Travel Insurance: Am I covered if an airline strike occurs?

You don’t like to think about strikes happening, especially when you’re about to hop on a plane and take off on that well deserved holiday. Unfortunately strikes can occur at any time and can cause havoc for travellers, especially during busy holiday periods.

Below we’ve answered some of the most burning questions you may have around coverage, what to do in case of a strike, and added some tips in case your trip is affected by a strike.

Does World Nomads travel insurance cover strike action?

In the event of cancellation, delay, or restriction of your travel arrangements by your travel service provider due to a strike our policies may cover you depending on your specific circumstances and the plan you’ve purchased.

If you purchased a plan and received your Certificate of Insurance before a strike was announced, you may be covered. If you purchase your plan after a strike has been declared, there is no coverage available as the strike is a ‘known event’. 

When the union releases a formal statement declaring the day and time of the strike, that is considered an announcement. Policies purchased after this announcement will not be covered in the event of delays and any incurred costs.

If you want to know what you’ll be covered for in the event off a cancellation, read this article which will also give you further advice on terms, conditions, limits and exclusions.

What coverage may be included in the event of a strike? 

The Explorer Plan offers cover for missed connection in the event of a strike, provided you purchased your travel insurance plan prior to the announcement of the strike action. There is no cover under our Standard Plan for delays or interruptions due to strike.

If you’ve purchased the Explorer plan, and you must cancel, rearrange, resume or catch up to your original travel plans following a specific Insured Event related to a strike, then you may be covered for the following:

  1. Cancellation, delay or restriction of your travel arrangements by your travel service provider due to strike: You’ll be covered for reasonable and necessary cancellation or trip interruption expenses.
  2. Cancellation or rearrangement due to an unavoidable strike affecting the specific region you’ve booked to travel to or are already staying in: You’ll be covered for reasonable and necessary cancellation or trip interruption expenses.

Please be aware you’ll need to provide verifiable written evidence of the timing and circumstances of the event (in this case the strike), the actual costs incurred and that any pre-paid expenses were non-refundable according to the conditions of your service provider. Where applicable, this includes:

  • Notice from the travel supplier or airline carrier confirming the reason, timing and duration of the strike causing the delay, cancellation or interruption;
  • Any compensation or offers made to you; and
  • Confirmation of your claim and settlement with them, if applicable.

Note: If you are prevented from returning to your home in New Zealand before the end of the period of insurance by the delay, cancellation or restriction of your scheduled public transport, an extension of up to 48 hours applies to your policy. If you will be delayed longer than 48 hours, you may be eligible to extend your policy prior to the end of the period of insurance (see ‘Extending your policy’), or you can buy a new policy.

For more information around delayed and missed flights click on our Help Centre article - Travel insurance: delayed and missed flights - to get the latest information.

What can I do to minimise travel disruptions?

While it’s frustrating, you should always remain patient and show respect for the officers who are attempting to maintain travel operations. Here are some tips to help make life easier:

  • Allow more time to arrive if you know there are strikes occurring that may cause delays, but not prevent you from travelling.
  • If you can use eGates then do so, as this may give save you time and alleviate further delays for other passengers.
  • Checking in online in advance of arriving at the airport will also reduce potential waiting times got travellers.
  • Keep in mind that other ad-hoc evens can have further impact on delay times (i.e. weather, increase in passenger numbers etc).

What should I do if my plans are affected? 

If you think your travel plans might be affected by a strike, you should first: 

  1. Contact your airline, or tour operator to check if tourist services are affected.
  2. If you need to change your travel arrangements, contact your airline, or travel agent for assistance in the first instance.

What if I need to make a claim?

In the event of a claim, you must do everything you can to minimize and reduce the cost of the claim and provide all supporting documentation of the event and expenses incurred. See our article on how to make a claim for more information.  

Emergency Assistance around the clock

If you’re in an emergency situation, injured or sick and need help, contact the 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team as soon as possible. Their details are listed on your Certificate of Insurance.

If you have any other concerns, please contact us.

What's not covered?

Travel insurance isn't designed to cover everything. Common claims we see where there's no cover for trip delay, interruption, or cancellation include:

  • Any expenses for delays, rescheduling or cancellation of scheduled public transport services arising from reasons within a carrier’s control, including but not limited to maintenance, repairs, schedule changes, service faults, corporate takeover or industrial activity other than a strike
  • Delays that are less than the minimum amount of time specified in your Policy Document
  • Delays on a return flight
  • A loss arising from a change of mind, disinclination or reluctance to travel
  • A loss arising from travelling to, planning to travel to, or choosing to remain in a country or region that is the subject of a ‘Do not travel’ warning issued by the New Zealand Government (see
  • You not providing receipts for your expenses
  • Delays caused by expected and foreseen events
  • Costs that are unnecessary or extravagant
  • Expenses that are covered by your carrier
  • Any other reason listed under the General Exclusions, which are applicable to all sections of the policy.

This is only a summary of cover and does not include the full terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document in full, so you understand what is and isn’t covered. If you are unsure about your level of travel cover, please contact us for help.

The information provided is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute financial advice in any form and should not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining professional advice that is specific to your circumstances. You should seek advice from a financial advice provider if you would like further information about whether a particular product is appropriate for you and your circumstances.

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