Is air travel insurance necessary? Or is it just a means airlines use to rip off gullible customers?
For starters, most insurance packages arise out of the expressed needs of people. So whether or not you need a travel insurance will depend on whether or not it actually addresses your situation. Below are some factors you should consider before deciding if you need to click on the “add trip insurance” option.
Travel Insurance Coverages vs Costs
Some of the most common insurers are either independent insurance agencies, like AIG, or airlines and cruise carriers. Most people, however, don’t realize that certain credit cards offer travel insurances as well (mostly because not all credit card firms do), as long as you buy the ticket through them. With regards to costs, it varies depending on who your insurer is and what’s included in the package; generally, it should be around 5% of the total price of your ticket. Depending on what situation you’re trying to avoid, air travel insurance usually comes in distinct coverages, as listed below:
Cancelled and Interrupted Trip Insurance
This is definitely one of the most popular reasons for buying travel insurance. You get compensated for otherwise non-refundable tickets on cancelled or delayed flights due to reasons like natural disasters or missed flights due to sudden ill health. Some insurers will reimburse you for the entire cost of the ticket, but these plans usually cost more. For trip interruptions, on the other hand, you would get between $300 to $500 per interrupted day.
Next time you book a trip, remember to check the customer benefits of the card you’re using to make your purchase in case it already covers trip cancellation and interruption. This is so you don’t end up being over-insured. Note that a cancelled travel insurance might not be the best use of your resources if your trip is last minute or within the country because you are less likely to cancel the trip.
Delayed and Lost Baggage Coverage
Despite the various precautions airlines and travelers take, lost baggage is still quite common; they can go missing at the most inconvenient times. Travel insurance with this coverage compensates for the inconvenience, providing as much as $500 for each missing luggage. If your personal belongings are worth way more than standard coverages provide for, you should consider other insurers with higher premiums.
Emergency Medical Insurance
If you’re traveling locally, your health insurance will cover your emergency health care. However, when going abroad, you may need a different insurance in case you suddenly get sick. Medical coverages are usually the most expensive, in tens of thousands, but generally worth it.
Death or Dismemberment Coverages
Again, this is for traveling outside the boundaries of your health insurance, but do note that some health insurances cover you both locally and internationally. So in the case of an accidental death or physical impairment while abroad, you or your loved ones will get compensated under this specific travel insurance coverage.
The Bottom Line
With travel insurance, whether you think you need them or not, always remember to check your existing plans so you’re not over-insured. Generally, your decision to buy trip insurance should boil down to whether the cost of the ticket justifies the insurance coverage. If you have an expensive ticket, insurance may be worth it, otherwise, you’ll do just fine without.
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