Airline Add-On Insurance: Is It Worth It?

Airlines typically have an add-on insurance option when purchasing your ticket—but is it worth it? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.

By Kate Ruddell | Apr 10, 2019, 10:54 AM

Travel insurance is an important consideration for any upcoming trip. Whenever you travel for work or for pleasure, the last thing you want to worry about is losing your luggage or a cancelled flight. Airlines typically have an add-on insurance option when purchasing your ticket—but is it worth it? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.

Key Differences Between Airline Add-On Insurance and iTravelInsured Plans

In most situations, a travel insurance provider, such as IMG, will provide higher maximum coverage amounts and more covered reasons than a plan offered by an airline. An iTravelInsured plan can also cover your entire trip cost, including all prepaid non-refundable costs such as hotel fees, cruise fares, tours, etc., rather than just the cost of your flight.

For example, you purchase insurance from the airline for your flight to Miami for your cruise. Maybe your flight gets delayed due to severe weather or canceled due to a mechanical issue. If you have insurance with the airline, your policy may not cover the additional costs to catch up with your cruise or provide you with a refund if you’re unable to make your cruise.

If your only out-of-pocket expense is an airline ticket, the insurance being offered by your airline may be the plan for you—just be sure to review the covered reasons. Keep in mind that many airlines may assist you as much as possible with flight cancellations regardless of your insurance plan. Think of a bad airline experience you’ve had in the past—the airline may have offered to rebook you on a later flight. For many airline travel insurance plans, if the airline offers a rebooking option, it will void the flight refund benefit in your insurance plan. If you are delayed and file a complaint form, the airline will likely respond with a credit towards a future flight rather than a cash payout.

What to Look for When Purchasing Travel Insurance

Travelers who purchase trip insurance are usually most interested in trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss or damage, travel delay, and emergency medical coverage. Below is a comparison of what some of these airlines offer, as well as how they fall short of IMG’s iTravelInsured travel protection plans.

Delta and American Airlines

Delta and American Airlines both offer a mix of benefits that you may expect in a trip protection plan, but you’ll notice they have lower maximum limits than iTravelInsured plans. While $50,000 may seem like plenty of coverage for emergency medical transportation/evacuation, medical evacuations including nurse assistants from various parts of the world can well exceed $50,000 (IMG). Premiums between the two plans may also cost you about the same amount, so it’s best to do your research and get several quotes before simply checking the “add-on” box while paying for your cruise.


Benefits Delta's Trip Protection1 and American Airlines'; Trip Protector1 iTravelInsured Lite 
Trip Cancellation Up to trip cost (max $10,000) Up to $25,000 of trip cost*
Trip Interruption Up to trip cost (max $10,000) 125% of trip cost insured
Emergency Medical Evacuation/ Medical Repatriation/ Return of Remains $50,000 $250,000
 Accident and Sickness Medical Expense $10,000 $100,000
Baggage and Personal Effects $500 $750
Baggage Delay $100 (after a delay of 24 or more hours) $150 (after a delay of more than 24 hours)
Travel Delay $150 (after a delay of 6 or more hours) Up to $500 ($125 per day after delay of 12 hours or more))
Change Fee Coverage $150 N/A

United

United offers add-on travel insurance that features higher maximum limits than both Delta and American Airlines. These benefits more closely compare to IMG’s iTravelInsured LX plan. See below for how the two stack up to each other.


Benefits United1 iTravelInsured LX 
Trip Cancellation Up to a maximum of $100,000 Up to $100,000 of trip cost
Trip Interruption 125% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $125,000) 150% of trip cost
Emergency Medical Evacuation/ Medical Repatriation/ Return of Remains $20,000 $1,000,000
Accident and Sickness Medical Expense $10,000 $500,000
Baggage and Personal Effects $500 $2,500
Baggage Delay $300 (maximum of $100/day) $500 (after a delay of more than 12 hours)
Travel Delay $500 (maximum of $100/day) Up to $1,000 ($250 per day after delay of 6 hours or more))
Missed Connection $500 $500
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $25,000 Common Carrier-$100,000
Cancel for Any Reason N/A Up to 75% of non-refundable trip cost insured**

Above are some of the most common travel benefits among all plans. To view additional benefits for iTravelInsured plans, please see the full schedule of benefits for Lite or LX. In addition, feel free to call IMG support for more information about what may or may not be covered for your trip at +1 (317) 655-4500.

View our plans or get a quote for IMG’s iTravelInsured travel insurance.


Flight Insurance
Insurance benefits in IMG’s plans are subject to limitations and exclusions, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions.
The above is a summary of insurance benefits that are part of IMG’s Lite and LX travel protection plans. Please review the plan document for a detailed description of the terms, conditions and exclusions. Availability and benefits may change per state. If you are not satisfied for any reason with the coverage, you may return your plan and receive a full refund within 10 days from the effective date of your coverage, as long as your trip departure date has not occurred and you have not filed a claim. Plans are non-refundable after 10 days.

1The samples of benefits offered by these airlines were found at:
https://www.delta.com/merch/searchTripInsuranceAction.action
https://www.aa.com/i18n/plan-travel/extras/trip-insurance.jsp?anchorEvent=false&from=footer
https://webservices.travelguard.com/Product/FileRetrieval.aspx?CountryCode=US&StateCode=CO&ProductCode=009301&PlanCode=P1&FileType=PROD_PLAN_DOC.

These benefits could change at any time, may not be available to all residents, and IMG makes no representation that these are the current benefits offered by these airlines or their insurance partners.

*The trip cancellation benefit is determined by the amount of your trip you elect to protect, up to the maximum benefit stated above. **For CFAR, the following additional terms apply. Your payment for the iTravelInsured LX plan and enrollment form must be received within 20 days of the date that your initial trip payment is received. You must insure 100% of the prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and also insure within 20 days of payment for those travel arrangements the cost of any subsequent travel arrangements added to your trip. You must cancel your trip 2 days or more before your scheduled departure date.

Travel Assistance Services are offered by iTravelInsured and are not insurance benefits. Insurance benefits are underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2018. Anyone looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact IMG at +1 (317) 655-4500.

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