How Travel Insurance Can Help You Deal with Flight Delays

How Travel Insurance Can Help You Deal with Flight Delays

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Nothing can put a damper on the start of a vacation quite like a flight delay. You’ve planned the trip, made it to the airport on time, and you’re ready to go, only to find that your flight is delayed a few hours. 

Delays are an unavoidable, and all too familiar, aspect of air travel due to the unpredictability of weather, airline problems, and staff shortages. In fact, stats from the Department of Transportation reveal that roughly 20% of all flights are delayed.

Travel insurance provider, Tin Leg, also revealed that delays accounted for roughly a quarter of all paid insurance claims. With flight delays more common than ever, we dive into how you can protect yourself when your flight schedule unexpectedly changes.

What is Travel Delay Insurance?

Travel Delay, sometimes referred to as flight or trip delay, is a type of insurance coverage that provides financial protection and assistance in the event of a significant delay. Most travel insurance policies include this coverage to cover travelers for the expenses incurred during a delay. 

The Travel Delay benefit has a minimum delay period that must be met before coverage can kick in. This typically ranges from 3-12 hours, depending on the policy. Common covered delay reasons include inclement weather and mechanical breakdowns or technical issues of a common carrier. The most flexible Travel Delay policies can cover any delay of a common carrier.

What Does Travel Delay Insurance Cover?

Travel Delay provides a layer of financial protection in the event you’re stuck at the airport and missing out on valuable vacation time. This includes coverage for the following: 

  • Meals and Accommodations: Once you meet your policy’s minimum delay period, Travel Delay may then cover certain expenses incurred throughout the duration of your delay. This often includes meals and overnight accommodations if needed. 
  • Missed Connections: If the delay forces you to miss a connecting flight, the Travel Delay benefit can cover additional expenses, such as new transportation arrangements, needed to catch up to your trip. 
  • Unused Trip Costs: Most Travel Delay policies may also reimburse you for trip costs you missed out on due to a delay. This can include prepaid excursions, hotel stays, and tours. 

Filing a Travel Delay Claim

When it comes to travel insurance, Travel Delay is the most commonly paid out claim and represents roughly a quarter of all claim payouts. If you experience a delay and need to file a claim for reimbursement, we recommend following the steps below: 

  1. Review your travel insurance policy: Carefully read through your travel insurance policy to understand the specific coverage for travel delays. Take note of any time limits, exclusions, and reimbursement amounts specified in your policy so you know what to expect. 
  2. Contact your insurance provider: Reach out to your travel insurance provider as soon as possible to inform them about the travel delay and your intent to file a claim. They will guide you through the process and provide specific instructions on what documents are required.
  3. Gather necessary documents: Collect all relevant documents related to your travel delay. This may include your travel itinerary, boarding passes, receipts for additional expenses incurred during the delay, and any communication you had with the airline regarding the delay. You will need to provide this to your provider when filing a claim.
  4. Complete the claim form: Fill out the claim form provided by your insurance provider accurately and thoroughly. Include all necessary details about the delay, such as the date, time, duration, and reason for the delay. Provide a detailed account of the expenses you incurred, and be sure to attach all the relevant documents you gathered to your claim form. 
  5. Submit the claim: Send your completed claim form and supporting documents to your insurance provider as per their instructions. Some insurance companies may accept claims through email, online portals, or traditional mail. Follow their preferred method of submission.

How Much Delay Reimbursement Can You Expect 

The amount of travel delay coverage you can expect depends on several factors, including your policy’s coverage limits, the type of delay claim you filed, and the amount of necessary expenses incurred during the delay. On average, Travel Delay claims refunded travelers roughly $600.  

Travel insurance policies found on Squaremouth have coverage limits for Travel Delay ranging from $100-$5,000 per person, while Missed Connection coverage limits range from $100-$2,500. For the best protection, we recommend a policy with a high coverage limit and low delay time minimum. 

If you have questions about a specific policy, or want help finding a policy for your upcoming trip that covers delays, you may contact us directly at 800-240-0369.