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Travel insurance for cancellations

Claim back costs from unused flights, prepaid accommodation and other non-refundable expenses with travel insurance that covers cancellations.

Get travel insurance with cancellation cover

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What is travel insurance for cancellations and flight delays?

If you have to cancel your trip for a reason outside of your control, travel cancellation insurance will make sure you don't lose out on any non-refundable expenses that you've already paid for. It can help cover the cost of prepaid accommodation, travel and any deposits that you've already put down.

Most comprehensive travel insurance policies cover cancellations. It's not typically included with basic travel insurance policies.

Travel delays is a separate benefit that's also included with most comprehensive travel insurance policies. It can pay for reasonable costs related to trip disruptions – for example, accommodation if you become stranded.

What is covered by travel cancellation insurance?

Here are some examples of prepaid travel expenses that you can claim back on cancellation cover:

  • Cancellation fees charged by airlines, hotels, tour operators, rental car companies and more
  • Non-refundable deposits for pre-booked flights, accommodation, tours and more
  • Travel agent cancellation fees
  • Lost frequent flyer points that cannot be recovered (find a credit card offering frequent flyer points)
  • Additional travel expenses if you need to return home early from your trip
  • Tuition fees if you had paid for a course or training at your travel destination

What isn't covered by travel cancellation insurance?

As we touched on above, travel insurers only cover you when you need to cancel or cut your trip short due to situations that are unexpected and outside your control. That means no cover will be provided if:

  • You change your mind. You can't cancel your trip "just because" and expect to get reimbursed.
  • You need to cancel because your visa is denied or you have passport issues. It's up to you to make sure you have permission to enter the country you are visiting. Your insurer won't pay for your cancelled trip if you've made the assumption that your visa would be granted or that your passport would arrive on time.
  • Your best friend dies. Most policies clearly state that you can only claim for cancellation if it is a relative who dies. They will make it clear in the fine print what they mean by relative.
  • You get reimbursed by the provider. You can't double up if you're eligible for a refund through your trip provider like your hotel. Your insurance will only pay for prepaid expenses that you can't get back any other way.
  • You travel against your doctor's advice. Travelling against medical advice is a key exclusion on all policies. However, if you cancel your trip because your doctor says you're unfit to travel, you'll be covered for cancellation fees and lost deposits.
  • Your tour is under-booked. If you've pre-booked a tour on your holiday and then it's cancelled due to under-booking, your policy won't provide any cover. It will be up to the tour provider to either reschedule your trip or provide a refund.
  • You purchase after something happens or there has been a warning. Your insurer won't cover you if you bought your insurance after there had been reports of an approaching hurricane, social unrest or whatever it is you are trying to claim for.

How to find the best travel cancellation insurance for you

The best policy for a person might not be the best policy for another, so your ideal policy comes down to your specific requirements. Here are some tips on how to settle on the right policy:

  • Determine your needs and budget. Weigh up how much you are spending on your trip with the likelihood of having to cancel and how much it would hurt to lose that money if you did cancel. This helps you decide how much cancellation cover to get.
  • Look at what is covered. Check the fine print of a few policies to find out what exactly they accept for a cancellation claim. For example, some insurers will cover you if you cancel because your first cousin or aunt passes away. Others limit it to immediate family only.
  • Look at what's not covered. It's important to know exactly what your policy won't cover you for. For example, some policies won't cover you if you have to cancel because you were injured skiing if you haven't purchased their optional ski cover as well.

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26 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DianeAugust 21, 2019

    I have booked a flight for next April 2020 for an overseas holiday. Am l able to get insurance if l have to cancel the flight due to work not giving me holidays at this time?

      JessicaAugust 21, 2019Finder

      Hi Diane,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us at Finder.

      Unfortunately, most insurers won’t consider this a reason outside of your control. Examples of this would be if there was a death in the family or an unexpected natural disaster.

      You might be eligible for a cancel-for-any-reason cover, but this is only available through certain travel agencies and brokers.

      I hope this helps, and good luck with getting your leave approved!

      Kind regards,

    Default Gravatar
    hughMarch 27, 2019

    I am holding travel insurance which only covers the cruise component of a subsequently extended trip that follows the cruise. I will commence the cruise in less than three weeks and I am outside the refund window. The included medical conditions are quite limited. Do insurers decline to insure on declared non included conditions and refund the premium?
    If I take out an alternate policy for the whole trip with another insurer will I have a problem when it comes to claiming? Do I have to deactivate the unused policy? I do not favour extending my existing policy.

      JohnMarch 28, 2019Finder

      Hi Hugh,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      For your first question, (Do insurers decline to insure on declared non included conditions and refund the premium?) it really depends on the conditions as to why the insurer would decline the claim. You may need to contact your insurer directly to check if this is within the policy you signed up for or not. For your second question, (If I take out an alternate policy for the whole trip with another insurer will I have a problem when it comes to claiming? Do I have to deactivate the unused policy? I do not favor extending my existing policy.). Doubling up and having two insurance policies is actually more common than you might think. … However, many insurance policies renew automatically, and if you don’t cancel your original policy before taking out new cover then it’s possible you could pay twice for the same thing.

      Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    MargoOctober 21, 2018

    We would like to book our own non refundable flights from Sydney to Perth. Stay a few days at a motel that we book. Fly to Broome. Book a 4 day cruise around WA. Flight back to Perth/Sydney. Can we get cover for all these portions if we need to cancel for something unseen such as broken leg?

      JeniOctober 29, 2018Finder

      Hi Margo,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Yes, non-refundable deposits for pre-booked flights and accommodation are examples of pre-paid travel expenses you can be reimbursed for under trip cancellation cover. Unexpected events which are outside of your control like serious injury, you probably be covered. Some insurers come right out and tell you what they’ll cover, while others only tell you what they won’t cover – these are called exclusions.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    KatOctober 15, 2018

    I am planning a 12 week trip for 2019 and have just been advised I may be called up for jury service until Oct 2019. Which policies cover jury service?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiOctober 15, 2018

      Hi Kat,

      Thanks for your inquiry and for visiting finder.

      When you’re called up for jury duty or to serve as a witness in court, this is recognized as qualifying for cover, as long as there’s no way you could have seen them coming (ie, unexpected).

      Just make sure you check your insurer’s policy documents because not every insurer treats these situations exactly the same. You will need to provide evidence of this.

      To know which insurance provider’s cover jury duty, you may use the table above. Simply enter the information needed on the fields and click GET QUOTE NOW. This will show the list of providers.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the Product Disclosure Statement of the product before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.


    Default Gravatar
    MaggieSeptember 20, 2018

    My husband is in aged care suffering from dementia. He is physically well, apart from an inability to walk, which has him confined to a wheelchair.
    Would I be covered if say, he had a fall which caused severe injury or worse?
    He is a fall risk.

      JeniSeptember 20, 2018Finder

      Hi Maggie,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      According to our review on travel insurance exclusions, the family emergency portion of your policy reimburses you for expenses incurred by you if a relative dies unexpectedly during your journey or becomes hospitalised due to illness or injury like if your husband had a fall and caused severe injury. Common exclusions include the following:

      • No cover if you had prior knowledge that such an incident would occur.
      • No cover if the illness, injury or death was the result of a pre-existing medical condition.
      • No cover if you are able to seek compensation from any other source.
      • No cover if the claim arises as a result of you or your travelling companion changing travel plans.

      I suggest that you double check this situation with your chosen insurer.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


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