I’m heading to Tokyo next week!
I’ve rented a pocket WiFi, looked at my Tokyo Travel Guide for a few ideas and bought travel insurance. But I had a lot of doubt on whether I should pay extra to buy Travel CANCELLATION Insurance. First off, medical insurance is a no-brainer. If you’re leaving your home country – you need to buy it, because you don’t want to go bankrupt from foreign medical bills.
But travel cancellation is a whole other story. You’re taking a gamble on whether you will have to cancel your trip for any reason such as a medical emergency, illness or death in the family. After polling my friends on Facebook – I decided NOT to buy it.
Here’s why I DID NOT Buy Travel Cancellation Insurance:
1) My Hotel is Refundable – As long as I cancel within 24-48 hours, I will not be charged. I built the trip myself, therefore I can cancel portions of it if anything were to happen.
2) My Plane Ticket is Flexible – To an extent. I can change my flight for a $300 change fee. Steep, but at least I don’t lose the full $900 I paid for my flight.
3) The Terms of Travel Cancellation Insurance are Narrow – I’ve had friends mention to me that it’s not worth it because the terms on which you can cancel and how far ahead you can cancel are very narrow. Claims can be denied, so it’s best you do your research beforehand.
4) I Could Come Out Ahead – If I don’t buy it every time I go on a trip, I could come out ahead for that ONE random time I do have to fully cancel a trip. This is the same reason I don’t have roadside assistance.
5) Credit Card Coverage – Many people suggested they don’t buy it because their credit cards offer them some sort of coverage up in Canada. It’s different here in the US. It’s very difficult to find good travel insurance, medical or trip cancellation tied into your credit card. But if you have the coverage – you may consider not buying additional insurance.
I WOULD Buy Travel Cancellation Insurance IF:
1) I bought a Package Vacation
Package vacations can be non-refundable and expensive. If you’re dropping $2000+ on any sort of pre-paid package vacay, make sure there’s a way out if anything were to happen or you lose all that money. If not, book travel cancellation insurance for no more then 5% of your trip cost or you can risk it, but you could risk the price of your trip.
2) If I Had a Sick Family Member
The one time I didn’t buy it was when my Grandmother was sick and she passed away shortly after. I think I was TRULY in denial with how sick she was and was very optimistic about her condition. I thought I would still have a few months with her, but didn’t know I would only have a few weeks. I could not get a refund on my trip and ended up delaying it to later that month. If you have a sick family member, you may want to consider getting the cancellation insurance in case.
3) If I Had Children
If one of your kids comes down with the flu, would you still be able to travel? Likely not. Make sure you get coverage that covers illness and be clear on what types they cover.
SO I want to hear from you. Have you ever been burned by not having travel cancellation insurance? Or do you never buy it? Did your credit card company help you out?