Trip cancellation insurance should be purchased if you are planning an expensive trip or if you are making travel plans well in advance. If you must cancel you trip due to a covered reason, this insurance will cover the non-refundable portion of your trip, such as airline fees, cruise ship bookings and hotel rooms.
Do not wait. Purchase your policy as soon as possible after booking your trip. This will provide you with the longest amount of coverage and guarantee your refund if you need to cancel due to a covered reason.
Purchase your policy directly from an insurance agent and not from a travel agent. Agents who specialize in this type insurance can explain to you, in detail, the coverages and exlusions.
Know your policy and what is covered. Covered reasons for trip cancellation generally include: sickness or death in the case of yourself, an immediate family member or your traveling partner; inclement weather (in case the airport is temporarily closed;) natural disaster (either at your home or at your destination;) and bankruptcy of your travel provider or vendor. Non covered reasons include: lack of money, unforeseen conflicts such as wedding or graduations, and preexisting illnesses.
Notify the company of the claim and request any claims forms you may need to complete. You may do this by contacting your agent or calling the toll-free number provided with your policy.
Collect documentation and information proving this claim resulted from a covered reason. Valid documentation, in the event of sickness or death, may include a death certificate, medical records or a statement from the doctor.
Separate your paid receipts into refundable and nonrefundable expenses and submit the nonrefundable receipts to your insurance company along with your completed claims form in a timely fashion.