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Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Penang, Kuala Lumpur
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2,012 posts
30 reviews
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Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

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:

Leg One:

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):

*****

1cover (www.1cover.com.au):

“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.”

*****

AAMI (www.aami.com.au):

“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.”

*****

Allianz (www.allianz.com.au):

“Hi,

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.”

*****

HBF (www.hbf.com.au):

“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.”

*****

Insure4less (www.insure4less.com.au):

“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.”

*****

Mycover (www.mycover.com.au)

“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.”

*****

QBE (www.qbetravelinsurance.com.au):

“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.

Please read:

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.”

*****

Suresave (www.suresave.net.au)

“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.”

*****

Travelinsurance.com.au (www.travelinsurance.com.au):

“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

Perth
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217 posts
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1. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Thanks for posting all your research Lise - that is fantastic and will save me (and no doubt a lot of others) a lot of time and effort.

I will certainly be saving this info for future reference.

cheers!

Maree

Norfolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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37,081 posts
370 reviews
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2. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Hi

One of the reasons why we normally take out their insurance to cover us for our trip. This supplements the bit that our big insurance policy does not cover. Normally around £10 or AU$20 it covers all the flights with that airline etc.

However, you may also find that civil unrest is NOT covered as a reason for delay - as many found out in BKK recently.

ALWAYS read the small print, you might get a nice surprise or a big shock. Folks from the UK will find similar responses - standard the world round.

Most insurances will only cover the flight from and to your home country, be it AUS or UK.

Bunbury, Australia
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1,243 posts
509 reviews
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3. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Brilliant information, thanks for all your time spent researching. It saves heaps of time for us TA members.

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Penang, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
2,012 posts
30 reviews
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4. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

More than welcome - we did promise a while ago that we would let people know what we found out in our research.

It will be interesting to see if, given the increasing availability and popularity of low cost carriers, more insurance companies will include coverage for the above-mentioned situation.

We shall see :o)

Lise & Sabrina

Perth, Australia
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1,952 posts
221 reviews
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5. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Thanks Lise & Sabrina for all your work that went into this research.

Still confused, but at least I now know which ones to cross off the list and which ones to obtain further information from.

Cheers. Danuta.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
1,100 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Wow thanks

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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43,170 posts
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7. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

I would not hold out much hope of insurance companies covering delays or cancellations due to LCC or point to point carriers. Why should they? The whole concept of LCC is that they contract with you or me to get us from Point A to Point B, not to Point C or Point D. It is our risk if we book another flight from Point B to Point C but miss it because our Point A to B doesn't arrive on time or at all.

If you catch a bus to Point B but it is late in arriving for your onward connection would you expect the bus to wait for you if you had separate tickets or perhaps the bus company from Point B is a different one?

If we want guaranteed connections then we have to pay more for full service airlines.

Sydney
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920 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Thanks so much for posting that valuable information.

Be aware though that there are usually some loopholes in the policy wording regarding "unforeseen circumstances". If it becomes widely known that Air Asia has a tendency to cancel and reschedule flights then insurers will argue that the traveller should have expected this might occur.

A better example is what happened when I bought a policy for my daughter in May, shortly after the Iceland volcano had caused flight problems. I was told she would NOT be covered in event of more activity from that volcano, because "insurance is intended for things you couldn't reasonably foresee". Insurance companies as a whole don't want to pay claims if there is some way to avoid doing so.

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Penang, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
2,012 posts
30 reviews
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9. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Yes, the unforeseen circumstances thing can certainly be a loophole, and in fact one of the companies actually mentioned in their reply that as a flight being delayed causing you to miss the next flight is foreseeable, their insurance would not cover that instance.

Still, we all want to try to cover ourselves as best we can, which is why we got in touch with so many companies. At least this way we could straight away rule out a few, and then read the small print on those that look promising!

Lise & Sabrina

Perth
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740 posts
113 reviews
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10. Re: Travel Insurance & cover for "Point-to-Point Airlines"

Thank you very much for sharing Lise & Sabrina, it is very helpful. On checking most of them don't cover the situation but it looks like 1Cover may.

The relevant section of their policy states

"You are covered up to the amount shown in the

Schedule of Cover for necessary additional

accommodation and travel expenses that you

incur in reaching your destination if you arrive at

any departure point shown on your pre-booked

itinerary too late to board the public transport on

which you are booked to travel as a result of:

a. the failure of public transport, or

b. a road traffic accident or vehicle breakdown

delaying the vehicle in which you are

travelling.

You are not covered for

a. any claim which is excluded under the

General Exclusions applicable to this policy.

b. a claim caused by an event, occurrence or

strike if it had started or been announced

before you arranged this insurance or booked

your trip, whichever is the latter.

c. under this section if you have also claimed

under Section 8 from the same cause.

d. any claim for more than the cost of the original

booked trip.

Conditions

It is a condition of this insurance that you must:

a. have planned to arrive at your departure point

in advance of your earliest scheduled checkin

time and provide a written report from the

carrier, Police or relevant transport authority

confirming the delay and stating its cause.

b. obtain a report from repairers if your claim is

because of breakdown or accident to your

car."

It reads as if it was intended to cover land travel on arrival. The maximum claim under this is $1,000.

There was a member asking about travel insurance on the Air Travel Forum so I directed them here. (Acutally, some of our Threads have been transfered to that forum)