Is Flight Insurance Worth It? Breaking Down Cost & Coverage

Is Flight Insurance Worth It? Breaking Down Cost & Coverage

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There’s no such thing as a risk-free trip. Each year, millions of trips are disrupted by lengthy delays, last minute flight cancellations, and mishandled luggage.

Even with recent changes to airline refund policies, there’s still the chance that flight disruptions can leave you on the hook for costly, unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

For peace of mind and financial protection, many travelers are opting to safeguard their trips with flight insurance.

What is Flight Insurance?

Flight insurance is an insurance option designed to protect you financially if your trip takes a turn for the worse. Most flight insurance plans are comprehensive, and offer benefits that provide coverage for trip delays, cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and more.

There are more ways than ever before to insure your trip. Generally, the most common ways to get flight insurance are:

  • As an optional add-on when booking a flight with an airline
  • Directly through a travel insurance provider
  • Through perks offered by a travel credit card

What Does Flight Insurance Cover?

Oftentimes, flight insurance policies offer a wide-range of benefits that extend beyond just your time in the sky. The vast majority of plans offer protection before and during your vacation.

When comparing policies, we recommend plans that include the following travel insurance benefits:


  • Trip Cancellation: If you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason, Trip Cancellation insurance can reimburse your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs such as airfare and hotel reservations.
  • Trip Interruption: In the event that you’re forced to cut your trip short for a covered reason, Trip Interruption insurance may reimburse any prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that went unused.

Medical Coverage

  • Emergency Medical: Provides coverage for medical expenses related to an unforeseen injury or illness. This may include hospital stays, medical care, doctor visits, and ambulance rides. Exclusions may apply.
  • Medical Evacuation: Covers the cost to emergency transport you to a more adequate medical facility if deemed necessary by a treating physician.

Delays & Baggage

  • Travel Delay: Roughly a quarter of all flights are either delayed or canceled. If your trip is significantly delayed, your policy may reimburse meal and accommodation expenses as you await your flight.
  • Missed Connection: If a delay forces you to miss a connecting flight, your policy may reimburse any additional expenses incurred to book new travel arrangements.
  • Baggage Delay: Offers reimbursement for toiletries, clothes, and other necessities if your bags are delayed on route to your destination.
  • Baggage Loss: Covers the cost to replace items that are lost, damaged, or stolen at any point during your vacation.

How Much Does Flight Insurance Cost?

The cost of flight insurance will vary from one trip to the next, and depends on a variety of factors that providers take into consideration, such as:

  • Trip cost
  • Trip length
  • Age of travelers on your policy
  • Type of coverage
  • Extent of coverage

Among Squaremouth customers, the average travel insurance policy that includes cancellation coverage is between $375-$425. Typically, you can expect comprehensive travel insurance policies to cost between 5-10% of your total insured trip costs.

With that said, there are tactics you can implement to reduce your premium. If you’re not concerned about having to cancel your trip, for example, you can find plans that don’t include cancellation benefits for less than $100.

So, Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Due to the high price tag associated with international air travel, flight insurance is often well worth the investment if you’re heading abroad. Purchasing a policy for your next trip could save you thousands of dollars in the event an unexpected event disrupts your travel plans. 

Flying on time without interruption is also never a guarantee. In fact, in recent years, the U.S has seen a large spike in flight delays and cancellations. For that reason, the price of a policy may be a worthy investment for the peace of mind alone.

We recommend you purchase travel insurance if you have high trip costs, want overseas medical insurance, and want protection against common travel disruptions.

Flight Insurance Purchasing Tips

If you’ve never purchased trip protection before, or haven’t for some time, we’ve curated some tips to help you find the best travel insurance plan for your upcoming trip.

Start Your Search Early

When it comes to buying flight insurance, timing matters. It’s recommended by travel experts to buy a policy within 10-14 days of your first trip payment. For example, if your first payment towards your trip is an airline ticket, you should purchase a plan within 1-2 weeks of that booking.

This strategy provides two perks:

  • Longer Coverage: Travel insurance coverage typically begins the day after you purchase your plan. By purchasing a plan early, you’re making sure you’re covered if unforeseen events were to occur leading up to your trip.
  • More Benefits: Some comprehensive travel insurance plans offer optional, time-sensitive benefits that are only available for a short time after making an initial trip deposit. Examples of time-sensitive benefits include Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Pre-Existing Condition coverage.

Compare Plans From Multiple Providers

The only way to guarantee that you’re getting the best bang for your buck is to compare travel protection plans from multiple providers. You can do this manually, or through comparison sites like Squaremouth that allow you to get quotes from the best travel insurance companies at one time.

When comparing plans, play close attention to the coverage limits offered through each benefit. Don’t forget to review the fine print, too, to see if any exclusions apply to you.

Bottom Line

A vacation can take a turn for the worse at any moment, even before it begins. Flight insurance can protect you against common travel disruptions that can impact your trip. While policies can be pricey, they can save you thousands of dollars in the event you need to file a claim. 

If you decide you’d like to buy travel insurance, we recommend starting your search early and taking time to compare plans from a wide-range of providers. To get started, you can begin a quote here