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October 14, 2009

Trip Cancellations: What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Hotel For really big, expensive trips, travel insurance is a MUST. But, like any other insurance policy, it's gonna cost you to really cover everything. Travel "mishaps" like hurricanes and sickness are often avoided in insurance policies, but right now, both are huge concerns. With swine flu raising hell in the states and strange illnesses to be picked up in other countries, travel's one of the easiest ways to pick up a deadly, or at least vacation-killing, bug. With the effects of climate change, hurricanes are obviously becoming more of a risk. But can you refund a vacation if the area becomes swine-flu infected?

Trip-cancellation and trip-interruption (TCI) insurance refunds any payments you can't first recover from suppliers if you cancel or shorten your vacation for a reason specifically listed in the insurers' contracts. But, it’s hard to find a company that would reimburse you if you cancel because you're worried about contracting flu in an area where flu is prevalent. In fact, many companies specifically exclude covering fear- or worry- based cancellations.

For example, Travel Guard Insurance states that it does not cover cancellation even for trips to places cited in official government warnings.

 

If pre-booking travel plans makes you nervous for any reason, consider a "Cancel for Any Reason" or "Change your Mind" travel insurance plan. If you or a travel companion gets sick, you change your mind, or anything unexpectedly comes up, you can be refunded for the vacation you never got to take. By buying this pricier insurance option, you won't have to worry what is and isn't covered in the normal policy - you are totally above the rules.

 

For more travel advice from RTM, visit our Travel Advice & Tips section.

 

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