How to Know When You Should Get Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance
Updated: March 12, 2018
Travel medical insurance. It’s right up there with “pick up foreign currency” and “drop off Puddles at the kennel” for things everyone knows you have to do before going on a trip. If you’re travelling outside of Alberta for any length of time (and don’t like paying $14,000 for an ankle fracture in Mexico, $28,000 for appendix surgery in Ireland, or $195,000 for a heart attack in Utah), then it’s a necessity.
But there are other types of travel insurance that often get overlooked: trip cancellation and trip interruption.
What is it?
What kinds of travellers absolutely must get it?
Let’s clear up these frequently asked questions our insurance specialists hear. And then I’ll fill you in on whether it’s worth your money.
What Is Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance?
Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are designed to protect you from a long list of glitches, hitches, and complications that will mess up your travel plans. They can still happen, of course, but you’ll avoid lots of headaches and won’t potentially lose your life savings in the process.
Because the last thing you want to be thinking about on vacation is all the things that could go wrong.
What Does It Cover?
Trip cancellation reimburses you for situations that could force you to cancel your trip before you depart, like the pipes in your condo building bursting the night before takeoff, a job layoff, or jury duty.
On the other hand, trip interruption is in place once you toss your suitcase in the trunk and are on your way to the airport. Examples include having to cancel the rest of your trip due to a family member unexpectedly passing away or a road closure delaying your drive to the airport, making you miss your flight. It’s there to protect you from the huge cost of returning home suddenly and to reimburse you for unused portions of your trip that you’ve paid for.
See the AMA travel insurance policy booklet for a full list of inclusion and exclusions.
Five Kinds of Travellers Who Need Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance
Do you fit any of the descriptions here? Then you should probably get trip cancellation and/or trip interruption insurance.
1. You’re travelling during bad weather or wintertime
Planned a ski trip to Fernie, B.C.? Couldn’t resist that Jamaica getaway happening at the end of hurricane season? Trip interruption will help with additional expenses to get there as well as reimburse for the missed days on your prepaid holiday.
2. Your parent or grandparent is getting up there in age
Grandma just celebrated her 85th birthday. Even if she’s still dancing to polka at the old folks’ home, you want to ensure that you can drop everything—including your trip—to be at her side if she gets sick unexpectedly.
3. You’re worried about thieves
Getting your backpack swiped sucks. Especially if it contains your passport. And you’re in Bali. Trip interruption will cover the transport costs to the nearest Canadian consulate so you can get new travel documents.
4. You work in an emergency service
Are you a surgeon, army reservist, or police officer? There’s always the chance you could get called in to work during an emergency. Whether you’re about to leave or have already left, travel insurance will cover the costs involved to get your money back that you spent buying your trip or the cost to get you home quickly and reimburse you for unused portions of your trip.
5. You’re flying to catch a cruise
Unfortunately, your cruise won’t wait for you if your flight is delayed due to mechanical failure or bad weather. Travel insurance will pay for the fees associated with rescheduling new flights so you can catch up with the ship ASAP.
Most Importantly – Assess Your Needs
It’s the top piece of advice Pam Murray, sales manager for AMA Travel Medical Insurance, gives her clients:
“If you want the security knowing you get reimbursed for anything from your kids getting ill, to vehicle mechanical failures, to lost luggage, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance will give you peace of mind.”
Finally, consider what you’d need in the event of a trip emergency. AMA offers coverage benefits that are far beyond what you get with credit cards or group plans, like your work benefits program.
- If there’s a snowstorm in your connecting city and you need to book a new flight, AMA pays out a $2500 maximum, while your credit card is limited to just $500.
- AMA’s definition of immediate family is a lot more generous than your credit card’s—which usually restricts to those in your household. If dear Uncle Albert falls ill, chances are he doesn’t live with you.
Buy Travel Insurance Before You Go
Have some questions? Contact a travel agent or call us toll free at 1-866-989-6595.
Get a travel insurance quote in less than five minutes.