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Travel Toolbox: All About Insurance

Other Traveler Assistance

On rare occasions, travel companies go bankrupt or become insolvent, and some have suddenly closed up shop while holding deposits for future travel, which leaves travelers and group leaders in a lurch. That isn’t a common occurrence, but it’s a nightmare for travel organizers when it does happen. Some travel insurance policies will cover you in the case of carrier insolvency, but not all do. If you’re concerned about an operator’s financial situation, it’s best not to travel with them.

You can also protect yourself and your group by having everyone book their trips using a credit card so they can dispute the charges if a carrier goes out of business or by traveling with companies that have posted a traveler protection bond, which would reimburse travelers in case of a financial disaster. The United States Tour Operators Association requires that member companies post a $1 million traveler protection bond for such occurrences.


‘Cancel for Any Reason’ Insurance

Often considered the Cadillac of travel insurance, cancel-for-any-reason policies allow travelers to call off a trip, no questions asked, without losing their money. While standard cancellation or interruption insurance may not cover you if you cancel your trip for voluntary reasons, such as a friend’s sudden illness or a grandchild’s qualifying for the state tournament, cancel-for-any-reason insurance gives you the flexibility to change your mind about a trip whenever you want.

Some plans offer to refund a portion of your trip costs, and others will refund the whole amount. That insurance is sometimes sold as an add-on to other cancellation policies.