Flight Insurance

Read time: 6 mins

What is flight insurance?

Flight insurance commonly known as trip cancellation insurance is a type of travel insurance that may offer financial protection for losses related to air travel. With flight cancellation insurance you may be eligible for the reimbursement of the non-refundable, insured cost of your airfare, should you be forced to cancel your trip for an emergency that’s covered by your policy. Common emergencies include sudden illness, an accident, a family death, or urgent work matters that prevent you from making your flight. An emergency could also occur while you are flying. You cannot simply cancel your trip because you no longer wish to go. You may be able to buy single flight insurance as a stand-alone or as a part of a travel insurance plan through a Canadian travel insurance provider. You can also purchase insurance for flights through major airlines. However, when you purchase cancellation insurance for flights it won’t be listed as flight insurance in your benefits plan. This is because there are several different benefits that apply to flight cancellation such as if the cancelled flight delayed your trip, interrupted your trip, or cancelled your trip entirely.

How much is flight insurance?

Flight insurance cost varies and is dependent on trip details. Flight travel insurance can be purchased through a Canadian travel insurance provider or through a major airline as flight-only insurance, or as a part of a travel insurance plan that includes flight coverage. Some credit card companies also offer protection if you book your flight(s) using your credit card.

What does flight cancellation insurance cover?

Flight cancellation insurance generally covers unexpected events such as:

  • A medical emergency or death of the insured, insured’s travel companion, or family member.
  • Cancellation or delays caused by unforeseen weather conditions such as adverse weather or natural disasters (if eligible).
  • Urgent work matters such as loss of employment.
  • A legal obligation such as jury duty or being subpoenaed to appear in court as a witness.
  • Cancellation of transportation due to a mechanical failure.

To be prepared, ensure you review your policy to understand how coverage may apply to flight cancellation. Flight insurance may provide reimbursement for the non-refundable cost of your flight tickets if the cancellation falls under a covered reason. Some travel insurance providers and policies may offer coverage for flight delay. Requirements for this coverage do vary and may depend on a specified amount of time in your policy.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation of flights?

If your flight was cancelled due to a covered event listed in your policy, your flight cancellation insurance may reimburse you for the insured, non-refundable cost of your trip expenses, including airfare.

What is the best travel insurance for delayed flights?

All-inclusive travel insurance coverage with trip delay, interruption, and cancellation benefits may offer the most robust travel protection, although travel insurance is dependent on individual needs. Review the details of the policy carefully before purchasing to ensure flight delay is a covered benefit. If you experience a flight delay and are faced with unexpected expenses, speak to the airline to find out if there are any refunds or credits available to you. If your flight(s) was purchased on your credit card, you may be eligible for refunds or credits through your credit card provider if trip cancellation insurance is applicable to your card. Trip cancellation insurance typically acts as secondary payer meaning that the benefits will come into effect following the airline’s reimbursement, subject to terms and conditions outlined in your policy.

Does travel insurance cover flight changes?

Yes, travel insurance may provide coverage for flight changes in situations outlined in your policy. These may include delay of your original flight, a missed connection, or covering the cost of an alternate flight. Be sure to read your policy document to understand all the conditions where travel insurance may apply.

Does travel insurance cover missed flights?

Many Canadian travel insurance providers offer some form of coverage if you miss your flight, whether that be your initial outbound flight, a connection, or an inbound flight bringing you home. Claims for a missed flight may be accepted if there was a public transportation delay, road accident, car breakdown, or adverse weather conditions. Be sure to review your policy as eligibility for such claims varies for each provider.

Does travel insurance cover cancelled flights due to weather?

Yes, travel insurance may offer coverage for flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions. For example, if a snowstorm cancels all departing flights from your local airport for more than 24 hours, you can cancel your trip and file a claim under the trip cancellation benefit for reimbursement of your non-refundable trip costs. Alternatively, you won’t have to cancel your trip if you can find another way to get to your destination. In this case you can file a claim for reimbursement of the cost of alternate transportation under the trip cancellation benefit. Please note that once a travel advisory has been issued or a storm has been named, your claim could be denied. For example, if a hurricane forces you to return home early from a trip, you may be covered under your trip cancellation policy. If you are travelling to a destination during the season of storms, wildfires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, you should consider purchasing travel insurance and look into what events would be covered.

Can you buy travel insurance after you book a flight?

Yes, you can buy travel insurance after you book your flight. However, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance soon after making any initial payments or deposits on your trip. Travel insurance that includes the trip cancellation benefit could help you recover non-refundable trip costs if you need to cancel your trip prior to departure for a reason covered by your policy. If you only require travel medical health insurance coverage, you can purchase a travel medical health insurance plan any time prior to leaving for your trip.

Do you need flight insurance?

Whether or not you need flight insurance depends on your travel concerns. If your prepaid, non-refundable flight is a trip cost that you are unwilling to lose, or if you cannot cover unexpected expenses caused by a flight delay or flight change, then flight insurance may be a wise decision.

Is travel insurance worth it for flights?

This is entirely up to you. Flight travel insurance may be worth the cost for its potential to help cover expenses when your flight does not go according to plan. However, if you are spending money on other non-refundable trip costs that go beyond your flight, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance that comes with additional coverages such as an all-inclusive travel insurance plan.

What is flight accident insurance?

Flight accident insurance provides coverage should you be injured, lose a limb, or lose sight due to an accident while in flight. There is also coverage available for accidental loss of life due to an accident with the aircraft.


DISCLAIMER: This guidance in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding travel insurance and the benefits which may be available. It does not guarantee coverage for any traveller. The information in this article reflects the most up-to-date information available at the time of publication. If you have questions regarding specific coverage details or available travel insurance plans, please contact our licensed customer care team.