Trip cancellation insurance

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Martí Micolau

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  • What does travel cancellation insurance cover?
  • Is there cancellation insurance for any reason?
  • How long before should it be done?
  • How to stipulate the cancellation policy
  • How to do it and what it takes to get a refund
  • The best travel cancellation policies
  • Should you do it? My opinion
  • Tips to minimize the unexpected

Traveling is always a phenomenal experience, which enriches us and makes us dream.

But it undoubtedly is an average expensive activity and which often provides for travel arrangements even several months in advance of departure, especially if we are talking about travel to the USA.

This implies the possibility that unexpected events occur that lead us to cancel the trip.

Accidents, illnesses, family problems or geographical or political situations related to the destination can in fact lead us to cancel the trip so dreamed and desired.

Hence the need to stipulate atravel cancellation insurance.

What does travel cancellation insurance cover?

Travel cancellation insurance compensates the penalties in the event of cancellation for a number of reasons specified in the policy.

The most common cases are (I provide a non-exhaustive list; it is a good idea to always read the information sheet of the policy before stipulating it):

  • in the event of the death of one of the travelers or family members;
  • illness of one of the travelers or family members
  • injury to the person who has to leave or to a family member;
  • new hire or dismissal;
  • complications in the event of pregnancy occurring after taking out the insurance;
  • theft or fire of the house;
  • theft of personal documents necessary for expatriation or natural disasters;
  • tests in public competitions;
  • summoning as juror or witness;
  • accidents with the vehicle assigned to the journey if sufficiently close to the date of departure

Travel cancellation insurance can cover travel and accommodation costs and agency related costs.

Does travel cancellation insurance also apply in the event of pre-existing illness?

Many of the travel cancellation insurance they do not include the possibility of reimbursement for previous illnesses with respect to the time in which the policy is stipulated. Previous illnesses that may affect the insured or his closest relatives.

However, there are exceptions: for example Worldwide Insure the insured must report any pre-existing illnesses; other valid alternatives are represented by Globy rosso plus by Allianz, all-risk coverage that also affects previous and chronic diseases.

The best advice is to read the information booklet very carefully to get a detailed picture of the general conditions and not to receive any unpleasant surprises.

Do you fully refund the trip?

The most comprehensive forms of travel cancellation insurance allow you to recover 100% of the expenses incurred. Excluded are those cases in which the insurance is identified as a deductible or a ceiling.

Il maximal is the maximum amount that the insurance company is willing to reimburse. There franchise instead, present in most contracts, it is a fixed amount that imposes part of the compensation on the insured. Usually it does not go beyond 100 euros, but it can in any case be eliminated by choosing the “Zero deductible” option.

Do I have to cancel the reservations?

The cancellation policy reimburses the penalties provided for by the contract; will therefore be it is necessary to cancel the services that can no longer be used and for what is not recoverable, ask for a refund.

Is there cancellation insurance for any reason?

As already seen, there are different types of insurance that cover a range of possibilities and very different cancellation reasons. The indemnifiable events are always specified in the insurance contract; read them carefully!

Each company applies different conditions, identifying causes for exclusion of compensation as well as specific ceilings and deductibles.

The advice is to choose a company that covers as many events as possible, for example with All Risk policies that can make refunds for any documentable reason.

It should be specified that changes of ideas in the days and stages of your trip are not included. To know the details on the coverage, refer to the first paragraph.

How long before should it be done?

If for other types of policies the time of purchase is not so decisive, the cancellation policy, on the other hand, has specific times.

In general, it should be purchased 48 within hours from the booking date of the first travel service (flight, stay, transfers…) if at least 14 days elapse between the booking date and departure.

If, on the other hand, yours will be a last minute, the insurance must be purchased at the same time as the purchase of the trip. Here too there are exceptions… In fact, there are insurances that allow the purchase regardless of when the stay is booked, until shortly before departure.

Let's take a closer look at when it is necessary to take out insurance depending on the company.

Safe travels

With Safe travels the policy must be purchased necessarily within 48 hours of booking or together with it if it is a last minute trip.

Cost of the policy for a trip worth € 2.000: 97,20€ with the 10% discount code (CR10PY).

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With Allianz the policy can be purchased only if the trip begins after at least 30 days.

Cost of the policy for a trip worth € 2.000: 170€.

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Columbus allows you to insure even if the trip has already been purchased for some time. It is not possible to take out only the cancellation policy, but this is included in the medical expenses and luggage insurance.

10% discount code: GALTTA. The cost is € 20 more than the medical insurance + luggage.

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Coverwise the cancellation can be purchased at any time if the trip does not start within 7 days after the purchase, in 24 hours after the purchase if the trip will start within a week.

With Coverwise it is not possible to purchase the cancellation policy alone, but this must be done in conjunction with the medical or medical + baggage policy.

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With Axa it is necessary to stipulate the cancellation policy at the same time as the purchase of the medical policy alone.

The cost is € 63,01 with the 10% discount code: MAX10

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How to stipulate the cancellation policy

The cancellation policy can be easily taken out in a package that includes other different protections, such as one medical or lost luggage insurance. The policies can be easily subscribed online, but each company offers different solutions.


Columbus for example, it proposes the cancellation policy exclusively together with an Assistance, medical insurance and baggage policy


Axa instead it includes it in Basic Protection, Medium Protection and Total Shield, as well as in annual policies with a repayment ceiling of up to 10.000 euros.

Safe travels

Safe travels within the Basic, Silver and Gold policies, it only provides coverage for missed departure and interruption of stay, while cancellation is a separate service.


Coverwise proposes cancellation as optional in the stipulation of the three medical, medical and baggage or all-inclusive insurance; it is not possible to include it in the annual multi-trip policy.


Allianz instead it proposes the cancellation policy as package apart from Holiday policies, Annual multi-trip, Study trip, Business trip, Flight accidents, Ski vacation and Trips to Spain for foreigners.

How to do it and what it takes to get a refund

It is essential to have all the necessary documentation to request a refund in case of cancellation of your trip.

It will therefore be necessary demonstrate the force majeure that prevented you from leaving, collect health statements from the attending physician, receipts, dismissal or new hire letters as appropriate.

As soon as you become aware of the missed departure and have the necessary documents, it is important to immediately send the cancellation notification to the person who has provided you with the purchased tourist services and notify your insurance company within a maximum of 24-48 hours.

It is then necessary to fill in the report form and send the original documentation indicated by the insurance company to the same, as well as the insurance certificate. The methods of sending can be by registered mail or certified e-mail, according to the insurance requests. The insurer is required to respond within 45 days.

The best travel cancellation policies

Now let's go into detail: what are the best travel cancellation policies?

  • Columbus Insurance: 15 million customers worldwide for one of the most famous companies
  • Safe Travel: linked to the German company Europäische Reiseversicherung AG
  • Axa: another of the best known names in the sector, present in over 33 countries around the world
  • Allianz: always synonymous with reliability, it is the only one that allows insurance even for people over 75
  • Coverwise: Axa's intermediary, offers really affordable possibilities

[easy-pricing-table id=”32274″]

Should you do it? My opinion

Insurance is an advisable choice especially when bookings are made well in advance and it is therefore difficult to foresee possible unforeseen events after months.

In fact, imagine all the waiting, the countdowns in view of the departure, the preparation ... And then an unexpected event that could upset your plans!

What's worse, besides having to face the bitterness for the inability to leave, di having to pay the entire trip without being able to fully experience it? Insurance is therefore the perfect solution to avoid having to face excessive and unexpected costs.

Therefore, if once taking out insurance was seen as something superfluous, today its real importance has been understood and more and more travelers choose this solution.

My opinion is therefore to always include it in your travel package to travel in complete peace of mind, especially in the case of distant destinations or those considered at risk or travel with children, as well as undoubtedly reservations made well in advance.

Tips to minimize the unexpected

When booking your trip, carefully check whether or not the flight, hotel or package you are purchasing is refundable.

The cheapest flights belong to fare classes almost never refundable; for hotels, on the other hand, it is usually possible to choose solutions that allow cancellations up to a few days from the departure date.

If you have a non-refundable flight and a refundable hotel, it will be sufficient to include only the cost of the first in the policy, thus paying a lower insurance premium.

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