As soon as your vacation is booked, you’re already on the plane to the sun, beach and sea. But with all the anticipation, you should not forget the travel cancellation insurance – this does not save your vacation, but your money. With our tips on travel cancellation insurance, you no longer have to worry.
Travel cancellation insurance – the most important facts in brief
- Travel cancellation insurance saves you from high cancellation fees if you are unexpectedly unable to take a trip.
- Your cancellation insurance should include coverage for trip interruption. Then you are also protected from expensive rebookings.
- Especially if you have a high risk of cancellation due to children or seniors, we recommend travel cancellation insurance.
Tip: If you plan to travel several times a year, choose an annual insurance. Depending on the tariff, this can even pay off from just one trip.
Why is travel cancellation insurance important?
Anyone planning a trip spends a lot of time choosing a vacation destination and accommodation, and the anticipation of relaxed sunbathing on the beach and a refreshing dip in the sea grows from day to day. In the process, it often recedes into the background that the trip cannot be started due to unexpected events: The child suddenly falls ill or there is an unexpected death in the family. It is not possible to be well prepared for all life situations, and anyone who has children knows how quickly the little ones can catch the disease from playmates.
So that the travel resignation does not end also still financially in the fiasco, you should lock a travel resignation insurance – and this best as fast as possible after the reservation of the vacation journey. In this article, we explain what else you need to know about travel cancellation insurance.
Travel cancellation insurance insures you if you are unable to take a booked trip and saves you from high fees for trip cancellation. The later you cancel a trip, the higher the cancellation fees usually are. For example, cancellation fees for a trip you must cancel five days before departure are 75 to 80 percent of the trip cost. So the cancellation costs account for almost your entire vacation price. That money is simply gone without you being able to enjoy the rest you deserve on the beach.
If you can’t actually take a trip for various reasons, the dream of an annual vacation is abruptly shattered – the worst thing is that the reason for the trip cancellation is stressful, especially emotionally. After all, a booked trip is often preceded by months of anticipation and planning. Travel cancellation insurance helps to make the situation more bearable, at least from a financial point of view.
There are usually two types of travel cancellation insurance: a one-time policy, also called an individual policy, or an annual policy. If you are booking a large trip such as your annual vacation, a one-time policy is perfectly sufficient. However, if you are planning several trips in a year, an annual policy is usually worthwhile.
Important: You must cancel such an annual policy, otherwise the insurance coverage will be automatically extended for another year.
When is travel cancellation insurance worthwhile?
When traveling with seniors or children, it makes sense to take out travel cancellation insurance, because the risk of illness is particularly high for them. In the complicated insurance language, children and seniors are therefore also referred to as so-called risk persons.
Many online booking portals give you the option of booking travel insurance as part of the booking process. This is tempting in view of the anticipation of sun, beach and sea – with just a few “clicks” the vacation is not only booked, but also insured.
However, we advise you not to do this. More expensive rates and worse conditions are often offered here. And travel agencies also often receive commissions for taking out such insurance. The same applies to travel cancellation insurance: if you compare, you save money and can take out insurance that is tailored to your individual circumstances.
You should take out travel cancellation insurance as soon as possible after booking your trip. Most providers offer a period of 14 to 42 days after booking the trip or 24 to 30 days before the actual start of the trip. So even if you don’t take out insurance immediately after booking your vacation, you have some time to compare the various providers.
Our recommendation: We advise you to take out travel cancellation insurance as soon as possible after and separately from booking the vacation. After all, there is still a lot to plan for as the vacation gets closer and closer. The risk is high to forget the travel cancellation insurance. If you then remember the insurance again at some point, it may already be too late to take out a policy.
Does the travel cancellation insurance cover the corona pandemic?
Basically, travel cancellation insurance only takes effect in case of illness or bad events, such as a death in the family or a house fire or similar. If you want to cancel your vacation because you are afraid of the corona virus, you will not get the money back from the travel cancellation insurance.
The situation is different if you yourself fall ill with the coronavirus before your vacation. Then the travel cancellation insurance applies, which takes effect in case of a serious illness. The insurance could even take effect if a close relative is ill with corona. Because then it would be expected that you are also infected. However, you must provide a medical certificate.
Caution: If you are quarantined before your trip without having contracted the corona virus yourself, this is a measure of state authority – the travel cancellation insurance is not liable for this.
What does travel cancellation insurance cover?
Travel cancellation insurance usually only pays out in the event of certain insured events. Normally, such insured events are considered unexpected and important events that make it impossible for you to start your trip. If you are unable to take the trip due to a death in your close family, the insurance will cover the cost of the trip (almost) without exception. However, if you separate from your partner shortly before the joint trip, for example, and therefore no longer want to take the vacation, the insurance usually does not pay.
When exactly your travel cancellation insurance pays is stated in your insurance documents. Whether a reason for cancellation is recognized is a matter of interpretation for the insurance company in each individual case. Here is an overview of the standard cases.
In these cases, all providers of a travel cancellation policy usually pay:
- unforeseeable serious illness
- death in the close family circle
- you have a serious accident or are a victim of a serious crime
- pregnancy complications
- inoculation incompatibility or defective prosthesis
- severe financial loss (for example due to a house fire)
- court summons as a witness
- you miss the plane because public transport arrives at the airport at least two hours late
- unexpected loss of job
Caution: As is well known, not all insurance is the same and although travel cancellation insurances generally pay in the cases listed here, there are differences in the interpretation of the respective reasons.