Traditional Travel Insurance vs Airline Insurance
Buying airline tickets has become incredibly easy. Most people don’t even use travel agents anymore. They simply hop online, search using a flight aggregator, and select a flight that best fits their needs. In most cases, they pay for the ticket online through the airline website and receive an email with confirmation and a digital ticket. No human interaction whatsoever. Airlines have kept up to speed with the behaviors of their customers and are offering more and more options to travelers on their websites or through their apps. One such added value is the ability to purchase travel insurance right after your ticket.
For most people, this may seem like a great deal and a convenient solution. However, is the insurance the airline offers as good as traditional travel insurance? We explore the difference between the two in this post.
Airlines are not obligated to offer their passengers any sort of travel coverage. This is an extra service they offer as a convenience to their customers. There is no standard or baseline travel insurance on offer by all the airlines. Some carriers do not even offer travel insurance. While others use third parties to give coverage plans to people that are interested.
As mentioned above, airline travel plans can vary in many ways including benefits, costs, and types of coverage. For example, one carrier’s insurance may cover the entire cost of your trip while another may have a set limit of up to $1000. There can also be a difference in benefits, like travel medical coverage or lost baggage. Plans also come in many different price points, from the very cheap to fairly expensive. All this can once again make it hard to understand or compare plans.
Lack of Choice
A problematic part of buying airline insurance is that travelers have no choice. In most cases, an airline has an underwriter to their insurance and that is the only one a ticket holder can select. This means even if the insurance company is not your first choice, you are forced to go with them if you buy through the airline.
The lack of options does not stop with just the underwriter or third-party provider. Most airlines only have one plan that you can choose. A one solution fits all approach is used which can leave you exposed to risks that you would normally want to have covered. Since there is no customization of plans you may find that sometimes many of the activities you wish to participate in during your trip are not covered. One common example is if you are into adventure sports and take a trip on which you will be rock climbing, the airline insurance may not cover this type of high-risk activity.
Independent Travel Insurance Providers Offer True Choice
One of the great things about purchasing traditional travel insurance is that you have an actual choice. A traveler can easily shop around for price, benefit limits, and coverages. There is no restriction on who you purchase from and what type of coverage you get. When buying regular travel insurance, you can work with agents to find the plans that suit your needs and give you coverage where you need them. Whether that is higher reimbursement for baggage because you are carrying expensive camera equipment or better medical coverage because you are taking a trip to an area that has a high chance of disease. Traditional travel insurance gives you the ability to make choices that will reflect the risks you expect to face.
Expertise In Travel Insurance
Airlines are essentially middlemen for the insurance provider. This means that they are not the most knowledgeable about the coverage. When you deal with a travel insurance provider directly, you get the massive benefit of interacting with experts in the field who have firsthand knowledge. They can offer guidance and recommendations that will save you time, money, and headaches.
So the next time you need travel insurance, weigh the pros and cons of airline travel insurance and traditional travel insurance, and make an informed decision that is best for your circumstances.
Trawick International offers many plans that cover trip cancellation, lost baggage, travel medical, and more. These plans even cover COVID-19 like any other illness. To learn more about how our plans treat the coronavirus, visit our COVID-19 FAQ page. Click below to get a quote or to chat with a travel insurance expert to find the right travel insurance for your needs.