Trip Cancellation Insurance | Is It Worth Buying?

Unfortunately, life never goes as planned.  Similarly, vacations rarely go as planned.

Companies have been built and established to help protect us during these unfortunate events.  The companies are called insurance companies.  Trip cancellation insurance is a type of insurance that will cover the cost of your trip in case you cancel your trip for a qualified reason.  In addition, trip cancellation insurance also has other added types of insurance.

Trip Cancellation Insurance Usually Covers:

(need to check your specific policy)

  1. Sickness, death, or injury: this typically includes yourself, a travelling companion, or specific family members
  2. Terrorist incident at your destination 30 days prior to travel
  3. Job loss
  4. Natural disaster at your destination

Trip Interruption Insurance

Essentially, trip interruption insurance covers you if you miss a connection or are grounded for an extended period due to weather related delays.

Trip interruption insurance is especially important if you buy multiple legs from different airlines.  While you can expect that airlines will accommodate each other, they do not always have the legal requirement.  If, however, you have trip interruption insurance, if you miss a connection due to the delay, your insurance will cover the cost necessary to rebook tickets. 

Baggage Insurance

Covers you in case your bags are stolen, lost, and even delayed (outward journey only).

Is Trip Cancellation Insurance Worth the Cost?

Trip cancellation insurance is more important under the following circumstances:

  • Book tickets a long time away from travel.  Simply, there is more time for something to go wrong, so you have added risks.
  • Book multiple itineraries.  The more complex your itinerary, the more likely you are to encourage an interruption on your trip.
  • Class of travel and type of ticket.  The cheaper your ticket when you buy, the more restrictive it is.  If you buy a “Y class” ticket, don’t expect the airline to come through for you during an emergency. 

A special note about trip cancellation insurance:

With most policies, if you make a change to your travel itinerary, your new itinerary will not be covered.  I discovered this when I was getting ready to make changes to an itinerary we had already booked and purchased insurance for. 

Here’s a little formula I use to help make this decision:

What would bother me more?  Paying $18.00 for insurance or lose $1,200 because I didn’t buy the insurance?

When it comes to international travel, I’m starting to purchase travel insurance more frequently.  However, for local travel, I typically do not.  This is because the prospect of losing a couple hundred dollars is not nearly as intimidating as losing several thousand. 

My Trip Cancellation Insurance Experiences:

The first time we bought trip cancellation insurance, we paid about $120 for insurance for our whole family.  We got stranded in Cincinnati overnight without our bags, and then we didn’t get our bags until a day after we arrived at our destination.  We went out and bought about $80 worth of clothing and toiletries.  The insurance company quickly reimbursed all that money.  Two thumbs up on the insurance.

The second time around, by doctors order, we were forced to travel three weeks before our scheduled flight.  An ultrasound showed that my wife had placenta previa, and so we needed to get to a first world hospital as soon as possible.  In that case, we had travel insurance, but the insurance company (bought through Expedia.com) refused to cover the changes because my wife had not been hospitalized. 

Like all insurance, you never know its quality until it is time to make a claim.

Where Should You Buy Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Many online booking sites offer trip insurance.  You may get a better deal if you shop around a little.  If you are going to be booking multiple legs through different airlines, you will need to buy your travel insurance elsewhere.

Comments

  1. says

    I recently went to Bogota, Columbia with my fiancee for a pre-wedding de-stressing vacation and I broke my leg and clavicle in 3 places, while riding a horse. the worst time ever, not to mention I did not have travel insurance at the time, and I had to fork over $1400 cash just to be released form the hospital. Never go to Bogota, and never leave home without travel insurance. Point Blank!!!!!!

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