What will flight insurance really cover? And is it worth that extra small expense?
As a consumer, I don’t usually go for the “extended warranty” sales pitch (unless it’s on something super essential to life, like my dishwashers). My first reaction when asked, “Do you want flight insurance?” similarly, was to dismiss the extra nominal expense. I thought, “What is it really going to do for me?”
Truth was, I was completely ignorant. Flight insurance is definitely not the same thing as the extended warranty on your vacuum cleaner. I asked the experts from Do-All Travel to clear things up so all travelers can really be aware.
First things, who is flight insurance for?
We all plan to travel, and sometimes things come up. So while it might not be a big deal to postpone your weekend in Miami, if you’re flying internationally and your ticket cost $1000-$2000, you can incur bigger losses if you need to cancel. And sometimes, things come up, whether we expect them or not.
Most tickets are not refundable. So, if you need to cancel an international trip for any reason, you’d be out the price of the ticket. Let’s say the ticket cost $1500. The $40 or so for flight insurance is a small amount to protect the amount you invested in your trip.
What exactly is covered?
We all hope that most need-to-cancel urgencies come up because of semachot…perhaps a new baby arrived earlier than expected or a young couple close to you is getting engaged and you simply can’t leave right now. With the most basic flight insurance, a cancellation for a medical reason is always covered. If anyone close to the traveler suddenly isn’t feeling well, all the traveler needs is a doctor’s note, and the insurance company will cover the cost of the cancelled ticket, no questions asked. For a few dollars more, someone can purchase “any reason” flight insurance. They’ll receive 80% of the cost of their trip back, and they don’t even need an excuse! They can cancel simply because they feel like it.
Why can’t I just buy a refundable ticket? Or just pay the ticket change penalty if I need to move my travel dates?
Most people don’t buy refundable tickets because they cost much more. It’s much less expensive to buy flight insurance, which can cost an average of $40, depending on the age of the traveler and other factors. Penalties for changing a ticket can cost $200-$500, plus the price difference of the new ticket. This is also much more!
What else does flight insurance cover?
You’re getting so much more with flight insurance coverage than simply a covered flight cost.
If you’re flying to Europe or Israel, flight insurance will also give you medical coverage for the duration of your trip if you need any type of treatment abroad. That’s really important.
Missed a connection? What if something happens midtrip and you need to change a ticket? A last minute midtrip change can be very expensive. Flight insurance covers it. Flight insurance will also cover lost baggage.
But won’t the airline compensate me for my baggage if they lose it?
They might. But the airline isn’t in a rush to compensate you, and it’s much harder to get money out of them. The insurance company is much easier to deal with and they’ll be much quicker to pay.
If you’re buying “cancel for any reason” flight insurance, it must be purchased the same day you buy a ticket (i.e. someone can’t decide they want to cancel and then buy insurance). But basic flight insurance coverage, which covers medical cancellations and anything that might occur during your trip, can be purchased up until a few days before you plan to fly.
What about kids? If I buy insurance for my whole family, it can add up.
When two parents buy flight insurance, the children are all covered for free!
Any last tips?
It’s a good practice to hold onto your receipts when you travel. If you spent money on anything unexpected, such as an extra night hotel stay when a flight is delayed, you will need a papertrail.
For the small expense that it is…yes, flight insurance is a good idea! It will give any traveler peace of mind so you can enjoy your trip without worry. Safe travels always!
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This post is sponsored by DoAll travel