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Airline Travel Insurance Review

Airline Travel Insurance Review

Airline Travel Insurance Review
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Airline Travel Insurance is one of the most profitable lines of business for US airlines. Almost every time you book a flight, there is an offer to buy Airline Travel Insurance. Have you ever wondered if this was good value or had adequate coverage or what the available alternatives were?


Don’t fret. You can buy your trip insurance any time up to the day before you depart, although we would recommend that you buy it sooner. Shop the Marketplace to buy your Trip Insurance policy from one of the many Travel Insurance Carriers in the USA.

AmericanDelta, and United all sell less than optimum Airline Travel insurance. Alaska and JetBlue airlines have the same problem – coverage levels are low.                            

When you run quotes and compare with independent Travel Insurance carriers, you can see how expensive Airline Travel Insurance is when you buy it from the airline.

Bottom line – you can protect your airline flights and subsequent travel plans with Travel Insurance. However, don't buy it through the airline website or sites like Expedia. Shop the Marketplace instead.

Coverage levels are low and frequently the cost of the insurance sold through the airlines or sites like Expedia are much more expensive than what you can find shopping in the open marketplace.

Southwest Airlines Travel Insurance - Where is it?

Southwest always seems to do things differently. However, Southwest does not currently sell Airline Travel Insurance. Though Travel Insurance is a huge profit generator for most airlines, Southwest doesn’t even bother with it. Why?

When you consider the booking flexibility that Southwest offers in its fare structure, it sort of makes sense. Southwest offers a refund or credit on almost every seat.

Consequently, most people don't consider buying Airline Travel Insurance with Southwest, which is fine when traveling domestically. The problem appears when a Southwest customer is heading out of the USA.

Southwest now has a growing route network into the Caribbean and Mexico. The US State Department and CDC both strongly advise that US travelers equip themselves with decent Travel Medical Insurance whenever they travel overseas.

Unfortunately, Southwest does not remind its customers of this fact when they book flights out of the USA. Our only criticism of Southwest is that it could offer better advice to travelers about the importance of Travel Medical Insurance.

We always recommend buying at least $100,000 of Travel Medical Insurance when leaving the USA and $250,000 of Medical Evacuation Insurance.

International Airlines Travel Insurance

You see a similar reluctance to offer travel insurance from international airlines.

British Airways makes an effort to persuade its UK customers to buy travel insurance. Yet, when you buy a flight with BA leaving the USA, the airline does not even mention it.

Doesn't it seem strange that BA is inconsistent about offering Travel Insurance?

If you are a US citizen or resident and embarking on a foreign trip, it makes sense to think about buying Travel Protection coverage of some sort. But what type of travel insurance do you need? Let’s take a look.

Airline Travel Insurance Review

We’ll discuss the following topics:

  • Basic Cancellation Coverage
  • Cancel for Work Reasons Coverage
  • Cancel for Any Reason Protection
  • Travel Health Insurance
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Flight Insurance Options
  • Recommended Coverage Levels

For airlines that offer travel insurance, they usually tell you on their check-out screen that you must purchase it now or you’ll be unable to purchase insurance later. That may be true on their site, but in the open marketplace you can purchase insurance up to the day before you leave on your trip so there’s no rush.

While you will get the most protection from a Travel Insurance policy when you buy your policy early, it's worth taking the time to consider the different Trip Insurance policies available.

Airline Travel Insurance – Cancellation Protection

Before deciding to purchase Airline Travel Insurance, review the key benefits.

  • Trip Cancellation Protection
  • Travel Medical Health Insurance
  • Medical Evacuation Protection

Basic Trip Cancellation Protection

Every Airline Travel Insurance policy includes basic Trip Cancellation Protection.

But the list of valid cancellation reasons to receive compensation is minimal.


For many airline travel policies, you will receive a 100% refund if the following occurs:

  • Accident, illness, or death of you, a traveling partner, business partner, or family member
  • Jury duty
  • Legal appearance
  • Traffic accident en route to the airport
  • Death or hospitalization of your host at your travel destination
  • Weather
  • Job loss
  • Bankruptcy of your travel provider

However, that list of cancellation reasons allows the Airline Travel Insurance to limit the situations in which a traveler would receive compensation.

Cleverly, the airlines build policies specifically for them that have less trip protection than regular travel insurance policies do.

If you want any form of Work Cancellation Protection, you need to look for a more comprehensive form of Travel Insurance.

Cancel for Work Reasons Airline Travel Insurance

What if you work for an employer who approves vacation then requires you to work? Ideally you would have Airline Travel Insurance that protects you from prepaid, non-refundable trip cost losses.

Employment cancellation protection

Cancel for Work Reasons’ Travel Insurance gives the traveler the option to cancel the trip and get a refund of trip costs if work requires the traveler’s attendance. Unsurprisingly, most Travel Insurance sold by an airline does not include this Work protection.


There is one higher level of Travel Cancellation Protection than Cancel for Work Reasons. ”Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance.

Cancel for Any Reason Airline Insurance

Usually, if you cancel your flight with the airline, you receive no refund at all.

Naturally, the airline would prefer that you buy a fully refundable ticket if you need booking flexibility. Unfortunately, these airfares can cost 4x more than a throwaway non-refundable ticket.

That’s where ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ Airline Travel Insurance comes in. It allows you to get 50% or 75% (depending on policy) of your trip costs back if you cancel your flight.

Thus, instead of buying a $1,600 Refundable ticket, just spend $400 on a non-refundable one then purchase Cancel for Any Reason coverage. It is one of the most ingenious airline ticket hacks of which we know.

Airline Travel Insurance – Health Coverage

When traveling within the USA most of us don't think about the benefits of incorporating health coverage within our Airline Travel Insurance. When you buy coverage through the airline, do not expect to see any medical coverage for domestic flights.


However, when you buy Airline Travel Insurance on the broader market, notice that even the cheapest Trip Insurance includes some medical coverage.  That extra layer of protection can help to cover out-of-pocket copays, deductibles and coinsurance.

When traveling beyond the United States you need international medical insurance.

We rarely see private health insurance that fully supports a traveler outside the US. Medicare does not offer coverage outside the USA in most cases. Even if you have a Medicare Supplement, you have coverage gaps. Most supplement policies have a lifetime limit of $50,000 and a 20% copay.

Consequently, when you travel outside the United States, you should have traveler's health insurance. Even if you go to a country with subsidized universal health care, you must pay. Two popular destinations, Mexico and Canada, have these public systems but they are not available to travelers.

Instead, you pay out-of-pocket for treatment in an international private hospital. Typically, the daily inpatient rates run $3,000 - $4,000.

Therefore, we always recommend that any international Airline Travel Insurance includes at least $100,000 of Medical Insurance. Ideally, the coverage would be Primary Medical Insurance so that the hospital bills the insurer directly.

Primary Medical Insurance means a lot less financial headaches, a smoother claim process, have minimal out-of-pocket problems.

Airline Travel Insurance - Medical Evacuation

Just like at home, we can experience severe accidents while overseas.

If you have a traumatic injury or critical illness, the Travel Insurer's role is to get you to the best medical facility to treat you. Often, we travel to parts of the world without the same quality of care that we enjoy in the USA.

When you have substantial Medical Evacuation insurance in Airline Travel Insurance, it will transport you to the best hospital for your condition.

We always recommend a minimum of $250,000 of Medical Evacuation coverage for any travel abroad. If you travel to a remote area, $500,000 is better. Private medical jets are expensive. A team of flight medical staff will return you to a place of safety and help you to recuperate.

Typically, Airline Travel Insurance provides insufficient Medical Evacuation protection when traveling overseas. No one should have to think about re-mortgaging a house to transport a loved one home just because the Airline Travel Insurance policy included limited benefits.

Proper travel insurance protection is critical, and fortunately, not expensive to buy.

Airline Travel Insurance – Wider US Travel Insurance Market

Travel Insurance is a $3 billion annual market in the USA. Some of the world’s leading Travel Protection Carriers are based here.

Travel Insurance carriers work hard to develop innovative Travel Policies and compete on coverage, cost, and service.

When an airline like Delta, United, or American presents Airline Travel Insurance at check-out, they make you believe there is no other choice.

Of course, now you know that is simply not true. You will find the best value Travel Insurance when you take a minute to compare rates from the best travel insurance carriers in the country.

Primary or Secondary Medical Insurance

Airline Travel Insurance rarely highlights Travel Health Insurance coverage when you buy the policy.

On the other hand, we make a point of highlighting whether a Travel Protection Plan has Primary or Secondary Insurance.

Why does this matter?

First, pay attention to the dollar amounts of Travel Health Insurance. Second, filing claims on Secondary Medical Insurance can be a great deal of hassle.

With Primary Medical Insurance, the Travel Insurance Carrier knows that they are the only ones responsible for costs associated with medical claim. They also do not intend to bill your private health insurance before they pay their share.

In this case, the insurer set up direct billing with the healthcare facility. That equates to much less stress and hassle for you because there are no out-of-pocket payments and a much simpler claims process.

Unless there is a significant cost difference, we recommend buying Primary Medical Insurance over Secondary Medical Insurance.

AARDY - Travel Insurance Marketplace

AARDY is a leading Travel Insurance Marketplace. We bring together the best travel insurers so that you can see rates of insurance from all of them. Every Travel Insurance Carrier we present to you has been rated at least an ‘A’ by A.M. Best.

The Travel Insurance plans that you see are presented with a price guarantee. You will not find the same Plan or any other Travel Insurance we offer at a lower rate elsewhere. Strict Anti-Discrimination laws protect you, the traveler, from price discrimination.

We need one minute of your time to find the best Travel Insurance plans available. The cheapest Travel Insurance we’ve found will always be visible first. Our job is to get you the best value for money.

Have questions? Chat with us online, send us an email at agent@aardy.com or alternatively call us at (650) 492-6298. We would love to hear from you.

Safe travels.

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

Recent AARDY Travel Insurance Customer Reviews

Trustpilot reviews image
Miriam E
Trustpilot 5 star rating
about 7 hours ago
Miranda and Don made my experience easy…

Miranda and Don made my experience easy and answered all questions. I felt confident with their timely responses. Thank you.

Trustpilot 5 star rating
about 9 hours ago
Denise W was very helpful and patient

Denise W. was very helpful and informative as well as patient answering our questions

James Briggs
Trustpilot 5 star rating
about 11 hours ago
Very easy to navigate and compare…

Very easy to navigate and compare travel insurance policies. Prices were very good and a great selection to choose from.