Harish Pai, a 44-year-old businessman who was to travel to the United Kingdom has been continuously calling his insurer to check on his flight ticket refund. The decision by Jet Airways’ to temporarily suspend flying operations until the finalisation of a funding proposal has hit Pai and many others.

But, your travel insurance product will not pay for the losses nor will it make you eligible for a refund.

General insurers have been inundated with calls from travel insurance customers who seek a refund due to the air carrier suspending all flights. However, it is to be noted that no refund or claims are payable by insurance companies.

“No travel product is liable for a claim if an airline voluntarily cancels a flight due to financial troubles. Only if a trip is cancelled by an individual or due to weather-related or medical conditions, is a claim payable,” said the head of claims at a mid-size private life insurer.

Typical travel insurance covers medical emergencies, loss of baggage as well as airline delays that lead to missing connecting flights or leading to an additional hotel stay costs.

Now even self-cancellation of a ticket is being covered. For example, if you decide to cancel your flight ticket due to a change in plans, your insurance will now cover it. HDFC ERGO General Insurance has launched a ‘trip protector’ policy that will provide a financial cover if you cancel a flight or a hotel booking.

This policy, however, is not applicable in case the airline cancels the flight.

In the case of Jet Airways, if one has booked a ticket and has also bought travel insurance, the only possibility is that any part claims for partial payment for missing connecting flights could be raised.

However, all ticket cancellation and refund claims will have to be directly sent to the airline. Insurance also works on the concept of probability. Since the debt crisis situation at Jet Airways had been brewing for almost six months, it was virtually certain that the operations would be halted in the near future. Hence, no insurance claims for travel refunds will be payable in this case.

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