space traveling warriors tier list : Travel Insurance for Flight Cancellations – Forbes Advisor

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A shortage of airline staff, combined with an increase in tourists, is contributing to hundreds of flight cancellations over many days.

The percentage of flight cancellations this year (3.9%) is more than double that of 2013 (1.8%), according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

“A flight delay or cancellation can be the first domino to fall when things start to go wrong on vacation,” says Daniel Durazo, spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance. “Up your game and be prepared for the unexpected with a travel insurance policy that offers travel delay, trip interruption or cancellation benefits and more.”

Because flight cancellations and the resulting travel delays are so common, we’ve outlined how the benefits of a travel insurance policy can provide a financial safety net.

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Does travel insurance help if the airline cancels your flight?

Scenario: Your flight is canceled before your departure and you choose not to board your trip.

If you decide not to travel after the flight is cancelled, the airfare refund is handled by the airline, says Durazo. “However, for travel expenses other than flights, a travel insurance policy protects your entire travel investment by providing reimbursements for prepaid, non-refundable expenses, such as tours and accommodation, when the trip is canceled for a covered reason. by the policy.”

What does the airline cover

If the airline cancels your flight or there is a “significant delay” and you choose not to travel, federal law requires the airline to refund the cost of the ticket.

“This is the policy regardless of why the airline cancels or delays the flight. However, that ‘significant delay’ [means] remains open to interpretation,” says Durazo.

The DOT has not defined exactly what constitutes a “significant delay”. When it comes to aviation consumer protection, the DOT website explains: “Whether you are entitled to a refund depends on many factors, including the length of the delay, the length of the flight and your particular circumstances.” DOT determines whether delays require reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.

What does travel insurance cover

If your flight was canceled due to specific reasons listed in your travel insurance policy, such as mechanical failure, airline bankruptcy, or air traffic control system shutdown, your trip cancellation insurance may reimburse your lost travel costs. and non-refundable. A policy usually covers costs up to the time and date of your departure.

However, Beckah Morris of Yonder Travel Insurance cautions that most other reasons can be ruled out. This means that if your flight is canceled due to staff shortages and you decide not to travel, you may not be covered by your travel insurance plan.

In this scenario, even “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage may not help cover your lost money. CFAR is an upgrade you can purchase to receive a partial refund when you delay travel for reasons beyond what is listed on your policy. But CFAR benefits only apply if you cancel at least 48 hours before your departure. Therefore, if you decide to cancel a few hours before your original scheduled departure time, you will likely not be eligible to file a CFAR claim.

Does travel delay insurance cover canceled flights?

Scenario: Your flight is canceled before departure, but you still want to continue your trip, even if it means a delay.

What does the airline cover

Your airline will normally place you on the next available flight with available seats. But that can leave you waiting at the airport for hours.

What does travel insurance cover

In that case, travel delay insurance can help. “If your flight is canceled or significantly delayed for a reason listed on your policy, your travel delay benefits may reimburse eligible expenses incurred – including accommodation, meals and transportation – while waiting for the next available departure,” says Durazo of Allianz.

Travel delay benefits will apply after a specified period of time listed on your policy. For example, your travel insurance plan may provide delay benefits after a five-hour delay.

Travel delay coverage will have a maximum benefit limit per day and total per person. For example, insurance can reimburse up to $200 per day, with a general maximum of $1,000, after a five-hour delay.

Some travel insurance plans may automatically reimburse you for expenses related to delays, so you don’t have to file a claim. For example, the SmartBenefits feature on Allianz Travel’s OneTrip Premier plan offers $100 per policyholder, per day, for a covered delay.

“Fast digital payments make it easy to snack while you’re stuck at the airport without taking a bite out of your wallet,” says Durazo.

Does travel insurance cover changing airlines?

Scenario: Your flight is canceled before your departure. The next flight on your original airline takes several days, so you decide to travel on another airline with flights departing earlier.

What does the airline cover

In many cases, the airline will still refund your ticket. But you may find that the cost of a last minute ticket is more expensive than your initial air ticket. The airline will not help you to cover the difference.

What does travel insurance cover

Can you use the benefits of trip cancellation or interruption insurance to make up the difference in cost?

Durazo says that when your travel operator is unable to get you to your original destination for at least 24 consecutive hours from your scheduled arrival time, a trip cancellation request can help pay for getting you to your destination. original by another carrier.

“You may be reimbursed up to the maximum travel cancellation coverage benefit of your policy (less available refunds) for the reasonable cost of alternative transportation, plus the cost of any prepaid accommodation lost caused by your covered late arrival,” it says. he.

Additionally, you can file a travel insurance claim for trip interruption if you miss at least 50% of your trip duration due to a reason listed on your policy, says Durazo. Trip interruption benefits will reimburse you for unused, non-refundable travel expenses that were booked in advance if your trip is interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.

To take full advantage of the benefits, be sure to notify all your travel providers — hotels, tour operators, guides — within 72 hours of finding out your trip will be canceled or interrupted, he says.

Does travel insurance cover canceled connecting flights?

Scenario: Your connecting flight has been cancelled. What are your options?

What does the airline cover

Your airline will likely try to get you on another flight, which can mean significant waiting time. If you prefer to buy a new ticket with another airline, you can get a refund for your canceled flight.

What does travel insurance cover

Trip interruption insurance can reimburse up to 150% of non-refundable travel costs. As long as your trip is interrupted for a reason listed on your policy, Durazo says you can file a claim for additional expenses incurred to continue your trip or return to your primary residence. Typically, these reasons include a plane’s mechanical breakdown or equipment failure, a hurricane at its destination, and the shutdown of air traffic control systems.

If you choose to stay with the same airline, travel insurance delay benefits can pay for extra expenses (like food or hotel) while you wait for the next available flight, up to the limits of your travel insurance plan, it says. Durable

What if I miss my connecting flight?

Scenario: Your connecting flight was not cancelled, but you missed it because your first flight was delayed.

What does the airline cover

In this case, the airline will usually book you the next flight. However, if you miss a connection booked on a different airline, the airline can book you on a new flight for free or make you pay for a new ticket.

What does travel insurance cover

If you missed your connecting flight for a reason listed on your policy under travel interruption coverage, you may be reimbursed for the cost of tracking your itinerary. For example, you can file an outage claim if you missed a connection because your first flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue that needed to be fixed.

If your policy includes coverage for missed connections, you can also take advantage of that. Missed connecting coverage reimburses money spent when you change your travel plans after missing a connecting flight due to an unforeseen event. For example, you can recover fees charged for rebooking your flight or money spent on purchasing a new ticket if a storm causes you to miss your connection.

Missed connection coverage is typically part of a comprehensive travel insurance policy and is not always found in basic travel policies. If you want missed connection coverage, you may need to upgrade your travel insurance plan or purchase it as supplemental coverage.

For example, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection does not provide missed connection coverage on its ExactCare Value plan, but you can upgrade to the ExactCare or LuxuryCare plan, both of which include it.

Can I extend my travel insurance coverage?

If you experience travel delays caused by a canceled flight, it may take you longer than expected to get home. Most travel insurance plans extend coverage until you get home or for seven days after your original travel end date, whichever comes first. This means that all coverage except trip cancellation is in place for you to use, so you can use interruption benefits to help pay for extra costs to get home and travel delay benefits for reasonable extra costs​ for needs.

For extended coverage to apply, your late return must be for an unforeseen event listed under trip cancellation, trip delay, or trip interruption coverage on your policy.

The average cost of travel insurance is 5% to 6% of your travel costs, according to a Forbes Advisor analysis of travel insurance rates. For a $5,000 trip, the average outlay for travel insurance is $228, so you might think it’s a worthwhile investment.

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