How Does Insurance on Airplane Tickets Work?
Protecting yourself against trip cancellations, airline changes and lost or damaged baggage makes financial sense. It's helpful to have insurance in place if your ticket is non-refundable because if you need to make a last-minute change, you are protected. You also have the option to buy coverage for things such as medical and dental expenses while away from home.
What Airline Insurance Covers
Airline ticket insurance can be used for trip cancellations or trip interruptions. When you buy a ticket and then need to cancel it, you will not get your money back unless you have airline ticket insurance and your reason for cancellation is approved. When your trip is interrupted, and you need to fly home immediately instead of taking the return flight you originally booked, your insurance will cover any change fees you might have to pay. Your insurance policy will also reimburse you for costs associated with lost, stolen or damaged luggage while you travel. If you miss a connecting flight and forfeit a hotel reservation, your insurance will cover any charges or deposits you can't get back from the hotel. When you buy a policy that includes medical coverage, your airline ticket insurance also pays for expenses not covered by your own health plan.
What Insurance Doesn't Cover
Flight insurance does not cover voluntary ticket changes for unapproved reasons. You will need to demonstrate illness, death, job loss, weather problems, bankruptcy, accident or some other reason to change your plans. Otherwise, your insurance will not cover your canceled flight. Check with the insurance company before you purchase your policy, so you know precisely what exclusions apply to your coverage. There will be limits as well. You will not be covered for a $4,000 handbag when your insurance policy has a $500 limit.
Airline travel insurance can be bought directly from the airline you're flying when you book your trip. You will receive information on coverage terms and policy limits, and you'll have to pay for the insurance when you pay for your ticket. Some airlines might allow you to add coverage after you book, but it will be more expensive at a later date. Your airline might let you to use frequent flyer miles or award points to pay for the insurance plan.
Purchasing a plan directly from the airline is convenient, but you may find more affordable plans on your own. Get a quote from these companies before you book with your airline, and then you can compare the rates and what kind of insurance you are getting in exchange for your premium.
Filing a Claim
The airline ticket insurance company will provide you with customer service information, including instructions on who to call for help while you are traveling. The claims procedure will depend on your plan, but you can expect that you'll need to provide a detailed explanation of what happened and an estimate for the costs you need to be reimbursed. Keep your certificate of insurance with you at all times while you travel.
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