Travel insurance may not save you during the summer flight chaos. Here’s when it’s worth buying travel insurance – and when it’s not.

  • 90% of people traveling this summer said they would buy travel insurance, Allianz found.
  • But most travel insurance plans won’t reimburse you for delays and cancellations.
  • Here’s where to buy your travel insurance this summer.

We’ve all been there, the mouse hovering over the check box: “Are you sure do you want to risk your $200 flight by not buying travel insurance?”

Especially in a summer season defined by travel scares and flight delays, it’s tempting to bite the bullet and shell out an extra $20 for flight insurance without knowing what it covers.

According to AAA travel survey, 88% of travelers say that post-cancellation reimbursement is the most important benefit of travel insurance. But the regular flight schedule will not affect the number of flight cancellations or delays, Consumer Watchdog director Carmen Balber, one of the leading experts in the field of insurance, told Insider.

“Reviews vary greatly,” Balber said. “What is important for consumers to know is that many reasons for flight delays and cancellations are not covered by travel insurance.”

For example, standard travel insurance covers cancellations due to mechanical problems, but not due to crew shortages. These small differences make it “more important, than most insurance policies, to read the fine print,” he said.

“It’s possible that your flight problems at the airport this summer will be covered by travel insurance,” Balber told Insider. “I would not encourage people to buy travel insurance because they are afraid of airport delays.”

When is the right time to buy travel insurance?

Longest airport line in portugal for summer travel

Passengers wait in line at Humberto Delgado International Airport on July 09, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Although purchasing travel insurance for a cheap airline trip may not be necessary, it may be worth purchasing comprehensive coverage for any cheap flights you have planned.

“It’s a different story when you put $15,000 up front for a family vacation in Italy,” Balber told Insider. “When there’s a lot of money at stake, it makes sense to probably use travel insurance.”

Another reason to buy international travel insurance is to ensure medical care while abroad. However, some credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, already have those benefits — just be sure to check your travel insurance before you go overboard.

Even when traveling internationally, it is important to mention some of the reasons why you want your flight covered and then check the status of the plan.

“If you have an emergency and you need to stay home, often your travel insurance won’t cover it. If your child gets sick but it’s not COVID, your travel insurance probably won’t cover it,” Balber said. . “There are many reasons why travel insurance doesn’t work.”

Balber’s final advice for those traveling this summer is not to rely on the insurance policy offered at the exit when you buy your ticket, because they often offer less support than an independent broker or credit card.

“If you think that travel insurance is necessary, go to your insurance broker, ask them to give you a policy that will be as comprehensive as you want,” he said. “This will help you get through with someone who knows more than relying on the airline and their captive insurance company to help you.”