Flight insurance is commonly purchased to protect against loss of life, sight or limbs from an accident or injury that occurs during a flight. Many flight insurance plans also provide additional trip related benefits such as:
- Trip Delay
- Baggage & Personal Effects
- Baggage Delay (12 hours)
- Emergency Medical & Dental Expense
- Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation
So, now that you are aware of the various benefits offered by travel insurance plans, choosing the plan that best suits your needs is the next thing to do.
Popular plans in the market include:
- Flight Insure Plan
- Travel Guard Plans
- TravelGap Plans
- Atlas Multitrip Plans
- Patriot Multi-trip Plans
- Liaison Wander Frequent Traveler
- Flight Guard Insurance
To help you make the choice, here is with what some of the popular plans offer.
Flight Guard Insurance (Flight Accident Death Benefits Only)
This plan basically offers accidental death coverage for you and your family during your travel on a commercial airline.No one wants to think of an event like death during the flight but these are available to help one prepare for the worst scenario where after death, the listed beneficiaries of deceased can be taken care of with the insured amount. However, these are available only when purchased before departure, not afterwards.It covers the insured for injuries that office while boarding or alighting from, or traveling as a rider on a regularly scheduled airline or charter that is operated by a certified pilot. There is a choice of maximum coverage ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 for accidental death. There is a fifteen day review period and the plan is available only to U.S. residents.
Flight Guard does not typically excludes losses that occur as a result of suicide, war or a pre-existing condition. Specifics about the pre-existing condition exclusion and claim settlement time period varies by state, so it is best to check the State-specific brochure for details.
Travel Guard Med & Evac Indiv (Flight Accident Death & Medical Expense Benefit Plan)
This plan covers not just the death during air travel but also the medical expenses incurred during the travel.For instance, it enables you to get insured for a treatment of accidental sickness during travel. In addition, it also covers emergency evacuation expenses. There is a fifteen day review period and the plan is available only to U.S. residents. It covers single trips up to 365 days and offers insurance coverage for accidental death & dismemberment and emergency medical evacuation. In case the insured person is hospitalized during the trip, the plan will cover medical transport arrangements cost also.
In addition, one can customize this plan as per individual requirements. It covers add-ons like adventure sports coverage (for injury during participation in a sports event) and baggage protection (for lost baggage or baggage delays). However, the plan benefits are available only when purchased before departure date.
For Medical expenses, the plan offers a secondary coverage of $50000 while for dental expenses, the coverage is $500. For Accident Death, the plan offers a maximum coverage of $25000 while for emergency medical evacuation; the coverage is unlimited but secondary i.e. it is available only after exhaustion of primary policy limit. As regards, pre-existing conditions are concerned; the look back period is 90 days.
Flight Insure Plus (Flight Accident Death & Medical Expense Benefit Plan)
Flight Insure Plus works for coverage of one particular trip. Such insurance covers several circumstances including flight cancellation, medical expenses and even emergency evacuation. These are specifically designed to cover a single trip like a holiday or a family visit. Such trips are planned far in advance and hence, obtaining flight insurance after buying your plane tickets is the safe way to go. The plan offers coverage of various benefits that are as follows:
- AD&D Common Carrier only- Coverage ranging between $ 300000, 500000&$1 million
- Trip Delay and Baggage Delay-Coverage is $100 and $500 respectively
- Emergency Medical expenses-coverage is $10000
- Dental expense-coverage is $500
- For emergency evacuation-coverage is $100000
Similarly, there is annual trip or travel insurance which is designed to cover people who make multiple trips annually. It is also suitable for people who go on frequent trips or take more than a few vacations every year.
Long stay travel insurance is also somewhat similar. This type of insurance covers trips that are actually quite long i.e. duration ranging anywhere from 3 to 18 months. In such cases, the traveler does not arrange a return date because of the prolonged stay. Some people worry that this will make it hard for them to keep the insurance when they do buy their return ticket, but once again, usually ticket purchases do not affect a policy.
Travel Insurance in Case of Lost Passport, Luggage and Personal Effects
Travel Insurance covers the following:
- Your belongings accompanying you during your trip and that are stolen, lost or damaged during the trip
- Theft of money up to a specified limit is covered only if it is accompanied by a police report as a proof of loss
- For baggage delays, many plans offer a specific coverage for reimbursement of expenses incurred by you during the delay periods
- Loss of travel documents like passport or credit cards is also covered by travel insurance
- In case, passport is lost or stolen before departure, the trip cancellation benefits will entitle you a reimbursement of prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses in case the passport replacement is not done before trip
- Reimbursement of fees for passport replacement is covered only up to $50 to $100.
Provisions for Flight Cancellation
Cancellation cover is included in almost all flight insurance policies. Cancellation may be due to death or hospitalization of a non-travelling family member, business partner or weather or natural disasters or a legal obligation like being called as a witness in the court. But it must be noted that cancellation due to any of the following is specifically excluded:
- If you change your mind and don’t travel
- If you miss your flight
- If you don’t get visa
- If you travel against your doctor’s medical advise
- You have under-booked your trip
- Your documentation is inadequate
Steps to buy flight insurance
Decide whether you need insurance for just the flight or the entire trip. After figuring this out, you can look into the procedure of buying one for yourself. Let us first see the main players in this space. Administrators primarily design the plan, benefits, premium and exclusions and include the following organizations namely:
- Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company
- HTH Worldwide
- Mercury Claims Administrator Services LLC
Underwriters are the insurance companies that pay the claims. It is important to know the A.M.Best rating of these companies as this speaks to the financial health of the company. Some of the companies underwriting flight insurance plans include:
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
- National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh
- UNICARE Life & Health Insurance Company
- Lloyd of London
- Sirius International Insurance Company
- HM Life Insurance Company
Secondly, decide whether you want to buy from an airline or cruise carrier directly or through an independent travel insurance agency. Then, comes the payment part where you can pay through either credit card or by cheque.
Third step is the filling of an application form for getting insured. The information asked in an online application form generally contains the following:
- of Dependents
- Dependent Age
- Coverage Type: Flight Accident Death & Medical Expense Benefits/Flight Accident Death Benefit Only
- Country of Citizenship
- Destination Coverage
- Coverage Period: Single trip/ Multi Trip per year
- Permanent Home address
After filling out the said form, you will get an email of the policy displayed online before your departure. You can also request a copy of your flight insurance policy from the company.
For settling your claim with the insurance company later on, you need to first register a claim with the company or you can call the toll-free number for assistance.
If you are still in doubt about whether to get insurance coverage for your flight or not, think twice if:
- You are a frequent traveler or
- when you are traveling abroad and your health insurance doesn’t cover emergencies outside of your country or
- when a large portion of your trip is non-refundable (e.g., you’re buying a pricey vacation package and losing out on the cost of your trip would seriously set you back) or
- You book a trip during bad-weather season or
- When your schedule could be in fluxon cruises
- For everything else in between, consider how much a financial disaster it would be if something bad happened on your trip or you had to miss it.
It must be noted here that irrespective of the plans purchased for travel insurance, the following are not generally covered:
- Losses due to war (declared or not), military actions, civil disorder, and riots.
- Losses due to venereal disease, AIDS virus, pregnancy (except complications of pregnancy), or abortion.
- Losses due to mental, psychological, or nervous disorders
- Losses due to nuclear radiation or radioactive contamination.
- Losses incurred while the insured is participating in an unlawful act.
- Losses due to the insured intentionally causing bodily harm, including suicide.
- Losses incurred while the insured is legally drunk or under the influence of drugs.
- Extreme, high-risk sports
- Damage or loss of animals
- Artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices, artificial teeth, dental bridges, dentures, dental braces, retainers or other orthodontic devices, hearing aids and type of eye glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses.
While some travel insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions, there are a few trip insurance plans who also provide coverage for pre-existing conditions if the plan is bought soon after booking the flight tickets. So do check pre-ex coverage before deciding when to buy the flight insurance policy.
We must mention here that flight insurance is often referred to as flight accident insurance (which insures accidents while on the flight) as well travel insurance which is a form of travel insurance that offers financial protection against losses that are related to the entire trip that include coverage for medical expenses.
In a nutshell, getting flight insurance makes you feel safe on the flight.It offers financial protection to you and your loved ones in case of something major, as well as assistance in case of minor hiccups.
So when you feel that planning for vacations or simply traveling in the air is an icing on the cake, get flight insurance to have cherry on the same.
Happy Travels 🙂