Ahh, the great travel cancellation insurance debate. Have you ever had it with yourself? You want to be safe, but you can’t imagine why you’d ever have to cancel your trip?
We did too, until that time when we had to unexpectedly cancel a trip and lost a lot of money in the process (because we didn’t have travel insurance).
The thing about insurance is you can never be sure of whether or not you’ll need it, especially for travel. The hope is that every trip will go perfectly, right? But so often, life throws us curve balls that require changes to the game plan – but they don’t have to be so bad if you’re ready for them. One of the most important ways you can prepare yourself is by opting for a comprehensive plan that includes cancellation insurance for your trip.
There are so many circumstances under which an insured trip can be helpful. Whether it’s a sudden illness, a natural disaster, or inclement weather that derail your travel plans, purchasing travel insurance is the best way to give some much needed peace of mind. Before we get into some common covered reasons to cancel your trip, here’s some background information around your cancellation insurance options.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption: Ensure your non-refundable prepaid deposits and payments you’ve made toward your trip are protected for cancellations and interruptions for your trip. All insurance companies will have a list of unforeseen covered reasons for cancelling or returning home early. You can find these in the full policy description as a reference.
Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR): Exactly like it sounds, you’ll have the flexibility for cancelling your trip for any reason at all. For this coverage to apply, you’ll usually be required to purchase your plan within a certain period of booking your trip. Most likely, your trip cost is not going to be reimbursed in full.
Now that you have those down, here are some situations in which trip cancellation insurance will save the day:
You’re ready to head out on your travels and one of your family members ends up in the hospital. You have to cancel your trip, but you paid a month’s rent for the ticket…what do you do? If you had purchased a comprehensive travel insurance plan with trip cancellation, what would have been a non-refundable trip cost or payment will be returned to you, so you can stay home to tend to your loved one. Nothing like a protected trip to save the day!
While we aren’t huge advocates for changing longstanding plans because of work – everyone needs a vacation, after all – it does happen sometimes. Say, for example, your boss lets you know about an incredible project that just came through the door, that is, unavoidably, a now-or-never opportunity. When you have CFAR insurance, you don’t have to lose too much sleep over the decision. You can cancel the trip for now, and reschedule it for when it makes more sense for you to go, and you can enjoy it guilt-free.
Believe it or not, being called for jury duty that won’t allow you to make your travel plans does not entitle you to a refund under most airlines’ policies. And, on the flipside, having travel plans doesn’t exempt you from jury duty either. But if you’re insured with travel insurance, you can reschedule your trip so you can fulfill your civic duty without being penalized (even if you wish it were the other way around).
No matter how well prepared you are for your travels, it’s always possible that your adventures could go slightly south –which is where travel insurance comes in. Whether you eat something that disagrees with you, or injure yourself on an epic adventure, you’ll want to be covered to first get the care you need with Medical Expense coverage. Sometimes, you just need to get back to the comfort of your own home, before your travel plans have officially ended. With trip cancellation insurance, you can do that without penalty.
These are just a few of the many circumstances under which you might need to change your travel plans at the last minute. With trip cancellation insurance, you can reschedule your departure for a better time, so you can truly enjoy your trip.
For the record, there are a few additional rules and details that we want to share with you when you’re comparing travel insurance plans:
For some policies, CFAR coverage is only available within 14-21 days of initial trip payment.
Make sure you get 100% of your pre-paid, non-refundable expenses insured under Trip Cancellation. If you choose to upgrade to CFAR, note that you will only receive 50%-75% of your trip cost back if you have to cancel your trip.
For most insurance plans, you have to cancel with your tour operator or common carrier 48 to 72 hours before your departure date for CFAR coverage to be valid. Be sure to check your policy documents about this!
Want to get some more information about travel insurance? Click through here.