Does Flight Insurance Cover Cancellations? The Pros and Cons of Different Policies

Does flight insurance cover cancellations? learn how to compare and buy the best plan for your trip in this ultimate guide.
Does flight insurance cover cancellations? learn how to compare and buy the best plan for your trip in this ultimate guide.

If you’re planning to travel by air, you may be wondering if flight insurance covers cancellations.

After all, flight cancellations can be a major hassle and a financial loss, especially if you have non-refundable travel expenses like hotels, tours, or car rentals.

Flight insurance is a type of coverage that is most often available as an add-on when booking an airline ticket and covers unexpected events related to air travel, such as flight delay, trip cancellation or interruption, and lost, damaged, or stolen luggage up to the plan limit.

But does flight insurance cover cancellations?

The answer depends on the reason for the cancellation, the type of policy you have, and the terms and conditions of your plan.

Here are some key points to consider before you buy flight insurance for your next trip.

What Does Flight Insurance Cover?

An infographic on Flight Insurance Coverage
An infographic on Flight Insurance Coverage

An infographic on What Flight Insurance Covers

Flight insurance typically covers the following scenarios:

  • Flight delay: If your flight is delayed for a certain number of hours (usually 3 to 12 hours, depending on the plan) due to a covered reason, such as bad weather, mechanical failure or strike, you can get reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred during the delay, such as meals, accommodation or transportation.
  • Trip cancellation: If you have to cancel your trip before departure due to a covered reason, such as illness, injury, death of a family member or travel companion, jury duty or terrorism, you can get reimbursed for your non-refundable prepaid trip costs, such as airfare, hotel or tour fees.
  • Trip interruption: If you have to cut your trip short and return home early due to a covered reason, such as illness, injury, death of a family member or travel companion, or natural disaster at your destination, you can get reimbursed for the unused portion of your prepaid trip costs and the additional transportation costs to return home.
  • Baggage loss or damage: If your checked or carry-on baggage is lost, damaged or stolen during your trip, you can get reimbursed for the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings up to the plan limit.
  • Baggage delay: If your checked baggage is delayed for more than a certain number of hours (usually 12 to 24 hours, depending on the plan) after your arrival at your destination, you can get reimbursed for the cost of buying essential items, such as clothing or toiletries.

What Does Flight Insurance Not Cover?

An infographic  on Flight Insurance Exclusions
An infographic on Flight Insurance Exclusions

Flight insurance does not cover every possible reason for flight cancellation or delay. Some common exclusions are:

  • Change of mind: Flight insurance will not cover your decision not to travel for reasons not listed in your policy as covered, such as fear of flying, personal preference, or financial hardship.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: Flight insurance will not cover you or a family member for trip cancellation or interruption due to a pre-existing medical condition unless a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions is obtained. A waiver is an optional feature that some plans offer if you meet certain criteria, such as buying the plan within a specified period of time after making your first trip payment and being medically fit to travel at the time of purchase.
  • Travel advisories or warnings: If you cancel or interrupt your trip due to a travel advisory or warning issued by the government of your country of residence or destination country, you will not be covered by flight insurance unless you have a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. A “cancel for any reason” upgrade is an optional feature that some plans offer that allows you to cancel your trip for any reason up to 48 hours before departure and receive a partial refund (usually 50% to 75%) of your non-refundable trip costs.
  • Pandemics or epidemics: If you cancel or interrupt your trip due to a pandemic or epidemic, such as COVID-19, you will not be covered by flight insurance unless you have a “cancel for any reason” upgrade. Some plans may also offer specific coverage for COVID-19 related claims if you meet certain criteria, such as testing positive for COVID-19 before departure or during your trip.

How Much Does Flight Insurance Cost?

The cost of flight insurance varies depending on several factors, such as:

  • The cost of your trip: The more expensive your trip is, the more expensive your flight insurance will be. This is because the potential payout in case of cancellation or interruption is higher.
  • The length of your trip: The longer your trip is, the more expensive your flight insurance will be. This is because the risk of something going wrong during your trip is higher.
  • Your age: The older you are, the more expensive your flight insurance will be. This is because the risk of illness or injury is higher for older travelers.
  • Your destination: The more exotic or remote your destination is, the more expensive your flight insurance will be. This is because the cost of medical care or transportation in case of an emergency is higher in some countries than others.
  • The coverage and benefits you choose: The more comprehensive your flight insurance is, the more expensive it will be. This is because the plan offers more protection and features, such as higher limits, lower deductibles, or optional upgrades.

How to Compare and Buy Flight Insurance?

An infograpic on How to Compare and Buy Flight Insurance
An infograpic on How to Compare and Buy Flight Insurance

Some of the factors you should look for when comparing flight insurance are:

  • The coverage and benefits: Ensure the plan covers your priorities Including flight delay, cancellation, baggage loss, or delay.Check the limits, deductibles, and exclusions of each plan and make sure they meet your needs and expectations.
  • The customer service and claims process: Make sure the provider has a good reputation for customer service and claims handling. Check the reviews and ratings of other customers and see how they rate their experience with the provider. Additionally, assess the ease and speed of filing a claim and receiving reimbursement.
  • The price: Compare plan prices and ensure best value, not just the cheapest.Prioritize coverage and benefits.

Conclusion

Flight insurance can be a useful way to protect yourself from the financial loss and inconvenience caused by flight cancellations or delays.

However, not all flight insurance plans are created equal and not all reasons for cancellation or delay are covered.

Compare plans, read the fine print, and select the one fitting your needs and budget.

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