Does travel insurance cover canceled flights?

Comprehensive travel insurance typically covers canceled flights that delay your trip for at least 3–12 hours. If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours, you may even qualify for trip cancellation coverage, depending on your plan. But if your flight is canceled and rebooked in less than 3 hours, cancellation-related costs likely won't be covered through your travel insurance. And most plans only offer coverage for trip cancellation or interruption due to a flight delay related to inclement weather, strike, or possibly mechanical issues.

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Does travel insurance cover flights that are delayed?

Yes. Travel insurance may cover flights that are delayed, depending on the policy. You must read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to understand what it covers and under what circumstances. Delays must exceed a certain duration, typically 3-12 hours before coverage kicks in.

How does coverage work if your flight is canceled or delayed?

Comprehensive travel insurance plans typically cover delayed and canceled flights via "trip delay" coverage. If your flight is delayed or canceled for a covered reason and not rebooked in a certain amount of time (usually 3–12 hours, depending on your particular policy), you can file a claim by contacting your insurer at the number or website provided in your policy. Depending on your policy, you may qualify to be reimbursed for some or all of the following costs caused by your flight delay, up to the limit stated in your policy:

  • Extra accommodation and food costs
  • Missed trip events that were pre-paid
  • Added costs for meeting up with your cruise or travel group

Some plans may even provide access to assistance services that can make the necessary arrangements for you after a covered delay. Learn more about how travel insurance works.

Should I file a claim through the airline or my travel insurance flight cancellation coverage?

Federal law requires airlines to reimburse you if they cancel a flight or delay it for a certain amount of time and you choose not to travel — the time limit varies by airline. If your delay or cancellation qualifies, file a refund request through the airline. You can still file a claim through your travel insurance for other prepaid, nonrefundable costs caused by the covered delay or cancellation.

Does travel insurance have limits for flight cancellation coverage?

Your travel insurance policy will have maximum payout amounts for each coverage. For canceled flight limits, you should look for the trip delay or trip cancellation coverage limit. It may be a percentage of the resulting costs, or it may be a total dollar amount.

Does "cancel for any reason" travel insurance cover flight cancellations?

Yes and no. Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage allows travelers to cancel their plans for any reason, which could include concerns over flight cancellation. However, many CFAR policies mandate that you must cancel your plans and notify all travel suppliers at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure. If your cancellation occurs within 48 hours of your departure, you'd need to pursue coverage via your comprehensive policy's trip delay or cancellation coverage. For those coverages to apply, your cancellation or delay must be the result of a covered reason as stated in your policy.

Does travel insurance cover costs of switching flights?

Travel insurance may cover the cost of switching flights under specific circumstances such as:

  • A significant flight delay
  • Flight cancellation
  • Missed connection due to the airline's fault
  • Severe weather
  • Medical emergency
  • Other covered events

Your policy will specify what events it covers for flight changes, including required documentation and the extent of the coverage (typically, the cost difference between the old and new flights).

Does travel insurance cover canceled connecting flights?

Yes, travel insurance often covers canceled connecting flights, but this also depends on the terms and conditions in your policy. Coverage typically includes reimbursement for non-refundable expenses and the additional costs you might incur to arrange alternative transportation. The airline may offer you a refund or move you to another flight. The reason for the cancellation must be covered under the terms of your policy.

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Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.