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Air Travel Insurance

Sandy Mitchell
Image of flight travel schedule at the airport

Air travel insurance, often called flight insurance, is a short-term accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy that covers the policyholder should he or she be killed or maimed on a specific commercial flight or flight connection. Once the trip is over, and the policyholder deplanes, the policy is null and void.

What is Air Travel Insurance?

Air travel insurance is essentially a short-term life insurance policy. It covers the policyholder in the case of accidental death during the boarding, flight, and deplaning of a single flight, and must be purchased prior to departure. If an accident occurs, benefits are distributed to the policyholder's beneficiary.

Coverage for commercial aircraft is available, but flight insurance does not exist for privates planes. Air travel insurance is usually available in amounts of up to $1,000,000. Because it covers such as short period of time, air travel insurance is generally affordable, with policies starting at just $12 per person. Policies may be purchased for individuals or family groups.

Purchasing Air Travel Insurance

Air travel insurance may be purchased as a single policy or as part of a blanket travel insurance policy that includes such products as travel health insurance, baggage insurance, and trip cancellation insurance. Several major travel insurance underwriters, such as AccessAmerica and TravelGuard offer such blanket policies.

The advent of the Internet has made it especially easy to purchase air travel insurance. Several flight insurance companies allow you to purchase policies online via a simple one-page form. Among these companies are:

As with any insurance policy, make sure that you read the terms and benefits carefully before you purchase the policy. Terms and coverage amounts vary a little among companies.

Flight insurance may also be purchased at many airports via automated kiosks. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company operates many of these. You can usually find them near the airline check-in counters. To buy a policy, you simply enter your flight information and pay via credit card and your policy prints directly from the kiosk. It's simple and just takes a couple of minutes.

Many credit card companies also offer free air travel insurance, particularly for their gold and platinum cardholders, commonly up to $100,000, when you charge air travel tickets to that card. Please note that the insurance only covers the cardholder, even if you buy other family member's ticket at the same time. This insurance benefit is particularly advantageous to frequent business travelers.

Do You Really Need this Insurance?

Like other forms of insurance, the decision whether to purchase air travel insurance is a personal one. To some extent, this insurance plays upon travelers fear of flying. Someone who would never think of insuring a single car trip (even if you could buy that kind of policy), buys a flight insurance policy because of the public's uncertainty about flying. This type of insurance also often duplicates standard life insurance coverage.

Only you can decide whether air travel insurance is right for you. Just make sure to research the various products and coverages and make an informed, rather than an emotional, decision.

Air Travel Insurance