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Travel insurance interpretation

Tauranga, New...
posts: 275
reviews: 74
Travel insurance interpretation

Hi there. I've been trying to find travel insurance which includes cover for missed flights due to delays with prior flights (as well as typical medical/theft etc) as this could potentially happen to us on our upcoming trip to the US and Mexico. I thought I would ask our usual travel insurance provider, Covermore (NZ) sold via Flight Centre what their cover would be in the event that the following happens:

- We are booked on one ticket AKL -LAX (no ref/no chg)

- We will book separate tickets LAX-NYC (AA) & CUN-LAX (Delta)

- The LAX-NYC flight leaves 4hrs after our scheduled arrival in LAX & the CUN-LAX arrives 4 Hrs prior to the LAX -AKL flight (ie we have a 4 hr "connection" but on separate tickets). These aren't the only options re flight times, but we will get the most out of our trip by using these connections.

- I realise that the airlines won't care if they cause us to miss the later flights.

- The Covermore insurance policy wording is as follows:

5. Missed connection: If during the Period Of Insurance You are on a Journey from or to New Zealand and You miss Your pre-booked connection due to unforeseeable circumstances outside Your control, where You have allowed the minimum connection time between flights as stipulated by, Your airline/s, We will pay the reasonable costs to use alternate public transport services to catch up on Your planned itinerary, or get to a special event suchas a wedding, sporting event or conference. If You claim under this section, You are not entitled to make a claim under any other section of this policy for the same incident.

We will not pay for:

Claims caused by:

1. Transport Provider caused cancellations, delays or rescheduling other than when caused by mechanical failure or strike.

I emailed the company querying if we would be covered if our flights are delayed due to weather, mechanical or another unforeseen incident (why else are flights delayed?), and got the following response:

"You will have provision to claim as long as it was unforseen and you have the minimum connecting time, and it is not one of the “we will not pay for” exclusions. If you miss your international connecting flight back to NZ, you will need to call the Emergency Assistance and we will be able to help you, as long as it is unforseen you will have provision to put in a claim."

So... What do you think? I think we will be covered if fat hits the fan and we miss our flight home - but I have read so often that the insurance companies don't pay out for this.

What detail am I missing? What situation would " Transport Provider caused cancellations, delays or rescheduling" include? At this point nothing is booked.

Cheers

Nzers

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,013
reviews: 23
1. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

"We will not pay for: Claims caused by:

1. Transport Provider caused cancellations, delays or rescheduling other than when caused by mechanical failure or strike."

My interpretation of this is that if the airline cancels or delays your flight because of bad weather then your insurance does not cover you. One partial solution, depending on your final choice of airlines, is that AA will treat separate tickets with other oneworld airlines as through tickets offering a degree of protection.

aa.com/i18n/…oneworld_tkt_policy.jsp

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 11,956
reviews: 239
2. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

If I were the insurance carrier I wouldn't want to take that risk. On its face, it would seem like you have sufficient time. But especially on the inbound from NZ, you have a fair amount of risk in clearing U.S. immigration and customs and re-checking your bags in that time. Who are you booking AKL-LAX? And was there some reason you didn't book a through ticket on that carrier to NYC to protect yourself? Don't need insurance for that one. Even if you are on separate tickets, you should try to get your bags tagged through to JFK. That will save you time in that you can just re-check them at customs and not have to take to the counter.

Good luck.

London, United...
posts: 19,260
reviews: 23
3. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

Can you not just book it as one ticket?

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 47,339
reviews: 61
4. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

Why are you booking separate tickets when booking "multi city" flights would solve the insurance issue?

Are you saving a lot of money this way??

Tauranga, New...
posts: 275
reviews: 74
5. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

The reason we are booking these as separate tickets is that we got a promo deal of 2 for 1 on Air Tahiti Nui which only went AKL-LAX return (for NZ$980 pp - usually around $1800). The deal sold out in record time so there was no opportunity to "think about it". We grabbed the deal and now we have now decided where we want to go having already toured the West Coast of the US. So for four of us the saving is considerable.

I acknowledge that nearly ALL insurance policies sold here in NZ exclude missed connections, BUT Covermore (who are by far the most expensive) have the above wording in their policy which on the face of it should cover us if we are delayed due to Unforeseen circumstances beyond our control ie: weather, mechanical, crocodile on the runway, strikes. I'm just trying to figure out if Covermore are actually offering anything above the others or if due to their policy wording, we actually aren't covered at all.

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 962
reviews: 35
6. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

I would be interested to see how the insurance policy defines a "connection". You don't technically have a true "connection" when they are separately ticked flights. But, if it does cover a missed connection on separate tickets, it specifically does not cover you in situations where the airlines change their schedules, and schedule changes can happen between now and when you are due to travel.

I would not feel comfortable with 4 hours between these flights on separate tickets, especially when you have to clear immigration and customs, claim baggage, likely a change in terminals, check in with a different carrier and then go back through security. All it would take is a change in the schedule by a couple of hours to cause big problems. It will probably work out, but it's about how much risk you're willing to take. And since there are 4 of you travelling, if a schedule change did cause you to miss your flight home and was not covered by your policy, 4 last-minute tickets to get back could be very expensive.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 19,308
reviews: 5
7. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

Firstly, kudos to you for doing your research before committing yourself to possibly short layovers. Can you provide a link to the insurance policy?

From what's posted in the OP I think the description is too ambiguous to be sure. They mention "minimum connection time" where on separate tickets there is no MCT (and MCTs can be as low as 35 minutes). I'd be surprised if a policy would be that generous (MCT on separate tickets). My insurance policy does provide cover for separate tickets (not that I've booked those for years) and the coverage only kicks in if there are minimum six hours between the scheduled arrival and departure.

And in any case I would book an earlier flight for CUN-LAX. Remember you are going to have to clear US immigration and customs on arrival from CUN. Check in for your LAX-AKL flight will close at least 60 minutes before departure, and it could take an hour or (on a bad day) more to clear CPB formalities. Any delay of an hour on that CUN-LAX flight and you would be running the risk of losing your ticket home, which is the one you definitely do not want to lose.

Also remember that the airlines may change the flight schedules, making your layovers tighter and maybe impossible. Personally I'd be looking to have two backup flights and much longer layovers (think contingency not time). The safest thing would be to fly back from CUN the day before.

Edited: 7:35 pm, November 17, 2013
Tauranga, New...
posts: 275
reviews: 74
8. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

Thanks for your replies.

I am starting to get concerned with my 4 hr "connection" at LAX. Seems unbelievable to me as it seems such a loooong time! We can go earlier in the day but rather than a direct flight on Delta it is an AA flight via DWF (where we will clear immigration/customs) arriving in LAX 6 hrs prior to our flight home. I would have preferred a direct flight to avoid further angst about delays (now we have 2 to worry about!). Maybe we will just leave the day before and go shopping in LA for the day... Husband will LOVE that (not).

Here is a link to their policy:

…poweredbycovermore.com/nzcm/files/documents…

nzers

9. Re: Travel insurance interpretation

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