When buying an airline ticket, should you purchase the airline travel insurance? My experience as a luxury travel advisor is that most people will buy it believing it to be a good value and after all, it’s being offered by the airline. But, is it a good value?
The scenario usually looks like this. A client will go to the airline website to purchase their airfare. Somewhere towards the end, airline travel insurance will come up to accept or decline. It’s usually a low price, seems like a good deal, many people go for it.
If the only non-refundable expense involved in a trip is the airfare, snapping up insurance can be a time saver. No need to go searching for anything else; it’s handy and available.
But first ask yourself this question. Do I need to cover an airline ticket? If it’s a non-refundable ticket, and there are penalties higher than the insurance cost, and my cancellation will be for a covered reason, maybe yes, maybe no. But remember, the insurance will pay for only a covered reason.
But, what usually happens next is they call me to plan a vacation. It could be a cruise or an escorted tour or an independent tour for two or a hotel and car. Whatever it is, there are likely going to be more non-refundable expenses involved.
I am always going to offer travel insurance to cover those non-refundable expenses. The benefits from a policy I show them, and the value they receive will be greater than those they purchased from the airline.
For instance, a typical airline policy will cover 100% for trip cancellation and trip interruption. That’s fine if you have to cancel, but if your trip is interrupted, you may need more than 100% to purchase a one-way ticket home at the last minute. The difference will come out of your pocket.
A typical policy that I would offer you from one of my preferred insurance providers will cover 100% for trip cancellation and 150% for trip interruption. This 50% extra will give you more to work with if you need to purchase a first-class ticket for you and your partner, and if a hotel night is required before you can fly home.
Not only that, now they have to keep track of two different insurance policies for one trip. What a hassle! But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Bundling your air and ground expenses to cover in one policy will probably cost a tiny bit more than the sum of the two. But the benefits you will receive, the value you will receive will be greater than that small amount of money.
My advice, always read the Description of Coverage from the airline travel insurer. Understand that you have a certain number of days to cancel the airline policy, and bundle it all together.
Now that you are thinking about travel insurance, click now to read the Essential International Travel Checklist.
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