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5 Reasons Your Trip Cancellation Insurance Won't Cover You

Trip Cancellation Claim Denied
Allianz - Trip Cancellation Claim Denied

Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits is designed to reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable expenses in case you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. But it's not a cure-all. While we understand that everyone's circumstances are unique, here's a look at some of the most common reasons trip cancellation insurance claims are denied.

1. You didn't see a doctor before canceling your trip because of illness.

Anna has packed her suitcases to fly to Costa Rica for a week-long vacation. The day before she's set to leave, she comes down with a bad case of the flu. Feeling wretched, Anna decides to stay home. She submits a trip cancellation insurance claim, but it's denied.

If you or your traveling companion suffers an illness, injury or medical condition that's disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel a trip, Allianz Global Assistance considers that a covered reason for trip cancellation. However, a doctor must examine you or your traveling companion and advise that person to cancel the trip — before the decision to cancel is made. If that isn’t possible, a doctor must examine you within 72 hours of your trip cancellation.

2. You didn't provide documentation for your trip cancellation reasons and expenses. 

Days before he's set to leave for a two-week tour of Cambodia and Vietnam, Javier is dismayed to hear that his tour operator has gone out of business. He submits a trip cancellation insurance claim with the original invoice from the tour operator, but his claim is denied.

It's not enough to send a credit card receipt or a single invoice. You need to thoroughly document all of your trip costs, your reason for cancellation and any refunds you may have received. The list of documentation Allianz Global Assistance requests includes:

  • Receipts and itemized bills for all expenses.
  • Original of any refunds or expense allowances received from your tour operator, travel agency, common carrier, resort, property management company, or other entity.
  • Copy of resort invoice/vacation rental contract or confirmation.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption claims.
  • Any appropriate documentation that officially explains the cause of your trip cancellation or interruption
  • Any explanation of diagnosis along with your original itemized bills, receipts, and proof of other insurance payments.
  • Original unused tickets, copies of invoices, proof of payments, and other documents that substantiate the cost or occurrence of the trip cancellation or interruption.
  • Documentation of refunds received from the travel supplier(s) and/or common carriers.
  • Copy of the supplier's literature that describes penalties.
  • A letter from the tour operator or an itemized bill from the travel agent stating the non-refundable amounts of the trip costs.

In short, send everything you can find that relates to your trip cancellation reasons and costs. This may sound like a lot, but don't get overwhelmed. For help, you can call Allianz Global Assistance claim representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-497-6992.

3. You purchased travel insurance when a big storm was already on the horizon.

Kelly and Gus have been looking forward to their 10th anniversary trip to St. Barts for months. A few days before they're supposed to leave, the Weather Channel reports that Tropical Storm Teresa is churning toward the island. "Uh-oh," Kelly thinks. "I’d better get travel insurance." They end up cancelling their vacation because of the storm — but their insurance claim is denied.

Allianz Global Assistance names several covered reasons for canceling a trip that can be  related to severe weather. For instance:

  • Your travel carrier cannot get you to your original itinerary’s destination for at least 24 consecutive hours from the originally scheduled arrival time due to severe weather (or another covered reason)
  • Your tour operator cancels your multi-day tour that was purchased prior to your departure date due to severe weather (or another covered reason)
  • Your destination is uninhabitable
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) or foreign equivalent has issued a cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon warning at your destination that is in effect within 24 hours prior to your departure date (available only with )
  • Government authorities order a mandatory evacuation at your destination that is in effect within 24 hours prior to your departure date.

However, travel insurance is meant to protect travelers against sudden and unforeseen events — not threats that are already on the horizon when the insurance is purchased. If you buy travel insurance after a winter or tropical storm has been named, or after the NOAA or a similar agency has issued a warning, your plan won't provide coverage for claims related to that event. Make sure you buy trip cancellation insurance well in advance of your departure.

4. You gave up on your trip too soon.

The day of Keith's scheduled flight to France, a surprise winter storm grounds his connecting flight. After sitting in the airport for 12 hours, he gets furious and decides to cancel the whole trip. However, his trip cancellation insurance claim is denied.

We know trip delays are aggravating. But don't cancel your entire trip because of a short delay! To make a trip cancellation claim, your travel carrier must have been unable to get you to your original itinerary’s destination for at least 24 consecutive hours from the originally scheduled arrival time.

Keep in mind that your trip cancellation benefits can also help you get to your original destination another way! You can be reimbursed (up to your policy’s Trip Cancellation Coverage maximum benefit) for the reasonable cost of alternate transportation, less available refunds; and the cost of any lost prepaid accommodations caused by your covered delayed arrival, less available refunds.

You may also be able to file a trip interruption claim if you miss at least 50% of the length of your trip due to a travel carrier delay or other covered reason.

5. You didn't read the terms, conditions, and exclusions for your trip cancellation insurance policy.

Shortly before a planned couples cruise to Cozumel, Michelle has a huge fight with her fiancé. She calls off the engagement — and the cruise. But travel insurance won't cover her trip cancellation.

With a wide array of covered reasons for canceling a trip, travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance is designed to protect you in case of many common travel mishaps. However, it's not "cancel for any reason" travel insurance, and that's why it's essential to read all the terms and conditions when you buy your plan. For instance, legal separation or divorce can be a covered reason for trip cancellation, but a breakup is not. The death of a family member can be a covered reason, but the death of a pet is not.

We know that trip cancellation benefits can seem complicated. We do our best to make it as simple as possible. If you're unsure about how to submit a claim, ask! Call Allianz Global Assistance claim representatives anytime at 1-866-884-3556. 

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