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Easton Cooper
Easton Cooper

Is Flight Insurance Worth Buying

Basic flight insurance protects the cost of your flight should the unexpected occur. When purchasing an airline ticket, flight insurance is typically offered as an add-on directly from the airline or from third-party sites such as Expedia or Travelocity. You can also buy flight insurance directly from some travel insurance companies.

is flight insurance worth buying

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Having flight insurance does not mean you can cancel your trip for any reason and expect a refund. Depending on the details of your policy, you may be able to recoup 100% of your pre-paid, non-refundable flight cost in the following situations:

Travel insurance from Allianz also includes emergency medical benefits, trip interruption coverage, reimbursement of necessary meals and accommodations if your flight is delayed for more than six hours for a covered reason and reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen luggage during your trip.

Allegiant on the other hand offers basic flight insurance called Trip Flex. Trip Flex allows you to change your flight or postpone your trip without paying the $75 change fee. You can only make one itinerary modification. The modification can be made up to one hour prior to departure for airline ticket purchases and up to 72 hours prior to departure for air/hotel package purchases. Additional restrictions include holiday travel periods and flight promos or sales.

Flight insurance is not always worth the investment. If your trip includes other nonrefundable bookings, such as hotel stays, car rentals and excursions, you would be better off purchasing a standalone travel insurance policy to cover the entire trip.

You may also be able to rely on your credit card for coverage. Some credit cards include trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, lost luggage insurance and trip delay reimbursement, if you pay for the trip using your card. This makes it possible to safeguard your flight without purchasing a separate flight insurance policy. Check your credit card benefits to determine if this coverage is available to you.

It is best to buy flight insurance the same day you purchase your airline ticket, whether you buy it through the airline or directly from a travel insurance company. This ensures the cost of your ticket is covered and provides a longer coverage window for trip cancellation benefits.

As the name suggests, flight insurance is a type of trip insurance that reimburses you for the cost of your airfare if you are forced to cancel your vacation. Further, since airlines are not legally required to compensate you for flight delays, flight insurance can help you recover the cost of the other legs of your journey if delays cause you to miss a connection.

Though some travel insurance companies offer flight insurance as a stand-alone offering, this protection is often sold as a part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan. You can also typically purchase flight insurance through a major airline.

Stand-alone flight cancellation protection can save you hundreds of dollars for less than a comprehensive travel insurance policy costs. However, its lower cost comes with coverage limitations. For example, if a late flight or other travel delay affects other parts of your travel plans, your insurance provider will usually reimburse you only for flight costs.

When considering which coverage is right for you, consider the percentage of your total vacation budget spent on your flight. If your flight cost is the most significant portion of your trip, flight insurance can offer a low-cost alternative to comprehensive travel insurance.

Flight insurance policies cover the cost of your nonrefundable airline ticket. Depending on the insurance provider, your flight insurance might also cover situations such as flight delays or concierge services if you must rearrange your flights at the last minute.

While flight insurance might be more affordable than other travel insurance options, it has drawbacks. Unlike a full trip cancellation policy, flight insurance will only provide you with a reimbursement for the cost of your flight.

According to an AAA travel survey, 88% of travelers say that reimbursement after a cancellation is the most valuable benefit of trip insurance. But the typical airline plan won't cover the majority of flight cancellations or delays, Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber, one of the leading experts on personal insurance issues, told Insider.

"The policies vary dramatically," Balber said. "The important thing for consumers to know is that many of the reasons for those flight delays and cancellations are not reimbursable under travel insurance."

"The possibility that your flight travel nightmare in an airport this summer is going to be covered by travel insurance is totally in question," Balber told Insider. "I would not recommend people purchase travel insurance because they fear that there are going to be airport delays."

While buying trip insurance for a less expensive domestic flight is probably not necessary, it might be worth it to purchase comprehensive trip protection for any pricey international travels you have planned.

If you're traveling this summer, we'll walk you through what travel insurance actually covers, how it differs from trip protection and how much it costs, so you can decide if it's worth adding on to your summer trip.

If you're unable to travel due to an unforeseen event, travel insurance will reimburse you for the nonrefundable upfront costs, like flights and hotel reservations that otherwise can't be refunded. Unforeseeable events typically include things you have no control over that prevent you from traveling, such as inclement weather, an injury or a sickness -- which now includes COVID-related illness in most (but not all) cases.

Government mandates that may come into effect while you're traveling aren't necessarily covered either, Giusti said. This means that, if you can't get on a flight because of a new mandate, you may not be covered by your policy. And fear of travel is also not covered -- so if you're afraid to travel due to concerns of contracting COVID, your travel insurance policy won't reimburse your trip.

While travel insurance can offer financial coverage for rental damages, lost luggage, flight delays, medical bills and ticket cancellation, trip protection usually only lets you change, cancel or refund a trip purchase (such as a flight or hotel). You'll often find airlines offering the option to purchase trip protection when you purchase a ticket online, which can help you recoup your money or offer you a travel credit if you have to cancel a flight.

To make sure you're purchasing a true travel insurance policy, don't just look for the word "insurance" -- make sure to look for a well-known travel insurance brand that works with a travel insurance underwriter, like Allianz Travel Insurance. Additionally, you can make sure the company you're purchasing from is listed on AM Best and the US Travel Insurance Association before buying.

"As soon as you put your deposits down for your trip, the clock starts ticking," Giusti said. "So, you have to buy that insurance policy in the set amount of time. They don't want you buying the policy six months later when you're about to take the trip and you hear about a new COVID variant."

It depends. If you've put down deposits for your trip, especially for all-expenses-paid trips like cruises, it may be worth purchasing travel insurance. If something happens, you risk losing all the money you've deposited, and travel insurance would bar that risk.

As of June 12, 2022, travelers returning to the U.S. no longer need to test negative for COVID in order to reenter the country, alleviating fears of being stuck in a foreign country longer than planned. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms not to travel. And there are other times when opting for travel insurance is worth the cost.

Whether it's a mini-break or an international tour, taking a trip requires planning and can cost a lot of money. Unexpected circumstances like injury, illness, flight delays or natural disasters could cut a trip short, leaving you with unforeseen costs. There are insurance options to help keep you financially protected

Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die.

"Comprehensive insurance" covers all of the above (plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight, or if your tour company changes your itinerary). Companies such as Travelex and Travel Guard offer comprehensive packages that serve as your primary coverage; they'll take care of your expenses regardless of what other insurance you might have (for instance, if you have health insurance through your job). That means they pay first and don't ask questions about your other insurance. This can be a real plus if you want to avoid out-of-pocket expenses.

Also consider which categories may already be covered, to some degree, in other ways. For example, many credit cards come with travel perks (some degree of flight insurance, car-rental coverage, and so on). And your homeowners or medical insurance may travel with you. However, don't just assume you're fully covered. Do some careful homework and be very clear on the limits of your policies. (For example, your stateside car insurance most likely won't cover you on European roads, and even credit-card coverage is not always accepted by European rental agencies.)

If you're insuring a tour or package trip, also consider whether the policy covers any pre- or post-tour reservations, which can come with different conditions. Some reservations are completely nonrefundable. Check to see which reservations you make (flight, hotel, transportation, tours, etc.) are covered by an insurance provider if you need to cancel.

For me, this is the most usable and worthwhile kind of insurance. It's expensive to cancel or interrupt any prepaid travel, and for a small fraction of the trip cost, you can alleviate the risk of losing money if something unforeseen gets in the way. 041b061a72


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