Based on the level of planning, trips can be either planned or unplanned. The unplanned trips have to be taken at short notice, giving a significantly less scope of planning. They include trips taken for attending a sick relative, a family funeral, an urgent business meeting with the client, or a job interview in a different city. On the other hand, planned trips include those well-planned trips to spend quality time with friends or family during vacations, weddings, etc.
Unlike unplanned trips, a lot of time and effort goes into the preparation for planned trips. People on vacation with family or friends usually pre-book travel tickets and hotel rooms months in advance. It is done to ensure that they do not face any hurdle due to the unavailability of travel tickets or hotel rooms on the day of the journey.
Sometimes, however, certain unforeseen circumstances, such as a family member getting hospitalized days before the journey, may force people to cancel the trip at the very last moment. That could not only be a frustrating experience for the travelers but could also lead to loss of money such as “on non-refundable pre-paid bookings on travel ticket or hotel rooms.”
Since the pandemic emerged out of nowhere all around the world, even the unplanned trips saw their abrupt end due to worldwide lockdown and travel restrictions. However, many people smartly chose to get trip cancellation insurance added to their health or travel insurance plan. People knew that things do not look good, especially traveling, so opting for COVID coverage and trip cancellation insurance was right.
The expert team of Student Cover will elaborate on why it is important to buy trip cancellation insurance to prevent financial losses arising from last-minute cancellations. Most trip cancellation insurance plans provide cover against cancellations due to the following reasons:
Cancellation due to death or hospitalization of the Insured
Suppose the insured, i.e., all travelers in a group/combined policy, suffers from mild sickness or minor injury such as a cold or sore throat. In that case, one might take the risk of traveling.
Nevertheless, any group member is hospitalized due to significant injury or sickness such as COVID during the present scenario. In that case, traveling becomes out of the question or too risky, and then trip cancellation is inevitable. Such cancellations are quite common when travelers include minor children or aged family members who are prone to falling sick days ahead of the scheduled journey.
Since the time COVID-19 approached in India and the rest of the world, the sickness factor has become more than inevitable even when the person has tested negative for the disease. Although only those people are allowed to travel who have a negative RT-PCR test report with them, the virus is more unforeseen in itself.
Suppose a person has opted for a trip cancellation insurance seeing the circumstances outsides. In that case, it could help them claim reimbursement for non-refundable amounts or cancellation charges on all transportation expenses and hotel reservations by providing necessary medical certificates/proofs of the Insured concerned.
Cancellation due to death or injury of a family member
Death/sickness/injury could occur to anyone at any point in time. While travel insurance plans provide cover against such incidents, they come into effect only when a person has started the journey. In case of death or hospitalization of an immediate family member just before the trip, people cannot continue with their travel plans.
Trip cancellation insurance provides cover for financial losses incurred in such situations. To get reimbursement for non-refundable amounts or cancellation charges on all transportation expenses and hotel reservations, one can submit necessary medical certificates/proofs of the concerned family member to the insurance company.
Cancellation due to Worldwide Travel Restriction & Pandemic
Post the pandemic, students are now beginning to travel to their study destination as they have planned. However, specific study destinations are still not ready to welcome the students to begin their university semester. Hence, considering the restrictions for the students and non-essential travelers, students are now backing out and canceling their trips.
Since the sudden travel restriction in the wake of no improvement in the COVID situation, several countries are either imposing a good number of restrictions or are not allowing people yet. In this case, the event is entirely unforeseeable.
The insurance companies are now offering COVID coverage and coverage for medical evacuation when needed. Thus, it is essential to opt for trip cancellation insurance by a student. It would save them from financial loss and put less pressure on the already expensive overseas education students and their guardians.
Cancellation due to bad weather
At times, travelers are forced to cancel trips due to bad weather either at home, the destination, or its vicinity. Natural phenomena such as hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, cyclones, floods, etc., make travel very risky, if not impossible, forcing travelers to cancel the trip. In such situations, the non-refundable amount spent on travel tickets or hotel rooms might go waste.
Trip cancellation insurance provides financial relief to such travelers by compensating them against such cancellations. Claimants can produce government advisories and official weather reports as evidence to seek insurance cover.
Note: Trip cancellation insurance does not provide cover if the plan was purchased after the weather advisory or report was already issued by the competent authority.
Cancellation due to unavoidable legal obligations
In some instances, a person who is supposed to travel on a given date might have to appear before the court or government authority due to specific reasons. In those cases where one is summoned by the court to appear either as a witness, to pay Challan or fine, or as a party in a criminal or civil case, one cannot cite one’s prior commitment to go on a trip as an excuse. If one does not appear before the court on the given date, the honorable court might he or might issue a warrant against that person.
In such a scenario, one is left with no other option but to cancel the trip. One can prevent the financial loss arising out of such cancellation by taking trip cancellation insurance. However, one has to provide evidence of such a summon to the insurance provider to claim reimbursement.
Theft or Loss of Passport/Visa
Passports or visas are essential for traveling to foreign destinations. Without a passport or visa, one can neither exit the home country nor enter the country in which the travel destination falls.
In such a situation, a traveler can seek reimbursement for the expenses incurred in non-refundable pre-bookings from the trip cancellation insurance provider. However, to claim insurance benefits, one must provide a certified copy of the First Information Report (FIR) about the person’s stolen or lost passport. An FIR contains details about the stolen or lost passport along with reasons.
These are some fundamental reasons trip cancellation insurance is a must, especially when one has a big sack of money online. You ought to get compensation for the loss. It is your smartness and practical decision-making that can help in future endeavors.
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