Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Is Airline Travel Insurance Worth It

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Is Trip Protection Worth It

Is travel insurance worth it?

If youve never had the occasion to use travel insurance benefits, you may wonder if buying trip protection is really worth the expense.

Lets run some numbers! In our example, 45-year-old Daphne is going on a 7-day Caribbean cruise with her sister. When she adds up the cost of the cruise fare , the drinks package, shore excursions, and airfare, shes paying $2,685.

What about travel insurance? Based on her age and the cost of the trip, she gets a quote of $151 for OneTrip Prime, our most popular travel insurance plan for cruises and tours. Daphne hesitates to spend the money on travel insurance. Is it worth it? she wonders. The best way to answer that is to look at some what-if scenarios.

How Can I Get Cancellation Cover

Cancellation cover is a common inclusion with most standard travel insurance policies, but you can take it out separately if it doesnt offer enough cover. Alternatively, if you only want cancellation cover to protect you against cancelled flights, rather than things like baggage protection, you can just get it for that.

But As I’ve Cautiously Started Traveling Again The Realities Of Covid

Even though I waited to travel until I was vaccinated , I feel the added stress of COVID-19 in my decision making. In addition to worrying about keeping myself and others safe, there’s a financial risk.

If I were to test positive for COVID-19 before a flight out of Paris, I’d have to cancel my flight and cover the costs of my quarantine. That translates to around 140 Euros a night for 10+ nights, plus the cost of rebooking your flight and ordering in food and groceries. That’s at least an additional $2,000, and probably much more.

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Whats Not Covered By Flight Insurance

Airlines that offer basic flight insurance plans typically lack certain coverage types that you might get with a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Comprehensive travel insurance policies have more robust coverage options which can include:

  • Emergency medical and dental coverage: This coverage reimburses medical or dental costs for injuries and illnesses covered by the policy while traveling.
  • Emergency medical transportation coverage: Reimburses and arranges necessary medical transportation following an accident or illness covered by the policy.
  • Missed connection coverage: Reimburses you for costs incurred from missing a flight, cruise, or other transportation connection due to an unexpected event covered by the policy.

When your travel plans go awry, some of these benefits may come in handy. For example, lets say youre in Bogata, Columbia, and get food poisoning that needs medical attention. If you purchased a comprehensive travel insurance plan, your emergency medical coverage may help pay for some of the costs your health insurance provider wont cover abroad .

When Is Travel Insurance Not Necessary

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Travel insurance primarily covers two aspects of your trip your reservations and your medical expenses while traveling.

If all of your reservations can be canceled without penalty, then trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage isnt necessary. But even if your trip isnt 100% refundable, insurance may not be necessary. For example, a cheap flight and hotel stay may not be worth covering, though you may still want to purchase travel insurance for medical situations.

Medical coverage typically is not necessary if you have a U.S.-based health insurance policy and you’re traveling within the U.S. In those cases, you probably already have adequate coverage for illness or injury.

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Should I Get Flight Insurance

While the cost of flight protection is low compared to other types of coverage, its important to consider the parts of your trip that come after your flight. If you have made a significant investment in your travel arrangements, flight insurance may leave you with some coverage gaps due to the relatively lower maximum value and narrower range of covered events. If you have trip costs related to a pre-booked excursion or non-refundable hotel costs, your total trip cost may easily exceed the plan maximum of airline insurance. Its a good idea to consider other travel insurance coverages so that you can choose a plan fit your specific needs.

Since comprehensive travel insurance may offer higher limits on maximum plan value and a broader range of benefits, you can insure your whole trip including your flight. For example, if you are injured while on your trip, comprehensive travel insurance may provide reimbursement for covered medical expenses up to the plan limit, as well as coverage for transportation to another hospital if the closest one does not have adequate facilities to treat your condition, at the discretion of the insurance company and attending physician. All comprehensive plans also offer a 24-hour assistance line to travelers.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Cancellation For Any Reason

Different travel insurance policies will cover different things, but heres an idea of what you can expect to be covered, as well as the common exclusions.

Common inclusions :

  • Known illness of a close relative
  • Injury and illness related to alcohol or drugs
  • Organised strike action

As always, make sure you check this with your travel insurance provider, before you take out a policy and prepare to travel, to avoid a nasty surprise.

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Because It Can Be Really Really Expensive To Get A Medical Evacuation Overseas

What happens if you get seriously hurt while traveling overseas and require medical evacuation by helicopter or ambulance? Without travel insurance, you may have to pay an enormous sum. These are estimates for emergency medical evacuation in some popular destinations:

Mexico: $15,000-$20,000 Germany, France or other developed European nations: $50,000-$100,000 Russia: $90,000-$150,000 Asia, Australia, and the Middle East: $220,000

These estimates represent just the cost of transporting you to the hospital not treating you. If youre in a remote area of a developing nation, or if your injuries are particularly severe, these costs could double or triple.

Travel insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits can pay for you to be transported to the nearest appropriate facility if a covered illness or injury occurs during your trip and our medical assistance team determines that the local medical facilities are unable to provide appropriate treatment. So if youre just looking at dollars and cents, this is the most compelling reason why travel insurance is worth the cost.

Read more about why emergency medical transportation costs are so expensive overseas.

Do I Need Travel Insurance

Should you buy travel insurance for your plane ticket?

Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die. Deciding whether to invest in travel insurance has always been a tricky decision, and of course the coronavirus pandemic has made that choice even more complicated. Here are some considerations to help you choose.

Each traveler’s potential loss varies, depending on how much of your trip is prepaid, the refundability of the air ticket you purchased, your state of health, the value of your luggage, where you’re traveling, the financial health of your tour company and airline, and what coverage you already have . It’s important to note that most policies won’t cover you if you decide not to travel for fear of contracting COVID-19.

For some travelers, insurance is a good deal for others, it’s not. What are the chances you’ll need it? How willing are you to take risks? How much is peace of mind worth to you? Take these considerations into account, understand your options, and make an informed decision for your trip.

Insurance Basics

Insurance prices can vary widely, with most packages costing between 5 and 12 percent of the total trip. Age is one of the biggest factors affecting the price: Rates go up dramatically for every decade over 50, while coverage is generally inexpensive or even free for children .

Types of Coverage

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Travel Insurance And The Covid

Most travel insurance policies do not provide coverage for trip cancellation due to fear of the coronavirus pandemic. However, COVID-19 is an included illness on many travel insurance policies as it relates to certain coverages such as emergency medical care while traveling and canceling a trip if you become ill with the virus. You may also have coverage if a family member or travel companion contracts the virus and you must cancel your trip as a result.

The only way to cover trip cancellations due to fear of contracting COVID-19 is to purchase Cancel for Any Reason insurance. This coverage can be added to a comprehensive travel insurance policy and subsequently allows you to cancel your trip for any reason.

While Allianz does not offer Cancel for Any Reason insurance, it may cover COVID-19 related illness in the following circumstances:

  • Emergency medical care while traveling
  • Trip cancellation due to becoming ill with the virus

Why Buying Travel Insurance Is A Must

Can you say no one will steal your stuff while youre backpacking Europe or that you wont pop an eardrum diving in Thailand? Can you say your flights wont get delayed or canceled?

No, you never really can.

And thats why smart travelers get insurance.

Because, for just a couple dollars a day, youll have all those eventualities covered.

I hope nothing bad happens to you on the road, but if it does, travel insurance will be there to help. Its more than just health coverage its something bad happened to me coverage.

Yes, its an extra expense. But if something goes wrong youll not only save hundreds if not thousands of dollars but youll have peace of mind knowing that youre properly covered.

So, be a smart traveler. Buy travel insurance!

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You’ll Pay Less Buying It Separately

In car and home insurance we call it the ‘loyalty penalty’ the price your insurer charges you for staying loyal instead of shopping around.

In travel insurance it could also be called the ‘check box tax’ the price you pay for checking the travel insurance box on a flight or accommodation booking screen, instead of shopping around.

What does airline travel insurance cost?

Buying travel insurance at the flight checkout screen online can cost up to 3.5 times more than buying direct from the same insurance provider. Jetstar and Virgin Australia flight purchase screens charge per person for every traveller, including the kids. Buying direct, a family policy costs the same as a couple policy, with the kids covered free.

So combined with the commissions earned by airlines on selling travel insurance, a family can pay more than double the price if they click the travel insurance checkbox when buying a flight.

What does travel agent travel insurance cost?

Aussietravelcover insurance, which is commonly sold by travel agents, costs 221% more than buying direct with the provider, Allianz, for a trip to the USA. Some travel agents offer a 25% discount on Aussietravelcover policies, but even with the discount you’re paying over double the price of buying direct from the provider.

Exactly why you pay so much more is unclear but IBISWorld reports travel agents earn income from commissions, including high retail margin travel insurance.

Is Trip Protection Worth It If The Airline Loses Her Bag

Airline Insurance Worth It : Travel Insurance News ...

Scenario 3: Daphne flies into Miami and waits for 45 minutes at the baggage carousel, but her suitcase fails to show up. It was sent to Atlanta, the airline tells her, and should arrive by noon the next day but by then, Daphne will already be sailing away. Frantically, she rushes around to buy sundresses, a swimsuit, and other cruise essentials.

OneTrip Prime includes baggage delay benefits up to $300, which means Daphne can be reimbursed for reasonable essential items, up to the specific policys limit, until her baggage arrives.

Plan cost: $151 Potential benefits received: $300

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Make Sure The Plan Covers What You Want

If you do decide to purchase travel insurance, its important to read the details before committing to a particular plan.

The biggest mistake that people regularly make with insurance is buying it with just a hope that itll be useful and protective, but only looking at the fine print when they actually need to use it, said Scott Keyes, author of Take More Vacations and founder of Scotts Cheap Flights. Its all well and good to buy things to give us comfort and peace of mind, but its important to recognize if you actually need to use this product, it might not be as protective or expansive as you assumed.

Many people learned early in the pandemic that their travel insurance didnt necessarily cover flights or accommodations they canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus because they hadnt purchased cancel for any reason plans. As the name suggests, this type of insurance allows travelers to cancel their trips for any reason, including fear.

Naturally, the pandemic increased interest in this benefit. Last week, the travel insurance company Seven Corners reported a 180% increase in sales of cancel for any reason insurance plans in 2020 compared with 2019 and noted that this upward trend has continued into 2021.

Because Medical Emergencies Often Happen While Traveling

We receive more than 4,000 calls each year from American Allianz Global Assistance customers who are experiencing a medical crisis during their trip. The most common emergencies we see:

Fractures from falls, often to the hip, ankle, tibia, and fibia Cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes Trauma, often from car accidents and scooter/moped crashes Pulmonary/respiratory problems

Without travel insurance, youre on your own in an emergency. When you have travel insurance, all you have to do is . Well leap into action to make sure you get the best available care, wherever you may be.

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The Best Time To Buy Travel Insurance Is Right After You Start Confirming And Paying For Your Trip

I’ve always wondered when you’re supposed to buy travel insurance before you book stuff, right after, or anytime after? It turns out timing does matter. A policy typically kicks in the day after you buy it, so you would be covered for events that happen after that date. However, it’s not retroactive, so if you wait to buy it after you break your leg or hear about a big storm, it may be too late.

To sum it up, Gainullin says, “We recommend booking travel insurance as soon as you start pre-paying for your expenses.”

What The Airline Gets You:

Is United Airlines Travel Insurance Worth Buying – AARDY

However, thats not necessarily better than what the airline already offers me just for being a passenger. Expert travelers know that every airline has a contract of carriage that outlines what it owes passengers in the event of delays, cancellations, lost bags and the like. Uniteds contract, for example, explains that if I get sick, the airline will waive its change fee when I swap flights. It will also provide lodging if Im delayed more than four hours overnight, and food and drink vouchers in the event of an extensive delay. Plus, federal baggage rules state that airlines are required to reimburse me up to $3,500 for luggage complications, a fact thats also mentioned in Uniteds contract.

So far, it appears that cancellation reimbursement is the only reason to purchase insurance for this trip. But wait! I have a Chase Sapphire credit card, which proves to be a major help in this area.

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Types Of Policies Offered By Img

IMG offers 25 different insurance plans, ranging from basic travel medical insurance, comprehensive travel insurance, cruise and sports coverage, international medical insurance, and more.

The company is known for its international medical insurance offerings, including plans for visitors to the U.S. . U.S. citizens traveling abroad will find several comprehensive travel insurance plans that include medical coverage or plans that have strong medical coverage with ancillary travel insurance.

The company also offers insurance that complies with Schengen visa requirements, specialized plans for government service workers, for marine captains/crew, and for those doing mission work.

Lets look at a comparison snapshot of a few of the most popular plans offered by IMG and some of the coverage combinations you can expect to find.

Coverage
$100,000N/A

This is just an overview of the core coverage offered by 3 of IMGs travel insurance plans. Descriptions are abbreviated and are meant for comparison only.

Bottom Line: IMG offers a large variety of plans that allow you to select the type and level of coverage you prefer. In addition to comprehensive travel insurance plans, the company offers travel medical plans for visitors to the U.S. and plans for U.S. citizens when traveling both internationally and in the U.S.

Dont Forget About Travel Medical Insurance

Travel insurance isnt just about covering flights, accommodations or activities. If youre concerned about health and safety amid the pandemic, you may want to invest in travel medical insurance. This is more often a consideration with international trips.

If youre traveling outside the U.S., travel medical insurance is a necessity, Danise said. Thats because U.S. health plans and Medicare generally have little or no coverage outside the U.S. You simply dont want to be traveling abroad without the safety net of medical coverage.

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Potential Costs: Time Rebooking Fees Lodging And Meals

Just a simple flight delay can ring up expenses like food and lodging, a change of clothes, and even something as basic as a toothbrush. What travel insurance can do:

Travel insurance can help reimburse you for these extra expenses including rebooking fees, meals, accommodations, and yes, a toothbrush keeping your travel budget intact.

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