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I found that some airlines tend to delay their flights often. Is there any travel insurance that exists for short delays between 30 min - 3 hours in the European area?

Those delays are the most irritating, especially closer to 2-3 hours because you are late and you seem powerless.

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    Hmm, which expenses would you expect such insurance to cover? – Henning Makholm Aug 22 at 11:34
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    Travel insurance is there to reimburse expenses that you incur, not to compensate you for inconvenience. – David Richerby Aug 22 at 22:45
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    Not quite travel insurance but Wizz Air sells an On-time Guarantee for 10 EUR: if your flight arrives at your destination with a delay of 1 hour or more, or if it was cancelled, you will receive €100 WIZZ credit that you can use for 90 days. Of course, it's just WIZZ credit, not real money... and most people do not book flights frequently enough to find this useful. But it's an option. Note their UK departures on average in 2017 were 23 minutes late... – chx Aug 23 at 3:51
  • @DavidRicherby - If it is profitable, somebody will provide the service. – Glen Yates Aug 23 at 21:30
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The thing to bear in mind with insurance is that you always expect to pay more in your premium than you would expect to get paid from the policy. If you're insuring against a 30 minute delay for a single flight, the cost of the cover will be very close to the amount you would get paid in the event of a delay, since as you observe, such delays are very frequent. For example, if the flight is delayed a quarter of the time, and the payout in the event of the delay is €100, the premium would have to be more than €25. As you've observed, insurers do not include any coverage for such minor delays in their comprehensive travel insurance policies, simply because it is unlikely to make any financial sense for someone to insure against such a common event.

Insurance only makes sense when you are insuring against a relatively rare event which would be financially difficult for you to deal with, and a minor delay does not fall into these parameters.

Having said that, there do seem to be a few products available to insure against shorter delays. Fizzy from Axa and Connect from Chubb both require you to input your flight details and then use delay statistics to calculate your premium. Fizzy pays out from a 2 hour delay, and Connect seems to allow you to vary the delay required for payout from half an hour, but both platforms won't insure every single flight, presumably in cases where good data isn't available or the flight is often delayed. I put details for an upcoming flight I have which is often delayed into Fizzy, and I was offered a €4, €6 or €14 premium for a €50, €70 or €200 payout respectively in the event of a 2 hour delay.

Given the insurer has to make money on this product, I believe you would be better off putting a similar amount of money into a jar each time you fly, and "paying out" to yourself when you get delayed.

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    +1 for the "insure yourself" point of view – Hilmar Aug 22 at 18:40
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    If you fly often enough that you expect to encounter multiple such delays, the "insure yourself" option is the only option that makes any sense. – dwizum Aug 22 at 20:31
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    I can imagine such a thing being useful if you have an important meeting which – when missed – leads to a loss of money (or business opportunity etc.) – Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 22 at 23:57
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    Insurers don't in general like to ensure for risks where the damages are hard to quantify because they raise the risk of "moral hazard" where someone over-insures and then deliberately creates a situation which will trigger a payout. – Peter Green Aug 23 at 1:01
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    @PaŭloEbermann When you miss a meeting which loses you a business opportunity, your damages typically start at $10'000. Getting $500 back will be a small consolation then. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 23 at 8:19
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The most sensible way to insure against a flight being late by 2-3 hours is to pick a flight which arrives 3 hours earlier, or travel the day before. The "premium" here is your convenience, since you will be pointlessly waiting for 3 hours if the flight arrives on time (or spending a night at an hotel which you could otherwise have avoided).

Important business meetings and costly travel itineraries (like a flight to catch a cruise ship) are well worth the trouble.

  • That's fine if you're not constrained the previous day, but if it means travelling on the weekend for business or taking an extra day of holiday it's actually costing you a lot of your own time – Chris H Aug 23 at 11:44
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    @ChrisH I don't think a business can make you travel on a weekend against your will. I'd expect my company to rather reschedule the meeting if my plane is late, or not to schedule important meetings on a Monday morning in the first place. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 23 at 12:06
  • they can, sort of, in practice, by putting it in the contract with weasel words like "occasional" and promising time off in lieu when the customer wants you on site Monday morning and the early flight is tootight. Then senior management deny the lieu day because you weren't travelling for a full day. And all sorts of similar tricks that they know they can get away with – Chris H Aug 23 at 12:15
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    @ChrisH My point is, if that Monday Morning meeting is so important that relying on a plane being on time is not enough, someone has to pay the premium. Your boss will pay his (insignificant) share with that extra hotel night, and you'll have to pay the rest with your time. Indeed it's unpleasant if that happens often. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 23 at 12:30
  • I don't really disagree, but it's one of those areas where companies take advantage of their junior staff, believing the same arguments you give – Chris H Aug 23 at 14:13

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