An Ontario couple who didn’t buy travel insurance ahead of their vacation were disappointed to learn they were denied a refund after contracting COVID-19. You can read their story Do I need to buy cancellation insurance for my trip? | CTV News
Here’s is what happened:
- A couple paid $1,700 each for a vacation package
- They didn’t buy trip cancellation travel insurance
- They believed the ‘option to change you plans up to one week before departure’ would be enough to protect them if they needed to change plans
- Days before their trip, they tested positive for COVID-19 and could not travel
- They did not qualify for a refund and lost $3,400.
Option to change doesn’t equal ‘you get your money back’
Your vacation package provider’s cancellation policy may have limitations like
Cancellation Notification Timelines
You may be able to cancel your reservation within 24 hours of the date of purchase, but if your departure is not 7 days or more away, is part of a group booking or you paid with frequent flyer miles you likely won’t qualify
What kind of ticket or vacation package did you purchase? Only some bookings will qualify for a full refund, and some may only refund taxes or airport fees.
If you do qualify for a refund, you may only get a voucher for future travel – and there will be a time limit when you must use that voucher. After that? You don’t qualify for any reimbursement.
So, depending on the ticket type you have purchased, change/cancellation may or may not be permitted, and a cancellation fee will be levied per person.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance can help you avoid loss
Life is full of surprises and so is travel! You can’t predict a natural disaster, job loss, illness, or the death of a family member.
Trip cancellation insurance helps protect you, financially, if you need to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances. The reasons for a cancellation can be personal ones, like illness or injury, a legal obligation, or sudden unemployment that leaves you unable to travel. Trip cancellation insurance can also apply if there is a problem at your destination, like an impending hurricane, a natural disaster, or a state of war. When an unexpected event prevents you from travelling, trip cancellation and trip Interruption plans reimburse travel costs if your trip is cancelled before you leave or disrupted after it has begun.
It is perfect for Canadian residents or visitors to Canada who want to feel confident that their trip’s covered despite life’s surprises. Here’s how it works:
- If you need to cancel your trip before your scheduled departure, trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable, prepaid travel arrangements that can’t be recovered from another source
- It may also pay cancellation penalties that a carrier or tour guide may charge.
- You can purchase a Single or Multi-Trip policy
- Stand-alone plans are available, or you may include it as part of a package with your emergency medical travel insurance
- Add on car rental protection if your rented or leased vehicle is damaged
- Add coverage if your personal effects are damaged or stolen while you are on your trip.
Your travel insurance will not cover cancellations for everything. Travel insurance policies do have a list of qualifying reasons for trip cancellation, but the list is extensive and certainly would have helped the couple we talked about get their money back.
The best way to make sure you’re covered in case you can’t take your trip due to an illness or for other reasons is to purchase cancellation insurance. Your trip cancellation coverage may also include special features like
- multilingual assistance to help and support you 24 hours a day, each day of the year, with pre-trip information, passport and travel visa information, health hazards advisory, weather information, currency exchange information, and consulate and embassy locations
- help with lost, stolen, or delayed baggage, helps secure emergency cash, provides translation and interpreter services in a medical emergency, helps to replace lost or stolen airline tickets, and assistance in obtaining legal help or a bail bond.
- instant access to an airport lounge pass or a cash payout in your preferred payment type via text message, wherever you may be if your flight is delayed more than 2 hours.
It’s not just cancellation insurance you need — anyone travelling now should also have travel medical insurance which helps cover added costs and expenses if you catch COVID-19 or have any health issues while abroad.
Want more information on trip cancellation travel insurance?
Want to learn more about trip cancellation travel insurance? Here are some great quick reads by SBIS
- What is and isn’t covered by Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance
- What do you Need to Know About Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Ready to put your travel insurance in place? Go online here or call us today at SBIS at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429. Our business hours are Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. eastern time.