Missed Departure cover allows you to claim back any travel and accommodation expenses incurred as a result of missing a connecting flight out of the UK or a return flight home.
Delayed Departure cover provides an insurance against any delays to the flight either out of the UK or back home, including an inconvenience payout and any travel and accommodation expenses incurred as a result.
What do I need to know?
The following events are generally included under Missed Departure, although always check the policy details of your provider:
- Breakdown of car or mechanical failures.
- Protests, public disturbances and civil unrest.
- Bad weather.
- Public transport failure.
- Aircraft or ship breakdown.
- Personal accident.
Note that Missed Departure and Delayed Departure are not always offered together. Some providers will only offer cover for Delayed Departure, and some only for Missed Departure.
Is it included on all policies?
These events are not generally included on the cheapest levels of cover, but they are very common on the more expensive levels. You are often presented with the option to add them on or take them off your policy in order to change the premium.
Are there any exclusions?
A number of exclusions apply which you should be aware of before travelling.
- If you miss the flight due to a protest or civil unrest, you will only be covered if the protest was made public after the insurance was purchased.
- You will have to do all in your power to make it to the flight on time. This will mean that ‘heavy traffic’ will not be seen as a viable claim.
- No cover will be provided for repairs or towing charges to your vehicle.
- You are only covered for similar travel and accommodation expenses as the ones that you have already arranged.
How important is it?
Missed Departure and Delayed Departure are not mentioned in the Foreign Office advice regarding required levels of travel insurance, as they are not seen as essential. Far more important events to be covered are Medical Expenses, Personal Accident and Personal Liability, as these can incur huge charges when abroad.
Having said that, it is certainly a useful precaution to take out if going on an expensive holiday or travelling in a large group, as it could save you a lot of money.
Making a claim – what details do I need?
If making a claim, you will need to provide:
- Details of the scheduled departure time and the actual departure time.
- The repairer’s report or police accident report in the event of a breakdown.
- Full details of why you failed to catch the flight.
What counts as a delay?
A flight is only delayed if it is at least 12 hours late, after which you will be entitled to a payout. After this, you will usually be entitled to a further payout for every full hour of waiting.
However, if you are delayed by over 12 hours you will sometimes be given the option of abandoning the trip, which usually comes with a greater level of cover.