Travel insurance companies gets calls about Boeing 737 Max

Travel insurance providers on Wednesday issued guidance as
to whether customers impacted by the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft would
be covered by insurance.

Allianz Travel Insurance said customers might be covered if
their “departure was significantly delayed.” That coverage would
include meals, accommodations and transportation while delayed up to policy

Any policies purchased on or after March 13, the day the
planes were grounded in the U.S., would not cover delays or losses related to
the grounding, Allianz said.

Both Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, insurance comparison
sites, said on Wednesday before the planes were grounded that they had received
calls from customers with concerns about flying on a Boeing 737 Max 8, the
model of plane involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last Sunday and a Lion
Air crash in last October.

Fear of flying as a result of the crashes is not covered by

“While airplane safety concerns may leave travelers
fearful of flying, being too scared to travel is never a covered reason to
cancel a trip under standard travel insurance policies,” Squaremouth said
in a statement.

The only instance insurance would apply is if a customer had
purchased a cancel-for-any-reason benefit.

Similarly, Squaremouth said, travel insurance does not cover
flight changes to an aircraft that isn’t a 737 Max 8.

Delays, cancellations or flights grounded because of the
situation could possibly be covered, but it depends on a traveler’s policy.

If the traveler has a “common carrier delay” or “common
carrier caused delay” benefit in their policy, it could cover delays,
cancellations or groundings, InsureMyTrip said.

Squaremouth said policies likely wouldn’t cover a grounded
plane, but agreed that delay benefits could cover things like meals or
accommodations caused by a common carrier delay.

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