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INSUBUY® Insurance Blog

With Flight Cancellations Increasing, Travel Delay Insurance is Essential

Posted: 06/24/20221,649 Views

This summer, more travelers are taking to the skies than at any time since 2019. Unfortunately, the aviation industry has not been able to respond as we all would have hoped. 

Globally, the aviation industry has lost roughly four million employees since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020. This has led to severe staffing shortages throughout the industry, and it is expected that it could take up to a year for staffing to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

For you as a traveler, this means cancelled flights on a scale we’ve not seen in recent memory. British Airways has cancelled over 8,000 flights already this year. Lufthansa is set to cancel up to 1,000 flights in July alone. All across the industry, flights are being cancelled and delayed, wreaking havoc on travel plans throughout the world. 

Many airlines are also dealing with labor strikes, as seen in European low-cost carriers like Easy Jet. In addition, an increasing number of airports such as Gatwick in London and Schiphol in Amsterdam are putting caps on departing passengers to help reduce lines and congestion. It has all combined to create a somewhat uncertain situation for international travelers. 

How Travel Delay Coverage Can Help

Travel delay coverage is included in many travel insurance plans. It is designed to provide coverage for the reasonable expenses you may incur on necessary items such as meals, accommodations, the boarding of your pet, ground transportation and more if your trip is delayed beyond a certain duration (as determined by the individual plan) for a covered reason. 

Though the exact covered reasons for travel delay coverage will vary depending upon the policy, it can generally cover instances related to flight cancellation or delay, unannounced strikes, and common carrier issues. 

With more flights being cancelled and delayed this summer, and the problem only expected to get worse, the possibility of your trip being delayed due to a flight cancellation is a very real issue. By purchasing travel insurance with travel delay coverage, you can protect yourself from unplanned expenses related to a delay in your trip, so long is it occurs due to a reason that’s covered by your policy. 

Travel Delay Coverage Exclusions and Limitations

It is important to understand that the travel delay benefit in travel insurance will not provide coverage for every instance involving a delayed trip. For example, if you are informed well in advance by the airline that the flight will be cancelled or delayed and do not alter your travel plans, the insurance would not provide coverage. Also typically excluded are travel delays for one-way flights, missed flights due your own error (such as being late), and unnecessary expenses like your bar tab at the airport while waiting for the next available flight. Also, the benefits offered by travel delay coverage cannot duplicate the benefits for missed connection coverage.

As for the limitations of coverage, it will depend upon your travel insurance policy. Generally, the insurance will not provide any benefit unless your trip has been delayed for at least five to 12 hours, depending on the policy. Also, most policies will have a per-day limit of $100-$300, and a policy limit ranging from $500 to $1,500. However, once again this will depend upon the policy you choose. 

Making a Claim for Travel Delay Coverage

When making a claim under the travel delay benefit in travel insurance, you will need to provide:

  • Your boarding pass
  • Receipts for all eligible expenses
  • A statement from the carrier that demonstrates that your trip was delayed, the reason for the delay, and the duration of the delay
  • A claim form
  • Other documentation that may be required by the insurance company

Though travel insurance is a smart investment for any trip, this summer’s aviation difficulties have highlighted the extreme importance of getting travel insurance with travel delay coverage. It is an essential tool to help protect your budget against significant unplanned expenses. 

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