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trip cancellation
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Canceling a trip is a time-consuming process. A cancellation occurs when you know you cannot go on your trip prior to your scheduled departure date. When you just need to interrupt your trip that has already begun, that is considered a trip interruption. If you have travel insurance, you can rest easier knowing that you are not losing a lot of money when you have to make trip cancellations or interruptions for a covered reason. However, there are several important steps to take when you know you need to cancel your trip.

Collect Supporting Documentation

Call your agent or vendors to cancel. You can cancel some plans online. In the claims process with your travel insurance provider, you will need to prove that your trip was canceled and that you had a reason. These are some examples of documents to collect:

  • Copies of any checks or emails indicating refunds from travel agents.
  • Receipts and bills for all prepaid travel expenses.
  • Copies of invoices or receipts from resort deposits.
  • Reservation numbers or copies of confirmation emails for any reservations and rentals.
  • Supporting documents that reflect the validity of the trip cancellation.
  • For health-related cancellations, copies of medical diagnoses or issues that contributed.
  • Copies of unused prepaid tickets or vouchers.
  • Copies of receipts for any refunds issued by vendors.
  • Copies of advisories that outline cancellation fees and penalties.
  • Written statement of cancellation validity and charges from travel agent if applicable.

Contact The Travel Insurance Company

Most travel insurance plans cover trip cancellation. If you did not purchase this coverage, you may have a difficult time recouping some of your pre-paid and non-refundable expenses such as airline tickets and hotels. You may be able to reschedule upcoming flights for a later date. However, the airline may charge a fee. If you did purchase trip cancellation insurance, notify the insurer. Ask where to send copies of the documentation listed in the previous section. To qualify for the maximum reimbursement, you must alert the insurer within a few days of cancellation. Look at your policy for the specific time frame.

Reasons For Canceling A Trip

Medical emergencies and uncontrollable misfortunes often constitute legitimate reasons for canceling a trip. For a medical reason to be legitimate, a person must see a doctor and have the physician write a note or statement advising that the trip should be canceled. If you lose your job, you can provide a letter of termination as proof of lost income to cancel the trip. You can provide a police report if your home was burglarized, caught fire or sustained significant damage from a weather-related disaster that caused you to cancel your trip. Look at your policy under the section for trip cancellation for a full list of covered reasons.

Purchase travel insurance for any trip in the future, and make sure that it covers cancellations. Also, be sure to understand the differences between a trip cancellation clause and a clause to cancel for any reason as you are comparing options.

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