Trip cancellation insurance: what is it?
The principle of this insurance is as follows: if the insured has to cancel his trip at the last moment for one of the reasons provided for in the contract, the insurer guarantees more or less total reimbursement (excluding the deductible provided for in contract) of the price of his ticket or of the sum left to be borne by him by the organizer or the seller of the trip. This against the payment of a contribution.
Whether the guarantee is included in the price of the trip or attached to your bank card or taken out as an option with the travel agency or with an insurer, you will need to pay attention to a certain number of points. Things to check before signing:
- guarantee limits;
- exclusions (in particular an illness that occurred before the date of signature of the contract);
- any deductibles applied;
- the conditions of cover (and in particular in the event of illness for which the insurers may require conditions clearly set out in the general conditions of the contract – impossibility of leaving the bed, medical supervision making departure impossible, prescription of urgent treatment which cannot be postponed, Insured’s condition incompatible with the planned mode of transport, etc.).
Compensation for cancellation costs
If the cancellation costs vary according to the service providers, the common rule is that the closer the cancellation occurs to the departure date, the higher the share left to be paid by the customer. The principle governing the guarantee: the reason invoked by the insured must be unforeseeable at the time of the signature and the fact invoked unintentional. Only cancellations resulting from a reason mentioned in the general conditions of the contract will be compensated.
Attention : in terms of illness, the consequences of ailments from which the insured suffered before the conclusion of the contract are always excluded from the guarantee and no compensation can be provided.
Main reasons for cancellation
Reimbursement will be made if the reason invoked by the insured is provided for in the conditions of the contract. The main reasons for cancellation concern:
- illness of the insured or one of the relatives (spouse, child, parents, son-in-law or daughter-in-law);
- the death of the insured or one of his relatives;
- a serious accident that could impact the insured or one of his relatives;
- significant material damage affecting the insured’s home, second home, business premises or car;
- a professional reason (economic redundancy, transfer, modification of leave dates, entry into a new job);
- summons as an assize juror;
- summons to a remedial university exam;
- occurrence of an event in the country of destination (whether political events, attacks, natural disasters);
- occurrence of a random event (see definition specific to the insurer in the general conditions of the contract).
Good to know : generally the cancellation guarantee only works if the cancellation comes from the insured. Any cancellation due to the service provider(s) will not be compensated by the insurer and will therefore only be covered by what may be provided for in this case in the general conditions of sale of the trip.
In the event of a claim, the amount of reimbursement depends mainly on the reason for the cancellation (whether or not provided for in the contract) and the date of cancellation. In the event of a difficulty that could lead to cancellation, the best thing to do is to contact your insurer in order to find out what to do and whether the conditions for compensation are met.
Interest in taking out cancellation insurance
Although optional, this insurance can be very interesting when the travel reservation was made very early in relation to the date set for departure, and particularly if it is a high-cost trip. Conversely, if you opt for a trip a few days before departure, you can very well do without cancellation insurance. This will usually be an inconsequential saving.
Good to know : trip cancellation insurance is systematically offered by the provider who is legally required to do so.
Travel cancellation insurance price
If the fare conditions are imposed on you as part of an insurance included in the price of the trip or in your credit card package (generally limited to top-of-the-range versions), the optional guarantee taken out through the service provider or an insurer will see its contribution vary according to the value of the trip.
The contribution is generally calculated by applying to the overall price of the trip a rate of between 3 and 6% for a guarantee capped between 5,000 euros and 8,000 euros maximum.
Good to know :this cover can also be taken out as an option within the framework of a multi-risk travel insurance contract.
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