There are many reasons that a planned trip may have to be cancelled or delayed. Taking out insurance against these eventualities may be wise as you could gain compensation for a trip that had to be missed or cut short. Whether this is the fault of your party, one of the firms coordinating your travel plans, or entirely unforeseen circumstances will have an influence on the kind of compensation you can get from your insurance provider. Different policies will offer different levels of trip cancellation or delay cover; it is often termed “trip protection” insurance.

Trip delay

Trip delay may be caused by any number of factors, one or all of which may be covered by each insurance provider. Delay may cause the need for extra accommodation or food and the cost of this could be covered by an insurance policy.

Reasons for delay may include:

  • Bad weather or natural disasters
  • Unannounced strikes
  • Hijacking
  • Quarantine
  • Lost or stolen money/travel documents
  • Delay due to a traffic accident en route

Each policy has a daily maximum for reimbursement, and you may be given up to that amount to account for any extra expenses. Most policies also have a set period of time that the trip must be delayed by before you can claim under the “delay clause” on the insurance, this is normally 6 to 12 hours but these times vary from policy to policy and there are exceptions.


There are many reasons that a planned trip could need to be cancelled. Some will be covered by an insurance policy as standard while others may only be covered by a policy that clearly states you may “cancel for any reason.”

Most inclusive holidays will include a low cost “cancellation waiver” which will allow you to cancel for any reason, giving you a full or partial refund on the price of the trip. Cancellation insurance will refund the difference for what your travel provider will refund you so it is important you go to the airline or agency before claiming.

Covered reasons for cancellation may include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Hijacking
  • A fire or flood at your house
  • An accident en route
  • Sickness or injury of one of the party members
  • Being called to serve on a jury

Most policies will not cover cancellation due to:

  • A change in plans
  • A change in financial situation meaning you cannot travel
  • Contractual obligations
  • Self inflicted injuries
  • Sickness or injury due to the use of illegal drugs