Flight Insurance: How to Buy & Is It Worth It?
When booking travel, there’s always a risk that things won’t go according to plan. Unexpected events such as medical emergencies, severe weather, and lost luggage can put travelers in stressful situations, which can not only ruin their travel plans, but also lead to financial loss.
Flight insurance is designed to protect travelers’ financial investments and provide them with peace of mind heading into a trip.
What is Flight Insurance?
Flight insurance is an insurance option that protects the cost of a traveler’s flight. These policies can be purchased by insuring all prepaid and nonrefundable flight costs for an upcoming trip. While flight insurance can be purchased directly from an airline, many travelers opt for a more comprehensive travel insurance policy that provides further coverage and benefits for their trip.
What Does Flight Insurance Cover?
Flight insurance is a crucial part of most travel insurance policies, especially for travelers who are concerned about canceling their trip. Travelers who purchase a policy that covers their flights can be reimbursed their prepaid, nonrefundable flight expenses in the event their trip is canceled or interrupted by a covered reason outlined in their policy.
While policies may vary slightly from one plan to the next, the best flight insurance policies will include the following benefits:
- Trip Cancellation: Provides reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if a trip is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, including illness, injury, or death.
- Travel Delay: Reimburses the costs of meals and accommodations when a flight is unexpectedly delayed.
- Trip Interruption: Provides reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if a portion of a trip is missed, or the traveler must return home early due to a covered reason.
- Baggage & Personal Items Loss: Provides reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage.
- Baggage Delay: Provides reimbursement for the purchase of clothes and essentials if the traveler’s luggage is delayed.
Buying Flight Insurance
Purchasing a flight insurance policy is a smart investment for those looking for a layer of protection while traveling. This is especially relevant for international travelers, where the costs of flights can be significant, or domestic travelers who purchase non-refundable airfare.
The Cost of Flight Insurance
The cost of a travel insurance policy with cancellation coverage for flights will typically average between 5-10% of the total trip costs. Keep in mind, travel insurance premiums depend on a wide range of factors including the trip costs, age of the travelers, destination, and coverage limits.
When shopping for flight insurance, it’s important to only cover non-refundable trip payments. Travel insurance is reimbursement-based, so travelers can save money by only insuring their non-refundable trip payments that are eligible for coverage.
Is It Worth the Money?
Flying on time without interruption is never a guarantee. In fact, in 2022, the U.S saw a large spike in flight delays and cancellations nationwide. For travelers flying domestically to visit friends or family, a flight insurance policy is a great way to protect their flight costs in the event their trip is impacted unexpectedly.
Due to the high price tag associated with international air travel, flight insurance is often well worth the investment for travelers going abroad. Purchasing a policy for your next upcoming trip could save you thousands of dollars in the event an unexpected event disrupts your travel plans.
When to Buy
As with any policy, if being forced to cancel your trip is a concern, it’s best to buy flight insurance as early as possible. If you’re only looking to insure the costs of your flight, Squaremouth recommends purchasing flight cancellation coverage near the time of booking your flight.
When a travel insurance policy is purchased, it goes into effect at midnight of the next day. This means that the longer travelers have the policy, the longer they have protection in the event something goes wrong.
Is Flight Insurance Right For You?
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and only you can determine if purchasing flight insurance is the right decision. Given the uncertainty surrounding travel, and the likelihood that things won’t always go as planned, securing a travel insurance policy of any kind is a great way to protect yourself and your investment.
Before making a purchase of any kind of insurance policy, it’s best to evaluate your needs and compare plans that tick all your boxes. Coverage and prices will vary between policies, so make sure to take your time and read through each policy before making a decision.