Travel Insurance

Travel Delay

Frequently Asked Questions

A) Will I be able to claim under my travel policy if my flight is delayed for whatever reason?

Your travel policy will NOT cover you for all kinds of delay. Most travel policies cover delay only for specific reasons AND if the number of hours of delay is more than the minimum hours of delay provided for under the policy.

The common events provided for in most travel policies that cover delays are:

i) Strike, riot or civil commotion / industrial action
ii) Adverse weather conditions
iii) Mechanical breakdown / structural defect of your scheduled public conveyance

Delays caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, are not considered “adverse weather conditions” and are generally not covered unless they are specified in the policy.

SCENARIO 1

You were scheduled to fly from New York to Singapore but the flight was delayed due to severe snow storms in New York. If the delay exceeds the stated minimum hours of delay under your policy, you will be able to claim for delay benefits.

SCENARIO 2

In the same scenario where you were scheduled to fly from New York to Singapore but the flight was delayed due to issues relating to the business operations of the airline. This is not covered as it does not fall within the insured events. Operational reasons such as crew rotation to meet statutory regulations on maximum working hours, rescheduling of flights to suit capacity demands or inability of the airline to prepare the airplane on time for the scheduled departure time are the airlines’ business risks and will not be covered by insurance policies.

SCENARIO 3

You were supposed to board a train from Frankfurt to Rome. You waited at a platform for 3 hours and then discovered at the last moment that you were at the wrong platform! Despite rushing to the correct platform, you still missed the train and had to wait 12 hours for the next train. There is no cover in the above scenario as the “delay” was not caused by any of the named events. There was in fact no delay as your original scheduled train left on time.

B) What kind of benefits can I claim for if my journey was delayed due to an insured event?

Benefits under this section are usually on a (i) cash benefit basis for most policies – this means that the policy will pay you an agreed amount depending on the hours of delay up to a maximum limit regardless of how much you have incurred. However, some policies are structured on a (ii) reimbursement basis – meaning that the policy will reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred up to an agreed limit. Make sure to check your policy wording to verify the type of benefits offered.

SCENARIO

You were scheduled to fly from New York to Singapore but the flight was delayed due to severe snow storms in New York, and the next available flight is 24 hours later. You incurred expenses of $300 for an additional night of accommodation, meals and telephone calls. If your policy is on a cash benefit basis, paying $100 for every 6 hours of delay up to a maximum of $1,000, you will receive $400 in cash benefits for the 24-hour delay i.e. $100 x (24 hours / 6 hours). You will not be able to claim for the expenses incurred on top of this cash benefit. If your policy is on a reimbursement basis up to a maximum of $500, you will be reimbursed $300 provided you are able to substantiate your expenses with supporting documents and receipts.

C) What documents do I need to submit to file a claim for travel delay or flight misconnection?

You will need a letter from the airline to substantiate your claim. The letter should state the reason for delay and information on the original and actual travel dates and times. You can approach the airline counter at the airport to obtain the letter if the airline does not provide you with such a letter, or you may write to the airline concerned upon your return. However, this may prolong the claim process so it is advisable to attempt to obtain the letter directly at the counter. You may also approach your tour group leader for assistance if you are part of a tour group.