In an age where checked bags are rarely free, flight insurance seems like one of those superfluous added costs that airlines try to shoehorn onto tickets.
But despite a completely valid suspicion about added costs, flight insurance can be a really smart investment, and it can pay off for passengers.
Consider these five scenarios in which flight insurance can come in handy:
1. Trip Cancellation.
Airlines understand that travelers often have to cancel their flights for unexpected reasons, but they tend to be somewhat mercenary in charging cancellation fees.
A discount-rate ticket or one purchased through a discount travel site generally has an inflexible cancellation policy, one that can be mitigated by purchasing travel insurance.
Most basic flight insurance plans will cover last-minute cancellations due to family member illness, injuries, or even political unrest.
2. Flight Life Insurance.
As relatives of victims from any tragic plane crash know, there are potential dangers to health and life when stepping on a plane.
In the event of a flight passenger's death, she may already have life insurance through her employer or individual policy. But flight life insurance can often pay up to $1 million to a passenger's beneficiaries, at a cost of less than $100 per passenger.
3. Lost Baggage.
If your baggage is lost during a trip, flight insurance can often pay for you to buy necessary replacement items like clothing or even prescription medications.
4. Trip Interruption.
Vacations can often be cut short due to inclement weather, unexpected injuries and illnesses, or even a cruise liner losing power.
Many flight insurance plans will cover the costs for returning early due to an unexpected event, and may even supplement existing health insurance in the event of an injury.
5. Stolen Passports.
Having a passport stolen is a nightmare for any international traveler, but some flight insurance policies will cover a replacement.
Ultimately, passengers should base their insurance needs around their expectations for travel, making flight insurance a better buy for international or cross-country flights and not for commuter flights.