If you have a big trip coming up, it’s important to make sure you’re protecting your investment with a good travel insurance policy. Many airlines will offer a travel insurance policy as an add-on to your flight, but is it really the best option?
Let’s look at airline travel insurance and the alternatives you have for your trip.
Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?
It can be tempting to fly without travel insurance, but you probably shouldn’t. This is especially important if your flight was expensive or if you’re traveling far from home.
Travel insurance provides you with financial coverage for emergencies that could happen before or during your trip. While coverage varies from policy to policy, they typically offer coverage for cancellations, delays, travel interruption, and lost luggage. Most policies will even provide coverage for medical emergencies that may occur during a trip.
While it’s unlikely that emergencies will happen while you’re traveling, it’s important to be prepared in case they do. Having a robust travel insurance policy can give you the peace of mind you need to really enjoy your trip. For example, if your trip is interrupted unexpectedly for a covered reason, you can feel confident knowing that your travel insurance policy will cover the cost to get you back home and reimburse your lost or unused trip costs.
What Kinds of Travel Insurance Do Airlines Offer?
Most airlines will partner with a specific travel insurance provider to offer coverage for all of their flights. While the coverage isn’t automatically included in the price of your flight, you’ll have the option to purchase it at checkout for an additional fee.
Here are some of the travel insurance policies that major airlines offer.
|Airline||Travel Insurance Provider||Coverage Offered|
|American||Allianz||Options for both single and multi-trip plans. Options for cancellation, delays, baggage, and emergency medical coverage|
|United||AIG Travel||Varies by policy, must book directly through AIG|
|Delta||Allianz||Varies by policy, option to add emergency medical and dental|
Is Airline Travel Insurance Good?
While you can get good travel insurance policies through airlines, they aren’t always going to be the best option. Airlines are focused on making their travel insurance convenient and easy to purchase, so you can buy them directly at checkout without having to shop around much.
However, most airlines only offer travel insurance from a single provider. While you can usually customize some elements of your plan, you won’t be able to shop around and compare different options to get the best price. There are also many instances where the same travel insurance policy will be more expensive when you purchase through an airline as opposed to purchasing it independently.
On top of that, airline travel insurance typically doesn’t include any specialty coverage. There are some instances where you may need coverage beyond what the standard travel insurance policy offers. A great example of this is adventure travel. Activities like rock climbing or skydiving typically aren’t covered by travel insurance policies because of their high-risk nature.
Ultimately, you’ll need to assess your trip and determine what kind of coverage is going to make the most sense for you. While airline travel insurance can work for simple trips, it’s not going to be the right option for everyone.
What Are the Alternatives to Airline Travel Insurance?
There are plenty of excellent alternatives to airline travel insurance that you can use to protect your trip. One great way to find the right travel insurance plan for you is to go through a comparison site like TravelInsurance.com.
With a comparison site, you can provide the details of your trip and view the coverage options available to you all in one place. You can sort by type of coverage available and check for possible add-ons as well. You’ll be able to make comparisons across providers and purchase directly through the site when you’ve selected the right policy for you. While airlines typically only work with one major provider, this allows you to shop many different providers, including small providers that you may not have heard of before.
The advantage of using a site like this is that you can make sure you’re getting the best price possible for the insurance that you need. Pricing for travel insurance varies by provider and can change depending on the type of trip you’re taking. There’s a good chance that you can find the same coverage or better coverage than you would get from an airline, but at a much cheaper price.
This is also an easy way to see all of the add-ons that are available to you and make sure that you get the coverage that you need. There are many add-ons that aren’t included in a typical travel insurance policy, such as car rental coverage. And not all airline travel insurance policies offer this type of extra coverage.
What Should I Look for in a Travel Insurance Policy?
When shopping for travel insurance policies, you’ll likely find a very wide range of options to choose from. If you haven’t purchased travel insurance before, this can feel a bit daunting.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for travel insurance.
Value For Money
While price is important, you don’t want to just choose the cheapest insurance policy you can find. Instead, you’ll want to consider the overall value that your policy provides.
You should be able to compare the monetary amount that the policy offers for each type of coverage. For example, most companies will offer 100 percent of the trip cost for cancellation or interruption coverage, but some will offer more than that.
It’s also very important to make sure you’re booking with a reliable insurance provider. You’ll want to check to see how long the insurer has been in business as well as whether or not they are financially stable.
You can check their financial stability by looking at their rating from A.M. Best, which is a company that provides financial assessments for insurance providers. A good rating from A.M. Best indicates that the company is in a comfortable financial position and can uphold their financial commitments.
It can also be helpful to read reviews from previous customers to get an idea of the type of customer service the insurer offers. It’s important to make sure you can contact the insurer at any time during your trip to get help if you need it. Some insurance providers even offer dedicated concierge services for this reason.
You’ll need to make sure that your insurance provider offers the appropriate add-ons for your trip. Every trip is different and is going to require different coverage. For example, you may need additional medical coverage, car rental coverage, or pre-existing condition waivers. You may also want extra coverage to ensure that you can cancel your trip for any reason.
The travel insurance that airlines offer is better than having no coverage, but in most instances, it isn’t going to be the most helpful or the most cost-effective. Buying your travel insurance through an independent provider is often a more affordable and flexible option.
Using a website like TravelInsurance.com will help you easily compare plans and prices from reputable insurance providers like AIG Travel Guard, AXA Assistance USA, Generali Global Assistance and more all in one place, saving you time and money.
Get started today by adding your trip details and getting immediate quotes.
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