Does travel insurance cover flight cancellation?

Travel insurance can cover costs if you need to cancel your flight. However, this is usually under specific circumstances, such as you’ve had to cancel your flight or holiday because of an illness or injury. Other valid cancellations may include bereavement or job loss. Find out more below. 

Travel insurance can cover costs if you need to cancel your flight. However, this is usually under specific circumstances, such as you’ve had to cancel your flight or holiday because of an illness or injury. Other valid cancellations may include bereavement or job loss. Find out more below. 

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
2
minute read
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Posted 27 JANUARY 2021

My flight was cancelled (or severely delayed). Do I have flight cancellation insurance as part of my travel insurance?

Usually, you won’t be able to get compensation in the event of a flight cancellation that is caused by strike action, severe weather, or anything else the airline deems beyond its control. That said, it’s always worth checking with the airline just in case.

But your travel insurance policy may allow you to reclaim all your costs if:

  • Your flight is delayed more than 24 hours, or
  • Your flight is cancelled and the airline doesn’t rebook you on an alternative flight within 24 hours.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

A travel traffic light system has been introduced for international travel. From 19 July 2021, trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. However, you’ll still need to fulfil any pre-departure requirements, such as testing. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority.

If a country is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you’re aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, should you have any queries please check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before purchasing to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

My flight was cancelled, and my policy doesn’t cover it. How can I get compensation?

If your flight is cancelled or is delayed by more than three hours, your airline should compensate you. To find out the airline’s specific procedure for making a claim, check its website or call in.

After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU, new rules were brought in to cover the gaps left behind in UK legislation. This means you’ll still have the right to compensation if your flight was between the UK and EU (no matter the airline), or any flight operated by a UK-based airline. Depending on the extent of the disruption you suffered, the amount you could get in compensation can vary.

It’s also worth checking what’s covered by the travel cancellation part of your travel insurance. It could help you cover costs for your hire car, to cancel a connecting flight, or to cover that hotel room you pre-booked.

I need to cancel my seat on a flight. Am I covered?

Your travel insurance could well cover you if you need to cancel your seat on a flight due to unexpected events like these:

  • Unforeseen illness or injury suffered by you or by a close relative, by your intended travelling companion or by the person you were going to stay with when you were away.
  • If you have to attend a court of law as a witness or on jury service.
  • If you are made redundant from your job.
  • If you or your travelling companion is a member of the armed forces, police, fire, nursing, or ambulance services or a Government employee who can no longer travel because authorised leave has been cancelled.]
  • The police requesting you to remain at home or return from your holiday because of damage to your home caused by fire, explosion, flood, theft.

Looking for travel insurance with the right level of cover for your next trip? Compare today and see how much you could save.

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