Other than a non-prepaid rental car, pretty much every travel purchase has a cancellation penalty tied to it. Even the most flexible hotel reservation typically asks for 24hours notice or risk losing one night or full stay. Most are much more restrictive. Some travel products like a custom-designed tour package or a cruise require an immediate non-refundable deposit. There are different ways travel suppliers help us minimize losses, especially at these uncertain times in travel. I want to briefly introduce you to them.
Cancellation Fee Waiver or Travel Protection Plan
These are usually plans that are provided by the tour company or the cruise line and they are the ones who offer you the protection and the administrator of them. If you’ve reserved a Hawaii/Mexico package or a guided tour such as Tauck or most major cruises, they offer a policy where you can change your mind and get either a refund or a future travel credit. Some allow you to do that up until a day before departure, some require you do that before you pay the final payment, which is usually 60 to 90 days out.
These plans are most flexible as they come with cancel for any reason benefit. Some offer money back refund, not just travel credits. And the cost of them is not based on age or other personal information.
Thus, they are usually quite reasonable in cost. They do require you to buy at the time of your deposit payment. I love these plans the most. But the downside is that not all travel companies offer them. In fact, very few do. Since Covid, I’ve tried to use only tour companies that offer these plans, but most important is that they will offer a product that fits your travel wishes and need first.
Full travel insurance policy
These policies are underwritten by a real travel insurance company. They not only provide you reimbursement for prepaid non-refundable expenses, but they also offer medical coverage during travel and assist with lost or delayed luggage, lost passport, or other personal belongings. The costs of these policies are based on the non-refundable trip cost and traveler’s age. Some policies offer children coverage for free. They only offer benefits or cover a claim if you have to cancel due to an emergency such as illness, injury, accidents, or extreme unforeseen events. Some do not even provide Covid-19 coverage.
While some offer policies where they call “Cancel for any Reason” or “Cancel Anytime” flexibility, they still have restrictions such as not covering international travel restrictions and fear of travel.
There are also many other nuances with these policies. For example, there are pre-existing medical conditions exclusions or single supplement coverage exclusions. Some policies offer you primary or secondary coverage, which then determines which insurance provider you file the claim with first if you have multiple insurances providing coverage such as your health insurance or homeowners policy.
Credit card insurance policies
You may also wonder whether the insurance policy that comes with your credit card offers sufficient coverage. It depends. Some cards offer good policies. Some do not. It does take efforts to evaluate all the options and weigh them as the best fit. That’s what travel professionals can do for you! That’s what I do for you each trip. Everyone’s risk tolerance is different. I will always try to answer your questions to the best of my ability. It’s always a pleasure to serve you! Click the Plan a Trip button to schedule a call today to talk about your travel needs!