Travel plans change. When it happens, it is usually inevitable.

An emergency to you or an important member of the family, such as a death or illness, may require you to  postpone or even cancel your holiday plans.

At times, when you are already on your trip, enjoying your much deserved holiday, a critical phone call from home could mean a shortened holiday with you consequently rushing to the airport to get home to attend to whatever emergency that has taken place.

When such situations occur, family matters usually take precedence over fun holiday plans, thus making last minute flight and hotel cancellations unavoidable. In fact, it is estimated on average that there is between 5-15% of people not showing up for their flights – due to various reasons.

The major concern about travel cancellation, and in some cases, having to cut your travel short, is the financial losses as a result of all the cancelled hotel, car rental and tour bookings, as well as purchased flight tickets. What can be done?

Well for starters, here are a few tips to help you reduce the risk of losing your hard-earned money due to these situations.

1. Read cancellation policy before making your reservation

Some airlines, hotels, tours and car rental agencies offer friendly cancellation policies. If you are familiar with online booking platforms such as Agoda.com, you’ll have noticed that some hotels offer free cancellation, while others are strict with their ‘no-show, no-refund’ policy. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consider this factor before making your reservation.

2. Make reservations as early as possible

Making your reservations as early as possible will allow you more room for adjustments later. Remember, the aim here is to reduce your penalty charges for cancellation. So having enough room to tweak or even cancel your reservations may just help save you from incurring losses. Some hotels allow free cancellation as long as it is done 24 or 48 hours before the arrival date, so you’ll want to take advantage of this.

3. Protect yourself with travel insurance

Believe it or not, travel insurance covers you for travel cancellation and curtailment. What is travel curtailment? That’s when you have already started your trip but have to cut it short due to certain events that have taken place. Travel insurance will reimburse you for the irrecoverable expenses you have made for your trip. Considering how cheap travel insurance can cost compared to the potential loss that can incur due to cancellation and curtailment, it is worth considering purchasing travel insurance, especially since it has a wide coverage that may come in handy.

Travel cancellation and curtailment – why you need travel

1. Loss of deposit or travel cancellation

Emergencies can occur that would need you to cancel your travel plans. We’ve mention death or accident in the family, or even to yourself. You may fall ill just days or hours before your scheduled departure needing you to be hospitalized. Or your travel partner may meet with an accident on his way to the airport. Some insurance plans may cover for losses incurred out of trip cancellation as a result of serious damages to your home due to fire or flood or other natural disaster which requires you to stick around.

Under these circumstances, your travel insurance will compensate you for the loss of deposit and any irrecoverable expenses made. This could be your flight tickets, hotel bookings, pre-booked or prepaid tours, cruises and car rental just to name a few.

To give you an idea of how much compensation you are entitled to, here’s a comparison between 3 insurance plans:

Total compensation for travel cancellation by insurer/ plan

Allianz Travel Care                                 up to RM 20,000 per person/ RM 50,000 per family

Tokio Marine Travel Partner               up to RM 20,000 per person/ RM 60,000 per family

Ikhlas Kembara PLUS Takaful           up to RM 10,000 per person/ RM 30,000 per

 

2. Travel curtailment

Your travel insurance policy also covers you for losses incurring out of travel curtailment. However, this is only valid if you have begun your travel. For instance, a few days into your holiday abroad, you receive a call from back home about the death, illness or accident of a family member that needs you to immediately return home. Your holiday may also be cut short due to your own death, illness or accident, or that of your traveling partner.

Below is the comparison of how much you can claim for non-refundable or irrecoverable expenses of your trip due to curtailment.

Total compensation for travel curtailment by insurer/ plan

Allianz Travel Care                                 up to RM 20,000 per person/ RM 50,000 per family

Tokio Marine Travel Partner               up to RM 20,000 per person/ RM 60,000 per family

Ikhlas Kembara PLUS Takaful            up to RM 10,000 per person/ RM 20,000 per family

 

Considering the many benefits of travel insurance, you may want to seriously consider protecting yourself with one. You should also evaluate your personal travel risks and understand how travel insurance can help reduce the financial burden associated with these risks. Such as your risk of food poisoning while traveling to places like India or the potential of an injury if you are going on a skiing vacation in the alps.

To understand more about travel insurance and its coverage, read this following article.

Understanding Insurance – Travel Insurance

 

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