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Insurance Air Travel - When to Purchase Air Travel Insurance

what is air travel insurance? purchasing air travel insurance

When taking a trip, the question of purchasing air travel insurance may arise. Many people think that air travel insurance is just for death benefits, but the insurance now covers much more. Airplane travel is a very safe mode of transportation; rarely are there major disasters on air flights. But with new regulations and tighter controls on air flights, air travel insurance has become more extensive in protecting the traveler from issues that could disrupt, delay, or just create aggravation during travel time.

What is Air Travel Insurance?

Air travel insurance will provide protection from just about every possible emergency during travel, including flight delays, illnesses, mechanical problems, or lost luggage.

•Medical Care – air travel insurance will provide coverage for hospital bills and emergency medical care while traveling. It will also cover any injury from emergency procedures during flight turbulence that may cause changes in air pressure, elevation, and illnesses.

Medical evacuation insurance will cover the cost of any transportation required to get the traveler to the nearest medical facility if deemed medically necessary. This insurance is recommended for travelers who are taking cruises or visiting remote areas.

Medical insurance can also provide coverage for putting the traveler in contact with an English-speaking physician, and cash payments in the case of accidental death and/or dismemberment.

•Travel Delays – with business default insurance the traveler is protected in the case of airline failure to provide services and meet obligations to the customer. The insurance will ensure that the necessary alternate flight arrangements are provided, or the traveler reimbursed, even if the airline goes bankrupt.

•Postponed Flight – if flights are postponed or delayed or have mechanical problems, the traveler is covered with flight disruption coverage. The traveler will be allowed to transfer the tickets to another airline or alternate mode of transportation.

•Trip Cancellation / Interruption – if unforeseen events happen to the traveler, such as illness, injury, or death occur, the insurance will provide coverage. If the tour operator defaults that is also sometimes covered in a policy. What would not be covered is cancellation due to war or civil unrest.

Check to see if the insurance will provide job loss protection. Look for a company that provides comprehensive coverage that allows for cancellation for any reason.

•Life Insurance – short-term life insurance is available that covers accidental death during the boarding, deplaning, or airplane flight. It must be purchased prior to departure, and benefits go to the assigned beneficiary. Insurance is usually available up to $1 million, and is usually very inexpensive.

Purchasing Air Travel Insurance

When considering the purchase of air travel insurance, the first thing to do is to obtain quotes from several insuring companies. If travel arrangements are made through travel agencies, they usually have some form of air travel insurance packages available, but it is good to also check quotes from independent companies. The coverage and rates may vary.

If putting down a large deposit for a trip that will not occur for several months, it is often good to have the protection of air travel insurance. Weigh the amount of the deposit with the cost of the insurance. If unforeseen issues arise before the trip necessitating cancellation, it will be good to have spent the dollars on the insurance.
There are some banks that provide air travel insurance, as well as credit card companies that will provide the insurance at no cost if the trip was paid for with the credit card. Check companies to determine if any coverage is available. On credit cards, the coverage may be available to the cardholder, but is not usually available to other members of the family who may be travelling. Airlines generally have kiosks where air travel insurance is sold, and there are several web sites where the insurance can be purchased online.

When purchasing air travel insurance, check to make sure that the company providing the insurance is reputable. Also remember to read all the fine print in the policy. It is important to understand exclusions, limitations, and all levels of coverage. The fine print is the most important part of the policy, so do not skip over it.

Whether or not to purchase air travel insurance is a personal decision. But with the state of air travel, and the uncertainty of the economy, it is perhaps worth the money.

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