Now, when you have to cancel your trip, you could be out loads and loads of money without travel insurance coverage, but if the airline cancels a flight you’re not likely to get a lot of comfort from them.
In fact, in the U.S., if the flight is canceled for a reason that is within the airline’s control, which may include mechanical failure of the aircraft, then you’re likely to receive some compensation – perhaps a meal voucher for one of those airport food vendors. If the flight is canceled for a reason that is not within the airline’s control – say, inclement weather – then you’re on your own.
This is one place where travel insurance really can help – especially for families.
If the delay is caused by a reason that is covered in your travel insurance plan, then you’ll be entitled to reimbursement for meals, additional lodging, and transportation expenses. In some cases, you’ll even be reimbursed for a movie rental to help settle the kids down. In many cases, travel insurance plans provide a daily limit from $100 to $300 per day for a certain number of days (usually up to 5) if your travel plans are delayed more than a certain number of hours (anywhere from 3 to 12).
So, when the airline can’t help, you’re travel insurance can. See our description of travel delay coverage, and a chart that defines the coverage – company by company, plan by plan.