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Trip cancellation insurance

We are headed to France in June 2016. We are in the process of finalizing our lodgings. One of the places we booked will only refund cancellations if they can rebook our reservation. They recommended we get trip cancellation insurance. Can anyone give advice on the best to look into this? Thank you!

Posted by
784 posts

Try - it will offer several quotes from different companies so you can compare coverage. You will need to buy Insurance within a set number of days of your first expediture. Be sure to include the cost of airfare.

However, I would book a rental with an owner that offers refunds of the deposit up to at least 60 days prior to arrival. I have rented in France several times and have never had to pay the full amount at time of booking. Usually, full payment is due 60-90 day prior to arrival, or even upon arrival.

Posted by
930 posts

We always get trip insurance. My brother was killed while we were on vacation 8yrs ago, and we learned a huge lesson.

Rick Steves EUROPE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR 2016 has a whole chapter on this. This is a must read book anyway . . .such great info on money, debit cards, packing, etc - we got ours on Amazon, but I'm sure you can get it on this site too.

I know AAA also sells trip insurance. If you are an AAA member - call or stop by their office. And read the chapter in the above book. My dad was in the military so we always get ours thru USAA - but i'm sure there's lots of options out there.

Posted by
1743 posts

Check your credit card's policies; some cards offer travel insurance as a built-in benefit.

Posted by
8035 posts

It is a calculated choice. We have been traveling for 50 years without it most of the time. Our calculation is that if you can afford the trip you can afford to lose the money; this isn't a happy circumstance but it doesn't ruin you. What can ruin you financially is needing to be airlifted home -- that can run 100,000$; we know of someone in our last community who had to mortgage their home to bring their daughter home from Cairo after an auto accident left her seriously hurt -- this was some time back and it was over 50K for the trip. My old job health insurance included this benefit; my medigap policy covers emergency care abroad for 60 days but not evacuation so I now have an annual policy with medjet assist for my husband and me -- it will bring us from any hospital in the world to our local hospital and costs 350 a year for people our age.

When we travel for more than 60 days, we get medical insurance which at our age is hella expensive. To insure the trip itself, would cost us many hundreds of dollars each time e.g. non refundable bookings, air fare etc -- we have paid for a couple of trips with the money we didn't spend buying this insurance over the years.

I think this kind of insurance is much cheaper in Europe -- it is quite expensive for Americans who travel like we do for weeks at a time with rentals.

Posted by
2788 posts

We have gone to Europe in 13 of the last 14 years and have alway gotten travel insurance since I turned 65 and went onto Medicare.
We research travel insurance via and selected one that was approved by the RS folks. We include trip cancellation in our policy as well as medical evacuation. A small price to pay for peace of mind especially since anything costing a lot of money just might bankrupt us.

Posted by
3391 posts

We ALWAYS get it because you just don't know what's going to happen. Medical evacuation is the one you don't want to take chances with. I personally know 3 different people who have had to be evacuated due to medical reasons and it was horrendously expensive - one had the money to just pay but the other 2 will be paying on this for years. It's worth every penny to buy this. I usually end up using Travelguard. Compare prices on to see what works best for your needs.

Posted by
4385 posts

Some folks aren't comfortable UNLESS they have insurance, some can't abide it. One of those YMMV situations.

Here's some insight from TIME

Keep in mind that you should only buy the type of insurance you need/want, and only as much as you really need. I think med evac makes sense, cancellation not so much (depending of course on how much you stand to really lose if you cancel). For a once in a lifetime trip like a safari? Might make sense.

Posted by
8035 posts

Exactly. A cancelled trip won't 'ruin' you or 'bankrupt' you if the trip itself wouldn't have -- but medical evacuation or medical expenses could. Insurance is not for the trivia, it is for the unlimited upside thus we don't insure our microwave or our car for repairs, but carry liability insurance where a suit could literally bankrupt us.

It is very much a YMMV thing and the calculation changes as you get older and the odds of expensive disaster go up.

Posted by
9363 posts

In looking at travel cancellation insurance, make sure you read the fine print. Some policies only cover cancellation under very specific circumstances. You can't just cancel for no reason in most cases. If most of your lodgings will do refunds, you might not find that the cost of the insurance makes sense in relation to what money you would actually be out if you canceled.