Grounding of 737 MAX’s – Travel Delays and Missed Flights

Recently the FAA has issued an order temporarily grounding the Boeing 737 MAX planes from flying in the US skies.  This follows similar orders from many other countries which has basically grounded these planes from flying anywhere in the world.  How does this impact travel insurance?

The answer to that question depends on how it impacts the specific traveler. 

If the traveler is already on their trip and they are directly delayed by the grounding of these planes than they might have coverage under the Travel Delay benefit found in most policies.  This coverage usually includes a specific covered reason(peril) the provides coverage for “common carrier caused delays” of more than a specific number of hours.

However, if the grounding causes the traveler to cancel or interrupt their trip than there is a strong possibility that they won’t have coverage.  Trip cancellation and interruption coverage is a named “peril” coverage that requires the reason that causes the cancellation or interruption to be specifically listed in the policy.  Only a few policies have wording that includes the “mechanical breakdown of a common carrier”.  Even those few policies that have the “mechanical breakdown” peril might not apply if the travel policy was purchased at the wrong time.  

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