What Does Flight Insurance Cover

Planning your next trip? But, worried your flight may be cancelled due to the pandemic? This article will explain just why flight insurance is so important.

Let’s be honest, flight insurance is one of the most boring topics of discussion to have when you’re planning a trip. No one really wants to focus on what could go wrong before leaving, and researching on flight insurance is just exhausting.

When you’re researching on which travel insurance plan you should pick, you’ll need to go over each and every little detail, to understand what suits you most.

But, apart from being boring, flight insurance is also one of the most important topics. If something was to unfortunately go wrong while you’re on the road, you want to be able to have the confidence that the insurance plan you picked, will cover you or your losses.

So let’s start this discussion!

Do I Need Flight Insurance

With the way things are going on in the world, we feel it’s best to consider some type of travel insurance before planning your next trip. Understanding and knowing what form of travel insurance policy works best for you, you need to consider a few things like your budget, the coverage you require and the entire complexity of your trip.

For example, if you’ve made a plan to travel domestically to visit a friend or family member in a familiar destination, having a basic travel insurance should provide the required amount of coverage you need,

On the other hand, if you;re thinking of doing a multi-destination trip that is once in a lifetime, you may want to consider a more comprehensive and insured travel insurance policy, since there are more chances of an unfortunate event happening.

Why is Flight Insurance Important

While none of us can even imagine getting robbed, hurt or having to somehow cancel our travel plans, the matter of fact is that these things DO happen. Of course it’s rare, but unfortunate things happen when you least know, especially when you’re travelling.

This is precisely why it’s always better to be safe than sorry because medical bills are expensive, and if you’ve an emergency, evacuations can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Unless you’ve unlimited amount of savings, you’ll want to purchase flight insurance for your next trip.

Flight insurance is mainly designed to protect your flight, but not all of your non refundable trip expenses and prepaid expenses are included. In general, if a problem arises which is covered by the flight insurance policy and it inhabits you to travel, you’ll be able to get reimbursement, but only for non refundable flight costs.

What Flight Insurance DOES Cover

For most, if not all travelers, the number one reason to purchase flight insurance is for financial protection, if by any chance they aren’t able to make the trip.

Here is what your flight insurance mostly cover:

Trip Cancelation

If there has been an unforeseen situation such as a medical emergency or the death of a family member, either before or during your trip, you can claim for the reimbursement amount from your travel insurance company.

Your insurance company will have to verify your claim. Hence, you would need to have a medical certificate from the doctor – basically a not well note, or if there’s been a death, you’ll need to submit the death certificate and any other related documents.

Flight Delay or Cancelation

If there is an instant where the airlines canceled their flight or there was a delay, you can claim for compensation from your travel insurance company, assuming you weren’t provided compensation from the airlines.

As long as the delay or cancelation of flight isn’t your fault, you’re more than able to apply for reimbursement. However, if you were to miss your flight because you overslept, that isn’t a valid reason!

Also, be sure to safekeep any receipts, emails and correspondence from the airlines regarding the cancelation or delay in flight, because your insurance company will have to verify your claim in order to reimburse you.

Lost/Stolen Property

There have been many instances where people have lost or got their bags stolen, and had no travel insurance on them, which meant permanent loss. If your nags do i need get stolen whilst on your trip, maximum travel insurance companies tend to reimburse some or maybe all of the items lost.

However, there are certain limitations on gears such as cameras or laptops, unless you’ve purchased an insurance plan with additional coverage. Make sure to file a police report ASAP, because your insurance company will require proof in order for you to submit your claim

Your insurance coverage most likely also compensates for baggage that might have been delayed or damaged during transit. If your personal belongings, like your passport or wallet is stolen, some plans may cover your cost on making a new passport or even better, mail you a credit card.

Medical Emergencies

When you’re thinking of travel insurance, you’ll most likely picture a medical emergency. Despite the fact that serious illnesses or accidents happening while you’re traveling are rare, you should know the benefits of your insurance company covering you during one.

For example, you had to be hospitalized and had to further receive a surgery. Medical expenses while you’re travelling are not cheap. Your travel insurance provider will cover your hospitalization fees, medical evaluation, surgery costs, outpatient treatment costs, prescribed medicines and your visits to a medical practitioner – if any.

So yes, you’ll be able to get well and not have to worry about the rising medical expenses!

Emergency Evacuation

Medical evacuations usually occur when there is a natural disaster or a major accident. These costs can pile up to $500,000. This is where the need for a solid travel insurance plan comes in. Most travel insurance plans will evacuate you to the nearest local hospital or to a nearby location if there’s a natural disaster.

Also, in specific cases, you might even be repatriated back to your home country, but this is pretty rare and only occurs if the local medical staff isn’t able to provide you with assistance you need.

Death Overseas

We understand that this is something very unpleasant to think about, but knowing you’re covered while travelling will give both your loved ones and you a peace of mind.

If there is an unfortunate as such, most travel insurance plans cover the cost a family member pays for coming to collect your body to bring home. Some policies even include burial overseas or cremation services costs, if that’s what prefered at the time of the incident.

What Does Travel Insurance Not Cover

When purchasing travel insurance, it’s more common than you think, that people often assume they’re covered for all aspects of their trip. However, this rarely occurs. Which is hwy, travelers get frustrated when they realise that their insurance coverage have a number of holes despite the fact that they had read their policy carefully.

Travel insurance can get confusing. A very good example would be when a natural disaster or a pandemic happens which is not in your control, trip cancelation is only applicable in specific situations. So if you want to have coverage for such situations, you have to purchase the “cancel for any reason” add-on.

If you wonder when is the most important time to read a fine print, it’s when you’re reading your travel insurance policy. Remember not to take the word of the insurer or their customer service – read and understand the contract for yourself. Trust me, it’s more than an enlightening experience.

Let’s see what travel insurance does not cover.

Losses on Account of Pre-Existing Conditions

You should be aware of the fact that travel insurance does not extend it’s coverage to most, if not all pre-existing medical conditions. The understanding of “pre-existing” depends when you were diagnosed and when you purchased your insurance. The period is usually 60 to 180 days prior to the day of your insurance purchasement.

In simple words, your travel insurance won’t have to cover losses that happened due to your medical condition symptoms or treatment that occured before you signed the policy. However, you should be covered for the “stable” condition, as long as there was no change in symptoms or treatment.

For example, you’ve had gastritis for many years, but had been stable in the past six months, would you be covered then? Well, in such cases, you’d be covered if there was an intense episode during your trip.

If you were having trouble with your condition during the months leading up to your trip, your travel insurance would most likely not cover any such losses related to your gastritis, unless you had purchased a particular add-on.

Natural Disasters – Before You Purchased Insurance

Travel insurance usually does give coverage to losses that happened due to tropical storms or hurricanes. But here’s the catch, you must’ve had purchased your insurance before the storm hit the news.

These conditions also apply to other natural disasters as well. Let’s say you purchased your travel insurance after a specific volcano erupts, you won’t be covered for any losses that happened due to the volcano’s eruption.

Dental Care

If an unfortunate incident happened in which you had to visit the dentist or receive a dental procedure, your travel insurance company will cover it. However, routine dental care is not a part of coverage in your insurance.

Losses Due to Mental or Emotional Disorders

If you had been diagnosed with a specific mental or emotional disorder, most of the travel insurance policies would not provide coverage for your losses. Such disorders could be depression, bipolarism or schizophrenia.

However, some policies might provide coverage if hospitalization was needed, but it’s rare.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

This is one of the most common issues of misconception. If you’re pregnant and ended up having to give birth while on the trip, your travel insurance does not provide the coverage for childbirth expenses.

However, you could be covered for complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. You should check and speak to your policy insurer about this if you’re planning to travel while pregnant.

Risky Activities

If you’re an enthusiastic traveler, you should take note of a few things. Most insurance policies do not cover losses due to risky sports like snowboarding, bungee jumping, rafting, skydiving, caving. Basically, you get the ideas.

Some travel insurance policies have decided to take a step further by excluding sports that involve bodily contact. If you’re an active travel, do read the coverage of your policy before you plan your trip!

Bad Weather

I think this is a basic understanding but many miss this out. Travel insurance barely covers you if the weather limited your planned activities during the trip. You’re of course covered if the weather caused a delay or cancelation of your flight, but heavy rain isn’t considered as a bad reason.

As mentioned earlier on, unless you’d bought the “cancel for any reason” add-on, you simply can’t cancel your beach plans, simply because a heavy rain is forecasted.

Flights Purchased with Miles

Now, it’s vital to know that most travel insurance policies don’t provide coverage for flights that were purchased with points or miles. They might cover the related fees, if you had decided to change or cancel an award fare.

Ticket Scams

If you were to find out your sightseeing package or event turned out to be a scam, many travel insurance policies seldom cover such losses.

Security Delays or Overbooked Flights

Before the pandemic hit the world, it was common for travelers to miss their connective flight or cruise departure due to overbooked flights or security delays. However, travel insurance companies usually don’t cover your losses if you had indeed got into such an unfortunate situation.

Last-Minute Changes

Please, please know that your travel insurance policy typically doesn’t cover losses if your tour operator or cruise decided to make an excursion or a last-minute change. Instead, you should contact the operator or company responsible for these last-minute changes.

Lack of Documentation

If you don;t sake keep any evidence or proof that depicts the losses you incurred due to a certain situation that is covered in your travel insurance policy, your chance to get a reimbursement falls to zero.

Filing a Claim

Filing your insurance game isn’t exactly much of a science.Your flight insurance company will proceed by providing you with their customer service information. They’ll also guide you on who you contact within the travel insurance company when you’re traveling.

Every claim procedure differs from the other, it all depends on your plan and claim. One thing that you should expect in every filing of a claim, you’ll be asked to provide a thorough explanation of the incident and estimation of the losses you incurred, to receive your reimbursement.

Please remember to bring your certificate of insurance along with you while travelling.

COVID-19 and Other Pandemics

There was a lot of confusion all around the world when COVID-19 hit us, especially for those who were traveling or were planning to travel. Unfortunately, travel insurance rarely provides coverage for pandemics. They have been and continuously keep being written out of politics.

Hence, you won’t be receiving any reimbursement if you were to cancel your travels because the government had issued a warning due to a rising pandemic. However, you can further purchase a “cancel for any reason” add-on to have a blanket coverage during pandemics.


We hope you understand why and how important flight insurance is, especially in today’s day and age. However, before you purchase a flight insurance epolicy, do review your current credit card perks, because you might have some kind of flight insurance.

From what is covered in flight insurance policies to what isn’t, you need to know each and every detail about how your insurance policy works.

Good luck with your travel plans, and travel protected with a flight insurance policy!

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.

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