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The Complete Guide on How to Get Flight Cancellation Insurance

Nicolle Harwood-Nash
10 minutes read
Last Updated:

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If you're worried about losing money on a flight you can't take due to unforeseen circumstances, taking out flight cancellation insurance can provide you with peace of mind. In this complete guide, our AirAdvisor legal experts share their knowledge on what this type of insurance is, what it covers, and how to choose the right policy for your needs.

Whether you're a frequent traveller or planning a one-time trip, this guide can help you navigate the ins and outs of cancellation insurance and make an informed decision. So, sit back, relax, and let AirAdvisor guide you through the process!

What is Flight Cancellation Insurance and Why You Should Get One

Flight cancellation travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers you if you need to cancel your flight due to unforeseen circumstances. This insurance can provide you with financial protection and peace of mind by reimbursing you for non-refundable tickets, cancellation fees and other expenses related to your flight cancellation.

There are many reasons you should consider getting flight cancellation travel insurance. For one, it can protect your investment in your trip by providing coverage for unexpected events that may cause you to cancel your travel plans. Depending on the policy, it may also provide you with coverage for delays and other travel disruptions that may occur. In addition to covering the cost of non-refundable tickets and cancellation fees, some policies may offer you additional support, for example, assistance with finding alternative transportation or accommodation if you need to cancel your flight.

Ultimately, having cancellation cover can help mitigate the financial and emotional stress that can come with having to cancel or change your travel plans unexpectedly.

Reasons for Flight Cancellations

Here, you can find some reasons you may be able to cancel your flight under a flight cancellation travel insurance policy:

  • Medical emergencies, such as illness or injury that prevent you from travelling
  • Family emergencies, including but not limited to a death in the family or a serious illness of a family member
  • Natural disasters, for example, hurricanes, earthquakes or wildfires that make travel unsafe
  • Job loss, for instance, if you lose your job and can no longer afford to travel
  • Travel restrictions, such as border closures or visa denials that prevent you from travelling to your destination
  • Unforeseen events, for example, a civil unrest in your home country or destination
  • Personal circumstances, such as a divorce or pregnancy that require you to cancel your travel plans
  • Military duty, for example, if you're called to active duty and cannot travel as planned
  • Theft or loss of travel documents, such as if you lose your passport, making it impossible for you to travel

It's important to note that if the airline cancels your flight, insurance for flight cancellation won't cover the costs. This is because the airline is responsible for providing you with assistance and compensation, as mandated by EU261. Reasons an airline might cancel your flight can include:

  • Unforeseen mechanical issues or maintenance problems with the aircraft
  • Inclement weather conditions, such as snowstorms or strong winds that make flying unfeasible
  • Disruptions to air traffic control, such as congestion, system failures or strikes
  • Issues with crew scheduling, such as unexpected absences, illness or fatigue
  • Security threats or risks, such as terrorism or bomb threats that require additional screening or inspections
  • Unexpected airport closures or disruptions, such as runway closures or power outages
  • Government regulations or restrictions, such as border closures or travel bans
  • Strikes or labour disputes involving airline staff or air traffic controllers

Airlines will typically do their utmost to avoid cancelling flights, as it can be inconvenient and costly for both passengers and the airline. However, in certain circumstances, cancelling a flight may be necessary for safety or regulatory reasons. If you find yourself in a situation whereby the airline has cancelled your flight, AirAdvisor is here to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Claim with AirAdvisor and get up to €600 (£520) compensation. Find out how much you’re owed today.Check Your Flight

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What Does Flight Cancellation Insurance Cover?

Typically, insurance for flight cancellation covers the cost of your flight if you need to cancel due to an emergency or unexpected event, such as a serious illness or injury, a family emergency or a natural disaster. Besides this, cancellation insurance can cover expenses such as unused accommodation if your travel plans change unexpectedly. For instance, if you need to cut your trip short because of a family emergency.

Sometimes, your policy may offer coverage for other expenses related to your cancelled flight, for example, the cost of rebooking your flight, additional accommodation or transportation. Depending on the policy, it may provide coverage for lost luggage, trip interruptions or other travel problems that arise due to flight cancellations

Ultimately, the specific coverage provided by cancellation insurance will vary depending on the policy you purchase and the travel insurance provider. Because of this, it's important to review the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to ensure you understand what is and isn't covered.

What It Doesn’t Cover

While cancellation insurance for flights provides valuable coverage for many unforeseen circumstances, there are certain events that it rarely covers. These exclusions may vary depending on the policy and insurance provider, but some common examples include:

  • Cancellation due to a pre-existing medical condition you did not disclose at the time of purchasing the policy
  • Cancellation because of a known or foreseeable event, such as a hurricane that was predicted in advance
  • Cancellation due to fault of the airline, for instance, aircraft technical problems or crew shortages
  • Cancellation because of a change in travel plans for personal reasons, such as a change of heart or simply deciding not to travel

If you have questions about your cancellation cover, it's always a good idea to reach out to your insurance provider for clarification.

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Types of Insurance

There are two main types of flight cancellation travel insurance policies, which you can explore below:

Trip Cancellation

Trip Cancellation insurance provides coverage for cancellations as a result of specific unforeseen events. For instance, if you injure yourself to the extent you can't travel or are required to attend to an urgent family matter. This type of insurance typically offers coverage for the cost of your flight, as well as any additional expenses related to your cancelled trip, such as lodging or transport. Trip Cancellation coverage may also extend to pre-paid and non-refundable expenses, such as hotel bookings, car rentals and tour reservations. However, it's important to note that this insurance only covers specific unforeseen events that are listed in the policy, and you'll not be covered for any other reasons for cancellation.

Trip Cancellation insurance can be an excellent option if you're concerned about a specific event that could require you to cancel your trip.

Cancel for Any Reason

Cancel for Any Reason insurance provides you with more comprehensive coverage that allows you to cancel your trip for any reason, even if it's not one of the specific events covered under a Trip Cancellation policy. While flight cancellation insurance 'for any reason' policies may offer you a greater level of coverage than Trip Cancellation insurance, it's generally more costly to acquire.

It's important to note that Cancel for Any Reason insurance often has more restrictions and criteria to meet than Trip Cancellation insurance. For instance, you may need to purchase this type of insurance within a certain time frame after booking your trip. You may also need to cancel your trip a certain amount of time before your departure date to be eligible for coverage. Additionally, Cancel for Any Reason insurance typically only reimburses a percentage of the total trip cost, rather than the full cost, and may have a maximum reimbursement limit.

Cancel for Any Reason insurance can provide you with better flexibility and protection if you're concerned about unexpected events that may cause you to cancel your trip.

Counting money

How Much Does The Insurance Cost?

The cost of insurance for flight cancellation can vary depending on several factors. These factors generally include the insurance provider, the level of coverage, the duration of your trip and the cost of your ticket. On average, flight cancellation travel insurance can cost anywhere from 3% to 8% of the total cost of your trip. For example, if your trip costs €1,500, you can expect to pay anywhere from €45 to €120 for flight cancellation travel insurance.

With that said, it's important to be aware that the cost can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned above, so it's best to shop around and compare prices from different insurance providers before making a purchase.

How to Find the Best Flight Cancellation Insurance

Below, you can find a step-by-step guide to finding the best cancellation insurance for your needs:

  1. Determine what type of coverage you require: Before you shop for flight cancellation travel insurance, determine what type of coverage you need based on your travel plans and budget.
  2. Research insurance providers: Look for insurance providers that offer flight cancellation insurance and research their policies, coverage options and pricing. Using online comparison tools or seeking recommendations from friends or family can be a good port of call.
  3. Check for exclusions and limitations: Ensure you read the fine print and check for any exclusions or limitations that may affect your coverage, such as pre-existing medical conditions or specific cancellation reasons that aren't covered.
  4. Investigate additional benefits: Some flight cancellation travel insurance policies may offer additional benefits, such as baggage coverage, trip interruption coverage or emergency medical coverage. It's important to consider these additional benefits when choosing a policy.
  5. Understand the claims process: Understanding the claims process for the insurance provider you choose, including what documentation you'll need to provide and how long the claims process takes, is essential to ensure a surprise-free experience if you need to make a claim.
  6. Purchase your policy: Once you've found the best flight cancellation travel insurance for your needs, purchase your policy and keep a copy of your policy documents and contact information for your insurance provider handy while you travel.

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Does travel insurance cover flight cancellation?

Yes, travel insurance can cover flight cancellation, but it depends on the policy you purchase. It's important to note that not all travel insurance policies will include cancellation coverage, and even those that do may have limitations and exclusions. For example, some policies may only cover cancellation due to a specific set of reasons. It's essential to review the policy terms and conditions carefully to understand what is and isn't covered before purchasing your travel insurance policy.

How to claim travel insurance for flight cancellation?

If you need to claim travel insurance for flight cancellation, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible and follow their claims process. This process is likely to require you to provide documentation such as proof of cancellation, receipts and medical certificates, if applicable. 

It's important to keep all documentation and receipts related to your cancelled flight, as this will help support your claim. Additionally, you should be aware of any deadlines for making a claim and ensure you submit your claim within the required timeframe.

What does flight cancellation insurance cover?

Cancelled flight insurance typically covers you in the case of unexpected events that prevent you from taking your scheduled flight, such as illness, severe weather conditions or a death in the family. Some policies may also cover additional reasons for cancellation, such as work-related issues or a cancelled event. 

Cancel for Any Reason insurance, as the name suggests, provides the most extensive coverage and allows you to cancel your trip for any reason not covered under traditional Trip Cancellation insurance policies. It's typically more expensive but provides greater flexibility and peace of mind.

How to get flight cancellation insurance?

To get insurance for flight cancellation, research reputable insurance providers, compare policies and prices and choose a plan that best fits your needs and budget.

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