Airline Travel Insurance - 2021 Review
Airline Travel Insurance is one of the most profitable lines of business for US airlines. You will have noticed that almost every time you book a flight, there is an offer to buy Airline Travel Insurance. Have you ever wondered whether good value for money was being offered, or what the alternatives were?
Rest assured, there is time to check out much better plans than the Airline Travel Insurance that is offered. You can buy your trip insurance any time up to the day before you depart, although we would recommend that you buy it sooner, of course. But, this does mean that you can buy your Trip Insurance policy from one of the many specialist Travel Insurance Carriers in the USA.
Airlines seem to posses a universal desire to sell what looks like cheap airline Travel Insurance. The problem is that the coverage levels are deficient.
When you run quotes and compare with independent Travel Insurance carriers, you can see how expensive Airline Travel Insurance is when you buy it from the airline.
Bottom line – you can protect your airline flights, and subsequent travel plans with Travel Insurance. But don't buy it through the airline website.
Expedia Airline Insurance
Expedia is another firm that sells Airline Travel Insurance. Somehow they do an even worse job than the airlines.
We have yet to see a Trip Insurance policy as useless Expedia's. If you purchase Expedia Travel Insurance, you receive no critical levels of protection for the trip, yet pay up to 3x more as Travel Insurance on the marketplace.
The Expedia Travel Insurance benefits would leave a traveler without critical levels of protection on a trip, yet will have cost up to three times as much as the regular market price for a better Trip Protection Plan
Southwest Airlines Travel Insurance - Where is it?
Southwest always seems to do things differently. Southwest does not sell Airline Travel Insurance. Think about that for a moment. Travel Insurance is a huge profit generator for most airlines, and Southwest doesn’t even bother with it.
When you consider the booking flexibility that Southwest offers in its fare structure, it sort of makes sense. Southwest offers a refund or credit on almost every seat.
Consequently, most people don't consider buying Airline Travel Insurance with Southwest.
The problem appears when a Southwest customer is heading out of the USA.
Southwest now has a growing route network into the Caribbean and Mexico. The US State Department and CDC both strongly advise that US travelers equip themselves with decent Travel Medical Insurance whenever they travel overseas.
Unfortunately, Southwest does not remind its customers of this fact when they book flights out of the USA. Our only criticism of Southwest is that it could offer better advice to travelers about the importance of Travel Medical Insurance.
We always recommend buying at least $100,000 of Travel Medical Insurance when leaving the USA, and $250,000 of Medical Evacuation Insurance.
International Airlines Travel Insurance
You see a similar reluctance to offer travel insurance from international airlines.
British Airways makes an effort to persuade its UK customers to buy travel insurance. Yet, you buy a flight with BA out of the USA, the airline does not even mention it.
Doesn't it seem strange that BA is inconsistent abount offering Travel Insurance?
If you are a US citizen or resident, and embarking on a foreign trip, it makes sense to think about buying Travel Protection coverage of some sort.
Airline Travel Insurance Review
We discuss the following topics:
- Basic Cancellation Coverage
- Cancel for Work Reasons Coverage
- Cancel for Any Reason Protection
- Travel Health Insurance
- Medical Evacuation
- Flight Insurance Options
- Recommended Coverage Levels
On their check-out screen, the airline suggests that Travel Insurance is a now-or-never option. This is nonsense.
Despite the pushy sales pitch there is no immediate urgency buy Airline Travel Insurance.
You'll get the most protection from a Travel Insurance policy when you buy your policy swiftly. It's worth taking the time to consider the different Trip Insurance policies available.
Airline Travel Insurance – Cancellation Protection
Before purchasing Airline Travel Insurance review the key benefits.
- Trip Cancellation Protection
- Travel Medical Health Insurance
- Medical Evacuation Protection
Basic Trip Cancellation Protection
Every Airline Travel Insurance policy includes basic Trip Cancellation Protection.
Keep in mind that the list of valid cancellation reasons to receive compensation is minimal.
You will receive 100% refund if the following occurs:
- Accident, illness, or death of you, a traveling partner, business partner, or family member
- Jury duty
- Legal appearance
- Traffic accident en route to the airport
- Death or hospitalization of your host at your travel destination
- Job loss
- Bankruptcy of your travel provider
The 100% refund may seem generous, but the insurer is happy to offer it because these cancellations rarely occur.
However, that list of cancellation reasons allows the Airline Travel Insurance to limit the situations in which a traveler would receive compensation.
Cleverly, the airlines build policies specifically for them that have less trip protection than regular travel insurance policies do.
If you want any form of Work Cancellation Protection you should look for a more comprehensive form of Travel Insurance.
Cancel for Work Reasons Airline Travel Insurance
What if you work for an employer who approved vacation then requires you to work? Ideally you would have Airline Travel Insurance that protects you from prepaid, non-refundable trip cost losses.
Employment cancellation protection
It's called ‘Cancel for Work Reasons’ Travel Insurance. Unsurprisingly, Travel Insurance sold by an airline does not include this Work protection.
It's a shame they do not offer it because we certainly welcome the protection that it provides.
There is one higher level of Travel Cancellation Protection than Cancel for Work Reasons. Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance.
Cancel for Any Reason Airline Insurance
Usually, if you cancel your flight with the airline, you receive no refund at all.
Naturally, the airline would prefer that you buy a fully Refundable ticket if you need booking flexibility. Unfortunately these airfares can cost 4x more than a throwaway Non-Refundable ticket.
That’s where ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ Airline Travel Insurance comes in. It allows you to get 75% of your trip costs back if you cancel your flight.
Thus, instead of buying a $1,600 Refundable ticket, just spend $400 on a Non-Refundable, then purchase Cancel for Any Reason coverage. It is one of the most ingenious airline ticket hacks of which we know.
Airline Travel Insurance – Health Coverage
When traveling within the USA most of us don't think about the benefits of incorporating health cover within our Airline Travel Insurance. When you buy cover through the airline, do not expect to see any medical cover for domestic flights.
However, when you buy Airline Travel Insurance on the broader market, notice that even the cheapest Trip Insurance includes some medical coverage. It can be beneficial.That extra layer of protection can help to cover out-of-pocket copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
When traveling beyond the United States you need international medical insurance.
We rarely see private health insurance that supports a traveler outside the US. Onimously, Medicare offers no coverage. Even if you have a Medicare Supplement, you have coverage gaps. The best supplement policies have a lifetime limit of $50,000 and a 20% copay.
Consequently, when you travel outside the United States, you have to have traveler's health insurance. Even if you go to a country with subsidized universal health care, you must pay. Two popular destinations, Mexico and Canada, have these public systems but, they are not available to travelers.
Instead, you must pay out-of-pocket for treatment in an international private hospital. Typically, the daily inpatient rates run $3,000 - $4,000.
Therefore, we always recommend that any international Airline Travel Insurance includes at least $100,000 of Medical Insurance. Ideally, the coverage would be a Primary Medical Insurance so that the hospital bills the insurer directly. T
Primary Medical Insurance means a lot less financial headaches, a smoother claim process, and no out-of-pocket problems.
Airline Travel Insurance - Medical Evacuation
Just like at home, we can experience severe accidents while overseas.
If you hve a traumatic injury or critical illness, the Travel Insurer's role is to get you to the best medical facility to treat you. Often, we travel to parts of the world without the same quality of care that we enjoy in the USA.
When you have substantial Medical Evacuation insurance in Airline Travel Insurance, it will transport you to the best hospital for your condition.
We always recommend a minimum of $250,000 of Medical Evacuation benefit for any travels abroad. If you travel to a remote area, $500,000 is better. Private medical jets are expensive. A team of flight medical staff will return you to a place of safety and help you to recuperate.
Again, you can count on the Airline Travel Insurance to provide insufficient protection. No one should have to think about re-mortgaging a house to transport a loved one home, just because the Airline Travel Insurance policy included loust benefits.
Proper travel insurance protection is critical, and, fortunately, not expensive to buy.
Airline Travel Insurance – Wider US Travel Insurance Market
Travel Insurance is a $3 billion annual market in the USA. Some of the world’s leading Travel Protection Carriers are based here.
Travel Insurance carriers work hard to develop innovative Travel Policies and compete on coverage, cost, and service.
When an airline like Delta, United, or American presents Airline Travel Insurance at check-out, they make you believe there is no other choice.
Of course, now you know that is simply not true. You will find the best value Travel Insurance when you take a minute to compare rates from the best travel insurance carriers in the country.
Primary or Secondary Medical Insurance
Airline Travel Insurance rarely highlights Travel Health Insurance coverage when you buy the policy.
On the other hand we make a point of highlighting whether a Travel Protection Plan has Primary or Secondary Insurance.
Why does this matter?
First, pay attention to the dollar amounts of Travel Health Insurance. Second, filing claims on Secondary Medical Insurance can be a great deal of hassle.
With Primary Medical Insurance, the Travel Insurance Carrier knows that they are the only ones responsible for costs associated with a claim. They also do not intend to bill your private health insurance before they pay their share.
In this case, the insurer set up direct billing with the health care facility. That equates to much less stress and hassle for you because there are no out-of-pocket payments, and a much simpler claims process.
Unless there is a significant cost difference, we recommend buying Primary Medical Insurance over Secondary Medical Insurance.
AARDY - Travel Insurance Marketplace
AARDY is the world’s leading Travel Insurance Marketplace. We bring together the leading travel insurers, so that you can see rates of insurance from all of them. Every Travel Insurance Carrier we present to you has been rated at least an ‘A’ by A.M. Best.
The Travel Insurance plans that you see presented with an absolute price guarantee. You will not find the same Airline Travel Insurance Plan, or any other Travel Insurance we offer at a lower rate. It’s just not possible to discount Travel Insurance in the USA. Strict Anti-Discrimination law protects you, the traveler, from price discrimination.
We only ever need one minute of your time to find the best Travel Insurance plans available. The cheapest Travel Insurance that we have will always be visible first. Our job is to get you the best value for money.
We created a tool to find the cheapest Airline Travel Insurance and the best levels of coverage. Our tool is intuitive, and we have staff on hand to help, day or night.