I get the occasional email regarding travel insurance for mileage redemption tickets. To be honest, I have never fully seen the point unless you have a pre-paid hotel reservation at your destination.
With Avios, for example, British Airways allows you to cancel a redemption ticket up to 24 hours before travel. (BMI used to allow you to do it with one hour notice!) The chances of becoming ill during that 24 hour window are slim. Virgin Atlantic has a similar policy.
Even if you do want to insure your miles, an independent insurance company cannot replace them for you. It does not have the ability to put miles into your account.
Avios does offer travel insurance policies which protect your miles. You can find details here.
The policy document is fairly unclear about what happens with Avios tickets. If you cancel your trip, you can claim for costs “(including the value of payments using Avios which you cannot recover)”. What does this actually mean? Do you get your points returned? (This could be arranged as this is an official Avios insurance policy.) Or do you receive some nominal cash sum based on the perceived value of the points?
I would be surprised if many people had ever claimed on this given the tiny 24 hour window between free cancellation being available and the time of travel.
Virgin Atlantic used to offer travel insurance when you book a flight with them but it seems to have disappeared since the website revamp. The wording used to be:
“Please note: If payment has been made using frequent flyer points, airmiles, loyalty card points or the like, settlement of your claim will be based upon the lowest available published flight fare for the flight originally booked if they are non-transferable.”
This always seemed remarkably generous in some ways. Whilst Virgin wouldn’t sell you this policy without a Virgin flight booking, which limits their liability somewhat, imagine booking an Upper Class ticket for Flying Club points, being forced to cancel and then claiming back the cash cost based on the ‘lowest published fare’.
If you have any experience of claiming for ‘lost’ frequent flyer miles from travel insurance, or know of any other insurance policies which cover them, please comment below.