Trip Cancellation Insurance 
Explained

While the term trip cancellation insurance seems fairly straightforward in and of itself, there are actually several distinct components to this type of low cost travel insurance that make it worth considering.

Trip cancellation insurance is a broader term for a type of travel insurance often sold as part of a package, known as comprehensive travel insurance

Somewhat different [but usually included in the same policy] are travel delay or trip interruption insurance, as well as travel bag-gage insurance

While trip cancellation insurance is frequently sold in conjunction with international medical coverage, the other two types of coverage aren't.

But it’s important to look for all three types of coverage, bundled as a single unit and included in the afore-mentioned comprehensive policies.

Amsterdam Flower Stall In Winter

The difference in cost for buying one, vs. buying all three, is miniscule, when included as part of a packaged or bundled plan.

Each part provides travel insurance coverage that protects you in the event you’re unable to complete your trip. 

But each offers a slightly different kind of protection, when circumstances result in your trip being interrupted [cut short], delayed, or cancelled altogether.

When purchased according to policy timelines [usually within a specific time of making a non-refundable deposit or final payment] these three types of international trip insurance will reimburse you for a wide array of covered losses for both prepaid and out-of-pocket expenses.

What Trip Cancellation Insurance Covers

Trip cancellation insurance is coverage for up-front, non-refundable travel costs you pay before you travel.

Suppose you make travel plans well in advancee of your travel date, say several months to a year before you plan to travel.

In order to secure your reservation, you're required to prepay a significant amount of money that's either non-refundable or subject to a financial penalty, if you cancel.

In the intervening time - from the time you pay to the time to travel - you, your traveling companion, or a close family member suffers a serious health reversal, a debilitating injury, or a major illness. 

You have no choice but to cancel your trip.

Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for the upfront travel costs you’ve already paid.

[Be sure you understand the restrictions of the policy you buy, ie., who is and is not an included family member.]

This type of low cost travel insurance also protects you in the event of an acci-dent, that causes you to become incapacitated and unable to travel.

It will reimburse you for prepaid travel costs if you, your traveling companion, or a close family member passes away, and you can not travel.

Chimneys and Parapets in Cambridge England

Other situations generally included as part of trip cancellation insurance [but not limited to] are:

  • Scheduling conflicts that arise due to a change in work or school requirements, military duty, or jury duty.
  • A financial reversal, including loss of your job, personal bankruptcy, or burglary to your home or business.
  • Severe weather occurrences or natural disasters, affecting your home or your travel destination.

Consider these recent catastrophic weather events and the havoc created for travelers around the world: earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunami - even volcanic eruptions!

Things that are generally not covered under most trip cancellation insurance plans are:

  • A pre-existing medical condition;
  • Changing your mind about your trip;
  • The weather turns foul at your destination;
  • You re-assess and decide you can’t afford your trip;
  • A travel advisory is issued for your destination, due to riots or civil unrest.

For some of the more legitimate reasons listed above [such as a travel advisory or pre-existing health condition] you can often purchase travel insurance to 'add on' to your policy for an additional fee to cover these events .

Coverage options vary by policy and by company.

Before you buy travel insurance, do an online search for insurance aggregators [listed by name on several of our other travel insurance pages] and compare travel insurance plans, policies, and rates.

These sites allow you to research multiple travel insurance sellers, compare policy costs and inclusions, add on specific coverage to fit your needs, and chat with an agent to answer your questions.

Cascading Lisbon Rooftops

Once you've found the policy and inclusions you need to cover your trip, always buy travel insur-ance online - not from a travel agent or the tour company you buy your trip from.

Agents know little about the policies they sell, and you generally won't buy correct coverage. 

Policies sold by the com-panies who operate your tour will protect you only for the loss of your tour - not for baggage, health, or trip interruption.

Depending on your travel needs, when you buy insurance online, you can cus-tomize your coverage to fit most situations that would put you or your travel dollars at risk, including supplier default. 

Trip cancellation insurance is affordable, low cost travel insurance. When com-bined with the additional coverage of a comprehensive plan, your trip will be protected, and so will your health and travel funds.







For more information on international trip insurance, see the following pages:

Learn which kind of International Travel Insurance is important for your trip, and which overseas coverage may not be necessary.

Consider both Trip Interruption Insurance and Travel Delay Insurance for your overseas trip. Travel with peace of mind, for pennies a day.

Buying Travel Baggage Insurance is a smart move to protect your personal possessions when traveling.  While airlines offer meager coverage, you're only protected for your flight - not your entire trip.

Travel Insurance Cost is determined by what, when, and where you buy.  Review your travel insurance plan for need vs. value, and consider com-prehensive travel insurance over individual plans.

How to Buy Travel Insurance, where to get it, and who to buy it from.  Beware travel insurance sellers who can neither advise you, nor explain travel insurance plans.

Buying Travel Insurance For Europe is not a clear-cut choice. Consider the possibilities for harm or loss, before making your decision whether or not to purchase travel insurance.

Return to Overseas Travel Insurance


Travel Tip

Whatever form of trip cancellation insurance you buy, make copies of all important related documents, including the type of insurance, the policy number, covered options, your proof of payment, and your confirmation  of purchase. 

Leave a complete copy at home with a friend or neighbor. Take another copy with you, keeping it with your important travel documents [passport, tour tickets, etc.]  If you travel with an electronic device, keep emails of the same information accessible as back-up, in case you need them while traveling.

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