Travel delay coverage is typically available as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan. With coverage for delays, you may be entitled to benefits that will help you with getting back on track with your trip.

Types of Benefits

Depending on the plan and travel insurance company, the travel delay coverage may vary. For instance, your plan may provide a limit of coverage to help offset the costs of an extra night of accommodations and food. Some plans will have services that can help make arrangements to meet your cruise or tour group if your delay results in a missed connection.

If you have children or pets that will not be traveling with you, it may be a good idea to look closely at plans that offer benefits for additional childcare or pet boarding fees incurred in the event your return home is delayed due to a covered event.

While most companies provide coverage through reimbursement, a budget-weary traveler may want to look for one of few companies that may make arrangements and pay for accommodations directly if you encounter an insurable event.

Time Frames

In order to be eligible for travel delay benefits, you’ll need to be subjected to a delay that meets the minimum number of hours outlined in your travel insurance plan. This time frame will vary between plans, but is often somewhere in the 3-6 hour range. Any delay that is less than the designated time frame will most likely not be eligible for reimbursement. Keep this in mind when scheduling flights to connecting flights, cruises and tours. Give yourself enough time to arrive and depart again.

Missed Connection Assistance

If your travel delay makes it so you miss the start of a cruise or package tour, the plan may have coverage to help you meet up with it. Before you purchase a plan and expect coverage, be aware of two things:

  • Limitations of the coverage. If the plan only provides benefits for travel delays, and you are going on a cruise, you may need something more comprehensive. Some plans have specific coverages for missed cruise connections due to a covered delay – look for those.
  • The time between your flight and connection. If you do not allow yourself enough time between your flight and cruise or tour, you may not be eligible for coverage due to a travel delay. The plans’ details will provide this information, but it’s advised to give yourself ample time between your arrival and departure.

Cancellation Options

Some travel insurance plans will provide you with the opportunity to cancel your trip if you are subjected to a covered delay that exceeds a certain amount of time. While each plan is different, in general, covered delays of 24 hours or longer may qualify you to cancel your trip and receive reimbursement from your travel insurance company.

Make sure you have thoroughly read and understand the terms of coverage outlined in your insurance documents to know whether or not this safety net will be available in the case of an unreasonably lengthy delay.