There is a difference between trip cost, and insurable trip cost. Not every company is clear in explaining this, but consumers should be aware. InsureMyTrip stresses that you should add up the “pre-paid, non-refundable expenses that would be lost in the event of a cancellation.” I personally bought a plan from the site for a vacation with my wife. Here is how we broke our expenses down. (Peppered with vacation photos I just HAD to share!)
We stayed at an all-inclusive resort. It was very nice, with swim up rooms, beautiful beaches and plenty to eat. However, they had a strict cancellation policy. If we had to cancel, we could get a reimbursement of full costs as long as we were over a month away from arrival. If we were 2-4 weeks out, there was a 50% cancellation fee. If we needed to cancel within the 2 weeks prior to our arrival, we would be on the hook for $5,850. Also, if we were there and needed to come home early, we would be on the hook for the full costs on the remainder of our booked time. We have kids, and while they were home with grandma for this trip, kids are unpredictable and can derail plans in a heartbeat. We insured this cost on our plan for the full $5,850.
We flew Southwest, which has minimal fees and allows you to keep credits on cancelled flights for up to a year. We knew that we would be traveling with Southwest again in that year time frame, and felt we would be all right with the credit. Every airline is different, and you’ll want to be sure you understand what your airline has as policy.
None of our excursions were booked ahead of time, so we didn’t include them under our policy. If we had booked prior to departure on our trip, we would have. Often times you’ll want to insure the full value of the excursion. In the event you can’t go, especially if it is not affiliated with a resort or cruise, there may be a full charge or very expensive cancellation fee. We opted to book through the resort, and did so the day before our Dune Buggy excursion was to occur. This isn’t how everyone does it, and that’s all right too. The moment you put money down, you should include the cost in your insurable trip costs. Oh, and if given the opportunity, go on the Dune Buggy tour!
What is cool too, is the ability to protect your ticket costs on events like amusement parks, festivals and concerts. All our entertainment was included, so we didn’t have those expenses, but I was surprised when an InsureMyTrip licensed travel insurance representative said I could add those costs to my protected and insured trip expenses.
Like your home, you want to be protected, but you also don’t want to over insure. Knowing what costs really apply to your travel insurance policy is important. A simple rule of thumb is to insure any money that would be lost if you had to cancel your trip the day you would have stepped out the door to start your trip. When in doubt, ask an InsureMyTrip representative by phone, or on the sites chat feature, for more details.