Are Travel Delay and Trip Interruption Insurance The Same?

Travel delay and trip interruption insurance are generally sold as part of a bundled travel insurance plan that includes international medical coverage and some form of trip cancellation insurance.

These multi-faceted plans [called comprehensive travel insurance] are the best option for purchasing low cost travel insurance. They cover basic insurance needs for the majority of travelers planning to travel overseas.

When combined with other types of travel insurance, trip delay and trip inter-ruption insurance cover a wide set of situations that might cause you to have to alter or cut short your trip.

Seasoned travelers routinely con-sider this type of travel insurance plan as the best option, when choosing low cost travel insurance protection.

Although a small number of plans offering international medical cov-erage also include trip interruption insurance, coverage for a travel delay [think missed connection, lost luggage, etc.,] is only sold as part of a comprehensive plan.

Comprehensive travel insurance plans cover you for all types of cancel, interrupt, or delay situations, including medical insurance to protect your health and baggage insurance to protect your stuff.

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To compare travel in-surance rates, plans, and policies, do your research online.

You can simplify this process by using sites known as travel insur-ance aggregators and focusing on their pre-bundled comprehen-sive plans.

Insurance aggregators offer a range of cover-age types and policies, with the best selection of insurance company providers and value-priced plans.

When you've found a plan you like, compare it to similar offerings by several other insurance companies. 

You can then buy travel insurance online directly through the aggregator site from the company offering the best policy for your particular travel scenario.

Read below for the differences between travel delay, trip cancellation, and trip interruption insurance, and why you should consider a plan that includes all three.

Trip Interruption Insurance

Trip interruption insurance protects you in a way similar to trip cancellation insurance - only after your trip has begun.

Cancellation insurance protects you from loosing funds you paid in advance of your trip, should you need to cancel before your trip begins.

Trip interruption insurance protects you in situations that occur after you've begun your travel, such as missed connections, delayed flights, altered tour schedules - even inclement weather.

As we previously wrote, when volcanic eruptions occurred in Iceland a few years ago, flights to and from Europe over numerous routes were delayed for days.

Untold numbers of flights were completely cancelled and never reinstated.

Travelers from around the world were stranded mid-trip - and in many cases, before their trips had even begun.

Scheduled air routes were eerily quiet to, from, and through many European destinations, with the greatest chaos in Europe's northern-most countries.

Travelers who'd purchased the proper trip interruption insurance were protected.

The losses they incurred and their outlay of delay-caused expenses for food, housing, and other travel needs were covered, and they were reimbursed.

Those who hadn't purchased travel insurance – or hadn't included trip interruption insurance in their policy - were on their own, both financially and with their immediate travel needs.

Many travelers lost not only their trips, but thousands of dollars for delayed and cancelled flights, missed connections, and layover costs due to the weather delays from the volcano ash cloud.

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Trip interruption insurance reimburses you for prepaid travel costs and expenses you haven't used, if you're forced to end your trip before its completion.

You're also covered for additional expenses to get you home, like the increased cost of a new airline ticket.

If your traveling companion must leave your trip and return home, but you continue your trip, you’ll be reimbursed for added costs as a now single traveler, if you're forced to alter your reservation from double to single.

If you have to leave your trip temporarily, but are able to rejoin later, you’ll be reim-bursed for associated covered costs.

And - beware the dreaded tour operator default!

Who wants to be stranded overseas with no flight home, no ticket to exchange, and no one to turn to?

Even solid travel supplier companies occa-sionally falter and fail, with customers in mid-trip. 

Trip interruption insurance will step in to cover your losses and get you home, should your travel supplier default, go bankrupt, or otherwise become insolvent, leaving you [literally] holding your bags.

Each of these situations [and more] are covered by trip interruption insurance and can protect you from financial loss, while helping you sort out and solve your at-hand circumstances.

But before you buy, you must research travel insurance plans and policies to know the one you purchase is the correct insurance for your particular travel situation.

Travel Delay Insurance

Travel delay insurance almost always comes into play at the beginning or end of your trip. It's primarily [but not always] used in the result of an airline delay.

While airlines provide limited funds for displaced passengers [especially if an overnight is required], they’re not required to compensate passengers for delays caused by weather-related incidents, equipment & mechanical failures, or glitches in air traffic.  

Travel delay insurance kicks in after a specified period of delay - usually about 6 hours.

Trip delay coverage, first cousin to trip interruption insurance, covers you for out of pocket expenses for delay-related losses or expenditures.

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Covered expenses are usually meals, accommodations, and [local] transportation costs. They're almost always handled as a reimbursement after the fact.

This means you pay your costs initially, then submit a proper travel insurance claim to your insurer to recover your loss.

Suppose your trip is delayed due to an airline strike or some kind of local shut down [which happens all too frequently in Europe].

Flights are quickly overbooked, cancelled, or combined with other flights, re-sulting in missed connections.

Hotel nights are lost, tour days missed, not to mention meals, transfers, and tour components you've already paid for...all gone!

Travel delay insurance will reimburse reasonable expenses, based on a per diem amount, up to the maximum amount of your policy coverage.

This type of overseas travel insurance will also cover lost or stolen funds, pass-ports, and travel documents, each of which can delay your travel. 

Some travel delay policies cover you for civil disorder or specific weather events, especially if air routes are closed due to natural disasters or government imposed restrictions. [Remember the Iceland volcano.]

Coverage is limited to unused portions of any prepaid amounts and out of pocket costs you incur as a result of a delay.

On their own, both travel delay and trip interruption insurance each provide coverage for specific situations that can impact your travel before, during, or at the end of your trip.

Together, they protect not only your trip, but your travel funds and your peace of mind – all for pennies a day.

Word to the wise: be a smart travel planner. Protect your trip and your funds with a low cost travel insurance plan. It's a crucial part of travel planning that experienced travelers seldom ignore. 

You may be lucky and never need it.

But when you do, it's worth it's weight in gold.







For more information on insurance for travel overseas, check the following pages:

Learn which type of International Travel Insurance is important for your trip overseas, and which insurance plans may not be necessary.

Trip Cancellation Insurance protects you when you pay up front, but are not able to travel. Learn which travel insurance plans you need, if you have to cancel your trip.

Buying Travel Baggage Insurance is a smart move to protect your  possessions when you travel. Airlines offer meager coverage, but you're only protected for your flight - not your entire trip.

Travel Insurance Cost is determined by what, when, and where you buy it.  Review your travel insurance plan for need vs. value, and always consider com-prehensive travel insurance over individual plans.

How to Buy Travel Insurance, where to get it, and who to buy it from. Beware travel insurance sellers who can neither advise you, or explain various types of travel insurance plans.

Buying Travel Insurance for Europe is not a clear-cut choice. Consider the possibilities for harm or loss, before you make your decision whether or not to buy Europe travel insurance.


Return to Overseas Travel Insurance


Travel Tip

Bundled travel insurance plans come with different inclusions to meet the needs of different types of travelers. They offer comprehensive levels of protection.

Common types of pre-packaged plans geared toward specific travelers are business travel insurance, senior travel insurance, adventure travel insur-ance, and a multi-generational plan for parents or grandparents traveling with kids: family travel insurance.

Before you purchase a 'one size fits all format', check for a bundled plan that meets your particular travel circumstance. You'll find options as part of a 'package' plan for a better price - that if bought separately, would cost considerably more.


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