When trying to purchase an airline ticket, you’ll often find flight insurance either being highly recommended or offered as an add-on to the package. But if you’ve never purchased this insurance policy before, it’s natural to wonder – is flight insurance worth it?
Well, that question shall be the focus of this article.
Read below as we introduce what it is, how it works, and why purchasing the coverage might be an excellent decision before setting out on your next vacation.
What Is Flight Insurance?
The whole idea of insurance is to mitigate the financial losses and damages caused when an insured risk occurs. But unknown to many, getting insurance coverage might also be a smart money-saving strategy in the long run. That’s because the policy ensures you don’t pay for financial emergencies directly from your pockets.
Now, It uses nearly the same model as any form of insurance. This policy protects you from bearing the costs associated with your non-refundable flight.
As with any insurance type, flight insurance kicks in when a risk covered occurs, derailing your travel plans. You’ll typically be entitled to reimbursement for nonrefundable flight costs if the insured risk happens.
Flight insurance policies can vary considerably, depending on factors like the issuing entity and the extensiveness of your travel itinerary. Some policies only cover simple refunds, whereas others cover damaged or lost baggage.
However, it’s worth noting that it typically doesn’t cover your entire prepaid and nonrefundable flight expenses. So, it’s best to read the terms and conditions carefully before selecting the policy. More on this later on.
What Does Flight Insurance Cover?
Flight insurance generally protects against unprecedented events directly related to your air travel.
As already hinted, policies can vary based on several factors. Some of its packages offer straightforward refunds on airline tickets, whereas others cover lost damages.
However, a typical flight insurance policy would offer the following coverage;
1. Trip Cancellation
Numerous reasons could cause you to cancel your trip on short notice. If these reasons are spelled out in your flight insurance policy, you’re eligible for reimbursements for all the prepaid, nonrefundable expenses.
However, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of cancellation. Note that you’ll only be eligible for refunds if you cancel the trip for a covered reason and within the stipulated time frames.
Otherwise, you may need to borrow money from a credible app to fund the financial losses resulting from the cancellation if you have no cash at hand.
2. Trip Delay
It’s not unusual to find passengers stranded in transit due to unavoidable circumstances, ranging from bad weather to potential security threats. This is another instance where it would kick in. The coverage will reimburse you for additional expenses incurred if the delay results from causes spelled out in your policy.
Remember that your flight would need to have been delayed for a reasonable amount of time (typically six hours or more) for you to be entitled to a refund.
It’s also worth noting that most flight insurance policies impose a daily limit on the maximum reimbursement you can receive in the event of flight delays. The reimbursement is generally known as “inconvenience fees,” it applies only when your flight delays for a certain number of hours consecutively. That’s another valid reason to read the terms carefully before purchasing it.
3. Trip Interruption
The possibility of getting your trip interrupted also makes flight trip insurance worth it. And various unforeseen circumstances could trigger these interruptions.
For instance, you might come down with an acute illness requiring ample bed rest before your trip. You could also receive a phone call back home saying a dear one has been taken ill or passed on.
If any of these reasons are covered in your flight insurance, you’ll receive reimbursement for your non-refundable trip costs. Some policies might even reimburse you for additional transportation expenses, such as a one-way economy ticket back home.
4. Lost or Damaged Luggage
Some flight insurance packages may reimburse you for lost or damaged luggage. However, this is usually considered secondary insurance.
In other words, you must file an official claim with the airline company or your homeowners insurance before receiving any reimbursement.
5. Travel Assistance
Travel assistance is generally considered an add-on. It involves making alternative travel arrangements for cancellations, delays, or interruptions.
While travel assistance may raise your flight insurance fee by a few dollars, it’s an extra service worth considering.
NB: All the risks covered by a flight insurance policy can go a long way in helping you save money. This type of travel insurance ensures you don’t fund financial emergencies directly from your pocket, provided that such emergencies are covered in the policy.
Can You Cancel Your Flight Insurance Anytime?
As already stated, passengers may choose to cancel their flights for numerous reasons. They range from illnesses to emergency calls back home, urgent calls of duty, etc.
You can cancel your trip anytime, even if you have this type of insurance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll qualify for reimbursements.
Whether you’ll receive a refund on the cancellation depends on whether the reason for canceling is defined in the policy. Moreover, policies may vary in the percentage of reimbursement you qualify for, even if the grounds for cancellation are similar.
Here are the top scenarios where you may qualify for a refund if you cancel a trip while on a flight insurance policy;
Reasons Related To the Airplane and Airline Company
- Equipment failure
- Missed connection flights caused by previous delays
- Unplanned landings due to mid-flight emergencies
Reasons Related To You
- Acute injury or illness while traveling
- Severe injury or illness of a family member or traveling companion
- Death of a family member or traveling companion
- Urgent duty calls
- Unexpected job losses
- Unexpected call to attend a legal hearing
- Severe weather, such as storms and blizzards
- Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and pandemics
- Major security threats, such as terrorism
What’s Not Covered by Flight Insurance?
One of the frequently asked questions by many travelers is – why do I need travel insurance?
There may be a few cons to travel insurance, such as the cost implications. However, the benefits of getting insured while traveling far outweigh the drawbacks.
In fact, the concept of insurance as a whole is highly encouraged. That’s regardless of whether it’s life insurance for millennials, property insurance, or the focus of this article – flight insurance.
Now, we’ve already gone over several reasons that makes it worth having. But before purchasing this policy, it’s also essential to understand what’s not covered.
Mostly policies generally do not cover the following;
- Sudden requests for detours due to changes in your itinerary
- Missed flights due to delays on your part
- Late bookings or cancelations
- Cancellations for any other reasons not defined in the policy
To enjoy additional benefits, you may need to purchase comprehensive travel insurance.
Comprehensive travel insurance policies provide more peace of mind by insuring against travel risks typically not covered by regular flight insurance. These include the following;
- Emergency medical transportation following a sudden injury or illness
- Routine medical or dental checkups
- Missed connection coverage, even if it’s due to delays on your part
So, should I buy travel insurance instead?
Many travel insurance policies usually include flight insurance as an add-on. Therefore, you may be automatically entitled to its benefits if you purchase comprehensive travel insurance.
However, you could also purchase flight insurance as a standalone policy. This is particularly recommended if you don’t travel a lot, in which case paying hefty premiums for comprehensive travel insurance coverage would make little economic sense.
Where Should I Buy Flight Insurance?
The best place to buy flight insurance is through an airline company’s official website. You’re likely to get amazing deals when you purchase the policy this way.
Alternatively, you could buy it from third-party travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity. The last option is from a proper insurance company.
Perhaps the key to point out here is the significance of comparing quotes before purchasing the best flight insurance. You’ll prefer a company that offers reasonably competitive rates when all is said and done.
When Should I Buy Flight Insurance?
The best time to buy it is when you purchase your airline ticket. That’s regardless of whether you book your flight online or through the airline’s physical outlets.
Purchasing flight insurance alongside your airline ticket ensures that all the associated prepaid costs of the ticket are covered. Besides, this arrangement offers a longer coverage window if the insured risks occur.
When Would Flight Insurance Be Unideal?
As indicated, you may not require a flight insurance policy if you’re covered under comprehensive travel insurance. Just be sure to establish that comprehensive travel insurance covers most flight-associated risks.
You may also not need flight insurance if your airline ticket already makes allowances for free changes and cancellations. However, ensure these provisions actually entitle you to refunds.
Lastly, a flight insurance policy may be unideal if your credit card already covers most of the commonly insured risks.
Flight insurance gives you the peace of mind that your trip is protected against cancellations and delays caused by unforeseen events. Read the policy carefully to ensure it provides real value for your money.