Watch CBS News

What are the covered reasons for trip cancellation?

Waiting for a flight in airport
Even the CDC advises travelers to strongly consider travel insurance. Here's why. bymuratdeniz/Getty Images

There are many different types of travel insurance out there, but one you may hear the most often is Trip Cancellation. In fact, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises travelers to strongly consider the policy for protection and peace of mind.

"Trip Cancellation insurance covers your financial investment in your trip, such as flights, cruises, or train tickets. Carefully examine the policy to make sure that it covers what you need it to cover, including cancellation if you or a close family member gets sick," the CDC explains on its website, adding that it may also allow you to make a last-minute cancellation or other arrangements if there's a disease outbreak.

While it's beneficial to have an extra layer of protection in case of an emergency, that's not the only reason to consider this type of travel insurance. Learn more about Trip Cancellation protection - or travel insurance, in general - via one of our trusted partners.

What is Trip Cancellation insurance?

Travelers who pay for Trip Cancellation insurance are potentially able to request up to a 100% reimbursement for their pre-paid trips if they need to cancel their plans for a reason listed within the insurance policy (see examples below). 

This type of insurance policy gives you the flexibility to change your plans and keep your money in case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance. This coverage typically costs between 5-10% of your total vacation expenses. 

Fortunately, you don't have to plan too far in advance. Most companies will allow you to purchase Trip Cancellation coverage up to 24 hours before your planned trip.

For many, the relief of having a backup plan in the event of an emergency or if something unexpected disrupts your travel plans is well worth the additional cost. Shop around for Trip Cancellation insurance now.

Covered reasons for Trip Cancellation

It may sound self-explanatory, but you'll want to review the full list of reasons that will qualify you for a refund. Here are some approved reasons that would qualify under Trip Cancellation, according to SquareMouth:

  • Medical reasons (unforeseen ailment, injury or death in the family)
  • Inclement weather or natural disasters (tropical storms, hurricanes, etc.)
  • Terrorist attack (in or around where you're planning to visit)
  • Financial default (of a carrier)
  • Involuntary layoff or termination
  • Work-related requirements 

This list is not exhaustive, so make sure to carefully read the rules and restrictions according to your insurance provider to ensure you're prepared if you need to cancel your trip. Learn more.

Can you cancel for any reason?

In short: No. You need to cancel your trip due to one of the qualifying reasons given by your provider.

If you don't want to be limited to the above reasons then you'll want to purchase an upgrade to the Cancel For Any Reason policy, which can increase your premium by around 40-50%, per SquareMouth

"Cancel For Any Reason is separate from Trip Cancellation. Travelers who upgrade their policy still have all of their policy's Trip Cancellation benefits. If they cancel under Cancel For Any Reason, they can be reimbursed 75% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip costs. However, if they cancel for a reason that is listed as covered under their policy, they can be covered for 100% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip costs," SquareMouth explains on its website.

Before purchasing this upgrade, check the full list of covered reasons your travel insurance company provides to determine if that list is sufficient protection. Unlike Trip Cancellation, you'll need to buy this type of coverage in advance - within 14 to 21 days of your initial booking date.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.