A lot of people will have the question in their minds whether purchasing travel insurance is worth the investment, especially in the event your flight gets canceled. When you book a flight, whether it is your holiday or a business trip, your airline or a third-party agent/distributor may offer you travel insurance for your venture. Travel insurance cover flight cancellation. Commercial airline carriers have certain policies with regard to flight cancellations and airfare refunds or claiming one’s travel insurance.
In this travel guide that is prepared by Treknova, we are going to provide you some useful information on the purpose of travel insurance coverage policies during flight cancellations. Insurance is good for travel safety in abroad.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Generally, the purpose of travel insurance, when purchased by a traveler, is to provide its bearer some sort of risk-free security during his or her entire trip. Many people may often get confused between the rights they have by law when an airline cancels their flight and the cancellation cover provided by the travel insurance policy which they purchased. The main factor to consider is who is actually canceling your flight. If the airline cancels your flight, it is their responsibility to offer you an alternative or provide you with a full airfare refund.
On the other hand, if you cancel your flight, the airline does not have to offer you a refund, as stated in their terms and conditions, and you may be able to claim on your travel insurance.
That said, we shall now take a look at various situations where travel insurance may come handy, which might as well, even save you some fraction of your money. These are listed as under:
- Cancelled Flights
- Delayed Flights
- Baggage Loss or Delays
- Medical Expenses
- Emergency Evacuations
- 24/7 Phone Assistance
These have been explained below.
(a) Cancelled Flights
Travel insurance for cancelled flights might save you a great deal of trouble during your holiday or business trip. This is, perhaps, one of the most important factors among other reasons that concerns both first-time and frequent flyers. After all, you are paying a great deal of money for your trip (and companion, if any). Travel insurance covers expenses if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason. Insurance companies provide a list of covered reasons for trip cancellation.
An overview of the covered reasons to cancel your trip include the following:
- A bad weather or a natural disaster renders your home or your destination uninhabitable.
- Your destination is rendered uninhabitable because of a natural disaster, fire, flood, burglary or vandalism.
- The insured traveller, travelling companion or a family member suffers a serious covered illness or injury.
- The insured traveller, travelling companion or a family member dies.
- You or a travelling companion are terminated/laid off from your job through no fault of your own, after your effective date of coverage, after working there at least 12 continuous months.
- You need to attend the birth of a family member’s child.
- You or a travelling companion is in a traffic accident on the way to your point of departure, and you or the travelling companion need medical attention or the car needs to be repaired because it is not safe to drive.
- You or a travelling companion legally separate or divorce after your insurance effective date but before your scheduled departure date.
- Your travel supplier has gone bankrupt.
- Called for jury duty
- Your airline, cruise line or other carrier ceases services for at least 24 consecutive hours due to a strike, natural disaster, bad weather or FAA-mandated shutdown.
- A terrorist event happens at your destination within 30 days of the day you’re scheduled to arrive.
The above-mentioned list only contains a few crucial reasons as the list can include more reasons. However, you can see that it covers very common situations for cancelling a flight. Of these, the most common reason is someone getting sick or a family member passing away. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage will allow you to call off your trip for any reason, as long as you meet the plan criteria. Trip Interruption Coverage is similar to cancellation coverage, but covers you while you are on your trip for the same list of covered reasons.
If something happens and you are required to return home, insurance will reimburse you for the lost portion of your trip, as well as any additional expenses for the last-minute flight home.
(b) Delayed Flights
If, however, for the same reasons given above, your flight gets delayed by several hours, then you could be entitled to claim travel insurance in respect of the airline’s contract of carriage.
(c) Baggage Loss or Delays
There are coverage for a few smaller items as well that are useful to have. Although, this may not include all the reasons, however, it will give you an idea of some additional coverages.
Travel insurance covers baggage loss and delay in baggage delivery, if you happen to experience such a situation. Baggage Coverage can reimburse you for your personal belongings, if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged. Baggage Delay Coverage provides money to buy essential items until your delayed bags arrive, such as a toiletry kit, a swimsuit, or another change of clothes. Travel Delay Coverage provides reimbursement for additional expenses, if your flight is delayed, such as an extra night in a hotel or a meal at a restaurant.
(d) Medical Expenses
This is also crucial, which is often overlooked by most travellers. A lot of individuals travelling may have a general assumption that they are covered for medical emergencies, if they already have existing health care insurance. This is true within the United States only. However, outside the U.S., it is not the case. Most do not provide coverage and Medicare does not cover you when travelling abroad.
Thus, you will not feel comfortable having a family member risk inadequate medical care in a foreign country. For cruises, your health insurance from home may not cover you if you are travelling on a ship in another country, which includes most cruise ships. Travel insurance covers emergency medical expenses only. For instance, Medical Expense Coverage will cover you for accidents and emergency medical and dental care when you travel abroad.
On the contrary, even if you are covered for basic emergency care overseas, your current health insurance provider will almost certainly not pay to evacuate you and repatriate you back to the U.S.
(e) Emergency Evacuations
Medical emergencies can be scary, and the travel medical coverage explained above helps you get care. But how do you get home? Travel insurance covers emergency evacuations. For instance, Emergency Evacuation Coverage will pay for emergency evacuation expenses such as airlifts and medically equipped flights back home, and often times, will transport you to the hospital of your choice for medical care.
However, evacuation expenses can be devastating. An ambulance to the hospital, an airlift to a more adequate hospital, getting you back home on board a medically-staffed flight afterwards. As such, evacuation expenses can easily cost $50,000 or more.
(f) 24/7 Phone Assistance
This is about having a ‘lifeline’ to call when something happens. Medical emergencies, stolen baggage, lost passports, cancelled flights. Every travel insurance company provides 24/7 support for all of these needs. This service is most important when you have a medical issue.
For instance, the 24/7 Travel Assistance Services can help you with the following:
- Locate the nearest adequate hospital if needed
- Organise medical transportation
- Arrange for treatment and overcome any language barriers
- Organise transportation home
- Replace prescriptions in an emergency
In addition, non-medical assistance may include:
- Search for lost baggage
- Assistance with stolen baggage replacement
- Assistance with lost passport or travel documents
- Providing travel information, including visa/passport requirements
- Assistance with emergency interpretation over telephone
Furthermore, travel insurance can also provide coverage for other things, such as:
- Life Insurance coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.
- Hazardous Sports extends the medical coverage to cover activities like SCUBA.
- Rental Car Collision replaces your personal insurance or the rental company policy.
- Identity Theft provides services to help in the event of identity theft while travelling.
Travel insurance for cancelled flights does not cover losses that may arise from expected or reasonably foreseeable events or problems, even if that event or problem is included in the covered reasons. A foreseeable event is an outcome that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would expect to occur. In other words, if you are buying travel insurance with a specific scenario in mind, for instance, where you think that you will probably have to cancel your trip because of some reason, then it is likely to be a foreseeable event. You are better off planning the trip for another time.