One of the most common misconceptions about travel insurance is that it covers absolutely every risk you may encounter while traveling. It doesn’t.
When you purchase travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance (or any other company), the plan names specific covered reasons for trip cancellation, trip interruption, and other benefits. If a situation’s not named, it’s not covered.
Why does it work like this? If every travel insurance policy covered every possible scenario, the cost of insurance would shoot sky-high. Here’s what you need to know about covered reasons and trip cancellation insurance.
Covered reasons are certain situations and events that, when they occur, mean you may be eligible to make a claim. At Allianz Global Assistance, we design our travel insurance products to include a broad range of covered reasons, because we want to protect our customers from the most common mishaps that happen while traveling.
Depending on the plan you choose, there may be up to 26 covered reasons for interrupting or canceling your trip. These covered reasons vary according to the plan you purchase, but here are some examples:
• A terrorist event happens at your destination within 30 days of the day you're scheduled to arrive.
• The insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member suffers a serious covered illness or injury.
• The insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member dies.
• You or a traveling companion are terminated/laid off from your job through no fault of your own, after your effective date of coverage, after working there at least 12 continuous months.
• Your airline, cruise line or other carrier ceases services for at least 24 consecutive hours due to a strike, natural disaster, bad weather or FAA-mandated shutdown.
• You need to attend an immediate family member’s birth (the pregnancy must have occurred after the effective date of coverage.)
• Your destination is rendered uninhabitable because of a natural disaster, fire, flood, burglary or vandalism.
• You or a traveling companion is in a traffic accident on the way to your point of departure, and you or the traveling companion need medical attention or the car needs to be repaired because it's not safe to drive.
• A natural disaster renders your home or your destination uninhabitable.
• You or a traveling companion legally separate or divorce after your insurance effective date but before your scheduled departure date.
We could go on and on… but instead, we advise simply reading your policy. That way, you’ll know which covered reasons are named in your specific plan. Make sure you understand all the definitions, too. For instance, “immediate family member” and “family member” mean different things. And a pet is not considered a family member, although a service animal is. (Here’s a more detailed explanation of how travel insurance covers family members.)
Have questions? No problem. Call us at 1-866-884-3556, and our travel insurance experts will walk you through the policy documents and explain your benefits. If you’re not satisfied with the coverage, you have 10 days (or more, depending on your state of residence) to request a refund, provided you haven't started your trip or initiated a claim. After this review period, your premium is nonrefundable.
Even the longest list of covered reasons can’t cover every possible scenario. For instance, what if your cat gets sick? Or the destination wedding you’re attending is canceled? Or a million stinging jellyfish suddenly appear at the beach where you’re vacationing?
If something happens that’s not specifically named as a covered reason, then trip cancellation/interruption benefits do not apply. One exception is if you purchase cancel for any reason travel insurance, which allows you to be reimbursed for most or all of your pre-paid, nonrefundable trip expenses if you cancel for virtually any reason (read the policy for exclusions). We don’t sell these plans online; please contact your travel agent if you need to purchase a cancel-for-any-reason plan from Allianz Global Assistance.
Travel insurance does not cover losses that arise from expected or reasonably foreseeable events or problems — even if that event or problem is listed as a covered reason. A foreseeable event is an outcome that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would expect to occur.
In other words, if you're buying travel insurance with a specific scenario in mind — "I'll probably have to cancel this trip because of X" — then it's likely to be a foreseeable event. You're better off planning the trip for another time.
For instance, if you purchase travel insurance for your Bahamas vacation when a named hurricane is already barreling toward your destination, and then your beach house gets smashed, your trip cancellation would not be covered. Yes, the list of covered reasons for your plan includes “a natural disaster renders your home or your destination uninhabitable”; but you knew the storm was coming when you bought the plan.
Not sure which plan is best for your situation? We want travelers to have all the information they need to make an informed decision. Even if you have very few pre-paid costs, or are certain nothing could interrupt your trip, we have travel insurance plans to cover other common what-ifs. Please contact us with questions and safe travels!