WARWICK, R.I., March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel insurance claims advocates at InsureMyTrip are gearing up for a record number of claims following the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets nationwide.
"This is a very rare occurrence and we anticipate that travelers affected by this will be filing claims to see whether travel insurance will kick in," says Gail Mangiante, claims advocate with the Anytime Advocates® program at InsureMyTrip. "We encourage passengers to read their policy and contact us to get clarification on coverage prior to filling out the paperwork. We are also happy to review policies not sold by us, as well."
Due to the extreme circumstances, this event is a bit unchartered territory for travel insurance companies and claim validity may fluctuate by company and policy.
According to InsureMyTrip, these are examples of likely claims policyholders will file and how coverage may respond:
Flight Was Delayed: Travelers stuck at the airport may be entitled to travel delay benefits through their travel insurance. This would help with expenses like meals or accommodations because of a canceled or delayed flight.
For those who missed more than 50% of their trip due to the grounding, there may be potential coverage. This will depend on the policy and how their travel insurance company will respond.
Missed A Connecting Flight: Travelers that miss a connecting flight may be entitled to benefits through their travel insurance. The policyholder must have a "common carrier delay" clause in their policy.
Canceled A Trip Due To Fear: Travelers would be covered if they have travel insurance with a Cancel For Any Reason benefit. This benefit enables policyholders to cancel a trip out of fear — or any other reason — and be reimbursed for a percentage of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.*
Returned Home Due To Fear: Travelers would be covered if they have travel insurance with an Interruption For Any Reason benefit. This benefit enables policyholders to come home early from a trip due to fear — or any other reason — and be reimbursed for a percentage of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.*
*Travelers must meet additional eligibility requirements to qualify for Cancel For Any Reason and Interruption For Any Reason benefits in addition to obtaining the add-on coverage (automatically included in some plans).
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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.
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 protecting pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses should buy travel insurance.
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