What exactly is Cancellation Cover?
Cancellation is probably the last thing you’d be thinking of when you take out travel insurance. Well, the truth is, unexpected and unforeseen things can pop up at any point before you’ve even left for your trip. What if you’re in an accident and can’t travel? Or a family member becomes seriously ill and you need to stay back to care for them? This is where Trip Cancellation Benefits come into the picture.
So, what does ‘cancellation benefit’ mean in relation to travel insurance? Well, the Cancellation benefit reimburses you for the money that you have already paid out for your trip if you unexpectedly need to cancel your holiday.
What expenses does Cancellation Travel Insurance cover?
Cancellation cover provides financial reimbursement for any investments that you have already made on your intended trip. This includes recovery for lost deposits or prepaid travel arrangements because of unforeseen circumstances. Cancellation covers you for more than your flights. Depending on the type of policy you have taken out, a wide range of deposits may be covered under our trip cancellation benefits including:
- Accommodation – this includes any pre-paid accommodation or cancellation charges
- Prepaid car hire expenses or snow lift passes
- Activities you have already paid for during your trip – this may include day cruises and tours
- Transport is also covered - including flights, cruises and other transport means such as trains which have been pre-booked by you.
When does my cancellation benefit kick in?
If you have purchased a policy that includes the Cancellation cover, your Cancellation benefits kick in as soon as you purchase your policy – we don’t wait until your policy start date! So, this benefit is handy for any pre-paid expenses that you’ve already incurred before your departure date.
The Comprehensive, Standard, Domestic and Snow Sports Plus policies all include cover for trip cancellation expenses. Cancellation cover for our Frequent Traveller Saver annual policy starts on the date that you specify when purchasing your policy, while the Basics policy does not offer any cancellation cover.
Understanding ‘unforeseen circumstances’
Unforeseen circumstances are situations that you or your travel companion could not have reasonably been aware of at the time of the policy purchase.
This can include:
- Sickness, injuries or unexpected death of you or your travel companion or family member
- A natural disaster such as a storm, fire, flood
- Theft of your personal effects or luggage
- If you have been made redundant from your work and/or job with no prior knowledge that this would occur
- If you family member, travel companion or yourself are posted overseas or need to stay in Australia because you are a member of the armed forces, police, fire, nursing or ambulance services
Getting clear on Cancellation claims – what you are entitled to
Cancellation benefits do come in handy for those sticky situations where you or your travel companion weren’t prepared for or could not see occurring at the time of the policy purchase. If your trip is cancelled or shortened through circumstances that you could not have been aware of when you purchased the policy we will pay:
- For cancellation, rescheduling fees, lost deposits for your travel accommodation expenses already made on your trip. If for any chance yoCu are unable to recover the cost of your expenses in another way we will pay for the lessor of the rescheduling or cancellation expenses.
- Your travel agent cancellation fees for deposits already paid up to $1,500
- If your close relative or travel companion is in the police, fire, or a medical assistance profession such as a nurse or ambulance worker and has to stay in Australia because of an emergency or are posted overseas unexpectedly.
- If you lose your frequent flyer or other type of travel points you used to purchase the airline ticket because of the flight being cancelled and it cannot be recovered in any way, we will pay the following:
- The equivalent price of the airline ticket at retail price and then multiply this by the total value of the points lost divided by the total number of points used to purchase the ticket.
What aren’t I covered for?
In an ideal world we would all like to be covered for anything that is applicable to us. But, like most policies, not all situations are covered. Our Cancellation benefits are only specifically for the unforeseen and unavoidable. Some of the things you are not covered for include:
- If you were aware of your trip potentially being cancelled, shortened or abandoned before you purchased a policy with us
- You decide that you just don’t want to travel.
- If you cancel because a close relative is seriously sick or passes away due to a pre-existing medical condition and you were aware of te likelihood of this happening at the time of purchasing the policy. There is some cover if, due to a pre-existing medical condition, your relative passes away or is hospitalised due to a pre-existing medical condition after you purchase your policy and at the time you purchased your policy, you were unaware of the likelihood of this happening.
- You are not covered for death or injury of any persons who resides outside of Australia or New Zealand
- If your travel companion changes their plans or decides to cancel the trip due to deciding not to continue with the intended trip
- If your cancellation is because your tour company or carrier has had a financial collapse or the carrier was cancelled due to lack of numbers
- The financial costs of any delays or rescheduling of an airline, bus line, shipping line or rail authority. This also includes the mechanical breakdown of any means or mode of transport
- As a result of an act or threat of terrorism, and any act that is verified and recognised by the government as an act of terrorism, or is defined as terrorism under any relevant legislation.
- If you can claim your additional travel and accommodation expenses from anyone else eg. the airline
- We also don’t cover any mental illnesses; specifically referring to depression, anxiety, stress or mental or nervous conditions whether you, your relative or other persons unless:
- If your mental illness was diagnosis has been registered, approved and certified by a mental health professional; and
- The medical practitioner certifies that the mental illness prevents you from starting or completing your journey; and
- The mental illness first occurred or first manifested during your Period of Insurance.
Take out Cancellation cover for peace of mind
Remember that the unexpected can happen even before you’ve left for your holiday. Taking out cancellation cover to protect the monetary investment you’ve made on your trip can save you a lot of financial stress. So, before you go on holiday, take out a policy with cancellation benefits so you can plan and pack with peace of mind.