What is Trip Cancellation coverage?
Sometimes, travel doesn’t go according to plan and that can mean you have to unexpectedly cancel your trip. In that situation, having trip cancellation coverage can help minimize any losses from your plans going awry.
Trip cancellation coverage protects your financial investment in case you can’t go on your trip for a covered reason. Increasingly nowadays, your travel expenses—whether airfare, cruise, tours, vacation rentals or hotels—must be paid in advance and may be partially or fully nonrefundable in the event you can’t go on the trip. The travel companies are generally not going to be very sympathetic to your plight—they will stick to their cancellation policies. If your trip is in 100% penalty, you’re probably not getting that money back from the airline or hotel.
What’s the difference between Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay coverages?
We understand that insurance terminology can be confusing, but we’ll try to clear it up for you.
Trip cancellation covers the value of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs before you depart on your trip. Oftentimes airlines, tour operators, vacation rentals and even hotels require you to pay in advance, and those payments can be 100% nonrefundable. If you need to cancel your trip you could lose all of your prepaid expenses, including deposits. Travel insurance can reimburse you if you cancelled for a covered reason. Those can include things such as sickness, injury or death of you, a family member or a traveling companion; a terrorist incident in a city on your itinerary; natural disasters making your destination uninhabitable; mandatory evacuations due to hurricanes; riots and civil disorders, and many more. Keep in mind that these need to be unforeseeable at the time the policy is bought. Check the policy for full details.
Trip interruption covers you once you actually start your trip. If you have to return home early due to an unforeseen reason, you could lose most or all of your nonrefundable payments (hotels, tickets, tours, theme park admission, etc.), plus you could be on the hook for additional airfare to return home. Again, if the interruption occurred for a covered reason, you can be reimbursed for those lost prepaid expenses, plus the new travel costs associated with your trip back. The covered reasons are very similar to those for trip cancellation.
Trip delay applies when you’re on the trip, and you are delayed for a set number of hours and have to pay out of pocket for a hotel room, meals or local transportation. Your travel insurance policy can cover these expenses, if the delay is caused by a covered reason.
What is Trip Cancellation and what does it cover?
Trip cancellation covers unforeseen events that cause you to cancel your trip prior to your departure date. Examples of these include sickness, injury or death of you, a family member or traveling companion, unforeseen natural disasters, inclement or severe weather that affects your journey, a terrorist incident, or jury duty, and other unforeseeable events. In all of these cases, you’d be able to seek reimbursement for your trip cost thanks to trip cancellation coverage.
Examples of nonrefundable travel expenses that would be covered by this insurance include all payments to any airline, travel agency, tour operator, cruise line, vacation rental, or travel supplier in general; hotel reservations that you’ve prepaid; flights that are not flexible or refundable; and even theme park tickets.
What does Trip Cancellation insurance not cover?
So, you might be wondering, what does trip cancellation insurance not cover? It doesn’t cover foreseen reasons you may want to cancel a trip, such as changing your mind about a family vacation, canceling because your financial circumstances have changed, or sickness resulting from a pre-existing medical condition. (Note, with battleface it’s possible to get coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. There are certain purchase requirements, such as buying your policy within 15 days of initial trip deposit and insuring your full trip cost.)
If you would like maximum flexibility, consider buying Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which truly lets you cancel your trip for any reason and recover a percentage of your non-refundable trip costs. At battleface, the percentage you will be refunded is 75% of the total insured trip cost (50% in FL). Like coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, Cancel For Any Reason has certain purchase requirements, such as purchase within 15 days of initial trip deposit. Note that CFAR may not be available in all states.
You may be wondering if trip cancellation insurance coverage includes losses caused by COVID-19. battleface offers coverage if you, a traveling companion, or a family member develop an unforeseen COVID-19-related sickness before your covered trip and meet the policy requirements for coverage due to sickness. However, if you decide to cancel your trip because your destination suddenly has an elevated COVID-19 risk, that would likely not be a covered reason. You can find more information on battleface’s COVID-19 coverage here.
How much does Trip Cancellation insurance cost?
The cost of Trip Cancellation coverage is usually a percentage of the total trip cost and may be based on the length of the trip, the destination, the full trip cost, the traveler’s age, and other particulars. Considering that you may stand to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in the event of a cancelled trip, the coverage is well worth the small percentage of your trip cost.
battleface is unique in that we offer Trip Cancellation as a standalone coverage. Most other travel insurance companies only sell it as part of a package of benefits. You may not need or want all those other benefits, so why pay for them? We do recommend that you consider Trip Interruption coverage as a complement to Trip Cancellation—it offers many of the same covered reasons and protects you once you start your trip.
What about trip cancellation coverage offered through a credit card?
Several of the most competitive cards — often marketed to business travelers — offer trip cancellation insurance as part of their benefits package for card holders in exchange for the annual fee.
Not every credit card offers this benefit, and generally they will only cover expenses actually charged to that card. There may also be a limit on what will be covered.
If you are relying on your credit card for coverage, you should check that your card actually offers that benefit, and also find out exactly what is covered, and up to what amount. Compare what you can get through your credit card versus what battleface offers –you may be surprised to find that your credit card only protects part of your expenses.
The bottom line
No one wants to think of their trip being canceled when they book it, especially if it’s a long-awaited vacation or bucket list destination trip. Travel always holds an element of uncertainty, so it’s best to gain the extra peace of mind by ensuring trip cancellation coverage is included in your insurance policy. Most of us can’t afford to lose large amounts of money if we have to cancel our vacation.
battleface gives you the flexibility to choose only those coverages, including trip cancellation, that make the most sense for your particular situation and actual needs.