Flight Delay Insurance

flight delay insurance

What is Flight Delay Insurance?

Flight delay insurance is a travel insurance benefit that helps you financially if your flight gets delayed for a certain period of time (typically 6 hours) because of a serious issue. This can be a relief if the delay disrupts your plans and you need to cover unexpected expenses.


What Does Flight Delay Insurance Cover?

While the exact coverage can vary depending on your policy, flight delay insurance typically reimburses you for reasonable expenses incurred due to a covered delay. This might include:



  • Meals: The cost of meals you need to purchase if your flight delay extends beyond a certain amount of time (usually 4-6 hours).
  • Accommodation: If the delay forces you to stay overnight at an airport hotel, some plans might cover the cost.
  • Transportation: Expenses for unexpected transportation costs due to the delay, like taxis or transfers to a rescheduled flight.

Things to consider:

  • Minimum delay: Be aware that coverage typically kicks in after a minimum delay period as specified in your policy (e.g., 4 hours, 6 hours).
  • Proof of delay: You’ll likely need documentation from the airline confirming the flight delay.
  • Reasonable expenses: Keep receipts for any covered expenses you incur during the delay. There might also be limits on how much you can be reimbursed per item or per day.

Important Reminder:  Every insurance policy is different. To be sure you understand exactly what’s covered and the requirements for filing a claim, take a close look at your policy wording.  If anything seems unclear, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance provider.



What is not covered by Flight Delay Insurance?


  • Short delays: If your flight is delayed for less than the minimum delay period outlined in your policy (e.g., 4 hours), you likely won’t be reimbursed.
  • Certain expenses: Flight delay insurance typically focuses on meals, accommodation (if needed due to an overnight delay), and reasonable transportation costs. It usually doesn’t cover entertainment expenses or missed prepaid activities.
  • Missed check-in or pre-existing strikes: Flight delay insurance typically won’t cover delays if you miss check-in or if the delay is due to a strike happening before you booked your trip.
  • Government delays: The insurance also wouldn’t cover delays caused by issues with government authorities, like confiscations or detentions.

Do I Need Flight Delay Insurance?

Here’s how to decide if flight delay insurance is right for you. Weight out the following:

  • Travel type: If you frequently travel during peak seasons or to destinations with a higher risk of delays, consider it.
  • Connecting flights: If your itinerary involves tight connections and a missed connection due to a delay could disrupt your trip significantly, insurance might be helpful.
  • Peace of mind: Flight delays can be stressful. Insurance can provide peace of mind knowing you’ll be reimbursed for some unexpected expenses.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

The coverage amount you choose depends on your needs. Consider factors like:


  • Typical meal costs: Think about how much you’d typically spend on meals at your destination.
  • Accommodation costs: If a delay forces an overnight stay, factor in average hotel rates. Consider the capped limit for the plan you choose.

Most travel insurance policies offer different coverage tiers for flight delays (e.g., $80 per day, $100 per day).


A good amount would be 150-200 USD for your total capped limit. Most flight delays won’t be over a day or two.



How Much Does Flight Delay Insurance Cost?

Typically, the expense constitutes a modest portion of your total trip expenditure and is frequently combined with other benefits of travel insurance. A standard travel insurance plan might vary from $50 USD to $200 USD for a one-week trip to Japan. However, this can vary based on factors such as coverage, duration of the trip, and the destination. It’s advisable to obtain a prompt online quote to determine the exact cost.


How Does Flight Delay Insurance Work in a Real-life Example?

Here’s an example:

You’re flying to Thailand from the US and your flight is delayed for 7 hours in Korea.
Your flight delay insurance would click in and cover you up to the limit for every 6 hours. So you can grab a meal before you next flight which will depart in 2 hours.


With receipts showing you spent $20 on meals, file a claim and get reimbursed for $20  (within the limits of your policy).


Flight delay insurance can help ease the financial burden of a travel disruption. By understanding what it covers and how much you need, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your trip!

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