Trip Cancellation Insurance vs. Trip Interruption Insurance: What is the Difference?

Visitors insurance provides trip protection coverage for unforeseen travel related incidents. Trip cancellation coverage and trip interruption coverage are often included in many visitors insurance and visitors insurance policies, in addition to other trip protection benefits such as trip delay and baggage loss.

But what’s the difference between trip cancellation and trip interruption, and do you need them both? Depending on the incident, trip cancellation and interruption insurance could save you from losing the money you invested in your trip. Find out how you can benefit from having these types of visitors insurance coverage for your next trip.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation coverage applies during the period from purchasing your visitors insurance policy until leaving for your trip. If your trip is cancelled for reasons resulting from an unforeseen event, trip cancellation insurance covers the cost of your trip. Generally, 100% of all pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses are reimbursed with trip cancellation coverage.

Some covered costs include:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel rooms
  • Rental car reservation

Trip Interruption Insurance

Trip interruption applies after you’ve departed for your trip. If you are forced to end your trip early as a result of an unforeseen event, trip interruption insurance covers the costs of unused expenses in addition to paying for the travel arrangements needed to return home. Generally, 150% of all unused trip expenses are reimbursed with trip interruption coverage. If you choose to do so, trip interruption coverage may provide the option of allowing you to resume your trip once the emergency has been addressed.

Like any visitors insurance policy, some restrictions apply. Trip interruption coverage typically must be purchased within a certain amount of time after reserving your trip, and the entire trip cost should be insured. Don't let these restrictions catch you by surprise, in addition here are 10 Visitors Insurance Exclusions That Might Surprise You.

Covered Reasons for Trip Cancellation or Interruption

Trip cancellation and trip interruption typically share similar covered reasons. Examples of covered reasons are listed below.

  • Injury or sickness
  • Natural disaster
  • Death of a family member
  • Stolen passport or visa
  • Mandatory court appearance

These are only a few examples of the many covered reasons for trip cancellation and trip interruption. Depending on your insurance policy, the trip coverage may vary. Some plans offer “cancel for any reason” coverage, which allows you to cancel your trip for any reason, including reasons that may not qualify for typical trip cancellation coverage, giving you more flexibility. This coverage tends to be more expensive. It's important to read your policy coverage in full, keep an eye open for these 5 Key Features in Visitors Insurance


Reasons That Are Not Covered

Trip interruption and trip cancellation will not cover any of the reasons listed below.

  • Traveler suffers from depression, anxiety, or other mental or psychological disorder.
  • Traveler decides he cannot afford the trip.
  • Traveler is concerned about weather conditions.
  • Traveler participates in unlawful acts.

Do I Need Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption Coverage?

Some travelers and trips may be more at risk and therefore benefit from trip protection coverage. If any of the following applies to you or your trip, you may want to consider purchasing trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage.

  • You’re traveling with children. Children are more susceptible to illnesses, so if you child becomes sick right before your departure date or during the trip, you will want to cancel or make return arrangements without losing money.
  • You made travel arrangements far in advance. If your trip is months or a year away, it is difficult to gage unforeseen events that may prevent you from being able to travel. Secure your trip, so you don’t have to risk a financial loss.
  • Your trip is expensive. If your travel arrangements are expensive, such as pricey airfare or luxury hotel accommodations, protect yourself against losing such an investment in the case that you must cancel.
  • You’re going on a cruise. Cruises are difficult to cancel and may often be non-refundable. Bypass the hassle of trying to cancel your cruise last minute by securing your plans with trip cancellation coverage.

Trip cancellation and interruption coverage takes the risk out of traveling, having the potential of saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars in travel expenses. Some visitors insurance and travel insurance policies include trip cancellation and/or interruption coverage, but be sure to read all the details and restrictions of the insurance plan before purchasing.

When you purchase trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage, you may have to enter your total trip cost to get an insurance quote. Find out how to calculate trip cost for the most accurate visitors insurance quote.


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