Flight cancellations & Travel Insurance

There is nothing more frustrating than your flight being delayed or cancelled. Post-pandemic travel has seen many transport service carriers ramping back up to normal levels of service but this hasn’t come without its fair share of hiccups. Many airlines have reduced capacity and flight cancellations are commonplace, so it’s more important than ever to understand when you’re covered when it comes to your travel insurance with 1Cover. In this guide we detail our cover when it comes to airline cancellations, delays and trip disruptions.  

Airline Cancellations 

If your flights are cancelled prior to you leaving your home, your travel insurance may cover you under the Cancellation benefit.  However, this will depend on the cause of the cancellation.

We cover you when your scheduled transport is cancelled due to severe weather, natural disaster, riots, strikes or civil unrest. If you paid with your frequent flyer points to purchase your airline ticket, cover is also provided, as long as the airline is not refunding your points.  

If your flight is cancelled and you are trying to reach a wedding, funeral, conference, sporting event or prepaid tour arrangements we will pay your reasonable additional travel expenses up to $5,000 to allow you to arrive on time.  

If the flight cancellation means you cannot make your holiday, and you have purchased a policy that includes the Cancellation cover then we also cover you for any recovery for lost deposits or prepaid travel arrangements for things like accommodation and pre-paid tours.  

Don’t forget, Cancellation benefits start as soon as you purchase your policy, not when your holiday starts, so even more reasons to buy your cover asap.  

We do not cover you for cancellations or delays which are at fault by an airline, shipping line, bus line or rail authority as the responsibility falls on the transport provider to supply you with the services you have paid them for. 

Terms and conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please see Policy Wording for full details.

Airline Delays

1Cover policies cover for delays where you cannot make your mode of transport due to an unforeseen circumstance. So if your flights are rescheduled, delayed or cancelled during your trip, you may have a provision to claim under different benefits.

We cover you if your scheduled or connecting transport is cancelled, delayed, shortened or diverted because of one of the following events: strike, riot, hijack, civil unrest, weather, natural disaster or accident affecting your mode of transport up to $2,000.  

We also cover up to $200 for reasonable costs of meals & accommodation if there is a disruption to your journey for at least six hours, and up to $200 for each full 24- hour period that the disruption continues beyond the initial 6- hour delay. You must claim from the transport provider initially, and provide written confirmation from the transport provider of the cause and period of the delay and the amount of compensation offered by them. You must also provide receipts for the additional accommodation (room rate only) expenses incurred.

Scroll to read our handy FAQS when it comes to Airline Delays.

We do not cover you for cancellations or delays which are at fault by an airline, shipping line, bus line or rail authority as the responsibility falls on the transport provider to supply you with the services you have paid them for. 

Terms and conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please see Policy Wording for full details.

Find out what else travel insurance covers here.   

Trip Disruption 

It’s not just cancelled flights that can put a spanner in your plans, plenty of other unforeseen things can turn any holiday from wonderful to woeful. 

1Cover policies cover for trip disruptions when your trips are shortened due to a number of events.

We cover you for reasonable additional costs for accommodation and travel expenses during your overseas trip if your travel companion or close relative in Australia or New Zealand: 

- dies unexpectedly 
- are disabled by an injury or 
- becomes seriously sick and required hospitalisation 

Terms apply, so please check the PDS. 

We do not cover 

- If you were aware before you purchased that your trip was going to be cancelled, disrupted or delayed
- For delays or rescheduling of an airline, bus line, shipping line or rail authority unless it’s due to a strike, riot, hijack, civil protest or severe weather or natural disaster
- If you miss a connecting flight/transport where the stopover, layover or connection originally schedule on your itinerary was less than 4 hours
- If you miss a flight because you didn’t leave enough time to get to the airport
- If you miss a flight because you did not obtain the correct visa or required travel vaccines
- If your travel companion changes their plans or decided not to travel  
- If you were aware of the likelihood of death, sickness or injury of a close relative at the time that you bought your policy.
- If there is a financial collapse of an airline, travel agency, tour operator or accommodation provider. Or for a claim when your tour operator or wholesaler is unable to complete your booking because there were not enough people to go on the tour.
- If you are already due compensation from your airline, accommodation or service provider.

Terms and conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please see Policy Wording for full details. Find out what else travel insurance covers here.   

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flight FAQs

  • What Happens If I Miss My Flight Or If Flights are Delayed/Cancelled?
  • In the first instance, you should contact the airline to see if any alternate arrangement can be made or if any compensation may be offered.  You should retain any documentation provided by the airline or receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses which you may incur as a result of the delay or cancellation so that you can submit them should you need to make a claim. We do not cover for cancellation, delays or rescheduling which are at the fault of the airline as the responsibility falls on the transport provider to supply you with the services you have paid them for. 

  • What should I do if my flight is delayed?
  • If you find yourself in this situation, first contact your carrier to learn what travel options you have. You should obtain written confirmation from the carrier detailing the reason for the cancellation or rescheduling of your transport in case you want to make a claim for unexpected losses.  Once you know your options you need to minimise your costs. If you know you'll be spending the night, we don’t recommend treating yourself to a 5 star hotel when the rest of your trip is 3 star, we don't cover the difference in cost arrangements above the standard you'd booked at for the rest of your trip. 

  • Am I Covered If My Flight Is Cancelled By Rescheduling Or Maintenance By The Airline?
  • For fault of the airline such as schedule changes, aircraft maintenance or staffing issues, any refunds or re-arrangement of flights is the responsibility of the airline. We provide cover for unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, natural disaster, strikes, collisions or if you become sick or injured and are unfit to travel. Please see the PDS for full details.

  • Can I Claim For The Hotel Cost If My Outbound Flight Is Delayed?
    • If your flight is delayed for more than 6 hours and you are unable to return home for the delayed period the Disruption to Journey benefits provides cover for reasonable costs for meals & accommodation up to $200 for the initial 6 hour period with an additional $200 for each additional 24 hour period that the disruption continues.

  • Can I Claim If I Miss My Connecting Flight?  
  • It depends on the reason that you miss your connecting flight. Travel Insurance will cover you if you miss your connecting flight due unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, natural disaster, strikes, collisions or if you become sick or injured and are unfit to travel. We do not cover for missed connecting flight that were fault of the airline as it is their responsibility to provide you with the service you have paid for. If you miss a connecting flight we recommend seeking compensation from your transport provider.

  • If My Flight Is Cancelled, Can I Book With Another Airline And Claim?
  • It depends on the reason your flight was cancelled. If you decide to book with another airline because of your original flight was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances such a strike, riot, hijack, civil unrest, weather, natural disaster then you may be entitled to claim. We always advise you to contact us first before paying out any additional travel expenses.

  • Am I Covered If I Miss A Flight Due To No Covid Vaccination?
  • Many countries have requirements that need to be met when entering, such as covid testing, vaccination passports and quarantine regulations. It is your responsibility to be aware of the requirements needed for your destination as if you are denied travel or entry to your destination we are unable to cover you. You should always make sure you check the smartraveller website before you travel to ensure you understand any restrictions, travel warnings and recommendations relating to any country you intend visiting.




Worldwide Flight Cancellation Compensations

Support Varies From Country To Country, So Get Up-To-Speed On Where You Stand On Compensation Depending On Your Travel Destination. 

Aussie law requires for your flights to be rescheduled if your flight is overbooked and you are bumped. If the airline cancels your flight, most airlines will book you into the next available flight for no additional costs or provide a credit for future travel. You are unlikely to be compensated if you miss a flight having not had the appropriate vaccinations or not followed the travel requirements for the state/country you are visiting. When your flights are delayed, most airlines provide meal and hotel vouchers depending on the length of the delay. You may not receive compensation from your airline if the delay or cancellation is due to circumstances such as extreme weather conditions, political instability, risks, security and unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

New Zealand

For delayed or cancelled domestic flights because of issues like mechanical faults, airline staffing problems, or overbookings, NZ airlines are required to compensate you with expenses for food, transport and even further missed flight connections. You can claim up to 10 times the cost of your ticket with the airline, or the cost of the delay (whichever is the lower amount).You are unlikely to be compensated for delays or cancellations outside of the airlines control such as extreme weather events. Find out more here.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled you are eligible for compensation including meals, accommodation and phone calls depending on the number of delayed hours, when you were notified and the distance of the flight. If the cancellation occurs because of unexpected circumstances compensation may not be available, but a refund may be offered. Learn more about your rights here. 

Due to Brexit, EU rules on air passenger rights do not apply to flights from the UK to the EU if your flight was operated by a UK carrier or another non-EU carrier.

You’re unlikely to receive compensation for any losses that occur from your flight being delayed, however, if you’re involuntarily bumped you may be compensated. Learn more about USA flight rights here.

You may be entitled to compensation if a domestic flight within Indonesia is delayed for more than four hours. If you are involuntarily bumped off your flight the airline must find you an alternative flight or provide you with food and accommodation. You are not likely to receive compensation for delays or cancellations due to weather or mechanical problem

Tips To Avoid Flights Or Delays Affecting Your Trip

  • Don’t buy the cheapest flight
    Many cheaper fare flights do not come with options which allow you to change or cancel your booking giving you flexibility to move your trip if you should need. It’s always a good idea to understand your airlines small print when it comes to cancellation fees and surcharges.

  • Book on the red eye
    It’s not a sure thing, but generally speaking, early morning flights tend to experience less delays than those later in the day. So if you can handle the early alarm, book flights at the start of the day to try to avoid any delays.

  • Don’t put luggage in the hold
    Staff shortages have seen long delays at luggage collection points at airlines. If you can avoid luggage going into the hold you can save yourself time at either end of the flight.

  • Leave plenty of time
    A breakdown on the way to the airport or having to go back for a forgotten passport can really put a spanner in the works of your travel plans. When preparing for your holiday, make sure you leave enough time for any unforeseen hiccups that could affect getting to the airport on time. Weather can also be unpredictable, so make sure you are prepared for any eventualities that could affect your flights. 

  • Get evidence of delays and cancellations from your airline
    To make any flight delay or cancellation claim, we’ll need you to get the airline to provide us with a letter showing evidence of the travel disruption. You’ll need this in order to claim for any out-of-pocket expenses.


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