We promised a while ago that we would publish on this forum the results of our searching for an Insurance Company (in Australia) who would cover for the possibility of delays in the situation where the delay of one Air Asia flight results in missing a second Air Asia flight (particularly given that as a point-to-point carrier Air Asia will not place you automatically on the next flight if you miss yours, even where it is due to their delay - you will need to pay for tickets on the next available flight).
A lot of the Insurance Companies only cover such an instance when the delay is due to issues such as weather or natural disaster, civil unrest etc. In other words, if your flight is simply delayed due to the plane arriving to your departure point late, or due to mechanical fault, or due to airline rescheduling or cancelling, you are not covered for costs incurred in getting yourself onto a new flight assuming you miss your next flight due to the delay.
We sent an email to a number of Insurance Companies asking:
“Enquiry re: Missed Departure
We are travelling once or twice a year to Malaysia and onwards with Air Asia and have recently learned that the travel insurance company we usually utilise does not cover us in the event that our flight, for example, from Perth is delayed resulting in our missing our onwards flight from Kuala Lumpur.
Can you advise, please, whether you have any travel insurance policies that include cover for such an instance. For your information, we note that we always allow a minimum of 3 hours between arrival with Air Asia at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur and departure from that same terminal onwards.
Example for our (upcoming) planned trip:
Depart Perth 06:35
Arrive Kuala Lumpur 12:30
Leg Two (same day):
Depart Kuala Lumpur 16:05
Arrive Hong Kong 20:00
If the Perth flight were delayed, as Air Asia is a point-to-point carrier, they do not immediately put you on the next available flight, you are required to purchase a new ticket on the next available flight (which may or may not be on the same day - in the case of the above example, the next flight would be the next day at 06:20).
If this event were to occur, would any of the travel insurance policies you offer cover this event (ie. cover the cost of purchasing a new airline ticket, and additional expenses that may be incurred such as overnight accommodation)? If yes, please can you advise which policy or which policy level of cover would (for want of a better word) cover this type of event.”
For all of your information, these are the responses we received (in no alpha order - note that we have included from which company the response has come and their website, we have excluded any names etc, listing just the applicable part of the response which hopefully will help a few out in making insurance decisions):
“Unfortunately this is a case, if your flight has been delayed or cancelled due to mechanical breakdown or its cancelled because they did not have enough people on that flight it will not be covered. We only cover reasons such as weather, natural disasters, strike, riot or hijack.”
“Please be advised that you would be covered for a missed flight due to delays of your connecting flight as this is integral to your trip.
Please refer to the AAMI Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement for your claimable entitlements regards delays and cancellations.”
Thank you for your email
In the example you have noted, it all depends on the reason the flight is delayed.
An example where there would be provision to claim is if your flight was delayed due to weather or a natural disaster.
If the airline was just delaying the flight there would not be provision to claim.”
Columbus Direct Travel Insurance (www.columbusdirect.com.au):
“We have cover for missed departure which applies if you arrive at your initial departure point, from Australia, to late to commence your trip. We do not cover Missed departure once you have departed from Australia.”
Cover More (www.covermore.com.au)
“In the circumstances you have outline below we may be able to cover for your loss dependant on the circumstances surrounding the delay.
Under SECTION 3: Amendment Or Cancellation Costs it states that
We Will Not Pay For
Claims caused by:
1. Transport Provider caused cancellations, delays or rescheduling other than when
caused by strikes.
However if the delay was due to Weather or other means than it is possible our policy would be able to cover this.”
“Firstly thankyou for your enquiry today and yes we do cover missed flights. (We) can be contacted on (133 423) so we can discuss the best type of cover for your needs.”
“The situation you have described below would be covered subject to the policy terms and conditions under section 4 “Missed Departure / Connection” on page 6 of the attached PDS.”
Medibank Travel Insurance (www.medibank.com.au):
“Our policies do include coverage for Alternative Transport Expenses and Travel Delay Expenses. I recommend you read out product disclosure statement sections 13 and 14 to make sure our policy suits your needs fully.
We do not cover refunds on pre-paid travel arrangements where a carrier has delayed or rescheduled.”
“Our policy will provide cover for additional accommodation and travel expenses if transport services have been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled. Please refer to Benefit 13 TRAVEL DELAY EXPENSES in the Product Disclosure Statement. A copy is attached. You would need to select the Plan A Comprehensive International policy for this cover.
There is also information on our website in the Travel Alert page (see Red link on Home page) which provides examples of where and when you can claim for events outside your control.
In reference to flights, you have noted that the Air Asia flights you have chosen are individual flights and if you fail to arrive on time for the second flight, even though it is the same carrier, you are required to purchase a new ticket on a later flight. This is a foreseeable situation and is not covered by the travel insurance policy and would be excluded from any claim when the second flight left on schedule.”
“In regards to your enquiry, the QBE product does cover Travel delay, please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement .Please refer to the General Exclusions as any Mechanical Breakdown is not covered.
GENERAL EXCLUSIONS : Page 31- Point 19 (which states “a loss caused by, arising directly or indirectly from or in any way connected with the cancellation of travel arrangements due to mechanical breakdown of transportation”).
TRAVEL DELAY : Page 37- Point 5 A
If you need any further information please contact QBE on 1300 555 017.”
“It depends on the reason that your flight was delayed. If the flight was delayed due to severe weather, natural disaster, hijacking, riot, strike or civil commotion there is provision to cover for that however, if the flight is delayed due to the carrier, such as delays, rescheduling or cancellation of scheduled transport services due to maintenance, repairs, rescheduling or service faults, industrial activity other than strike or civil commotion, there is no provision for cover.”
“Please follow the link I have provided to our website and enter your travel details to view the policies available, http://www.travelinsurance.com.au/.
Please refer to the summary of benefits for each policy so that you are aware of a the cover provided.
The comprehensive policies do provide cover for travel delay and cancellation etc.
There is provision to claim for additional meals/accommodation if you scheduled transport from Australia or overseas is delayed for a reason outside of your control, under the ‘Travel Delay’ section.
Please refer to the section for Cancellation as there is provision to claim for the costs of rescheduling your journey because something unforeseen and outside of your control occurs.
Please read the respective insurer’s policy document (PDS – available online) so that you are aware of the cover provided and the exclusions of the policy. If you have any further questions about a particular policy do not hesitate to ask.”
World Nomads (www.worldnomads.com):
“We will not pay a claim that arises because of delays, rescheduling or cancellation of scheduled transport services caused by the carrier.
Please read the policy wording for the full terms and conditions of the coverage offered, including any applicable exclusions, conditions and limitations to cover.”
Hope this helps, it would seem that very few of the insurance companies cover the possibility that an ongoing flight is missed due to Air Asia (and similar low cost carriers) being point-to-point carriers. There are a couple who do, we can’t comment on what they are like as, as yet, we haven’t used them… yet...
Hope this helps,
Lise & Sabrina