Trip Cancellation Insurance – What is Covered?

Colin Grubb
Feb 2, 2017

 

Travel Insurance financially covers you for a variety of things that can happen before and as you are traveling. As with any insurance there are varying levels of coverage and varying levels of reimbursement. We are going to be taking a look at the common coverage offered by most travel insurance plans.

One of the core policy features to all travel insurance plans is trip cancellation. Trip cancellation coverage goes into effect before you’ve even left the house.

If you’ve bought nonrefundable airline tickets, pre paid a hotel, car rental, etc., and you have to cancel the trip, trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for a percentage of what you’ve spent.     

Reasons for Canceling Your Trip:

Say there is a family or medical emergency, or a family member dies, a hurricane is bearing down on your destination, or the tour operator/cruise line goes out of business, trip cancellation will cover you provided you are in accordance with the stipulations as set forth in your policy.

Other Common Reasons Trips are Canceled or Interrupted

** Carefully review your contract and ask all the questions you need of the company. All companies offer different coverage that may or may not include the following:

Terrorism or mandatory evacuation at destination
Death or hospitalization of destination host
Home or business damaged, vandalized, or burglarized
Jury duty, a required court appearance, or military redeployment
Required to work, terminated, or transferred
Victim of felonious assault prior to trip
Traffic accident prior to trip
Theft of passport or visa prior to trip
School year extension
Legal separation or divorce
Loss of accommodations abroad due to an illness or death of host family or friend

Some reasons claims are denied – Keep these in mind

Hurricane Season
If you planned and paid for your trip when there was a storm in the vicinity that had already been named your claim will be denied. Travel insurance is designed to protect you from unforeseen and sudden events.

Documentation
You cannot just provide your tour operator’s invoice. You must provide thorough documentation of every cost associated with your trip. You must also account for any refunds you’ve already received. This includes all invoices and itemized bills, refund evidence from travel agent, hotel, property managers, Airbnb, etc., officially documented reason for cancellation, originals of unused tickets, and letter from tour operator or travel agent enumerating non-refundable costs and reasons.

Doctor Examination
If you, or someone you are traveling with becomes to ill to go, this is a valid reason to cancel your trip and receive a reimbursement from your insurer.  However, a doctor must examine you BEFORE you initiate the claim and complete a physician statement form. If you just feel bad and cancel the trip without seeing a doctor the claim will be denied.

Didn’t Wait Through the Delay
If you’re frustrated being stuck at the airport and want to cancel the whole trip, you’re going to have to be stuck for a long time in order for the travel insurance to honor the claim. Normally, they’ll only pay if a significant delay eats into more than 50% of your trip.

Some companies offer “cancel any reason coverage” at additional cost. Also, all companies have different policies regarding pre-existing medical conditions. Some do not allow for them at all, some allow for them provided it’s documented they’ve been under control for a certain amount of time. Still other policies allow you to pay extra so that all pre-existing conditions are covered.