Travel is not just an opportunity to kick back and see the world. they are also an investment, but there is a way to protect that investment called flight insurance.
is flight insurance worth it? here are some things worth considering before adding any flight insurance to a booking.
what is flight insurance?
flight insurance protects only the cost of your flight. it does not cover all of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses. Generally, if an issue covered by your flight insurance policy derails your travel plans, you can get reimbursed for non-refundable flight costs only. policies can range from offering simple refunds to covering lost or damaged luggage.
Some common issues that are typically covered by flight insurance include:
- bad weather conditions, such as storms and blizzards, leading to flight cancellations.
- unexpected flight delays that cause you to miss a connection, such as equipment failure.
- a mid-flight diversion that forces you to arrive at a different airport.
- an unexpected injury or illness before your departure.
- a terrorist event in the vicinity of the city you are traveling to.
- Flight Delay Coverage: You will receive a payment of up to a certain amount if your flight is delayed for the amount of time specified by the policy. For example, we reviewed a Berkshire Hathaway travel protection policy that pays a $50 “inconvenience fee” if your flight is delayed for at least 120 consecutive minutes.
- trip interruption or cancellation coverage: if you need to cancel your flight or return home early due to a problem covered by the policy, this coverage reimburses you for prepaid and non-refundable flight expenses .
- lost or delayed baggage coverage: this coverage reimburses you for lost or delayed baggage, up to the limit of your policy. for example, a flight insurance plus plan from travelex insurance services offers up to $1,000 in coverage for luggage and personal belongings.
- Travel Assistance: This benefit offers you assistance in rebooking your flight itinerary or making other travel arrangements.
- Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage: This coverage reimburses medical or dental costs for injuries and illnesses covered by the policy while traveling.
- emergency medical transportation coverage: reimburses and organizes the necessary medical transportation after an accident or illness covered by the policy.
- Missed Connection Coverage: reimburses you for costs incurred by missing a flight, cruise, or other transportation connection due to an unexpected event covered by the policy.
Although airline insurance policies may vary depending on the type of plan and the insurer, there are some common benefits that can be included in flight insurance plans:
what does flight insurance not cover?
Airlines that offer basic flight insurance plans typically lack certain types of coverage you might get with a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Comprehensive travel insurance policies have stronger coverage options that may include:
When your travel plans go awry, some of these benefits can come in handy. For example, let’s say you’re in Bogata, Columbia, and you have food poisoning that needs medical attention. If you purchased a comprehensive travel insurance plan, your emergency medical coverage may help pay for some of the costs that your health insurance provider won’t cover while abroad (up to plan limits).
examples of flight insurance
You can usually purchase a flight insurance plan through the airline or a third-party travel insurance company. each policy can vary drastically, so it’s important to read the fine print before you buy.
for example, allegiant offers flight insurance called trip flex. With Trip Flex, travelers can change flight itineraries and postpone their trips up to 24 hours before departure at no additional charge. You can also modify your airfare portion of your itinerary up to one hour before departure.
but take a look at the fine print. If you don’t cancel your entire itinerary within 72 hours of your departure, it’s non-refundable, meaning you won’t receive a refund for any remaining elements of the package, such as hotels, activities, and car rentals. trip flex also has other restrictions, such as promotions and special sales on flights and travel dates on holidays.
delta, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive flight insurance plan through a partnership with allianz travel. This policy includes benefits such as trip interruption coverage, trip cancellation coverage, and trip and baggage delay coverage.
Third party travel insurers will have different levels of coverage. For example, Travelex Insurance offers a flight insurance plan as well as a flight insurance plus plan. The standard flight insurance plan offers coverage for travel delay, accidental death and dismemberment, and travel assistance services. the plus plan offers that plus baggage coverage and emergency medical and dental coverage.
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With so many variations of plan coverage and benefit options, it’s smart to compare the terms and conditions of each plan before you buy one. Although the easiest option might be to purchase a plan through your airline, it is often beneficial to explore other flight insurance policies before booking.
In addition, if you purchased other travel accommodations, such as a hotel, cruise or excursion, you may need a more comprehensive travel insurance plan that protects all of your financial interests invested in the trip.
Do I need flight insurance?
With the many things that can go wrong during a trip, it’s worth considering some form of travel insurance. Determining which insurance option is right for you will depend on the type of coverage you need, your budget, and the complexity of your travel plans.
For example, let’s say you’re traveling across the country to visit a friend at a familiar destination. in this case, a basic flight insurance plan may provide adequate coverage.
On the other hand, if you’re planning the multi-destination trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to consider a comprehensive travel insurance plan, as a lot could go wrong. For example, you may want lost luggage travel insurance and travel medical insurance, which are not typically included in a basic flight insurance plan.
“If your trip is a large financial investment, it’s important to purchase a travel insurance policy that covers all of your non-refundable travel expenses, not just the cost of a flight,” says Beckah Ripley, spokeswoman for Yonder Travel Insurance. . She adds that it’s worth comparing your travel insurance options through a third-party insurer to find a plan that suits your needs at an affordable price.
related: best travel insurance for 2022
Before purchasing a flight insurance policy, you should also check your credit card benefits to see if you already have any form of flight insurance. Some credit card companies offer protection if you book the flight with your credit card. you don’t want to buy additional flight insurance coverage if you don’t need to. For example, as an American Express Platinum Card® cardholder, you’ll have basic trip cancellation and interruption coverage*, trip delay coverage*, and baggage coverage*. (terms apply)