5 Reasons Your Trip Cancellation Insurance Won’t Cover You
Travel insurance is designed to pay back for some non-refundable expenses you incurred in case of a trip cancellation, but it’s not a panacea. While it is understandable that everyone’s circumstances are unique, here are some of the most common reasons trip cancellations claims are not honored.
1. You didn’t see a doctor before canceling your trip because of illness.
In the event that you travelling companion or an immediate family member come under the attack of an illness or injury that’s disabling enough to make a reasonable trip cancellation, Allianz Global Assistance considers it a covered reason for trip cancellation. However, a doctor must examine you or traveling partner and advice that the individual cancel the trip before the decision to cancel the trip is made. If that’s not obtainable, a doctor must examine the person within 72 hours of the trip cancellation. For your claim to be accepted, you will need to submit a fully completed Physician Statement Form.
2. You didn’t provide documentation for your trip cancellation reasons and expenses.
Sending a credit card receipt or a single invoice is not enough reason for trip cancellation. Documentation of your trip costs, reasons for cancellation and any refunds you might have received is necessary. Here is a list of documentation most travel insurance companies require:
- Receipts and itemized bills for all expenses.
- Original of any refunds or expense allowances received from your tour operator, travel agency, common carrier, resort, property Management Company, or other entity.
- Copy of resort invoice/vacation rental contract or confirmation.
- Trip cancellation/interruption claims.
- Any appropriate documentation that officially explains the cause of your trip cancellation or interruption
- Any explanation of diagnosis along with your original itemized bills, receipts, and proof of other insurance payments.
- Original unused tickets, copies of invoices, proof of payments, and other documents that substantiate the cost or occurrence of the trip cancellation or interruption.
- Documentation of refunds received from the travel supplier(s) and/or common carriers.
- Copy of the supplier’s literature that describes penalties.
- A letter from the tour operator or an itemized bill from the travel agent stating the non-refundable amounts of the trip costs.
In short, send everything you can find that relates to your trip cancellation reasons and costs. This may sound like a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed.
3. You purchased travel insurance when a big storm was already on the horizon.
Trip cancellation insurance from most insurance companies identifies severe weather conditions as a covered reason for trip cancellation. However, travel insurance is meant to cover travelers against sudden and unforeseen weather events not events that are already happening when the insurance was purchased. For example, if you buy travel insurance after a winter or tropical storm is identified, your plan won’t provide coverage for claims related to that event. Make sure you buy trip cancellation insurance well in advance of your departure.
4. You gave up on your trip too soon.
Trip delays can be annoying but you shouldn’t cancel an entire trip because of a short delay. To make a trip cancellation claim in the event of a delay, you should have lost more than 50% of your scheduled trip length due to a covered travel delay and you must have made well-meaning efforts to continue your travels.
5. You didn’t read the terms, conditions, and exclusions for your trip cancellation insurance policy.
Travel insurance is designed to protect you in a wide range of situations; however, it’s not cancel for any reason travel insurance and that’s why it is imperative that you read all terms and conditions before you buy a plan. For example, legal separation or divorce is a covered reason for trip cancellation but a break up is not. The death of a family member is also a covered reason but the death of a pet is not. Therefore, it is essential you read up all the covered reason for a trip cancellation when purchasing a plan.