Home > Blog > What is Missed Connection Travel Insurance? - 2021 Review

What is Missed Connection Travel Insurance? - 2021 Review

Most of us have had to run from one gate to another in an airport to catch our connecting flight because of a delay with the Common Carrier, like weather or mechanical breakdown.


Unfortunately, many of us have missed connecting flights and were late to a cruise or tour departure. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was Missed Cruise insurance? Well, most trip insurance plans include a benefit called Missed Connection travel insurance.

What is Missed Connection Insurance?

According to policy documents reviewed by AARDY, Missed Connection travel insurance is a benefit used if:

You miss Your cruise or tour departure because Your arrival at Your Trip destination is delayed for a stated length of time, due to:

  • any delay of a Common Carrier (the delay must be certified by the Common Carrier);
  • documented weather condition preventing You from getting to the point of departure;
  • quarantine, hijacking, Strike, Natural Disaster, terrorism or riot.

The company will reimburse You, up to the Maximum Benefit Amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits, for:

  • Your Additional Transportation Cost to join Your Trip; and
  • Your Prepaid expenses for the unused land or water Travel Arrangements; and
  • reasonable accommodation and meal expenses necessarily incurred by You for which You have proof of purchase and which were not paid for or provided by any other source (the maximum amounts paid will be shown in the schedule of benefits listed on your policy documents).

Your delayed arrival must be due to:

  • any delay of a Common Carrier (the delay must be certified by the Common Carrier);
  • documented weather condition preventing You from getting to the point of departure;
  • quarantine, hijacking, Strike, Natural Disaster, terrorism or riot.

These benefits will not duplicate any other benefits payable under the policy or any coverage(s) attached to the policy.

Missed Connection Travel Insurance - Example

Missed Connection Insurance applies if your airline delays you for a stated number of hours, and you miss your cruise or tour departure.

The travel insurance plan will reimburse you for costs related to getting caught up on the cruise or tour. Typically, it means catching up at the next port or the next tour stop.

Something to remember is that the Common Carrier must be delayed the specified amount of time.

For example, you are traveling from Michigan to Florida to board a cruise ship for your exciting vacation in the Caribbean. You leave Detroit on time and land in Atlanta, where you have a short layover.

While in Atlanta waiting for your flight to Florida, you find out that your connecting flight will be delayed due to weather. The flight finally arrives 14 hours later. You get to Florida, and the cruise ship has departed and is heading to St. Thomas, the first port.

Your Missed Connection travel insurance benefits state that if you are delayed 12 or more hours due to covered reasons you can receive reimbursement up to the indicated amount for:

  • the additional transportation expenses and
  • reasonable accommodations and meal expenses.

In this example, you met the conditions for the Missed Cruise insurance benefit.

You would receive reimbursement up to the amount listed on your schedule of benefits for a flight to St. Thomas to catch up with the cruise ship. This benefit will also cover the lunch and dinner you bought at the airport while waiting for your flight. Again, reimbursed up to the limit listed on the schedule of benefits.

Here is another example of how Missed Connection travel insurance works.

You are all set to board an airplane and head to Alaska to go on a much-anticipated Alaskan Cruise.

Inclement weather delays your plane from taking off for 1 hour. By the time you get to the layover airport, your connecting flight has left. You wait for 5 hours and then get to Alaska, where the cruise ship has departed. Not a great day!

You check the Missed Connection benefit listed in your travel insurance, and you see that if you had a delay for three hours or more, your benefits kick in. You might think that you’re all set in this scenario because you spent 5 hours in an airport waiting for the next available flight to get you to your cruise.

However, you would be wrong.

The Common Carrier delayed you for only 1 hour. But the travel insurance benefit requires a 3-hour consecutive delay. Since the flight delay was only for one hour, you cannot claim benefits under the Missed Connection coverage. You must meet the conditions.

Also, keep in mind that the delay must occur because of the Common Carrier and not the traveler. We always advise building some flexibility into your travel plans if joining a cruise or a tour.

Ideally, we like to arrive the day before and relax.

What are “Reasonable” Accommodations and Meal Expenses?

The definition of “reasonable” differs from each travel insurance provider, but in general, you can get a hotel room at the airport hotel provided it is not the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.

The same applies for meals. You can grab a meal at one of the restaurants in the airport or surrounding the airport. However, you most likely would not be reimbursed for lobster, caviar, and champagne. But, you would receive reimbursement for a burger and a beer.

Missed-Connection-Travel-Insurance-2 | AARDY.com

What is a Common Carrier?

You might be wondering if the Missed Connection travel insurance will help if your cousin’s car has a flat tire while he’s taking you to the airport and you miss the flight.

The conditions of the Missed Connection benefits state that the loss must be due to a covered reason and that mechanical breakdown is a covered reason.

However, the policy also states that it must be a Common Carrier delay. A Common Carrier is any land, sea, or air conveyance operating under a valid license for the transportation of passengers for hire.

Typically, airlines, cruise lines, trains, and buses are considered Common Carriers. Your cousin’s car would not be considered a Common Carrier, even if you paid him to take you to the airport.

Is Missed Connection Travel Insurance Only Used If You’re Missing a Cruise?

No, Missed Connection travel insurance would also cover a missed tour departure.

For example, you are flying to Tanzania for an 8-day African Safari.

Because of a mechanical malfunction in the plane, you are delayed 6 hours waiting for repairs.

You arrive in Johannesburg late and subsequently miss your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. By the time you arrive at your destination, the safari has begun. In this case, Missed Connection travel insurance would reimburse you for the added expense of catching up with the safari, plus reasonable accommodations and meal expenses incurred due to the delay.

Or you may be traveling by plane from Connecticut to California, where you’ll be boarding a bus for a 5-day tour along the coast of California.

If your airplane is delayed for the stated amount of time due to any of the covered reasons listed under the Missed Connection travel insurance conditions, you can be reimbursed for your Additional Transportation Cost to join the bus tour.

Each travel insurance plan will be different. Some may list a 3-hour delay of a Common Carrier while others require 12 or more hours of delay.

AARDY always recommends looking at your policy documents before your departure date to know how your coverage works, and the policy’s benefits and limits.

General Travel Insurance Recommendations

In addition to reviewing your travel protection documents, AARDY also recommends that you buy travel insurance early.

Ideally, buy your policy on the same day you place your initial trip payment or deposit. This way, you will be eligible for any Time Sensitive benefits available on the travel insurance policy and have financial protection for your exposure to loss.

What are Time Sensitive benefits?

Time Sensitive benefits are only available during a short period after you place the first payment or deposit on your trip.

They can include a Pre-existing Medical Condition Exclusion WaiverCancel For Any Reason coverage, and protection from Bankruptcy or Default of a travel supplier.

If you wait past the first 2-3 weeks of your initial deposit, you cannot buy these features at all.

Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver

All travel insurance plans exclude Pre-existing Medical Conditions unless you have a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver. Many but not all travel insurance plans offer this Waiver.

The Waiver allows coverage for any Pre-existing Medical Conditions if you are medically fit to travel on the date you purchase your travel insurance plan.

A Pre-existing Medical Condition is any condition for which you had medical treatment, medical testing, or medication changes in the 60-180 days before the date you purchased your travel insurance (depending on the policy you choose).

The only time you can buy a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver is within 10-21 days after you place your first trip payment or deposit (depending on the policy you choose).

In other words, purchase the travel insurance policy within the specified amount of time after paying the first money on your trip (10-21 days). Then a Waiver can offer coverage for Pre-existing Medical Conditions.

The Pre-existing Condition Waiver has a few requirements:

  • Purchase the policy within the 10-21 days of initial trip payment
  • Must be medically fit to travel on the date you purchase the insurance
  • You must insure 100% of all prepaid and non-refundable trip costs

Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance

All travel insurance policies have a list of perils or covered reasons you can cancel your trip. The list typically includes cancellation due to:

  • Unforeseen sickness, injury or death of you, a traveling companion or family member
  • Financial default of a tour operator
  • Mechanical breakdown that causes complete cessation of services, for a specified amount of time, of the Common Carrier on which You are scheduled to travel
  • Inclement weather that causes complete cessation of services, for a specified amount of time, of the Common Carrier on which You are scheduled to travel
  • Natural disaster that renders your destination uninhabitable
  • Terrorism at the destination

Above are a few of the standard covered reasons to cancel your trip.

However, what happens if you must cancel for a reason that is not on the list?  In most cases, you would not be eligible for benefits. This is where Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance coverage would be helpful.

Some travel insurance plans include a Cancel For Any Reason benefit if you purchase within that same time frame, 10-21 days from initial trip payment or deposit. This feature allows coverage for any cancellation reason.

With Cancel For Any Reason coverage, you could cancel your travel plans if you meet the prerequisites:

  • You must purchase your travel insurance policy within the specified amount of time after initial payment on your trip, typically 10-21 days, and
  • You must insure 100% of all prepaid and non-refundable trip costs, and
  • You must be medically fit to travel on the day you purchase the insurance, and
  • You will only be reimbursed 75% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip cost, and
  • You must cancel more than 48 hours before the departure date of your trip. So, you can’t cancel on the departure day or the day before your departure unless it’s for a covered reason.

Cancel For Work Reason Coverage

Most trip insurance policies allow you to cancel your trip for certain types of work-related reasons:

  • If your place of employment is rendered unsuitable for business due to fire, flood, burglary or other Natural Disaster and You and/or Your Traveling Companion are required to work as a result; or
  • You, Your Traveling Companion or Family Member traveling with You is directly involved in the merger of Your employer or the acquisition of Your employer by another company.

Some travel insurance plans will include additional Cancel For Work Reason benefits:

  • You, Your Traveling Companion or a Family Member traveling with You is required to work during the trip. A written statement by an unrelated company official and/or the human resources department demonstrating revocation of previously approved time off will be required.
  • This benefit only applies if you purchase the policy within a certain amount of days, typically between 10-21 days, of your initial payment for the trip.

So, this additional coverage will allow you to cancel for work if you follow the conditions listed on the policy.

What is the Cost of Time Sensitive Travel Insurance Benefits?

The Pre-existing Condition Waiver has no additional cost since it is included in the policy if you meet the requirements.

A Waiver adds to the value of the policy for everyone, especially senior travelers who may be on medications or have had recent medical visits.

Usually, Cancel For Any Reason increases the cost of the plan by 50%.

Cancel For Work Reasons may be included, or there could be an increase in the cost of the plan, typically with a minimal difference.

Travel Insurance Comparison – Will I Pay More Buying From a Comparison Website?

Due to the US anti-discriminatory insurance pricing legislation, AARDY can guarantee that you will not find the same plan at a lower price.

In fact, not even the insurance company can offer you a lower rate.

If you have questions, remember our friendly licensed agents are only a chat, email, or phone call away.

Safe Travels.

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