Does Travel Insurance Cover Cancelled Flights

Written and researched by Michael Kays (Travel Insurance Expert) | Fact Checked by Danya Kristen (Insurance Agent).

Picture this. You’ve been marking days off your calendar for your upcoming trip. All set, packed to the hilt, the excitement is palpable, and then BOOM!

Your flight’s canceled. Yep. Talk about a plot twist! But hey, you’ve got travel insurance, right?

So you’re covered? Well, buckle up, because this journey isn’t as smooth as you’d think!

The Unforeseen Event Curveball

Most travel insurance policies, like your favorite mystery novels, have an interesting twist in the tale. They don’t just cover any flight cancellation – it has to be due to an ‘unforeseen event’. Now, what’s that, you ask? Let’s paint a picture.

You’ve got your grandmother, hale and hearty, suddenly falling ill – unforeseen.

Or the sky decides to throw a weather tantrum, just as you’re ready to fly – unforeseen. Or maybe your aircraft sounds like it needs a good cup of coffee and a nap – yep, you guessed it, unforeseen mechanical breakdown.

The tricky bit here is that each insurer plays this game differently.

Their ‘unforeseen events’ lists might not match up. Like ordering a vanilla milkshake and getting a mint choco-chip one instead. Surprise!

Recommended Plans

✅ Atlas America

Up to $2,000,000 of Overall Maximum Coverage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Medical coverage for eligible expenses related to COVID-19, Trip Interruption & Travel Delay.

✅ Safe Travels Comprehensive

Coverage for in-patient and out-patient medical accidents up to $1 Million, Coverage of acute episodes of pre-existing conditions, Coverage from 5 days to 364 days (about 12 months).

✅ Patriot America Platinum

Up to $8,000,000 limits, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Coinsurance for treatment received in the U.S. (100% within PPO Network), Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions covered.

The VIP Pass: CFAR Coverage

There’s a special golden ticket in the travel insurance world, a veritable VIP pass – it’s called ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ (CFAR) coverage. Suddenly decided to switch your tropical beach holiday for a stay-at-home-and-watch-TV holiday? CFAR’s got your back.

It’s your insurance superhero, ready to rescue you even when your cancellation reason doesn’t make the policy’s ‘hot list’.

But remember, every superhero has a price. This coverage doesn’t come standard; it’s an extra topping on your insurance pizza that you’ll have to shell out a bit more dough for.

Your Flight’s Canceled: What Now?

There you are, all set for your trip, when you get the news.

Flight canceled. What’s your next move? Your first dance partner should be your airline. Give them a call and find out what they’re going to do about this little hiccup. Then ring up your insurance provider and get the claims ball rolling, if your policy covers your situation.


Q1: Does my travel insurance cover all flight cancellations?

No, travel insurance typically covers flight cancellations due to ‘unforeseen events,’ such as sudden illnesses, extreme weather conditions, or mechanical breakdowns.

Q2: What’s CFAR coverage?

CFAR or ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ coverage is an optional add-on that provides a partial refund for cancellations not listed in your policy. It could be a change of plans, or simply deciding you’d rather stay at home.

Q3: What should I do if my flight is canceled?

Firstly, get in touch with your airline to understand your options. If your policy covers the reason for cancellation, contact your insurance provider to start the claims process.

Q4: How does the insurance company define an ‘unforeseen event’?

Each insurer has its own definition of ‘unforeseen events,’ but generally, these include sudden illness, severe weather, or mechanical breakdown of the aircraft.

Q5: Can I get a full refund if I cancel my flight for any reason with CFAR coverage?

Typically, CFAR coverage offers a partial refund, usually 50-75% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip cost. Always check the specific terms of your policy for exact details.

Q6: Does travel insurance cover flight cancellations due to the pandemic?

This depends on the policy and when it was purchased. Some insurers may offer coverage for trip cancellations due to COVID-19, but generally, travel insurance policies bought after a pandemic has been declared may not cover related cancellations.

Q7: What other benefits can travel insurance provide if my flight is canceled?

Depending on your policy, you could also be covered for additional accommodation and meal expenses, alternative transportation to reach your destination, and the cost of pre-booked tours or events you miss due to the delay.

Q8: Does travel insurance cover cancellations due to personal reasons?

Standard travel insurance typically doesn’t cover cancellations due to personal reasons. However, this is where ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ (CFAR) coverage comes into play.

This optional add-on can provide a partial refund for cancellations due to personal reasons.

Q9: Will my travel insurance cover me if my airline goes bankrupt and cancels my flight?

Some travel insurance policies may provide coverage if your airline goes bankrupt and can’t fulfill its services. However, this varies greatly between policies, so it’s crucial to check the terms and conditions of your specific policy.

In the end, your travel insurance is like your favorite sweater – it should fit you perfectly and be just right for the season.

In travel terms, that means getting a policy that aligns with your travel plans, potential hiccups, and covers you adequately.

So, read up, ask questions, and make sure you’re as prepared as you can be. Happy Travels!