Listen to Why Missed Connection Coverage Matters in Travel Insurance
It can be quite stressful when you are unable to catch a connecting flight or reach the connecting airport on schedule. Whether the reason for your missed connection was unfavourable weather conditions, technical problems faced by your airline, or a personal reason like a family emergency or misreading the time, the resulting inconvenience can not only be irritating but also expensive. However, if you have purchased a travel insurance policy, missed connection insurance can assist in reimbursing the expenses incurred to resume your journey if an issue like an airport delay occurs. Nonetheless, it is important to note that missed connection coverage does not encompass every circumstance. This article explains everything you should be aware of regarding missed connection insurance.
What is a "missed connection" in travel insurance?
In the realm of travel insurance, when you are unable to catch a planned flight due to unexpected circumstances, it is commonly known as a "missed flight", "missed departure", or "missed connection". This can occur during any phase of your travel, whether it is the outbound or return journey. Various reasons can lead to a missed departure, but only a few are considered valid for compensation. Certain international travel insurance plans offer coverage for missed flights, but only for legitimate and acceptable reasons.
For instance, missing a flight due to a strike, an accident, disruption of public transportation, technical issues with your vehicle, the passing of a close family member, and similar circumstances are generally recognised as valid reasons by most insurers. On the other hand, missing a flight because of oversleeping or misinterpreting the time is not considered an acceptable excuse, and compensation may not be provided.
What happens if you miss the flight due to overbooking or delay by the airline?
If you find yourself unable to board a flight because it has been overbooked, it is the airline's responsibility to arrange your booking on the next accessible flight and offer accommodations and meals if the next available departure is not until the following morning. Moreover, as per the regulations of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), if you have been denied boarding due to overbooking and have not been rescheduled for an alternative flight within one hour, you are eligible to claim compensation of up to Rs 20,000.
Furthermore, let's consider a situation where you miss a connecting flight due to a delay caused by the airline itself, such as technical issues and so on. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the airline to arrange a new booking for you on the next feasible flight and offer necessary provisions like food and accommodation until then.
What is missed connection coverage?
Travelling through connecting flights can be time-consuming and tiring, and if you have a tight schedule with strict departure deadlines, missing a connection can significantly increase your travel expenses and disrupt your plans. While you can't control flight delays, having missed connection coverage allows you to easily seek reimbursement for the extra transportation costs incurred. This type of travel insurance not only applies to connecting flights but also extends to other modes of transportation, such as cruise ships, ferries, and trains.
Missed connection coverage is often included as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan that encompasses various types of coverage, including trip cancellation insurance and emergency medical benefits. However, if a missed connection benefit is not available in the basic plan offered by a travel insurance company, you may add it as an add-on by paying an extra premium.
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What is covered under missed connection insurance?
You are eligible for missed connection coverage under the following circumstances:
When there is a delay of at least 3 hours in your initial international outbound trip
If the delay is officially recognised as a 'common carrier delay'
In the occurrence of a natural disaster or severe weather conditions
If the delay in reaching the departure point is caused by a road accident
In the event of a terrorist attack or aeroplane hijacking
If you miss the connecting flight due to a delay encountered on the previous flight
In case you are subjected to quarantine
For instance, if you find yourself waiting at the airport for three hours due to a technical issue at the airline or bad weather conditions, resulting in a missed connecting flight, missed connection insurance can provide coverage for some of the expenses incurred to catch up with your scheduled trip. This type of insurance typically covers costs such as additional transportation expenses to join your original itinerary or non-refundable trip payments that go unused due to a covered issue outlined in the policy. Depending on the plan you have purchased, missed connection coverage can also reimburse the cost of food and stay within its sub-limit, provided you submit the required receipts.
What is not covered under missed connection insurance?
It is important to understand that most travel insurance policies do not provide coverage for delays caused by the airline. Therefore, you will not be covered for:
Mechanical issues, delays, or overbooking, as the airline is responsible for providing compensation in such cases.
If you miss your flight because you did not allocate sufficient time to reach the airport, including delays due to traffic.
If you decline compensation or alternative flights offered by the airline.
If you miss your flight due to a covered event like severe weather but you book another flight at a higher ticket class. Your insurance will only cover the cost of the original ticket you booked. So, it is advisable to avoid upgrading hastily and expecting full reimbursement.
How to claim a missed connection coverage?
In order to claim for a missed connection coverage, you are required to inform about your situation to the airline and insurance company. While raising the online claim, you will be required to provide your original travel documents, travel insurance policy details, and a valid reason and justification for the delay.
Is it worth buying a missed connection coverage?
The decision of whether to purchase missed connection coverage depends on various factors and individual circumstances, such as trip itinerary, cost of rebooking, timelines, and personal risk tolerance. It is advisable to assess your travel plans and the likelihood of missing connecting flights. If you have multiple connections or a tight schedule, missed connection coverage may provide peace of mind. You should also consider how critical it is for you to arrive at your destination on time. If missing a connection could significantly impact your itinerary, such as missing a cruise departure or important event, the coverage may be beneficial. Furthermore, it is recommended to review your existing travel insurance or credit card benefits to see if missed connection coverage is already included. Sometimes, it may be redundant to purchase additional coverage. Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual circumstances, budget, and risk tolerance. It may be helpful to weigh the potential benefits against the cost of the coverage to make an informed choice.
KETKI JADHAV is a Content Writer at PersonalFN since August 2021. She is an MBA (Finance) and has over seven years of experience in Retail Banking. Ketki specialises in covering articles around banking, insurance, personal finance, and mutual funds and has been doing it for over three years now.
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