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Can You Cancel Travel Insurance?

Our Promise To You

You did your research and decided that buying travel insurance plan made sense for your upcoming trip. So you purchased your policy, feeling confident and assured that if something went awry — and met the conditions outlined in your policy — you could have reliable recourse for your troubles, potentially in the form of assistance, reimbursements on non-reimbursable, pre-paid costs, and other benefits.

Feels good, right?

But then something happened. Perhaps you found you purchased the wrong policy. Or you’re simply not satisfied with the policy you purchased. Whatever the circumstances, you find yourself seeking answers to one burning question: “Can I cancel travel insurance?”

Don’t worry, we have answers.

So, Can You Cancel Travel Insurance?

In a simple word, yes. Yes you can cancel travel insurance. But you can’t simply cancel travel insurance whenever it’s convenient; you’ll need to cancel your policy within a period of time called a Review Period. This window of time begins at the moment of your purchase and ends at a time determined by your travel insurance provider. 1

For example, with Allianz Global Assistance, the review period is 15 days for most states. If you’re not completely satisfied, you have up to 15 days (or longer, depending on your state of residence) to request a refund, as long as you haven't departed for your trip or filed a claim. (Note: To determine the review period for your state, inquire with the Allianz Global Assistance team — we’ll tell you how to do so in a bit.)

How Do You Cancel Travel Insurance?

The steps to take in order to request a refund for a travel insurance policy within the outlined Review Period may vary based on your provider. If you purchased a policy through Allianz Global Assistance, the fastest way to cancel travel insurance it to visit the online policy management tool . In order to access this tool, log into your account, or simply supply your email address or policy number.

What Should You Do Before You Cancel Travel Insurance?

There are a few reasons you may want to contact Allianz Global Assistance before going through the steps of canceling your policy online. For example, if you’re simply unsure if you purchased the right policy for you and your trip, our specialists can walk you through plan options to ensure you have the right plan with the right benefits for your trip. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, 24 hours a day, by calling us at 1-866-884-3556.

What If You Need To Change Your Travel Insurance Policy?

Perhaps after a little reflection, you want to upgrade your travel insurance policy to a plan with more coverage. Or maybe the dates of the trip for which you originally purchased the plan shifted a bit. As long as you have not yet departed on your trip or filed a claim, you may be able to change your policy be accessing the online policy management tool .

What If You Can’t Cancel Your Travel Insurance?

If you allow the Review Period to lapse, then you are no longer able to cancel your policy.

But this doesn’t mean that the travel insurance policy you purchased still can’t come in handy. For example, if you purchased your policy because your main concern was having the emergency medical benefits — but before the trip even began, you’re forced to cancel your trip for a reason covered in your policy — then you may be able to benefit from trip cancellation protection. This benefit can reimburse the prepaid, nonrefundable costs of your trip, such as airfare, cruise tickets, tour bookings and hotel reservations. 3

While some circumstances are always out of your control, protecting your trip investment is not. Be sure to read your plan documents, especially the Certificate of Insurance/Policy. That way, you can travel confidently knowing you purchased the right plan to help you travel your way.

Related Articles 

  • Do I Need Travel Insurance If I Have Health Insurance?
  • Travel Insurance 101: How Travel Insurance Works
  • How to Compare Travel Insurance and Pick the Perfect Plan
  • InsureMyTrip.com

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  • Travel Insurance FAQ

Is Travel Insurance Refundable?

Is Travel Insurance Refundable?

Last Updated: October 1, 2019 October 3, 2023

Most travelers who buy travel insurance want to protect their non-refundable trip payments, and travel insurance policies with Trip Cancellation coverage can do just that. But is the travel insurance policy itself refundable? It depends on when a traveler seeks a refund for their policy.  Leading travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth , explains when travelers can be refunded for their travel insurance premiums.

Can Travel Insurance be Refunded?

Yes, travel insurance can be refunded if the policyholder decides to cancel their travel insurance policy within their Money Back Guarantee period. This is the window immediately after a traveler buys their policy in which they can cancel for a 100% refund of premium.

All policies on Squaremouth, from single-trip policies to annual policies , come with a Money Back Guarantee. The purpose of this benefit is to give travelers extra time to review their policy documentation to be sure it’s the best policy for their coverage needs. 

Depending on the policy, the Money Back Guarantee period typically lasts between 10 and 14 days. During this time, travelers can cancel their policy for any reason for a full refund. Unfortunately, if a traveler decides to cancel their policy at a later date, they will not be given a refund for their policy.

Can You Cancel Travel Insurance?

Yes, travel insurance can be canceled at any time and for any reason. However in order to receive a refund, the cancellation must occur within a policy’s Money Back Guarantee period. To cancel a policy, a traveler can contact their provider directly.

Travel Insurance Premium Not an Insurable Cost

Many travelers ask if they can include the cost of their travel insurance policy as part of their trip cost, thinking they can receive a refund for the money they spent on insurance if they need to cancel their trip. However, this cost is not insurable under the Trip Cancellation benefit.

The Trip Cancellation benefit can only cover a traveler’s prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. This can include their airfare, hotel reservations, tours, and excursions, among others. If a traveler cancels their trip, they can be reimbursed for those trip expenses, however as the policy’s premium pays for a service that begins before the trip, it is not considered a reimbursable expense.  

Travelers looking for more information regarding canceling a policy due to the  coronavirus pandemic can visit Squaremouth’s Covid-19 information hub.

6 truths and myths about 'cancel for any reason' travel insurance

Bill Fink

In the uncertainty of the pandemic-era travel world, purchasing travel insurance is becoming an essential part of any trip. In the past two years, people have purchased travel insurance policies in record numbers. Travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth reported insuring 300% more travelers in 2021 than 2020, and 70% more than in 2019. With ever-changing travel rules and regulations, frequently delayed or canceled flights and cruises, border closures and the omnipresent risk of COVID-19, travel insurance should continue to be a consideration.

Given the amount of pandemic-related exceptions and exclusions in regular travel insurance policies, more travelers have been considering "cancel for any reason" travel insurance. CFAR policies allow travelers to get reimbursed in the event they choose to cancel their trip out of caution, fear or other personal reasons unrelated to illness or accident. The Seven Corners travel insurance company told TPG it had seen a 180% increase in CFAR product sales from 2019 to 2020 as the pandemic brought chaos into the travel world.

But is CFAR travel insurance right for you? How affordable and reliable are such policies? TPG spoke with industry experts about the truths and myths of CFAR travel insurance.

Want more travel tips and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter .

You can really cancel for any reason, at any time

is travel insurance cancellable

Myth : This is insurance — of course there are exceptions. While CFAR travel insurance is much more comprehensive than regular travel insurance, every policy has particular rules (and some exclusions) around reimbursement for cancellation. As with all insurance policies, it's critical to review the details and read the policy fine print prior to purchase.

According to Angela Borden, product marketing strategist at Seven Corners, the company's CFAR policies do not refund trip expenses if a tour operator cancels a trip because the policyholders should be able to get their refunds from the operator. Also, most CFAR policies have specific required timing for purchase and cancellation, or the policy is invalid. Insurance companies typically require you to purchase the policy within a couple of weeks of booking the trip.

Also, a policy may only issue trip coverage if you cancel at least a certain number of days before a trip is set to begin (in Seven Corners' case, two days in advance). Every company's policy is going to be different, and many companies have several products within the CFAR category. Do your research in advance to be sure you get the coverage you're looking for. "CFAR policies have terms, conditions and exclusions just like any other insurance product," says Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at the Allianz Partners insurance company.

Related: Harsher cancellation policies return for cruises

CFAR is outrageously expensive

It depends : The value of CFAR depends on the style of your trip, your budget and your cost-benefit perspective. CFAR policies typically cost about 40-50% more than other standard travel insurance policies. A sample pricing search on the Travelers Insurance website generated a quote for $575 to cover a $10,000 trip value, while adding CFAR to the policy upped the rate to $828. (Note: Prices and coverage vary widely by firm and coverage.)

A survey of TPG readers revealed that many people don't mind the surcharge, as it provides peace of mind. Some travelers' personal situations may make it more likely they'll cancel a trip for a reason not covered under a typical policy, so the anticipated benefit matches the cost. However, several TPG readers consider CFAR policies "a big waste of money" and "way too expensive." Readers have reported satisfaction with the pricing and coverage of more traditional travel insurance policies that now include expanded health coverage.

Related: Key reasons you want to buy travel insurance

Anyone can buy CFAR insurance

Myth : While CFAR is widely available, it has historically been prohibited to residents of New York. The state's Department of Financial Services had declared that "CFAR benefits in the travel context do not technically qualify as insurance because the cancellation of a trip 'for any reason' does not depend on the occurrence of fortuitous event." However, in March 2020, the department issued an Insurance Circular Letter to revise the rule, stating that CFAR benefits can be sold by an insurer in New York if "necessary or incidental to its travel insurance business." The revision also mentions that non-insurers can sell CFAR benefits "if they are not sold as an insurance product."

At the time of the ruling, six insurance firms announced plans to issue CFAR policies in New York. However, Seven Corners and many other firms still do not offer CFAR policies in New York, and for those who might offer the product, their CFAR policy rules and structures may be different than those offered in other states. It is recommended to speak directly with an insurance agent if you're looking to buy CFAR insurance as a resident of New York.

Only CFAR covers COVID-19-related cancellations

is travel insurance cancellable

Myth : Many new travel insurance products have been created specifically with COVID-19 in mind, and many older policies have been modified to include COVID-19 coverage. "We've found that the epidemic enhancements we've made have met most travelers' needs," Durazo said in regard to his company Allianz Partners. "Our standard products now cover cancellations and interruptions due to serious pandemic illnesses, as well as medical emergencies, denied boarding due to suspected illness and mandatory personal quarantines."

TPG readers have reported that they've found medical-only travel insurance to be "a cheap and wise option." Borden, from Seven Corners, added that although a medical policy includes coverage for travelers who contract COVID-19 and consequently cancel their trips, "it will not cover your cancellation of a trip due to your fear of catching COVID-19." Such a cancellation reason would require a CFAR policy.

Related: Airbnb ending refunds for guests who get COVID-19

CFAR insurance covers your trip expenses in full

is travel insurance cancellable

Myth : CFAR policies typically cover 75% of the specifically insured trip cost, with some policies refunding just 50% of the initial travel booking. "CFAR policies only cover a portion of prepaid expenses, so consumers have considerable 'skin in the game' if they have to file a claim," Allianz's Durazo said. "Consumers should weigh the costs and benefits of purchasing a CFAR policy versus a standard travel insurance policy that may meet their needs for a lower cost." Still, many TPG readers reported feeling satisfied after receiving a bulk of their trip refunded thanks to CFAR policies.

'My dog is sick' is covered under CFAR

is travel insurance cancellable

Truth: TPG reader Sally McCormack had to cancel a trip because her dog had a serious illness. She contacted her CFAR insurance company and it did indeed refund 75% of her trip cost. Borden, from Seven Corners, confirmed this would be an acceptable reason for someone to cancel a trip under her company's CFAR policies, and those customers would be entitled to the specific product's stated refund payout. Multiple TPG readers also said they had "no issues" getting refunds when using their CFAR policies, and most were thankful they didn't lose too much money after canceling trips due to personal reasons that would not have been covered under a typical travel insurance policy.

Bottom line

CFAR travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial coverage for travelers planning trips during these uncertain times. While CFAR does add costs (and does have certain exclusions, terms and conditions like any other insurance plan), many customers have been happy with the product. However, more travel insurance companies now offer affordable medical travel insurance products with pandemic-specific coverage, so many people have been selecting that option as a more cost-efficient alternative. Individual travelers should carefully review their anticipated risks and costs and always, always read the fine print on any insurance product.

Will Travel Insurance Pay for a Trip Cancelled Because of COVID-19?

The solution for most COVID-related trip cancellations may be a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy.

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COVID-19 has made planning ahead a gamble, especially when it comes to travel. It seems every time the virus seems to be on the wane, a new variant and maybe even a sub-variant emerges to launch a renewed attack. News and even rumors can rattle nerves and scuttle travel plans.

How do you plan to travel in this environment? Would you lose your money if you’re forced to cancel a trip?

22 Secrets to Save Money on Travel

For more and more people, the solution is to buy travel insurance for their trips in the hopes of being reimbursed should they have to change or cancel. But not all travel insurance covers all pandemic-related cancellations.

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Knowing possible pitfalls can help you decide what’s best for your wallet, your ability to plan a trip and whether you should buy travel insurance.

Sometimes, travel insurance is mandatory

In some instances, it’s not even a choice. Several countries, including Costa Rica and Egypt, as well as some travel providers, like cruise lines, are requiring travel insurance in one form or another. This can be especially true for unvaccinated travelers. This ensures you won’t become stranded, unable to pay for your medical care, extended stay or evacuation should you contract or be exposed to COVID.

The limitations of standard travel insurance have expanded the appeal of a previously obscure upgrade to standard travel insurance known as “cancel for any reason” (CFAR). This option, while significantly more expensive, is more likely to cover the sort of cancellations that COVID has made commonplace.

According to travel insurance aggregator Squaremouth, Inc., travel insurance policies with a CFAR add-on typically must be purchased within two to three weeks of the first payment towards the covered trip. An exception is that certain policies that cover only cruises offer CFAR at any time before a final payment is made for a trip.

Standard travel insurance limits pandemic claims

Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer for Squaremouth, said CFAR has become the go-to plan for more travelers, “When the pandemic hit, it became really the main piece that could offer any coverage.”

Traditional travel insurance, she explained, doesn’t cover the majority of pandemic-related claims. Moncrief said in a review done by Squaremouth, only 30% of such claims were made by people who actually contracted COVID-19 and had to cancel their trips. This is the only type of pandemic claim that would be covered by most standard travel insurance policies. The remaining 70% of claims were for other reasons, including border closures and quarantines, and thus excluded -- though generally would be covered by CFAR.

And COVID-19 continues to be a primary reason for travel insurance purchases. According to Squaremouth data, nearly 37% of all searches on its site for travel insurance cited the pandemic as reasons for coverage as recently as Jan. 28, 2022. The second most-popular search filter used on the site: Cancel for any reason at nearly 15%. In contrast, hurricane and weather were searched less than 3% of the time.

Overall demand for travel insurance has increased during the pandemic, according to AAA, which says a recent survey found that 31% of U.S. travelers saying they’re more likely to purchase it for their trips planned between now and the end of 2022. A standard travel insurance policy typically adds 5% to 10% to the cost of the trip, according to Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute. Adding CFAR on top of that will raise the cost 40% to 60%. And, depending on the policy, the payout for a CFAR claim can be as low as 50% of the loss, experts said. This marks a decrease from policies before the pandemic, which could reimburse 75% to 90% of the loss.

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Moncrief said that prior to the pandemic, her company was “slow to recommend” cancel for any reason because of the expense. Then, it accounted for less than 4% of sales, she said. Now, it’s about 12% of sales, down from a high of 17% in January. AAA advises travelers to consider policies that include a CFAR component.

“Any reason” is not always “any reason”

“As a purchaser of travel insurance, make sure you understand what you are buying and what the policy covers and what the policy does not cover,” Friedlander cautioned. “No policy has 100% of everything.”

Travel insurers have made a number of adjustments in response to the pandemic. At the beginning, Moncrief said, travel policies didn’t cover medical care for pandemic illnesses. But that quickly changed, and now, if a traveler becomes ill with COVID, it’s covered.

By contrast, insurers now demand their customers first seek reimbursement from the travel service provider, such as an airline or cruise company, that cancelled before filing an insurance claim.

Sometimes, she said, an airline might want to give credit rather than reimbursement. She said insurers will encourage travelers to seek reimbursement before considering whether to provide coverage for such an event.

5 Travel Stocks to Buy in a Tricky Environment

Friedlander noted that different insurance policies will contain different provisions, and “cancel for any reason,” doesn’t necessarily mean “any reason.” He stressed the importance of reading and understanding the provisions of a policy before purchasing it.

Moncrief gave examples of some insurers’ exclusions on CFAR policies:

iTravelInsured Travel LX, TravelSafe Classic and Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice and RoundTrip Basic all have the following language: “This Cancel for Any Reason benefit does not cover the failure of the travel supplier to provide the bargained-for travel arrangements due to cessation of operations for any reason.”

  • Travel Insured International: WorldWide Trip Protector: “This Cancel for Any Reason benefit does not cover penalties associated with any travel arrangements not provided by retail travel supplier or the failure of retail travel supplier to provide the bargained-for travel arrangements due to cessation of operations for any reason.”

An alternative: travel medical insurance

Charlie Leocha, president and cofounder of Travelers United, an advocacy group, said he typically doesn’t buy standard travel insurance unless he’s planning a particularly expensive, all-inclusive trip. “If you’ve got an expensive product, it can be a good deal,” Leocha said. “All insurance is a great deal if you get sick and can’t go on the trip and that’s why you buy it.”

Leocha said he buys travel medical insurance policies each year, which cover up to six trips and up to six weeks per trip. He said his annual policies cost about $260.

These policies cover his medical needs when he is overseas and also cover his return home. For the rest of his travel, he says he self-insures. What that means is he makes arrangements that are reversible. In other words, he mostly buys refundable airline tickets or hotel reservations that can be canceled at the last minute for any reason without paying a penalty.

This can be difficult, he said, because every airline has different rules, particularly when it comes to travel credits. Some airlines require they be used in 90 days, others might give you a year or six months.

Leocha said his organization is working with the Federal Department of Transportation to implement a pandemic rule requiring airlines to all have the same rule so it won’t be so confusing for travelers. “I’ve been pusing like mad to have all the flight credits have the same expiration dates,” he said. “The airlines have been fighting us tooth and nail.”

This paid off for him recently when he was scheduled to go to Spain. A few weeks before the trip, he took a COVID test in preparation for a get-together with friends. When the test came back positive, he needed to postpone his Spain trip.

Because he wasn’t locked in by any of his arrangements, Leocha said, he was able to make the necessary changes and was only out about $50 when everything was said and done.

“Self insurance is one way to do it,” Leocha said. “Probably the most expensive way to do it is get ‘cancel for any reason’ insurance.”

Elaine Silvestrini has had an extensive career as a newspaper and online journalist, primarily covering legal issues at the Tampa Tribune and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. In more recent years, she's written for several marketing, legal and financial websites, including Annuity.org and LegalExaminer.com, and the newsletters Auto Insurance Report and Property Insurance Report. 

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The Best Travel Medical Insurance of 2024

is travel insurance cancellable

Allianz Travel Insurance »

is travel insurance cancellable

Seven Corners »

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GeoBlue »

is travel insurance cancellable

WorldTrips »

Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best Travel Medical Insurance Plans.

Table of Contents

  • Allianz Travel Insurance
  • Seven Corners

Buying travel insurance is a smart move for any type of trip, but you may not need a policy that covers everything under the sun. If you don't need coverage for trip cancellations or delays because you're relying on your travel credit card to offer these protections, for example, you may find you only need emergency medical coverage that works away from home.

Still, travel medical coverage varies widely based on included benefits, policy limits and more. If you're comparing travel insurance plans and hoping to find the best option for unexpected medical expenses, read on to learn which policies we recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions

The term travel insurance usually describes a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes coverage for medical expenses as well as trip cancellations and interruptions, trip delays, lost baggage, and more. Meanwhile, travel medical insurance is coverage that focuses on paying for emergency medical expenses and other related care.

Travelers need international health insurance if they're visiting a place where their own health coverage will not apply. This typically includes all international trips away from home since U.S. health plans limit coverage to care required in the United States.

Note that if you don't have travel health insurance and you become sick or injured abroad, you'll be responsible for paying back any health care costs you incur.

Many travel insurance policies cover emergency medical expenses you incur during a covered trip. However, the included benefits of each policy can vary widely, and so can the policy limits that apply.

If you're looking for a travel insurance policy that offers sufficient protection for unexpected medical expenses, you'll typically want to choose a plan with at least $100,000 in coverage for emergency medical care and at least that much in protection for emergency medical evacuation and transportation.

However, higher limits can provide even more protection from overseas medical bills, which can become pricey depending on the type of care you need. As just one example, Allianz says the average cost of emergency medical evacuation can easily reach up to $200,000 or more depending on where you’re traveling.

Your U.S. health insurance policy almost never covers medical expenses incurred abroad. The same is true for most people on Medicare and especially Medicaid. If you want to ensure you have travel medical coverage that applies overseas, you should purchase a travel insurance plan with adequate limits for every trip. Read the U.S. News article on this topic for more information.

The cost of travel medical insurance can vary depending on the age of the travelers, the type of coverage purchased, the length of the trip and other factors. You can use a comparison site like TravelInsurance.com to explore different travel medical insurance plans and their cost.

  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best Overall
  • Seven Corners: Best for Families
  • GeoBlue: Best for Expats
  • WorldTrips: Best Cost

Coverage for preexisting conditions is available as an add-on

Easy to purchase as needed for individual trips

Relatively low limits for medical expenses

No coverage for trip cancellations or trip interruption

  • Up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage
  • Up to $250,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage
  • Up to $2,000 in coverage for baggage loss and damage
  • Up to $600 in baggage delay insurance
  • Up to $1,000 for travel delays
  • Up to $10,000 in travel accident insurance
  • 24-hour hotline assistance
  • Concierge services

Purchase comprehensive medical coverage worth up to $5 million

Coverage for families with up to 10 people

Low coverage amounts for trip interruption

Medical coverage options vary by age

  • Up to $5 million in comprehensive medical coverage
  • Up to $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage
  • Up to $10,000 in coverage for incidental trips to home country
  • Up to $25,000 in coverage for terrorist activity
  • Up to $500 in accidental dental emergency coverage
  • Up to $100 per occurrence in coverage for emergency eye exams
  • $50,000 in coverage for local burial or cremation
  • 24/7 travel assistance
  • Up to $25,000 in coverage for accidental death and dismemberment per traveler
  • Up to $500 for loss of checked baggage
  • Up to $5,000 for trip interruptions
  • Up to $100 per day for trip delays
  • Up to $50,000 for personal liability

Qualify for international health insurance with no annual or lifetime caps

Use coverage within the U.S. with select providers

Deductible from $500 to $10,000 can apply

Doesn't come with any nonmedical travel insurance benefits

  • Up to $250,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $25,000 for repatriation of mortal remains
  • $50,000 in coverage for accidental death and dismemberment

High limits for medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation

Covers multiple trips over a period of up to 364 days

Deductible of $250 required for each covered trip

Copays required for medical care received in the U.S.

  • Up to $1,000,000 of maximum coverage
  • Up to $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $10,000 for trip interruptions
  • Up to $1,000 for lost checked luggage
  • Up to $100 per day for travel delays
  • Up to $25,000 in personal liability coverage
  • Medical coverage for eligible expenses related to COVID-19
  • Ability to add coverage for your spouse and/or child(ren)
  • Repatriation of remains coverage up to overall limit
  • Up to $5,000 for local burial or cremation 
  • $10,000 to $50,000 for common carrier accidental death

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband, Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states, in their family media business.

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is travel insurance cancellable

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What Is Trip Cancellation Insurance?

is travel insurance cancellable

One of the leading reasons travelers elect to purchase travel insurance is for trip cancellation benefits. However, many of those who do purchase travel insurance often have a broken understanding of what exactly trip cancellation insurance covers. Is "trip cancellation" truly as all-encompassing as many believe?

Although trip cancellation benefits are one of the most commonly found travel insurance benefits, it is possibly the most misunderstood. While trip cancellation insurance  can  provide assistance in the worst case scenario, it also comes with a very strict set of rules and regulations. Before canceling your trip and filing a claim for trip cancellation, be sure to understand what this particular benefit will - and won't - cover.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is nearly universally available when purchasing a travel insurance policy. The benefit does exactly what it claims to do: those travelers who are forced to cancel their trip for a qualified reason may have their non-refundable fees reimbursed through a travel insurance claim. Those specific reasons may include (but are not limited to):

  • The death of the traveler, their travel companion, or an immediate family member.
  • An accidental injury immediately before or on the way to their departure
  • An  Unforeseen natural weather occurrence at the destination (before being declared a "known event")
  • A legal obligation that will interfere with the trip (such as being called for jury duty or as a witness in a trial).

However, missing from this list of commonly approved trip cancellation situations are many other life-changing situations, Employment obligations, unexpected life events (including pregnancy), and other personal situations may also be excluded from traditional trip cancellation insurance benefits. Those who are concerned about these situations affecting their travels may want to consider adding optional benefits to their plan.

Are work reasons covered under trip cancellation insurance?

Under some trip cancellation insurance plans, certain employment situations may  be covered. Travelers who are unexpectedly laid off or unemployed through no fault of their own may be able to recover their non-refundable deposits through their trip cancellation benefits.

However, other situations may not necessarily be covered under trip cancellation insurance. Travelers who are forced to cancel their trip due to starting a new job or are called into work during a vacation period may not necessarily be covered through trip cancellation. Those who are concerned about their employment may want to consider a travel insurance plan with a "Cancel for Work Reason" benefit. 

Cancel for Work Reasons is often an add-on benefit offered through some travel insurance plans. Adding a Cancel for Work Reasons benefit will add a nominal fee to the overall policy, while adding trip cancellation clauses, including (but not necessarily limited to): 

  • A change of work schedule, forcing the traveler to work during your scheduled trip
  • An unforeseen emergency situation, including natural disaster, fire, or vandalism
  • The traveler's company is involved in an acquisition or merger
  • The company relocates the traveler over 250 miles.

In order to submit a claim through trip cancellation insurance, travelers must provide documented proof of the event taking place. Those who cannot provide documentation run the risk of having their claim denied.

Can I cancel for any reason with trip cancellation insurance?

There are some life situations travelers face which make them uncomfortable about traveling. Whether it is the threat of terrorism , an active winter storm season , or a veterinary emergency , travelers can have many different reasons to consider canceling their next trip. Although trip cancellation insurance may not cover all of these unique situations, a "Cancel for Any Reason" benefit can help travelers reclaim most of their non-refundable trip costs.

In order to add a Cancel for Any Reason benefit to a travel insurance plan, travelers much purchase their travel insurance plan within days of their initial deposit (usually between 14 and 21 days) and pay an additional fee. In addition, travelers must also insure the entire cost of their trip, regardless of any other travel insurance they may have. Once added, travelers have the freedom to cancel their trip for literally any reason. When a claim is filed, travelers may be reimbursed for a portion of their non-refundable trip costs. The most common Cancel for Any Reason benefits cover between 50% and 75% of the non-refundable trip costs.

While trip cancellation insurance may sound like a free pass to cancel travels, modern adventurers need to know what their travel insurance plan actually covers. By knowing what trip cancellation insurance actually covers and the difference in all trip cancellation benefits, travelers can ensure they are buying what they actually need.

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Protect Your Travel Plans: Trip Cancellation Insurance Explained and the 5 Best Policies

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Jessica Merritt

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Protect Your Travel Plans: Trip Cancellation Insurance Explained and the 5 Best Policies

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You’ve booked your flight, hotel, and tours and are ready to go on your trip — but what happens if you can’t make it? Unexpected circumstances can pop up that force you to cancel your trip, such as illness or natural disasters. If you can’t get refunds from travel suppliers, trip cancellation insurance can help.

Let’s look at what trip cancellation covers, whether you need a trip cancellation policy, and what you should know before shopping for a plan.

The 5 Best Trip Cancellation Insurance Policies

You’ll have plenty of options if you want a cheap, standalone trip cancellation policy, comprehensive travel coverage, or Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.

Consider these trip cancellation insurance policies that offer good value and coverage, quoted for a 35-year-old visiting Mexico on a $1,500 trip in September 2023:

We were quoted just $20 for a battleface Discovery Plan with trip cancellation benefits up to $1,500. But that’s all it offers — you won’t get trip interruption coverage, medical coverage, evacuation, loss or delay, or other benefits offered by comprehensive travel insurance plans.

IMG’s iTravelnsured Travel Essential plan isn’t CFAR coverage, but it has multiple covered reasons for cancellation. You’re covered for foreign and domestic terrorism, financial default, medical reasons, and accommodations made uninhabitable. Our $35.92 quote offered up to 100% of the total trip cost for trip cancellation and 125% for trip interruption. 

TinLeg’s Basic travel insurance plan covers up to 100% of your total trip cost for trip cancellation , but you’ll also get other major travel insurance coverages. This plan we were quoted $41 for offers trip interruption, travel delay, baggage delay, emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation, and more. 

Like the battleface plan, Aegis Go Ready Trip Cancellation insurance covers up to 100% of your trip cost if you need to cancel — but not much else. But a big value-add is employment layoff coverage , which allows you to get reimbursed if you need to cancel your trip due to involuntary layoff or termination of employment. We were quoted $45 for this plan.

The Seven Corners Trip Protection Basic plan offers optional CFAR coverage, which reimburses up to 75% of your trip cost for reasons not otherwise covered by your policy. Regular trip cancellation and interruption coverage offer reimbursement of up to 100% of your trip cost. Our quoted cost for this plan came to $58.

Trip cancellation insurance is a type of travel insurance. With trip cancellation coverage, you can get reimbursement for nonrefundable prepaid travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip before departure. Trip cancellation is one of the main coverage areas for travel insurance, the other being medical emergency coverage.

Many comprehensive travel insurance policies offer trip cancellation coverage; standalone trip cancellation insurance is less common than comprehensive travel policies. Travel credit cards may offer trip cancellation coverage as a cardholder benefit, as well.

How Trip Cancellation Insurance Works

Trip cancellation insurance kicks in if you must cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as an illness, injury, or other covered reasons. You can get reimbursed for nonrefundable expenses if you have travel cancellation insurance and need to cancel your trip.

Covered nonrefundable expenses typically include:

  • Hotels and vacation rentals
  • Rental cars

Travel insurance policies with trip cancellation coverage often include trip interruption benefits. Similar to trip cancellation coverage, trip interruption benefits can help you recoup your costs if you need to delay or cut your trip short due to covered reasons.

You can usually purchase trip cancellation insurance up to the day before your scheduled departure. Still, you’ll get more value if you purchase insurance as soon as you make your first trip deposit . That way, your travel plans are covered from the start.

Unless you opt for Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance only applies to covered cancellation reasons. For example, you can’t use trip cancellation insurance to cancel your trip for a refund because there’s rain forecasted for your beach vacation. But, you could get reimbursement if a named hurricane forms after you purchased your policy.

Common reasons covered by trip cancellation insurance include:

  • Death, including the death of a family member or traveling companion
  • Government travel warnings or evacuation orders for your destination
  • Home damage or burglary
  • Illness, injury, or quarantine that makes you or a covered travel companion unfit to travel
  • Legal obligations such as jury duty or subpoena
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods affect travel operations at your destination
  • Terrorist incidents at home or your destination
  • Travel supplier cancellation
  • Unexpected military duty
  • Unexpected pregnancy complications
  • Unexpected work obligations

These are common covered reasons for trip cancellation insurance, but policies vary in coverage . Reviewing the terms and conditions of your trip cancellation insurance is a good idea so you understand what’s covered.

You should also understand what’s explicitly not covered. For example, changing your mind is not a covered reason on a standard trip cancellation insurance policy. And trip cancellation insurance typically doesn’t cover foreseeable events, routine health treatments, substance abuse, sporting events, mental health, acts of war, self-harm, or dangerous activities such as skydiving.

Need to expand your list of covered cancellation reasons? Cancel for Any Reason trip cancellation insurance is an option. 

You can use CFAR to cancel your trip for reasons not covered by trip cancellation insurance, such as changing your mind, fear of travel, unexpected obligations, weather, or budget concerns.

The catch? You’ll pay more for CFAR coverage , and it only reimburses up to 50% to 75% of your nonrefundable travel expenses. Generally, trip cancellation insurance offers 100% reimbursement for covered expenses. 

The other main stipulation is that you’ll need to purchase your coverage within a specified period , usually within 10 to 21 days of your first trip deposit. And to get reimbursement under CFAR, you must cancel your travel within the cancellation timeframe, usually at least 48 hours from your scheduled departure.

Most annual travel insurance policies, also known as multi-trip policies, cover trip cancellation for multiple trips taken within the policy period, usually 12 months. You’ll also typically get coverage for medical expenses.

Trip cancellation insurance covers your nonrefundable travel expenses if you have to cancel before departure, while trip interruption covers your trip costs after departure . For example, trip interruption coverage kicks in if you get injured while traveling and have to go home early.

Woman Jumping Wearing Green Backpack

Trip cancellation insurance can be worth it if you have nonrefundable travel expenses and there’s a risk you’ll have to cancel your travel due to unforeseen events. It offers financial protection if you’re traveling to a destination with potential risks such as natural disasters or political instability — or if you have risk factors at home, such as unpredictable work commitments or family members with health conditions that could interfere with travel. 

If you plan an expensive trip with nonrefundable bookings or deposits, trip cancellation is probably worth it. But if your travel is inexpensive, or most of your travel expenses are refundable, you might not need trip cancellation insurance.

Consider the cost of insurance, the likelihood you’ll need to cancel, and the cost of nonrefundable travel at stake when you decide if trip cancellation is worth it.

What Trip Cancellation Insurance Costs

A basic travel insurance policy with trip cancellation coverage generally costs between 5% to 10% of your trip costs . So a travel insurance policy for a $5,000 trip would cost $250 to $500. Your costs will be higher if you opt for CFAR coverage.

Factors that influence how much your trip cancellation insurance costs include traveler age, trip expenses, trip length, coverage options, and how many people you need to cover.

A comprehensive travel insurance policy with emergency medical or lost baggage coverage and trip cancellation coverage can offer additional value.

If you’re mainly concerned with trip cancellation coverage, look for cheap travel insurance policies that still offer this coverage, but have either nonexistent or low coverage limits for other coverage areas, such as lost baggage or medical evacuation .

You might not have to pay for trip cancellation insurance if you have the right credit card. Some credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage as a cardholder benefit. 

Credit cards with trip cancellation coverage generally provide between $2,000 to $10,000 per person in trip cancellation benefits, often covering trip interruption. 

For example, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers cardholders $2,000 in trip cancellation or interruption benefits per person. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve ® , cardholders get up to $10,000 per person in trip cancellation coverage with a maximum of $20,000 per trip and a $40,000 limit per 12-month period.

If your nonrefundable travel costs exceed the covered benefit offered by your credit card, you may prefer to purchase separate trip cancellation insurance.

If you only need trip cancellation and interruption coverage, your credit card may have adequate protection benefits.

Consider these factors as you shop for a trip cancellation insurance policy:

  • Cost: Compare policy premiums and consider how the cost fits into your overall travel budget.
  • Coverage Amount: Your trip cancellation coverage should cover all of your nonrefundable prepaid trip expenses. But a policy with too much coverage could be more costly than necessary.
  • Policy Limits: Know the policy’s limits, including deductibles, exclusions, and limitations.
  • Covered Reasons: A policy that offers a variety of covered cancellation reasons offers the most protection.
  • CFAR Coverage: Understand whether CFAR coverage is included in the policy and its additional cost.
  • Reputation and Customer Service: Read travel insurance reviews to learn about the experiences policyholders have had, whether they’re good or bad.
  • Refund Policies: Understand what happens if you cancel your policy before the trip.

Travel insurance comparison sites such as Squaremouth make it easy to enter your trip details and get quotes from multiple insurance providers.

Trip cancellation coverage can provide valuable peace of mind if you’re concerned about losing nonrefundable prepaid travel expenses. It can be worth it if there’s a chance you’ll have to cancel your travel plans, and you’ll lose money on nonrefundable costs. Before you choose a trip cancellation policy, consider factors including cost, coverage, and cancellation reasons, and look at what’s covered with any credit cards you hold.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa ® or Mastercard ® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is trip cancellation insurance for.

Trip cancellation coverage offers financial protection if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected circumstances. You can get reimbursement for nonrefundable prepaid expenses related to covered travel if you have to cancel your trip.

Is trip cancellation covered in travel insurance?

Most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellation coverage. Other common coverage areas include trip interruption and medical emergencies.

Does trip insurance cover cancellation for any reason?

Travel insurance can offer CFAR coverage, usually as an optional add-on. You can select a CFAR policy if you want more flexibility in canceling your trip and receiving reimbursement.

When should I buy trip cancellation insurance?

It’s best to purchase trip cancellation as soon as you have any money at risk on your trip, usually as soon as you book travel. Buying trip cancellation insurance after booking covers you for unexpected circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip.

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About Jessica Merritt

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.


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With Flight Cancellations on the Rise, Is Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?

Flight prices are trending down, but the airline industry continues to be challenged by flight cancellations.

Marcos Cabello

Travel insurance and trip protection plans can protect travelers from unexpected cancelations, but the two options are very different. 

While the cost of airfare slightly declined last month, falling by 1.8% in June , it's still more expensive to travel right now than it was one year ago. Considering the uptick in plane ticket prices, an increase in flight cancellations due to labor shortages and a new, possibly more contagious, COVID variant floating around, should you purchase travel insurance to protect the cost of your trip?

Since many of the factors causing travel disruptions are out of your control, travel insurance is worth considering. A travel insurance policy can provide protection against unforeseen circumstances that throw a wrench in your travel plans, while also offering peace of mind during uncertain times.

Travel insurance, which is a regulated product underwritten by an insurance company that provides financial and medical coverage and reimbursement, is not the same as trip protection or credit card travel insurance. Trip protection is less comprehensive and less expensive -- and it generally only offers to waive a fee or to give you a credit for canceling your trip. 

If you're  traveling this summer , we'll walk you through what travel insurance actually covers, how it differs from trip protection and how much it costs, so you can decide if it's worth adding on to your summer trip. 

Read more:   Best Travel Credit Cards

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a major type of insurance policy overseen by state insurance regulators. By purchasing a travel insurance plan, you could be reimbursed for losses that may arise while you travel. Covered incidents can range from unexpected inconveniences such as delayed baggage, to major interruptions such as illness or injury. 

As always, check with official sources regarding visa and travel requirements to your specific destination, since you don't want to be caught off-guard. If you want to take a trip to Cuba, for instance, you may be surprised to find you need non-US medical insurance, according to the  Department of State . A trip insurance policy will cover this requirement.

What does travel insurance actually cover?

The typical travel insurance policy consists of two elements: trip cancellation services and health costs. 

Trip cancellation

If you're unable to travel due to an unforeseen event, travel insurance will reimburse you for the nonrefundable upfront costs, like flights and hotel reservations that otherwise can't be refunded. Unforeseeable events typically include things you have no control over that prevent you from traveling, such as inclement weather, an injury or a sickness -- which now includes COVID-related illness in most (but not all) cases. 

This wasn't on offer when COVID-19 shutdowns began in 2020. "[The public] was nervous because most insurance policies had pandemic exclusions," said Michael Giusti, an analyst at Insurance Quotes . "But the travel industry pivoted toward the consumer and included COVID under the policies. And so, if you get sick with COVID and can't travel, they'll cover your expenses."

Unforeseen events caused by preexisting conditions are even covered. For instance, if you have asthma and experience an attack, that still counts as an unforeseen event, according to Giusti. Foreseen events, such as traveling during your eight month of pregnancy, are not covered.

Government mandates that may come into effect while you're traveling aren't necessarily covered either, Giusti said. This means that, if you can't get on a flight because of a new mandate, you may not be covered by your policy. And fear of travel is also not covered -- so if you're afraid to travel due to concerns of contracting COVID, your travel insurance policy won't reimburse your trip.

Health expenses

The second portion of the typical travel insurance policy covers health costs if you're outside of your home insurance network while traveling. This often includes doctor's visits for smaller illnesses, say, a stomach bug, as well as emergency services, including medical evacuations. Your travel insurance company will pick up the tab for whatever your health insurer won't cover (depending on your plan and deductible). Read the fine print to ensure this is included in your plan.

Read more on travel

  • Flight Delays and Lost Luggage: How to Get Reimbursed for Terrifying Travel Nightmares
  • 9 Travel Hacks to Avoid Headaches

What about trip protection? How is it different? 

While travel insurance can offer financial coverage for rental damages, lost luggage, flight delays, medical bills and ticket cancellation, trip protection usually only lets you change, cancel or refund a trip purchase (such as a flight or hotel). You'll often find airlines offering the option to purchase trip protection when you purchase a ticket online, which can help you recoup your money or offer you a travel credit if you have to cancel a flight.

Trip protection, also called travel protection, is not offered by hotels but can be purchased when booking a cruise. Footing the bill for cruise line trip protection is generally not recommended though, since the coverage is extremely limited when you dig into the fine print, according to Benét J. Wilson, a senior editor for The Points Guy .

Premium credit cards may also offer coverage for some travel expenses as a cardmember perk. This coverage is usually labeled as travel insurance, but offers a modicum of what you would typically get when purchasing through an insurance agency. What's covered depends on the card, but typically, you're looking at coverage for emergency evacuation, death, loss of eyesight or losing limbs, according to Wilson.

To make sure you're purchasing a true travel insurance policy, don't just look for the word "insurance" -- make sure to look for a well-known travel insurance brand that works with a travel insurance underwriter, like Allianz Travel Insurance. Additionally, you can make sure the company you're purchasing from is listed on  AM Best and the US Travel Insurance Association  before buying.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The amount you'll pay for trip insurance depends on a few factors:

  • Cost of your trip
  • Trip destination
  • Duration of trip
  • Your coverage selections (flights and hotels, prepaid excursions, etc.)

That said, a good rule of thumb when budgeting for travel insurance is 5 to 10% of the overall trip cost, according to Giusti.


Abnormal times call for abnormal measures, which might include insuring your travel. 

What is cancel-for-any-reason insurance?

Cancel-for-any-reason insurance, or CFAR, does exactly what its name promises: It lets you cancel for any reason and receive reimbursement, going beyond the bounds of typical travel insurance. However, not only are these policies more expensive, they also typically don't cover 100% of your costs in the event of cancellation. And you need to purchase this insurance soon after you book your travel. 

"As soon as you put your deposits down for your trip, the clock starts ticking," Giusti said. "So, you have to buy that insurance policy in the set amount of time. They don't want you buying the policy six months later when you're about to take the trip and you hear about a new COVID variant."

"CFAR can reimburse up to 75% of the traveler's trip cost in the event they need to cancel for a reason otherwise not covered by their policy," said Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer at SquareMouth.com , a travel insurance quoting and comparison engine. "It costs an additional 40 to 50% premium, and is only eligible within 21 days of the first booking toward the trip."

Do all travel insurance companies cover COVID-related claims?

While most travel insurance carriers generally pivoted into covering COVID-related cancellations, not all did. Moreover, while most plans offer COVID-related protections, they'll only cover you if you're sick, not if you're apprehensive about traveling because of an outbreak. 

Coverage amounts vary by policy, and they can range anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million in coverage per traveler, according to Moncrief. SquareMouth.com suggests looking for a policy with at least $50,000 in medical coverage and $100,000 in medical evacuation coverage.

If you're specifically concerned about contracting COVID, or if you're at high risk and concerned about hospitalization expenses, you may want to consider policies with higher medical benefits. Some companies offer plans for $500,000 of COVID medical coverage per person and reimburse 100% of trip costs for COVID-related illness cancellations. These companies include:

  • HTH Worldwide
  • USI Affinity

It's important to talk to the insurance provider and read the fine print if you have any questions about your coverage. 

Does travel insurance cover quarantine costs?

Here's where it gets tricky. Say you're on a trip to London and you contract COVID right before your outbound flight, and now you have to quarantine until you test negative. You'll suddenly need extra cash for lodging, meals and, potentially, medical attention while you're away from home. 

Will travel insurance cover these costs? It depends. "This is going to be policy by policy," Giusti said. Some plans may have additional coverage for hotel stays and airfare in the event you have to quarantine. That said, the plank may not cover the entirety of the quarantine, just a portion of it. You'll want to look at the Travel Delay or Trip Interruption benefits of your plan to see if quarantine interruptions are included.

"Most policies extend seven days beyond the scheduled return date, although some policies may extend for longer," Moncrief said. The travel delay benefit can shift between a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars in coverage. At the highest end is a max payout of $2,000 per traveler, which breaks down to about $150 to $250 per day. 

If quarantine is included under your Trip Interruption benefit, your plan may also provide reimbursement for missed prepaid portions of your trip, including excursions.

We reached out to travel insurance carriers to see their offerings, but did not receive an immediate response. We'll keep this article updated as we receive new information. 

Should you purchase travel insurance?

It depends. If you've put down deposits for your trip, especially for all-expenses-paid trips like cruises, it may be worth purchasing travel insurance. If something happens, you risk losing all the money you've deposited, and travel insurance would bar that risk. 

On the other hand, if you're just flying to visit your family, and you aren't paying for lodging, it may not make sense to purchase travel insurance, especially if the airline offers a straightforward cancellation policy. But if you're worried about having to cancel your trip from contracting COVID, then opting for travel insurance with broad coverage can provide peace of mind.

For more, check out CNET recommendations for the best airline credit cards , tips for safe travel in 2022 and how to make travel more affordable despite the rising cost of flights.

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  • Refundable fares ...

Refundable fares or travel insurance?

The two hotels and the airline are offering 'non-refundable' fares that are considerably cheaper than refundable ones. The savings is so great that I'd save money buying separate insurance and using the non-refundable fares. Does this make sense? I'm just worried I'm missing some crucial detail. The insurance is $600 but the difference in fares is about $3,000.

$600 for travel insurance sounds like a rip off. Not unless it is for 4 people and covers evacuation costs $50,000

Most buy non-refundable and the insurance offered with the plane ticket.

$600 for cancellation insurance only on the plane fare and hotels looks awfully high to me. I'd look at a broker such as insuremytrip for travel policies that you can tailor to your needs. But with any cancellation policies, you have to look carefully at what is excluded. Even "cancel for no reason" policies come with exclusions and limitations.

Or is this a comprehensive travel policy covering everyone in your party for cancellation, interruption, medical, and evacuation? Where are you getting this insurance from and what is its coverage?

A non-refundable air fare doesn't necessarily mean that you cant reschedule the air travel. I would likely involve a re-booking fee and the re-booking fee would be substantially less then $3000. And check the conditions on trip cancellation.

We always cover the airline change fees not the whole cost of the flights. We get medical evacuation insurance plus medical coverage. Do not actually cover whole trips unless it is a cruise or a tour.

RE: We always cover the airline change fees not the whole cost of the flights.

Take care to read the Terms and Conditions of any insurance carefully. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policies have some very specific requirements.


Eligibility Requirements Typically, a policy must be purchased within 10-21 days of making the initial trip payment to be eligible for CFAR benefits. Often, providers will require CFAR purchasers to insure the entire dollar amount of their travels in order to receive the coverage. Additional requirements may be stated by the providers for those interested in buying a CFAR policy. Be sure to thoroughly read and understand any and all terms before you make your purchase.

We have had several very large claims paid in full. We read the fine print and always buy insurance from Travel Guard as soon as we book our trips.

You might want to consider looking at your credit cards to see if you already have some sort of trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage from your credit card. I have excellent coverage through Chase so I don't buy extra travel insurance anymore. You won't know unless you do a little research.

Why not just decide “I’m going, no matter what”

What on earth could possibly cause you to not take your international flight? Sick? Who cares! Get in the plane and go. Unless you’re in a coma there’s really no reason.

Why not just decide “I’m going, no matter what” What on earth could possibly cause you to not take your international flight? Sick? Who cares! Get in the plane and go. Unless you’re in a coma there’s really no reason

Personal illness isn't the only reason a trip might be cancelled or postponed. What about death of a loved one. Catastrophic illness of a family member. Job loss, (or less serious, the boss cancels your leave). The house burns down.

When I buy the flight going over, I always buy the non-refundable fare in Basic Economy and no trip insurance. One time in the last ten years I gave in and bought trip insurance at the airport, SFO. Likewise in booking the hotel in a 3 star, , the non-refundable rate for a single.

If that trip insurance is “cancel for any reason” (like, I just changed my mind, or whatever), that $600 may not be so unreasonable. But that is not a wise purchase. Cancellation coverage should cover unforeseen circumstances that arise, generally a serious illness by you, a traveling companion, or a non-traveling family member (in which case it usually has to be a very serious, life-threatening condition).

As for saying one is going to fly no matter what or how sick, that is unwise and not allowed if the airline suspects the illness. You can be denied boarding if they think you are too ill to fly. And if they don’t notice and you fly with a contagious illness like influenza, that is not only foolhardy but very inconsiderate.

Or you could be faced with a cancer diagnosis between booking the flights and the date of the trip, like I was. The departure date fell right near the end of my radiation treatment which lasted six weeks. I was young and healthy when I booked the trip, and never considered travel insurance. Fortunately, SAS let me postpone my departure by two weeks and re-book the return flight, without penalty. But that was 20 years ago, and such mercy appears to be very scarce these days.

If you have a significant amount of money invested in non-refundable expenses, more than you can afford to lose, or even more than you feel comfortable losing, the prudent thing is to cover them with a reasonable cancellation policy. But not a “cancel for any reason” one, which extracts a heavy premium for the right to change your mind.

I used to think, like Tim, that there was no reason I could imagine that we wouldn’t take our trips, so I booked a non-refundable rate at a Madrid hotel. Silly me. We were to fly to Spain after attending a wedding in Baltimore. When we got to Dulles Airport, we discovered my husband had forgotten his passport. We had to wait until our son-in-law flew back to SFO, went to our house, found the passport, and fedexed it. There went the three Madrid days. Recently, my neighbor had a loss with the United basic economy fare. She bought a ticket to go on a trip to be taken after a visit from her sister. Seems they got their lines crossed, and the sister bought a ticket to come at the time she’d be away. United doesn’t even allow rescheduling in that fare class. My point is that neither of these reasons could possibly be anticipated. Nor, could either of us “just go.” $600 for insurance does seem high to me. The suggestion to check what’s covered by your cc is a good one. Then, I would be looking at squaremouth or insuremytrip.

Thank you all for your replies.

The premium is high but the difference in fares is higher. Then again, insurance only pays under certain conditions, whereas the refundable fares are refunded on a whim. Looks like there's no saving the risk premium anywhere - the system has it all figured out.

I usually decline insurance unless it's a catastrophic risk. While this is a big expense for us I may just decide to take the risk myself.

I love vacation planning. (Seriously, I totally do.)

That's my attitude. Nonrefundable fares and no insurance. And if something disastrous or totally unforeseen causes a disruption, that's life. It's never happened in 30+ years of travel, so if it does in the future, I'm still probably way ahead of the game after saving on trip insurance for all those years.

....$600 for travel insurance sounds like a rip off..... . First, without knowing the amount insurance no way of knowing if $600 is cheaper, so-so, or expensive. Remember, you only insure your potential loses. And often the insurance company via the fine print will have a different idea of what is a lose compared to what you think is a lose. Since travel insurance premium tend to run around 5 to maybe 10% depending on what is covered, your $600 should suggest an insurance amount of about $12,000 to perhaps $20,000. Could be reasonable depending on your trip.

Adding to Frank's comment, $600 may be reasonable for older policy holders if it covers both cancellation and medical coverage and pre-existing conditions. An old retired policy holder would be less likely to cancel because of job loss but more likely to cancel because of personal health or spouse's health.

As noted above, some credit cards (I have Chase Sapphire Reserve) include some trip cancelation / interruption insurance for no additional cost. Booking many months ahead I usually get cancellable hotel reservations (about €5 per night additional) -- closer to the trip date, if nonrefundable is still available at a better price I may book that and cancel the original reservation.

One more point to add. Having used the two sites I recommended above, I am always astounded at the spread of prices for the same coverage and from similarly rated companies, like $300/2 of us up to $1000/ 2 of us. It pays to compare, and either of the two sites will allow you to do that.

If it covers medical then your destination and your age REALLY effect the cost, I have paid in that range for each of my last two trips but they covered two people and about 18 days each plus medical and evacuation and repatriation and one of us was in his 80s.

So without more info would be needed to see if it is a good deal. But for a savings of $2400 on tickets alone I would sure go with separate insurance

Although you said "separate insurance", there is some evidence you may mean the airline's insurance they offer just before you pay the bill. But the key fact is that EVERY insurance policy has different rules. You cannot assume that one policy or another covers YOUR needs until you skim 20 to 30 pages of rules and conditions. That's one reason I usually buy the same type of insurance.

Example of rules: My mother is 93. I once called my regular insurer, Travelex, to ask about "pre-exisiting conditions" that would fail to be covered in the event of cancellations, if you don't buy the insurance soon enough. Although the insurance covers medical conditions that require a doctor's care (not as in in some other products, hospitalization!) I was concerned about my mother's frail state. Travelex told me, to my surprise, that "pre-existing conditions" in THEIR policy only refers to the TRAVELERS. It doesn't matter how long my mother has had this or that illness!

You can't know if you don't read the policy.

In a similar situation with my mother. I had to cancel a trip to Italy in May. I was in Boston within 5 hours of departing a TAP flight to Rome when I got a call that my stepdad had died. ( He was a mean man but that's another story!) So obviously cancelled my trip to go and take care of my 87 year old mom in her transition. My strategy was to pay for a executive class fully refundable fare on TAP (Portuguese Airlines) . TAP allows you to to purchase a one way fare which is exactly half of a round trip fare unlike other airlines. My return was on United Airlines using my miles. I talked to United re the death and they waived the fee to put my miles back in my account. I received the full fare from TAP refund back to my credit card in 2 weeks and my United airlines miles were back in 24 hours with no charge. I'm using the same strategy for a trip to Italy in May 2020. I have bought insurance in the past but there were so many exclusions I decided it wasn't worth it. Not directly related to this thread but the only kind of travel insurance I have a is a medical travel policy which also provides for emergency air transport among other personal medical issues.

This topic has been automatically closed due to a period of inactivity.

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What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Anya Kartashova

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

What is covered by travel insurance

Extras you can add to a travel insurance policy, what does travel insurance not cover, how to pick the right policy for your trip, if you want to understand travel insurance coverage.

If something goes wrong during a trip, your savings account could take a serious hit if you don’t have travel insurance. Flight cancellations, lost baggage or an accident can throw a wrench into your carefully made plans and cost a lot to rectify.

On the other hand, knowing that your trip is protected can help put your mind at ease before, during and after a vacation. But exactly what does travel insurance cover? Let’s find out.

Most plans typically cover a range of trip protections, including accidental death and dismemberment, baggage delay or loss, emergency medical coverage and evacuation, trip cancellation, delay or interruption and more. Here's a closer look at each one.

Accidental death and dismemberment

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance provides coverage for death or losing a limb or eyesight as a result of an accident. Note that death from natural causes, illness or by suicide isn’t covered, so it’s not the same thing as a life insurance policy.

Baggage delay

Baggage delay insurance reimburses the cost of essentials, such as clothes, toiletries or a phone charger, that you may need to purchase if your bag is delayed. Your baggage must be delayed over a certain number of hours to receive coverage — typically the range is from six to 24 hours, depending on the policy.

Baggage loss

Insurance for baggage loss reimburses the cost of your suitcase and belongings should a checked bag become lost, stolen or damaged during a covered trip.

Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation

This benefit covers the cost associated with medical evacuation if you have a medical emergency and you can’t be treated at the facility closest to you. It will cover transport costs to another hospital or your home country, if necessary, and also includes transportation of remains.

» Learn more: Travel medical insurance: Emergency coverage while you travel internationally

Missed connection

A missed connection benefit covers extra expenses if a common carrier delay causes you to miss an organized tour or a cruise, for example, and you need to pay extra to catch up to it at the next port of call.

Reinstate frequent traveler awards

If you paid for a trip with airline miles or hotel points and it is subsequently canceled, this benefit will cover any fees required to redeposit your rewards back to your frequent traveler account.

Trip cancellation

Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for prepaid nonrefundable costs if you must cancel a trip for a covered reason. Reasons that are typically covered include:

Sickness or death of a family member.

Financial insolvency.

Natural disaster.

Airline strike.

Inclement weather.

Military duty.

Stolen passport or visa.

Loss of employment.

Trip delay covers costs associated with transportation, meals or lodging should your common carrier be delayed, as well as reimbursement of any prepaid, nonrefundable expenses. Trip delay coverage takes effect after a specified period of time depending on the policy, but typically ranges from five to 12 hours.

» Learn more: What you need to know about Chase’s trip delay insurance

Trip interruption

Trip interruption insurance reimburses you for unused, nonrefundable costs in the event you must cut the trip short and return home for a covered reason, including a family member’s sickness or death, terrorism, inclement weather or a natural disaster, among others.

Travel insurance plans usually don’t include coverage for every possible thing that can go wrong, but you can add optional extras to your policy for an upcharge. Check to see if your plan has the following types of coverage, and if you think you need it, you can add it in or buy a more inclusive policy.

Cancel For Any Reason

If you change your mind and decide not to go on a trip you’ve booked, you typically can’t get reimbursed for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses — unless you purchase a cancel for any reason policy separately. Depending on the policy, you usually get a portion of your prepaid expenses back (typically 50% to 75%), but you must purchase the policy within 10 to 21 days of initial payment. Note that cancel for any reason isn’t the same as trip cancellation listed above.

Rental car collision damage waiver

If your rental car is damaged or stolen, rental car insurance will protect you from having to pay for the damage or theft. Many credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card , offer rental car collision damage insurance, so check whether the cards you hold have this benefit before adding it to a policy.

Pre-existing conditions

If you need coverage for a pre-existing medical condition, you must purchase a policy within the time specified by the insurance provider to be eligible for a pre-existing conditions waiver (usually ten to 21 days). Make sure that the coverage amount you enter is equal to all prepaid, nonrefundable costs for your trip.

» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies right now

Quarantine accommodations

This coverage is often part of trip delay insurance, but some providers include it and some don’t. For example, the Safe Travels Voyager plan offered by Trawick International covers lodging expenses in case you get sick with COVID-19 and have to quarantine abroad before flying home safely.

» Learn more: Travel insurance may not cover COVID-19 — unless you upgrade

Travel insurance offers coverage for many situations, but not all. Some scenarios aren’t covered by a travel policy, including:

A named storm: Most travel plans protect you from hassles stemming from inclement weather. However, a policy needs to be purchased before a tropical storm or weather event is named. If you purchase coverage after a natural disaster has begun, it won’t be covered.

Activities performed under the influence: Drug and alcohol use are a notable exception to most travel policies. If you fall off an ATV because you drank a few alcoholic beverages or took drugs before operating a vehicle, you’re no longer covered.

Extreme sports: Some high-risk sports, such as bungee jumping, scuba diving or rock climbing, aren’t covered by a comprehensive travel insurance plan. However, you can buy a separate policy for the specific adrenaline activities you’re planning to do on your vacation from World Nomads , for example.

Fear of travel because of a pandemic or another reason: This is something that would be covered under a “cancel for any reason” add-on, but a general travel policy won’t cover fear of travel.

Medical tourism: Seeking dental work in Mexico or a hair transplant in Turkey? Keep in mind that your medical expenses for elective procedures aren’t covered by a plan with emergency medical coverage.

Pregnancy: If you want to cancel a trip because you’re pregnant, you can do so only if you purchased the plan before you became pregnant. Otherwise, it’s not a covered reason. Additionally, medical costs incurred while on a trip during pregnancy might or might not be covered (check with your insurance provider).

» Learn more: What to know before you buy travel insurance

The length of trip, your age and the destination all factor into how much a policy will cost. The coverage types and their limits also influence the price tag.

Types of coverage and limits

Take a look at the terms of each policy and determine the type of coverage you need the most. Compare the coverage details and limits with the cost. If you hold a travel credit card , familiarize yourself with its benefits as some of the trip protections might be redundant.

Single trip vs. annual plan

For frequent travelers, an annual plan offers the most bang for your buck — it costs less money versus purchasing insurance for multiple single trips. An annual policy covers long international trips as well as short domestic trips in between, so you can have peace of mind all year long. But everything isn’t always included in a multi-trip plan, the coverage limits are lower and you may not be covered for pre-existing conditions.

Individual vs. family

When shopping for a quote, include everyone traveling in your party and their ages before you submit the trip details. Note that some insurance providers include free coverage for children 21 and younger if a parent is the primary policyholder.

» Learn more: 10 best travel insurance companies

Because coverage varies among the different insurance providers and policies, make sure to read over the policy terms carefully, especially if you’re looking for a specific type or amount of coverage.

If you’re still not sure whether a specific event or activity would be covered, call the insurance company and chat with a customer service representative. It’s better to be aware of what’s covered and what isn’t before you need to (but hopefully don’t have to) file a claim.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

1x-5x Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

is travel insurance cancellable

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This North American country is the safest for travelers in 2024—and it's not the U.S.


The post-pandemic era set off the rise of "travel experiences" with more and more people wanting unique adventures and to explore places off the beaten path .

Travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection recently released its ninth-annual State of Travel Insurance report which ranks the safest countries in the world for travelers.

BHTP surveyed 1,702 people and used data from the Global Peace Index and the State Department's travel safety ratings to evaluate safety concerns like health measures, terrorism, weather emergencies and the safety of underrepresented groups.

It's important to note the report states that despite the ranking, it doesn't mean every part of the country is safe, nor does it account for potential natural disasters.

No. 1 safest country for travelers in 2024: Canada

After ranking sixth last year, Canada climbed to the No. 1 spot on the list of safest countries for travelers in 2024.

Canada ranked highly because its cold weather and low population density make for safe travel.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection also stated that in Canada, it's important to watch out for wildfires and the reduced air quality in most major Canadian cities because of them.

According to Britannica, Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area and has the longest coastline.

According to The Better Life Index , Canada outperforms the average countries in income, education, jobs, health, environmental quality, life satisfaction and social connections.

Canadians rated their general satisfaction with life in the country a 7 out of 10, above the OECD average of 6.7.

Top 10 safest countries for travelers in 2024

  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom

Switzerland climbed the ranks from No. 9 last year to No. 2 on the list for 2024.

Switzerland ranked so highly because the country "has been synonymous with security forever – or at least, for as long as there's been a Switzerland," the report states.

Switzerland scored high marks for the stability of its politics and economy, according to U.S. News and World Report . The country is home to giant companies like Nestle, Hoffman-LaRoche, and Novartis.

Switzerland has also been ranked as the best country in the world six times and placed No. 4 in a recent quality of life sub ranking .

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What is collision insurance?

Cherise Threewitt

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub

Published 5:00 a.m. UTC Jan. 23, 2024

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  • Collision insurance can help pay for repairs if your vehicle collides with an object, such as another vehicle or pole.
  • If you have a loan or lease on your car, your lender likely requires collision coverage.
  • Collision and comprehensive car insurance offer coverage for different types of scenarios and are not interchangeable.

Collision insurance explained

Collision insurance is an optional type of car insurance that many drivers choose to add to their policies. This type of coverage provides for the repair or replacement of a car that is damaged in a crash with another car or with an object.

According to Mark Friedlander, Director of Corporate Communications for the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), about 80% of drivers in the United States carry collision insurance. Triple-I is an organization that helps consumers learn about the insurance industry.

What does collision insurance cover?

Collision insurance covers repairs or total replacement of your vehicle if:

  • You collide with another vehicle.
  • You crash into an object, like a tree or a fence.
  • You hit a pothole while driving. 
  • You’re the single driver in a crash like a rollover.
  • You are the victim of a hit-and-run. 

What is not covered by collision insurance?

Collision insurance does not cover damage to:

  • Another driver’s vehicle. 
  • Medical payments for any individual injured in a collision. 
  • Vehicle damage from a storm or natural disaster.
  • Car theft or vandalism.
  • Damage from falling objects, such as a broken tree limb. 
  • Contact with an animal, such as hitting a deer.

If you want coverage for car theft and damage caused by falling objects, animal collisions, flood, fire and hail, you need comprehensive car insurance . This coverage is usually sold with collision insurance and both are typically required if you have a car loan or lease. 

How does collision insurance work?

Collision insurance pays to cover repairs or replacement of your vehicle up to its actual dollar value, minus your car insurance deductible . This coverage applies whether or not you are at fault for the collision.

If you’re considering adding collision coverage to your car insurance policy, figure out approximately how much your vehicle is worth so you can buy appropriate coverage.

How much does collision insurance cost?

According to Triple-I and several insurance companies, most drivers will pay a few hundred dollars a year for collision insurance, though data from our study of rates shows an average of $814 per year. 

The cost of collision insurance is dependent on many factors, such as your:

  • Address. 
  • Deductible. 
  • Driving record.
  • Value of car. 

Lower deductibles typically mean higher premiums, though if you want to save on your collision insurance, you can choose a higher deductible.

Collision coverage deductibles and limits

Collision insurance features some important terms that you should know if you’re shopping for a policy: deductibles and limits. These factors contribute to the formula that determines how much you’ll pay for your collision insurance policy, and how much the car insurance company will pay out if your car is damaged or totaled.

The deductible is the amount the insurance company will deduct from your claim check. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. 

If you have a $100 deductible, you’ll have higher premiums than if you have a $2,000 deductible, because the insurance company will have to pay more for the cost of the repairs and replacements if you file a claim. 

The limit of your collision policy is what your car is worth today, otherwise known as its value. This is the highest dollar amount your insurance company will compensate you for if your car is a total loss, meaning the repairs cost more than its value. 

Your vehicle’s value factors into how much you’ll pay for your policy, along with the deductible.

Why buy collision coverage?

So, you may be wondering, do I need collision insurance? When considering whether to add collision coverage to your car insurance policy, keep in mind that having it could provide peace of mind for a variety of scenarios in which your car can be seriously damaged or deemed a total loss.

Collision insurance pays for damage to your car if you collide with another vehicle or object (regardless of who is at fault), hit a pothole, your car rolls over or you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident. 

If you’d be unable to pay out of pocket to repair or replace your car in any of those situations, consider purchasing collision coverage.

Collision insurance FAQs

No state requires collision coverage in order to drive, but it is typically required by your lender when you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.

If your leased or financed car is damaged in a crash, the financial institution that technically owns your car wants to ensure that you will be compensated to properly fix the car or to pay off the loan if it is totaled.

Buying the right amount of collision insurance for you and your car is generally worth it, though that amount varies based on your car’s actual cash value.

Liability insurance is typically mandated by your state of residence. This coverage compensates other people for their damaged property and medical bills in accidents you cause. It also pays for your legal defense if you’re sued following the accident. Liability insurance has no deductible.

Collision insurance is an optional coverage that compensates you for damage to your vehicle in specific scenarios, such as a crash with another vehicle, a collision with a stationary object or a single-car rollover accident. Collision insurance has a deductible.

Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle or object, such as a guardrail. It also pays for damage if your car rolls over or is involved in a hit and run. 

Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle from causes other than a collision, such as a storm, natural disaster, theft, vandalism, animals, fire or falling objects.

Learn more: Comprehensive vs. collision insurance .

If you own your car outright and it has a low dollar value, you can likely skip collision insurance. With a low-value car, the deductible required to make a collision insurance claim may not be worth it.

If you have an old or low-value vehicle, you can probably drop collision insurance without incurring significant financial risk.

“If your vehicle isn’t worth much more than the deductible you would need to pay when filing a collision claim (example: you have a $1,000 deductible and the actual cash value of your vehicle is only $1,500), you may want to consider dropping the coverage to reduce the cost of your premium,” said Friedlander.

Learn more: When to drop collision and comprehensive insurance .

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Cherise Threewitt

Cherise is a freelance writer and editor with 20 years of experience. Cherise’s focus on the automotive industry includes expertise in car shopping, financing and leasing, and insurance. Her work has been published on U.S. News & World Report, HowStuffWorks, SlashGear, CarGurus, The Car Connection

Aliza Vigderman is a freelance editor based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Previously, she worked as the Director of Content for AutoInsurance.com, where she wrote and edited hundreds of articles on car insurance coverages, laws and tips to help readers make informed buying decisions. In an earlier role as a staff writer at Security.org, she covered topics like identity theft and cyber insurance, which help protect people from online threats. In her free time, Aliza enjoys writing and reading fiction, cooking and running.

Heidi Gollub is the USA TODAY Blueprint managing editor of insurance. She was previously lead editor of insurance at Forbes Advisor and led the insurance team at U.S. News & World Report as assistant managing editor of 360 Reviews. Heidi has an MBA from Emporia State University and is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert.

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