The grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes is likely to cause a spike in travel insurance claims, InsureMyTrip said in a press release.
“This is a very rare occurrence and we anticipate that travelers affected by this will be filing claims to see whether travel insurance will kick in,” said Gail Mangiante, claims advocate with the Anytime Advocates program at InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance brokerage based in Warwick, R.I.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the jets grounded in the United States after two Boeing 737 Max 8 jets crashed less than six months apart. More than 40 countries have grounded the planes or banned them in their airspace, according to the Associated Press.
InsureMyTrip said whether consumers actually have coverage for canceled flights depends on the claims policies of each travel insurance carrier.
Travelers stranded at airports may be able to claim expenses for meals and accommodations caused by canceled or delayed flights. Policyholders may be eligible for reimbursement of a portion of their prepaid travel costs if they miss more than 50 percent of their trip because of the grounding, but that depends on the policy and how insurers respond. A missed connecting flight may trigger coverage if the policy has a common carrier delay clause.
Consumers who cancel a trip because of fear may have coverage if they purchased a policy with a Cancel for Any Reason benefit.
InsureMyTrip said flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.
Airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight, the company said.
*This story ran previously in our sister publication Claims Journal.