Aug 04, 2017
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Travel Resources

5 Reasons Your Trip Cancellation Insurance Won't Cover You

Trip Cancellation Claim Denied

Travel insurance is designed to reimburse you for non-refundable expenses in case of a trip cancellation, but it's not a cure-all. While we understand that everyone's circumstances are unique, here's a look at some of the most common reasons trip cancellation insurance claims are denied.

1. You didn't see a doctor before canceling your trip because of illness.

Anna has packed her suitcases to fly to Costa Rica for a week-long vacation. The day before she's set to leave, she comes down with a bad case of the flu. Feeling wretched, Anna decides to stay home. She submits a trip cancellation insurance claim, but it's denied.

If you, your traveling companion or an immediate family member suffers an illness or injury that's disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel a trip, Allianz Global Assistance considers that a covered reason for trip cancellation. However, a doctor must examine you or your traveling companion and advise that person to cancel the trip — before the decision to cancel is made. If that isn’t possible, a doctor must examine you within 72 hours of your trip cancellation. For your claim to be approved, you'll need to submit a fully completed Physician Statement Form.

2. You didn't provide documentation for your trip cancellation reasons and expenses.

Days before he's set to leave for a two-week tour of Cambodia and Vietnam, Javier is dismayed to hear that his tour operator has gone out of business. He submits a trip cancellation insurance claim with the original invoice from the tour operator, but his claim is denied.

It's not enough to send a credit card receipt or a single invoice. You need to thoroughly document all of your trip costs, your reason for cancellation and any refunds you may have received. The list of documentation Allianz Global Assistance requests includes:

  • Receipts and itemized bills for all expenses.
  • Original of any refunds or expense allowances received from your tour operator, travel agency, common carrier, resort, property management company, or other entity.
  • Copy of resort invoice/vacation rental contract or confirmation.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption claims.
  • Any appropriate documentation that officially explains the cause of your trip cancellation or interruption
  • Any explanation of diagnosis along with your original itemized bills, receipts, and proof of other insurance payments.
  • Original unused tickets, copies of invoices, proof of payments, and other documents that substantiate the cost or occurrence of the trip cancellation or interruption.
  • Documentation of refunds received from the travel supplier(s) and/or common carriers.
  • Copy of the supplier's literature that describes penalties.
  • A letter from the tour operator or an itemized bill from the travel agent stating the non-refundable amounts of the trip costs.

In short, send everything you can find that relates to your trip cancellation reasons and costs. This may sound like a lot, but don't get overwhelmed. For help, you can call Allianz Global Assistance claim representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-497-6992.

3. You purchased travel insurance when a big storm was already on the horizon.

Kelly and Gus have been looking forward to their 10th anniversary trip to St. Barts for months. A few days before they're supposed to leave, the Weather Channel reports that Tropical Storm Teresa is churning toward the island. "Uh-oh," Kelly thinks. "I better get travel insurance." They end up cancelling their vacation because of the storm — but their insurance claim is denied.

Trip cancellation insurance from Allianz Global Assistance names severe weather as a covered reason for canceling a trip. However, travel insurance is meant to protect travelers against sudden and unforeseen events — not threats that are already on the horizon when the insurance is purchased. If you buy travel insurance after a winter or tropical storm is named, your plan won't provide coverage for claims related to that event. Make sure you buy trip cancellation insurance well in advance of your departure.

4. You gave up on your trip too soon.

The day of Keith's scheduled flight to France, a surprise winter storm grounds his connecting flight. The airline puts him on the next plane, but then he misses his flight to Paris. After sitting in the airport for eight hours, he gets furious and decides to cancel the whole trip. However, his trip cancellation insurance claim is denied.

We know trip delays are aggravating. But don't cancel your entire trip because of a short delay! To make a trip cancellation claim, you must have lost more than 50 percent of your scheduled trip length due to a covered travel delay — and you must have made a good-faith effort to continue your travels. You can always call Allianz's 24-hour assistance hotline for help making alternate travel arrangements.

Here's the good news: you may have coverage for trip interruptions and travel delays through your Allianz travel insurance plan. The Classic Plan, for instance, includes up to $800 in travel delay coverage, up to $800 in missed connection coverage and up to $300 in baggage delay coverage to reimburse you for meals, lodging, and other expenses.

5. You didn't read the terms, conditions, and exclusions for your trip cancellation insurance policy.

Shortly before a planned couples cruise to Cozumel, Michelle has a huge fight with her fiancé. She calls off the engagement — and the cruise. But travel insurance won't cover her trip cancellation.

With up to 26 covered reasons for canceling a trip, travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance is designed to protect you in a wide range of situations. However, it's not "cancel for any reason" travel insurance, and that's why it's essential to read all the terms and conditions when you buy your plan. For instance, legal separation or divorce is a covered reason for trip cancellation with the Classic Plan, but a breakup is not. The death of a family member is a covered reason, but the death of a pet is not. If you're worried you may have to cancel your trip for a work-related reason, you can add Required to Work coverage to the Classic Plan for a flat rate of $34.

We know that trip cancellation insurance can be complicated. If you're unsure about how to submit a claim, ask! Call Allianz Global Assistance claim representatives anytime at 1-866-884-3556.