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Travel Delays – When can you claim on your travel insurance?
Travel delays (ugh!). They are one of the great frustrations of travelling. We often don’t fully understand why they happen (and sometimes we don’t care). But the fact is – they do come around once in a while and there’s not much you can do.
The good news, though, is that while you’re sitting around in the airport, you can potentially get some money back from your Travel insurance.
Travel delays & travel insurance
First, a few ‘common sense’ things about travel delays and travel insurance.
Travel insurance covers you for delays on your departing flight from Australia and your flight returning to Australia – it doesn’t cover delays on your other flights overseas.
Your travel delay cover applies to flights only, not other modes of travel. So, if you’re leaving on a cruise, for instance, you should take out cruise travel insurance instead, which will cover your cruise delays.
You can’t claim if you don’t check in or go on the trip at all. If your flight ends up being delayed and you decide not to travel altogether, you won’t be able to claim (since you didn’t actually travel).
How do travel delay claims work?
In most cases, a travel insurer will pay you a set amount of money (e.g. $100) for every completed block of time (e.g. 12 hours) your flight is delayed.
So, if your flight is delayed by, say, 24 hours – your claim would be $200
The funds can go towards essential items caused due to the delay, such as meals or toiletries you’ve had to buy because you’re stuck at the airport or even something like transit accommodation.
What kinds of delays are covered?
You’re covered if your flight is delayed because of unexpected bad weather, a mechanical problem, a strike or industrial action.
If you want cover for natural disasters, you’ll need to check the appropriate box on the final checkout page when you buy your policy. If you do, you’ll be able to claim for delays due to unforeseen natural disasters under ‘Additional Emergency Expenses.’
Note that if you are aware of anything that could disrupt your flight when you buy your policy, you won’t be able to claim. For example:
Daniel is going to Mexico for a wedding and suddenly finds out that there will be a strike on the day he is flying out. He rushes to take out travel insurance, but because the strike was already public knowledge, he won’t be able to make a claim if his flight is delayed.
How do you claim?
In most cases, all you need is a letter or written statement from the airline carrier that includes the reason for the delay and how long it lasted for.
The insurance provider will then determine how much money you’re able to get back, which will ultimately be dependent on the policy and level of cover you took out.