Travel insurance can cover you for missed flights and delays for reasons outside of your control.
It typically will not cover you if the airline is at fault for the delay.
An injury, bad weather and industrial action, are typically considered valid grounds for a claim.
Compare policies with cover for missed flights
Got a quote before?
Does travel insurance cover missed flights?
You are typically covered for reasons outside your or your airline's control.
You are covered for missed flights provided you miss your flight due to an event that is out of your control and is recognised by your insurance provider. This may include a vehicle accident, natural disaster, hijacking or strike. You will be covered under cancellation and trip interruption.
In most cases, missed flight travel insurance only provides cover for flights that are missed due to circumstances beyond your or your airline's control. Circumstances outside of an airline's control such as bad weather and industrial action, are usually considered valid grounds for a claim. Pre-booked accommodation expenses are usually covered in these situations too.
Good to know – if you missed your flight because of mechanical problems or overbooking, your airline is usually responsible for providing compensation or an alternative flight as they were responsible for your delay. In lots of cases, travel insurance can't help you.
Finder survey: What is the biggest concern for Australian travellers?
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023
When won't I be covered?
You're not covered in situations where you are at fault for the delayed or missed flight, for example:
You did not allow enough time to get to the airport before your flight's departure.
You booked connecting flights with arrival and departure times too close.
You missed your flight due to issues with your travel documents and/or passport.
Circumstances such as being caught in a traffic jam on the way to the airport are generally not covered. However, situations such as your train breaking down may be. The reason train delays are covered is because there will be a record of the breakdown, which will provide proof when you're making a claim.
Delays extremely common
Having a flight delayed or cancelled was the most common travel issue (29%) Australians had to deal with when flying in the past 12 months, according to a Finder survey of 1,000+ people.
Missed flight compensation
As part of your travel insurance policy, you might be eligible for compensation for accommodation, transport, meals and other additional costs. These costs may also be recoverable through your airline. However, this is at the airline's discretion and not all airlines will be accommodating.
Make sure you keep receipts of any out of pocket expenses you incur as you'll need to provide your insurer or airline with evidence of these costs.
Don't jump the gun. Be mindful that if you're delayed and find yourself alternate transport without consulting your airline or insurer, there's a good chance you'll lose your chance to recover the costs of your plane tickets.
What other cancellation cover is available?
As well as compensation for missed flights, travel insurance can provide cover for trip interruptions and cancellations of different kinds. Cancellation cover protects policyholders from lost deposits and cancellation fees for prepaid travel arrangements that are interrupted by unforeseen situations. Circumstances that cancellation insurance may cover includes:
Extreme events. Situations where your travel arrangements are affected by natural disasters.
Severe illness or injury. Trip cancellation expenses incurred as a result of a doctor declaring you unfit to continue your journey.
Severe illness, injury or death of a close relative. Trip cancellation expenses incurred because you must return home to be with a sick or dying relative.
Emergency accommodation expenses. Accommodation expenses incurred due to trip delay or disruption.
Alternative transport expenses. Transport expenses incurred in getting to a pre-booked event such as a wedding, funeral or sporting event after your journey has been cancelled or disrupted.
As with missed flight insurance, there are certain circumstances that trip interruption or cancellation insurance will not cover. These include:
Insure-N-Go, CGU and Itrek will provide cancellations cover and medical and emergency costs resulting from such activity.
Pandemic/epidemic. While insurers such as AAMI and iCover don’t provide cancellation cover in the event of a pandemic or epidemic.
Meet our travel expert Angus Kidman
Angus Kidman is the international editor-at-large at Finder. He's an award-winning journalist, avid travel enthusiast and passionate frequent flyer. Angus appears regularly on Sunrise, Today, The Project, Seven News and other TV and radio shows to share his expert tips.
Angus's top flight insurance tips
Flying is quick, but airports are slow. Always aim to be there at least 2 hours ahead of time.
Remember, flight delays that are the airline's fault won't typically be covered by insurance - that's the airline's problem to solve.
Taking out insurance purely to cover the risk missing flights doesn't make sense, but it's a potentially useful extra you'll find in most cover.
Frequently asked questions about missed flights and delays
Travel insurance won't usually cover you if you miss your connecting flight due to a delay caused by the airline. In this case, the liability falls with the airline and it is responsible for arranging an alternative flight for your return.
The airline should provide additional cover for food and accommodation while you wait for your next flight.
Unfortunately, the second airline of your connecting flight is not liable to cover you if the first carrier is delayed. This means you may need to purchase another ticket out of your own pocket.
If you know you're going to miss a flight there are steps you can take to help your situation with both your airline and insurer.
Call the airline ahead of time. Calling ahead will allow airlines to sometimes hold the aeroplane if you are a few minutes late, or if they have to take off, they may move you to the next flight for free.
Get proof of delay. If there is a breakdown on the road, get a police report or if your flights are missed because of a late connection get a written statement from the airline. These will back up any claims you make with your insurer.
Check in online. If you check in online, have picked up your boarding pass, but arrive at the gate late, some airlines may issue a ticket to the next flight for free.
Quite often, airlines will overbook tickets to account for no-shows. Sometimes, when all of the ticket holders do show up, they will involuntarily "bump" or move you to the next flight and compensate you in rewards or by refunding you more than your ticket's cost price. While this is legal, it can be inconvenient for your travel plans, especially if you're travelling on business. The airline will also generally cover you for accommodation and meals if it is required. In these circumstances, there's little that travel insurance can do to help.
Unfortunately, travel insurance will not provide cover if your car breaks down and you miss a day at the resort you are staying at. It is not covered under trip interruption cover.
No, you will not be covered if you miss your flight due to traffic. You may be covered if you are involved in a car accident.
Baggage delay benefit will provide cover for you to purchase clothing, toiletries and other essential items if your luggage is delayed for a specified period of time – usually at least 12 hours.
Gary Ross Hunter is an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Kaplan Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146).
Will you get your money back if your travel agent goes bust before processing your booking? Here's what you need to know.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We are committed to our readers and stands by our editorial principles
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labeling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
We make money by featuring products on our site. Compensation received from the providers featured on our site can influence which products we write about as well as where and how products appear on our page, but the order or placement of these products does not influence our assessment or opinions of them, nor is it an endorsement or recommendation for them.
Products marked as 'Top Pick', 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.