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Advice for Visitors to Canada

Trip Cancellation Insurance

You have been planning this big awesome trip for a long time: bought the airline tickets, booked the hotel and rental car, perhaps even made reservations on tours or prepaid for tickets to popular attractions.  What happens if an unexpected emergency requires that you cancel your travel plans?  With trip cancellation insurance, you can recover the costs incurred for your trip, including non-refundable airline tickets and prepaid reservation fees.

Trip Cancellation InsuranceThe Cost of Cancelling a Trip
If a family emergency, health problem or any other critical issue causes you to cancel a trip, you may find that much of what you have already booked and paid for is not refundable, and the airline and hotel policies clearly state ‘no reimbursement’ even when the circumstances are beyond your control.  However, having purchased trip cancellation insurance, you are ensured a refund for money that would otherwise be lost in those kinds of situation.  Trip cancellation coverage will cover the cost of:

  • non-refundable airline tickets to your planned destination
  • hotel bookings that you may have paid for up-front
  • rental car bookings paid in advance
  • deposits you have placed for activities related to your trip

Cancellation insurance can also cover the cost of cruise line bookings, tour reservations, and tickets to attractions and entertainment performances that you may have paid for in advance and can no longer use.

Some travel insurance policies cover cancellation expenses for a travelling companion.  This means that if your spouse, friend, or co-worker cannot take the trip with you due to an unexpected emergency, you can recover their portion of the expenses even if you decide to travel without them.

With so many companies having non-refundable policies today, having to cancel a trip can cost a substantial amount of money if you do not have trip cancellation coverage.  For instance, a family vacation whereby you have booked flights for multiple people, a vacation rental or large hotel suite, together with various prepaid activities, can entail thousands of lost dollars.

Know the Terms of Coverage
Some trip cancellation insurance policies allow you to cancel only for reasons specified in the policy, while others allow you to cancel for any reason at all.  When purchasing cancellation coverage, it is essential that you know the rules of the policy, as well as the circumstances under which you will be covered.  It is equally important to know what types of expenses are covered, and be aware of any cost limitations set by the policy.

You may have been told that you have trip cancellation coverage on your credit card, and in many cases, that is true.  However, be sure to read the fine print regarding this type of cancellation insurance as some only cover the expenses that were paid for on that particular credit card.  Moreover, your credit card cancellation coverage may not include all of the associated expenses of a trip that a purchased policy would.

In some cases, trip cancellation and trip interruption will fall under the same policy.  If you want to be covered for every eventuality, then opt for a comprehensive policy and be sure you know the terms with regard to what is included and excluded. 

When it comes to choosing the right trip cancellation coverage, look for insurance that offers benefits under multiple circumstances and a maximum amount of covered travel expenses.  It is worthwhile to search as purchasing the policy that suits your needs will bring you peace of mind.