WARWICK, R.I., March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report by InsureMyTrip suggests that more commercial airline passengers are purchasing travel insurance in an effort to safeguard against airline mishaps. While fatal accidents are rare, safety concerns are raised following a series of airline accidents — the latest involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
- There is no coverage for fear of flying under traditional travel insurance.
- Travelers must opt for the Cancel For Any Reason benefit in order to have the option to cancel a trip due to safety concerns and seek reimbursement for a portion of their trip cost.
- Passengers may file a claim with their travel insurance company if a flight is grounded, delayed, canceled — or they miss a connecting flight due to a common carrier delay, such as a mechanical issue.
- Flight cancellation policies vary by airlines and circumstance.
- Airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight.
Travel Insurance for Airline Mishaps
Passengers concerned about flight issues and the limitations of airline compensation can utilize travel insurance for the following flight-related scenarios:
Flight Delay or Cancellation — when a passenger's flight is delayed or canceled due to weather or mechanical issues travel insurance may offer compensation. This is the most common airline mishap reported by travel insurance policyholders.
Missed Connection or Missed Cruise — when a delayed or canceled flight forces a passenger to subsequently miss a connecting flight or cruise departure, travel insurance may offer reimbursement if the trip is then delayed or canceled.
Lost or Delayed Baggage — when a passenger's luggage is delayed, lost or damaged due to the airline, baggage protection may provide compensation.
Financial Default of an Airline — when an airline ceases service due to financial default, travel insurance may apply in the event a passenger must cancel or delay a trip.
Injury — when a passenger requires medical attention due to an injury during a trip. Travel insurance that includes emergency medical benefits may apply. This would help reimburse expenses for a doctor or hospital visit.
Serious Injury or Death — when a passenger is dismembered or dies due to a flight accident. Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage offer a lump sum in the event a death or serious injury has occurred. Passengers have the option to purchase three different types of AD&D coverage from InsureMyTrip:
Flight Accident Only - if the accident occurs when boarding, disembarking or traveling on an airplane only
Common Carrier Only - if the incident occurring while you're traveling on a cruise ship, airplane, or train.
AD&D For Entire Trip - if an accident occurs anytime during a trip.
This is in addition to any life insurance policy or any potential airline compensation. Travelers have the option to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan with AD&D included or as a stand-alone policy. In addition, some plans offer travelers the flexibility to upgrade limits.
Airline Cancellation Policies
Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.
Airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight. These losses may include such as a prepaid, non-refundable:
- Hotel room
- All-inclusive vacation or resort
- A cruise
- A tour or safari
- Concert or entertainment tickets
Travelers concerned about protecting pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses should buy travel insurance.
Airline Delay Policies
Each airline has its own flight delay policy for passengers stuck at the airport. There are no federal requirements, according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
Travelers concerned about delays should be aware of the following:
- If a flight is delayed, try to learn the reason why to better gauge if the flight is in jeopardy of being canceled. Reasons for delays may include maintenance, fueling, crew issues, or weather. Another common reason is when a previous flight with the same aircraft arrived late, causing the present flight to depart late (Source: bts.gov).
- Some flights will be delayed on the tarmac before or after take-off. As a general rule, DOT prohibits flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours.
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