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Top 10 Reasons to Purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance

When planning a trip, the last thing anyone wants to factor in is their plans getting delayed or, worse, cancelled. However, with so many factors impacting a trip that are completely out of a traveler’s control (from terrible weather to a family emergency) careful planning and bring your trip to an end before it even begins. This is where Trip Cancellation Insurance can come in handy to protect the insured financially should they need to cancel their trip for a covered reason. Most travel protection plans feature coverage for Trip Cancellation. In fact, this benefit is one of the main reasons travelers purchase a travel protection plan in the first place. This coverage can save travelers thousands of dollars in expenses should an unpredictable and plan-altering situation arise prior to departure on the trip.

Trip Cancellation Insurance will reimburse your nonrefundable, pre-paid Trip payments/deposits, up to the amount insured, if cancellation occurs before your scheduled departure because of covered reason in the plan.

Here are the top 10 reasons to purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance:

  1. You could get sick. When planning a trip (especially a vacation) no one wants to think about the possibility of getting sick or hurt to the point that their trip has to be cancelled. However this is a real possibility to prepare for and an important reason to consider Trip Cancellation coverage.
  2. You could have a death in the family. Injury, sickness or death of you, a family member, traveling companion or business partner before departure.
  3. You could get called into work. Sometimes duty calls, even right before a scheduled trip. If you are called on to work prior to your trip and have to cancel your travel plans, it pays to have Trip Cancellation Insurance. (Make sure you have the "Cancel For Any Reason" benefit! Not all plans cover work-related cancellations.)
  4. You could have an accident prior to your trip. Accidents happen and are often as out of our control as how they can impact travel plans.
  5. You get called to perform a civic duty. And we don’t just mean jury duty, which could delay or even cancel your travel plans. If you are a member of the Armed Forces, there is the potential to get called for duty at any point- even right before your trip. As aforementioned, a requirement to serve on a jury or as a witness in a trial is also covered under a Trip Cancellation policy.

Now that we have gone through all of the personal reasons to get Trip Cancellation coverage, let’s talk about other reasons completely out of your control.

  1. There could be a government shutdown. 2018 saw the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which impacted approximately 800,000 federal workers and their families. Even if you are not a federal employee, a shutdown could greatly impact your travel plans. Among those workers impacted were Air Traffic Controllers and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents who help keep air travel safe and running smoothly. With their pay disrupted during the shutdown, personnel and resources became limited, which directly impacted wait times, delays and potentially flight cancellations. While travel insurance doesn’t generally include a government shutdown as a covered reason, your best bet is to have a plan with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage. This means just what it says – you have the option to cancel your trip for virtually any reason you want and are generally covered up to 75% of your total insured trip cost. Read more about how a government shutdown can impact your trip, check out this article on the Travel Insure Blog.
  2. There could be an airline strike. Airline labor strikes, such as the Air France strike last year, have the potential to impact passengers’ travel plans. For example, the 2018 Air France employee strike on Feb. 22nd involved 28% of its workforce but lead to the airline having to cancel 25% of its flights for the day of the strike.
  3. Your airline could go out of business. To learn more about how an airline’s bankruptcy and/or financial default can impact your trip, check out this article on the Travel Insure Blog.
  4. Your flight could be cancelled due to weather. Inclement weather is one of the most classic reasons for trip cancellation and one that is completely out of a traveler’s control. For example, in June of 2018, the threat of severe weather saw over 500 flights cancelled in Chicago alone.
  5. Your trip could be impacted by terrorism. Terrorism is a global concern impacting travelers planning to go abroad. The U.S. Department of State offers travel advisories and other information intended to help keep American travelers safe. However, if new terrorist incident occurs within 30 days of your departure date in a city on your itinerary, Trip Cancellation can help protect your investment.

Next time you plan a trip, make sure to pack your travel protection plan. Hopefully your trip goes smoothly with no hiccups, but if something unexpected does happen, it’s reassuring to have coverage. Visit the American Bar Association Insurance Program to view travel insurance plans and get a free quote.

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The ABA Insurance Education Center is provided by USI Affinity, the administrator of the American Bar Association Insurance Program.
Unless stated, the opinions shared by USI Affinity writers do not reflect the official position of the American Bar Association.