So you’ve planned your trip and made the necessary arrangements. In the process, you may have decided to buy trip insurance for peace of mind. But you’re not done yet: Do you need to add Cancel for Any Reason coverage?
Money expert Clark Howard wants you to think about adding this specific coverage because if you don’t, your wallet may not be adequately protected.
“I have gotten complaint after complaint after complaint from people who bought travel insurance and then something went wrong and they couldn’t go on the trip or they got sick on the trip and then their claim was denied.”
What Is Cancel for Any Reason Coverage?
Cancel for Any Reason coverage is typically an add-on to your base travel insurance policy. As its name implies, you can truly cancel your trip for any reason — including just changing your mind.
This coverage typically provides only partial reimbursement of your prepaid travel, but the point is that you won’t be left empty-handed if your trip provider cancels or you’re not able to make the trip for some reason.
“You only get 50, 60 or 75% of your money,” Clark adds, “but you can wake up and decide that you don’t want to go on a trip. You’ll lose 25-50% but you’ll know you’ve got the other half of the money. There are so many ‘unexpecteds.’”
Why You Should Consider Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
As you may know, Clark recommends that you get travel insurance if your trip matches one of the following criteria:
- It’s a cruise.
- Your trip is non-refundable.
- It requires you to pay thousands of dollars in advance.
- It includes a special tour as part of the trip.
Travel insurance covers a lot of situations and scenarios, but the policies don’t cover everything.
To make sure your travel insurance covers all your needs, Clark recommends that you consider buying Cancel for Any Reason coverage even though it will increase the cost of your policy a bit.
Before You Buy Cancel for Any Reason Insurance
Before you buy Cancel for Any Reason coverage, do your research on your hotel and airline to see if they have cancellation policies that allow you to change plans without a penalty.
A cancellation policy can usually be found in one of two places:
- On your itinerary
- On the trip provider’s website
Can’t find it? Contact a customer service representative from your trip provider(s) and have them explain their cancellation policy to you.
In some cases, depending on the length of the cancellation window, you might not need cancel for any reason coverage.
Where Not To Buy Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
“Never, never, not ever, buy the travel insurance offered by an airline at its website, a cruise line at its website, a tour operator at its website,” Clark says.
Clark cites a few reasons why he doesn’t want you to buy what he calls “those house quasi-insurance products:”
- “Because they’re junk,” he says.
- They cost too much money.
- They’re likely not to pay if something happens.
Where To Buy Cancel for Any Reason Insurance
“You want to buy third-party travel insurance,” he says. “And, you can use one of these sites where you can compare multiple insurers like InsureMyTrip.com to see the best deal for you.”
InsureMyTrip is a site that lets you compare different types of travel insurance to get the best price.
When To Buy Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
If you’re not traveling at the last minute, you should buy trip insurance with Cancel for Any Reason coverage within two weeks of booking your trip.
That gives you plenty of lead time to shop for the best policies and compare them.
Although they may offer it, you should never buy Cancel for Any Reason coverage from an airline, hotel or car rental website. Instead, Clark wants you to use an independent site that is separate from your travel bookings.
And remember, you may not need Cancel for Any Reason coverage if your travel provider’s policy is adequate. So check there first.
Want some money-saving travel tips? Read Clark’s #1 Rule for Travel.