ST. PETERSBURG FL January 7, 2017 — Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened on Saturday, January 7th, a day after a shooter opened fire, killing 5, injuring others and grounding all flights. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, explains insurance coverage based on current information released about this event.
Limited Coverage for Insured Travelers
Travelers with insurance policies purchased before the shooting may be eligible for some benefits related to the event, however, coverage is limited. Travelers interested in purchasing a policy now for delayed or cancelled flights are not recommended to do so, as new policies will not provide any benefits relating to the shooting and subsequent airport closure.
Cancellation Coverage Likely Unavailable
Most Trip Cancellation policies cover specific events causing a flight to be delayed or outright cancelled. Unfortunately, the shooting that occurred on January 6th, does not fall within one of these covered events.
Common covered reasons include inclement weather, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and mechanical breakdown of the common carrier. While terrorism has not been officially ruled out as a cause, the suspect appears to have been acting alone. Unless the shooting is deemed a terrorist attack by the U.S. Department of State, it will not be covered under standard Trip Cancellation policies.
Delayed Travelers May Be Eligible for Benefits
Some travel insurance policies with the Travel Delay and Missed Connection benefits cover any delay of the common carrier. Travelers with this coverage may be eligible for benefits while they are delayed, or if they miss a connecting flight out of Fort Lauderdale Airport, due to the closure. Benefits also extended to those whose flights were outright canceled while they make new arrangements.
The Travel Delay benefit reimburses for meals, accommodations and transportation, while the Missed Connection benefit covers additional transportation expenses for a traveler to catch up to their trip. Both require a minimum delay time to be met, usually between 3-12 hours.
Cancel for Any Reason Conditionally Covered
While Cancel for Any Reason offers the most lenient coverage, it does not cover last minute cancellation, and requires travelers to cancel their trip at least 48-72 hours before their scheduled departure. For this reason, it is likely too late to claim for travelers whose flights were scheduled to depart on January 6th or 7th.
Travelers with future trips who are too scared to travel may be covered to cancel under the Cancel for Any Reason benefit.
Squaremouth has launched the Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting and Travel Insurance Information Center to keep travelers informed on coverage relating to the event. This is updated with official provider position statements, answers to frequently asked questions, and additional information as events unfold.