comprehensive travel insurance plan best suited for travel protection within the continental US.

It includes $15,000 Primary Medical Insurance and $150,000 Medical Evacuation, a Pre-existing Condition Waiver, and an adequate list of Cancellation and Interruption reasons.

We recommend travelers take the time to consider whether travel insurance makes sense for your trip.

AARDY helps you get a quick, anonymous trip insurance quote comparing dozens of the nation’s best insurers. We save you time and money finding the best plan for your travel needs.

Can I purchase this plan cheaper directly through AIG?

No, because there’s a US law that prohibits different pricing for the same policy, you can rest assured that the price you see is the lowest price possible.

AARDY is a travel insurance marketplace, which means that we compare your travel insurance options through multiple insurers. We are very selective about the plans we offer on our site.

So, you’ll always find the lowest possible price and value right here at AARDY.

Visit AARDY first to see your options before committing to the first travel insurance policy you’re offered. Stop by and have a chat, send an email or give us a call at 650-492-6298.

Safe travels!

Have questions? We would love to hear from you. Send us a chat, Send us a Mail or alternatively Call Us at (650) 492-6298.

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