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Last Updated on April 20, 2020 by Michael J. Branco
Adventurers like you may travel through the plane to reach far destinations as quickly as possible to maximize the vacation time. However, not all things planned to go smoothly. There may be unexpected events that can happen beyond anyone’s control. In this blog, you are going to learn more in detail about flight insurance.
This is where the term ‘insurance’ comes in. Here, we will tackle whether you should get flight insurance or not.
Definition of Flight Insurance
Flight insurance, or commonly called ‘travel insurance’, is a product intended for covering unexpected losses that can be incurred during travel either domestically or internationally. The indicated losses can range from minor incidents such as delayed suitcase to major incidents like a medical emergency or a last-minute cancellation.
The flight insurance is purchased always before the scheduled flight. It is a separate transaction from purchasing a plane ticket, but all airports have outlets that let you avail of it if you haven’t done an online transaction. Depending on the insurance policy, the money invested can be refunded for a specific period only.
Flight Insurance Coverage
Flight insurance covers the following aspects:
This guarantees a full refund on your travel expenses upon cancellation due to reasons such as:
- Injury, sickness or death of you, a family member or the traveling companion
- Severe weather in between the intended destination
- Terrorist attack at the intended destination
This is for any medical situation that occurs while boarding the plane. It covers reimbursement for the expenses incurred for all the medical treatments performed during the trip and an additional option for transportation arrangements to the nearest hospital and to your home after hospital discharge.
Travel delay and missed connection
This covers the refunds for the meals and accommodations availed of during the delayed period of the scheduled flight. It also covers additional costs made when you miss a connecting flight due to the delay of the prior trip.
Lost or delayed luggage
Items that are delayed can be refunded only to the limit of clothes and essentials purchased after 12 to 24 hours. If the luggage is deemed permanently lost or even damaged, reimbursements to replace the items are covered up to a certain amount only.
Types of Flight Insurance
There are two kinds of travel insurance you can avail: the ‘basic trip cancellation protection’, which covers lost luggage, reimbursements for missed connecting flight due to delay and refunds for cancellation, and the ‘comprehensive travel insurance’, which covers everything plus all medical costs incurred during the trip. There is another option, where you can purchase the policy that covers cancellation for whatever reason.
Benefits in travel insurance can vary, and it may not cover every situation possible. It is important to read all the things offered including the fine prints before purchasing the insurance. Also, please note that the travel insurance is for unexpected events only and therefore expenses on intended trips to a destination where there is publicly known danger occurring or on destinations right after a disaster happened are not covered.
With all the definitions and coverage stated, it’s now time to answer the question: “Should I get flight insurance?”
When to Avail
For international trips
Most experts advised that flight insurance is more needed on international trips compared to domestic trips. The trip is more expensive, the duration is longer and therefore, it is logical to have some sense of security on the preparations made.
The destinations also are observed to have more changes happening while still boarding on the trip, thus increasing the chances of unexpected events from occurring. The advance booking practiced by casual travelers encourages more to plan and prepare for unforeseeable circumstances.
According to the 2018 report of AAA Travel and Publishing, 38 percent of American travelers are inclined to purchase travel insurance for future international flights and the number is said to be increasingly moving forward. Out of the respondents, 88 percent prioritized protection if the trip will be canceled.
61 percent of the respondents purchased travel insurance when they booked their trips much early in advance. Also, 69 percent of the total respondents purchased out of concern for their health and the health of the family members that will be in company and 57 percent purchased due to being convinced by their loved ones.
For medical reasons
There are policies on airlines not to allow boarding for those who are unfit to fly. These involve recent medical diagnosis and treatments. However, there are those who had medical problems that are yet to happen, especially in the case of older aged individuals.
You may travel to places that are considered paradises but the access to medical help en route to the destination might be limited. For these reasons, you can avail of the travel insurance to prepare such unexpected occurrences of sickness and the availability of the medical procedures.
Most medical insurance had limited coverage on costs. Comprehensive travel insurance can be very handy for avoiding out-of-budget expenses. In extreme cases like a pandemic, since such occurrence happens rarely in years, it may be subjected to further discussions.
When Not to Avail
According to a survey commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), here are some of the statistics of people not availing flight insurance.
1 in every 10 passengers have NOT purchased a travel insurance policy
|38 percent reasoned that they have short duration trips||28 percent justified that the destinations are ‘low-risk’||34 percent have various reasons|
For domestic trips
Contrary to international flights, domestic flights obviously had shorter destinations and therefore chances of unexpected circumstances to happen while onboard is really slim. They are also cheaper, so the risk of being canceled might not hurt your budget a lot.
For medical reasons, if you have medical insurance, it can cover any possible occurring emergencies. Nevertheless, to make sure, check for the fine prints of the policy.
For those with credit card offers
Some credit card companies have services offering reimbursements for a canceled flight. Some also offer the same service for lost baggage protection. As long as the credit card holder has extra room for spending, then travel insurance will seem redundant and unnecessary.
For those who don’t have the need to cancel
Just so you know, there are rights that a flight passenger can exercise. For example, if the flight is canceled, you are already entitled to obtain the available seat on the next available flight en route with your intended destination. Travel insurance will not make a bit of a difference.
On significant delays or cancellation of flight, depending on the destination, you can be compensated even without travel insurance purchased. Experts suggest that instead of choosing a comprehensive policy for the sake of having a cancellation selection, avail of a hotel reservation with options for a free cancellation until your arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does one process the flight insurance payout?
To make a travel insurance claim, each insurance policy has its own methods. To generalize things and to obtain a successful payout, here are some guidelines:
- Choose the appropriate travel policy from the start.
- Understand thoroughly the claims procedure before something happens.
- Report the incident immediately upon its occurrence.
- Contact for emergency assistance company.
- Produce as many pieces of evidence as you possibly can.
- Don’t expect everything is to be claimed.
- Don’t assume that flight insurance is similar to health insurance.
- Don’t delay your submission of your claim.
Does the flight insurance cover the damages if a crime occurred?
Any crimes happening while on a flight can cause delays. Those delays are technically considered depending on the travel insurance policy purchased. Depending on the severity, the situation can be under any of the insurance coverage also.
Most commonly, burst outs from certain passengers are the unnatural cause of delays although they can’t be seen as a crime unless an injury is inflicted upon another passenger or to one’s self. Crime occurring that doesn’t give you grave injuries is considered as covered on the reason for delay.
Crime occurring that involves you as a victim and had encountered injuries, whether physical, like assault, or psychological, like sexual harassment, is considered as covered on the reason for both delays of a flight and medical emergency. Victims of robbery and hijacking are also covered for the reasons of flight delay and lost luggage. Although the level of crime and the execution are unpredictable, it is highly unlikely to occur or escalate without bypassing the airline security.
To answer simply the question, “Should I get flight insurance?”, it depends solely on the situation. Flight insurance is highly recommended when you had prepared a lot financially for the long-awaited trip and had planned some contingencies if something uncontrollable and unforeseeable will mess it up. If you are only casually traveling domestically, for business purposes, for employment ventures or just an occasional visit to loved ones, flight insurance may seem redundant.
Do not give in to paranoia every time you board on a flight. Flight insurance involves your resources, and you want your resources to be maximized. Be truly informed of the things offered on the travel insurance policy, especially on something that rarely occurs like a pandemic. Aside from traveling safely, aim also for a secure trip all the way.
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