Convenience vs Coverage: Is Airline Travel Insurance Better Than Standalone Plans? (2023)

Airline travel insurance is no doubt convenient, but standalone travel plans offer several advantages, including potentially better fit for your needs. Here’s what to know when choosing between the two.

Airline travel insurance can be a viable option when it comes to insuring yourself against the risks of taking a trip. However, there are also some disadvantages compared to standalone travel plans, including higher cost, less choices, and the lack of add-ons.

As you can imagine, some of these disadvantages can render an airline travel insurance plan unsuitable. So why do airlines still offer them, and what type of passengers are they meant for?

At-a-glance: Airline Travel Insurance vs Standalone Travel Insurance

Airline travel insurance

Standalone travel insurance

More convenient, one-click to add to your plane ticket

Requires additional online purchase

Airlines middle-men fees may increase your final cost

No middle-men fees involved, leading to better value for you

Coverage sold as-is, can’t choose coverage level

Typically, three levels of coverage offered

May not include benefits you need, such as adventurous activities cover

Can add-on special benefits, but only if provider offers them

Convenience vs Coverage: Is Airline Travel Insurance Better Than Standalone Plans? (1)

SingSaver Exclusive Promotion:Apply for our exclusivecredit card,travel insurance,car insurance,personal loan,investment,savings account, andpriority banking deals to score raffle tickets (up to 3x chances) in our March Madness Grand Lucky Draw!

OverS$20,000 worth of prizesare up for grabs, including1x pair of Business Class Round Trip to Tokyo (worth S$9,000), 2x PlayStation 5 God of War Bundle (worth S$1,798), 2x OSIM uThrone Gaming Massage Chair (worth S$3,198) and other awesome prizes (worth over S$9,000).

Valid till 2 April 2023. T&Cs apply.

Find Out More!

(Video) How to Avoid the Seat-Selection Fee on Flights | Money Hack

Golden Ticket (3x chance)

  • Priority Banking: Citigold

  • Investments: Webull | Tiger Brokers

Silver Ticket (2x chance)

  • Savings Account: Citiplus

  • Personal Loan: HSBC Personal Loan

Bronze Ticket (1x chance)

  • Credit Cards: Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Card | Amex Platinum Card | Amex Platinum Charge Card | Citi Cash Back+ Card | Citi Cash Back Card | Citi PremierMiles Card | Citi Rewards Card | Standard Chartered Smart Card | Standard Chartered SimplyCash Card | Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card | UOB Absolute Cashback Card | UOB One Card | UOB EVOL Card | UOB Lady's Card | KrisFlyer UOB Card | UOB PRVI Miles AMEX Card | UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card | UOB PRVI Miles Mastercard

  • Travel Insurance: Starr TraveLead | MSIG TravelEasy

  • Car Insurance: FWD Car Insurance

Convenience of purchase

This is really the only real advantage that airline travel insurance offers over standalone travel insurance; it is the quicker and more convenient way to obtain travel insurance.

Often, all you need to do is to click the check-box that says “Add travel insurance for $XX?” (or something similar). The cost of your travel plan will be added to your plane ticket at checkout.

In comparison, purchasing a standalone travel insurance policy will require making a separate online transaction at a provider’s website. You’ll want to look up several providers to check for promotions and deals, and while this provides an opportunity to do some comparison shopping, it nevertheless means you’ll need to spend more time and effort to obtain a travel plan for your trip.

Related to this topic: Where to Buy Travel Insurance (with COVID-19 Coverage) 2023: Insurers, Credit Card Rewards, or Airlines

Middleman fees

Airline travel insurance plans aren’t actually provided by the airlines themselves; instead they are offered (more accurately, underwritten) by insurance companies who are licensed to offer such products.

Hence, airlines are simply acting as a sales channel. In return for allowing an insurer to make a sales offer to customers buying tickets, airlines charge a commission, which is paid on every policy sold.

What this means is that a portion of the premiums for your airline travel policy is paid to your airline as a middleman fee. This, in turn means one of two things: you’re either paying a higher price, or you’re receiving reduced benefits and/or coverage because, hey, someone has to pay for the added cost.

You can avoid this problem by purchasing a standalone travel insurance plan directly from an insurer. This way, you won’t have to bear the cost of the airline’s middleman fee.

Related to this article: Travel Insurance Add-ons: Which Ones are Worth Your Money?

SingSaver Exclusive Promotion:

Single Trip:Use promo code TIQSINGSAVERto enjoy40% offwhen you apply. Valid till 30 Apr 2023.T&Cs apply.

(Video) How to find CHEAP Flights 2023 | 5 RISKY hacks to try

Annual Trip:Use the promo code TIQSINGSAVERto enjoy a60% discounton your COVID-19 add-on. Valid till 3o Apr 2023.T&Cs apply.

Key in the promo code under the coupon code section on the next page after selecting your destination and dates. The prices shown are before discounts.

Receive coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, and more when you purchase the COVID-19 Rider. T&Cs apply.

Choice of coverage

Airline travel insurance is usually sold as an add-on to your plane ticket – just like a seat upgrade or extra luggage allowance. You may get a few lines highlighting your benefits, but that’s about it.

That’s by design – just like how supermarkets always stock the shelves next to the checkout with your favourite candy bars, in the hope you’ll grab some on your way out, airlines are banking on you making an impulse purchase by inserting the travel insurance offer right before you complete your plane ticket purchase.

But hey, just because it’s an impulse buy doesn’t make it a bad thing. But, when it comes to travel insurance, buying on impulse rarely turns out to be the best choice.

Besides getting lesser value for your dollar (see above), you also have to accept the plan that is offered to you as it is, without the ability to choose your level of coverage.

This can be a problem if the airline travel insurance plan does not offer sufficient cover for you and those travelling with you. Should your family require emergency medical attention that exceeds the coverage limits of your travel plan, you will have to pay the remaining difference out of your own pocket.

Standalone travel plans commonly come in three tiers, offering lower, medium and higher levels of coverage. The benefits offered may also vary – with lower tier plans offering a narrower range of benefits, and higher tiers providing a broader scope of protection.

Hence, you will have a greater chance of finding a closer fit to your needs among the three plan tiers, instead of being restricted to only one standard plan.

(Video) Which is Better? Pocket WiFi vs SIM / eSIM for Japan in 2023

Related to this topic: 5 Best Travel Insurance in Singapore for Different Needs (2023)

Availability of add-ons

Airline travel insurance also does not offer add-ons, which, once again, can leave you with a gap in your coverage – not a situation you want to be caught in.

Standalone travel insurance is more likely to offer the add-ons that you need, such as cover for adventurous activities, golfing equipment, or scuba diving.

Note though, that not all insurers offer the same selection of add-ons, so you may need to look up a few different providers.

Convenience vs Coverage: Is Airline Travel Insurance Better Than Standalone Plans? (2)

SingSaver Exclusive Promotion: Enjoy an 25% discountwith the promo code TRAVEL25. Valid till 2 Apr 2023. T&Cs apply.

Should you choose airline travel insurance or standalone travel insurance?

The main flaw with airline travel plans is that they tend to be generic, so as to cater to the widest swath of travellers as possible. However, that doesn’t automatically make them a bad option.

(Video) BEST Airplane Seats in Economy | Where to sit on a plane in 2023

The next time you encounter an airline travel insurance offer, take a few minutes to read through the policy document – paying attention to the table of benefits – so that you know what coverage you’ll be getting exactly.

If everything seems to fit your needs, going with an airline travel plan won’t be the worst idea – especially if you’re pressed for time.

You will, however, be paying the middleman fee, but for certain flights – such as short trips or to nearby locations – this fee may not be large enough to matter.

But if you prefer to have greater control over your travel insurance benefits, or need certain add-ons, or simply want to see what promotions and offers are out there, taking the time to sit down and research your options will likely be worth it.

Compare Best Travel Insurance Deals

Read these next:

Best Annual Travel Insurance Plans In Singapore (2023)

Travel Insurance Guide: Five Things All Travellers Must Know

Common Mistakes When Buying Travel Insurance that could Cost you Money

4 Things to Do to Help Your Travel Insurance Claims Go Through

Tiq Travel Insurance Review: Value-For-Money Travel Plan With Cover For Pre-Existing Conditions


1. Everything to know BEFORE traveling to Cape Town, South Africa😍🇿🇦
(Rhett and Claire)
2. International Travel Essentials You Simply CAN’T AFFORD to Miss | Emergency Checklist
3. BEGINNERS Guide to Using an Electric Planer.
4. BEST Protection for your EV Home Charger | Install, Pricing & Options for Aust Made Charger Cover
(Electric Car Australia)
5. How $1.3 Billion Of Counterfeit Goods Are Seized At JFK Airport | Big Business
(Insider Business)
6. The BEST Beach Tent For Families in 2023 - Safe, Convenient and Fun!
(Outdoor Rex)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 18/02/2023

Views: 6648

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.