Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for prepaid expenses should a trip be cancelled. However, you must show a valid reason to claim this cancellation benefit. Read this to understand how the process works and increase your chances of a cash reimbursement from your travel insurance.
In particular, hotels and airlines may not fully reimburse you for prepaid expenses. This is where travel insurance, with trip cancellation coverage, steps in and saves the day. This coverage is very popular because it covers incidents that are normally beyond your control. Be aware, though, that in order to claim this cancellation coverage the reason must be valid and stated under specific coverages in the policy.
Valid Reasons to Claim a Cancellation Benefit
Valid reasons to claim a reimbursement under your cancellation coverage could include the following:
1. The death, illness or injury of you or your traveling companions.
2. A terrorist incident at your destination.
3. Your house is destroyed by fire or a natural calamity.
4. A supplier goes belly up and declares bankruptcy.
5. You lose your job.
6. You suffer an accident while on route to the airport.
7. An earthquake destroys your hotel or resort.
8. Teachers go on strike, extending the school year.
Different plans will allow for cancellation for different reasons. In other words, you can expand or limit the reasons for cancellation depending upon the plan you buy.
Your Sneezy Pet Isn’t Covered
This cancellation insurance coverage will not cover you for invasions and civil wars. That’s covered by the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines.
Should you discover that no snow is forecast for your skiing trip, you probably won’t be covered.
Your pet catching a cold won’t be covered.
Changing your mind about a trip will also get a thumbs down from your insurer. For that you need coverage that’s called “Trip Cancellation Insurance for Any Reason.”
Purchase Your Travel Insurance Within 21 Days
Don’t dawdle around and wait to purchase your insurance. By purchasing your travel insurance within 21 days of making your first downpayment for your vacation, you are granted a number of additional options. Here’s a list of benefits:
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Any Reason
If you purchase a specific plan within 21 days, you may have the option of upgrading to a Cancel for Any Reason plan.
Remember, the Trip Cancellation plan will only cover specific instances as stated in the policy. Cancel for Any Reason will engage coverage for nearly any reason, including you don’t feel like going.
Be aware that the Cancel for Any Reason plan will reimburse you a specified percentage of your total trip cost. In other words, you won’t be reimbursed 100% of your trip cost. And the Cancel for Any Reason coverage must be triggered 48 hours before departure.
Many insurers will allow you to buy trip cancellation insurance only. Check with your agent to ask for this coverage only.
A Waiver on Pre-Existing Conditions
This concerns emergency travel medical insurance coverage. By signing up within 21 days, the exclusion covering pre-existing medical conditions can be waived. Read your plan carefully to understand this exclusion and waiver.
Cancel for Work Benefit
This is also known as the boss wrecking your vacation.
For example, you’re about to embark on your dream vacation to the Caribbean. The boss calls as you’re packing the luggage, the kids and your partner into the cab. He tells you that a new client has offered to buy a major service, and you’re needed to explain the benefits to that client.
If you purchased your travel insurance within that 21 day window, you’re covered and will be reimbursed for prepaid vacation expenses. This coverage is called Cancel for Work Reasons. Ask your insurer to include this coverage when making the travel insurance purchase.
This coverage will also be triggered when you’re required to relocate your residence for work.
Papers, Papers, Papers
The message here is this: Save the paperwork. When you submit a claim for trip cancellation, your insurer will want to see some paperwork. The more the better.
Most likely, a credit card statement won’t be sufficient. Documentation of all your expenses will clear the path to getting a check in your hands.
Save itemized bills and receipts. Save hotel, cabana and resort contracts. Invoices from places you stay will also help. Save confirmation paperwork. Document any causes for trip cancellation. Save literature from providers that describes financial penalties. Save all itemized bills from travel agents.
It’s not too difficult to save this stuff. Take a picture and upload the file to your computer or cloud file.
Don’t by Hasty and Cancel the Trip
Insurers will expect you to make good-faith efforts to continue your trip before filing a trip cancellation claim. In other words, if your flight is delayed for 10 hours because of the weather, the insurer will expect you to catch a later flight. Perhaps your flight can be made with another airline. You will be reimbursed for any extra expenses. Your claim might be addressed best through a trip interruption claim.
Talk to your insurer and ask questions before making a trip cancellation claim.
Trip Cancellation is Popular
Trip cancellation coverage is one of the most popular items to include in a travel insurance plan. It insures financial compensation should something go wrong.
It can be included as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan. Or it can be enhanced by adding additional coverage options above and beyond a basic plan. Read each plan for details. Pick and choose what you want. Then enjoy your trip worry free.
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