That long awaited vacation is finally around the corner. You've made your non-refundable resort bookings and gotten airline tickets when your husband unexpectedly comes down with the flu. You lose your booking deposit at the resort and get refunded with just a fraction of what you spent on your plane tickets. Your holiday and finances are ruined. But it doesn't have to be this way. Vacation cancellation insurance provides coverage for travel cancellations and comes in two packages:
The cheapest and most commonly used is trip cancellation insurance, which refunds 100% of your travel costs if you're forced to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances. This type of insurance would cover you in the above scenario, as it covers cancellations due to unexpected health problems of a family member or yourself. It would not cover you in the event of sickness caused by a preexisting condition, and usually delays or cancellations due to political changes, war or terrorism. Trip cancellation insurance comes as a benefit with many popular credit cards.
Cancel for any reason is a comprehensive travel and accommodation insurance offered by a small number of insurers. It covers you if you cancel your bookings for any reason, and will refund you with 50%-80% of your loss. This more exclusive insurance requires that you insure 100% of your non-refundable and prepaid expenses. Although the compensation is not 100% as with trip cancellation insurance, you will get money back no matter why you need to cancel a trip. If you have concerns about unexpected health problems relating to a friend, family member, or a pet for example, cancel for any reason insurance can provide you with peace of mind.
Allianz Global Assistance. Comprehensive travel insurance with a wide selection of plans makes this our pick of the best travel coverage provider. This insurer offers both one-trip and annual travel coverage. Most of their one-trip policies even offer coverage for trip interruptions or cancellations caused by an existing health condition. Primary collision/loss/damage coverage for rental cars comes as an option with all one-trip policies (with an annual policy this coverage comes standard). Emergency medical transportation of up to $1 million with some policies. Depending on the type of coverage you want, Allianz provides everything from basic low-cost coverage to high-end comprehensive travel insurance. Good customer service ratings.
USAA provides travel insurance from Travel Guard. Since USAA insurance is provided exclusively to U.S. military service members, veterans who have honorably served, and their eligible family members, it will normally refund you if you have to cancel a vacation due to being called out unexpectedly. It also has very competitive rates. Along with these low rates come some disadvantages such as only offering coverage after minimum delays that are much longer than what some other insurers provide, and low refunds for lost luggage (only $500). If you are already a USAA member and enjoy their quality customer service, you should consider getting vacation insurance through them.
Find out more in our full review of USAA.