What is the Cost of Cancellation?
Most people wouldn’t dream of owning a home without home-owners insurance. Most wouldn’t drive a car without car-insurance. But, when it comes to travel insurance, they often pass. Why? Because they couldn’t imagine a situation where they would need to cancel their trip.
As a group travel company, we talk to thousands of travelers a year. Those booking trips are told about travel protection multiple times in the booking process and even reminded after they book, because we know that many people benefit from travel protection. How do we know? Because we also talk to dozens of people a year who must cancel trips for unexpected reasons.
Travel plans, especially for international pilgrimage trips begin many months and often more than a year before the departure date. Grandchildren, weddings, and other unexpected life-events happen on a much shorter timeline. Global concerns—like the COVID-19 coronavirus—seem to materialize in matters of minutes. If any of these circumstances cause you to cancel without the proper travel protection insurance in place, you stand to lose some money.
Why Are There Cancellation Fees?
When you book a trip with a group-tour operator, there are several people working behind-the-scenes to book, tours, busses, hotels, restaurants, guides, and to purchase tickets to museums, sacred sites, group flights, and special events. All of these require deposits (and sometimes payment-in-full) which are non-refundable.
You may notice that the cancellation fees are different, depending on the destination and/or time of cancellation. This is because the fees coincide with the payments that the travel company is making on your behalf to the myriad services you will use on your trip.
When something unexpected comes up and you decide to cancel your trip, the group tour operator has already spent considerable time and money to assure your place on everything mentioned above. And they usually cannot recoup that money. The cancellation fees help to offset the losses in time and money that the group travel company has already spent in service of your trip.
Group Deluxe vs. CFAR
Many people opt to purchase some form of travel protection. This is advisable for many reasons. The benefits of travel protection reach far deeper than cancelation reimbursement. They can protect you from myriad medical and trip interruption costs that may arise while traveling. Since most US medical insurance does not cover doctors or hospital costs overseas, travel protection is an important consideration.
Both the Group Deluxe and Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) plans that Select International Tours and Cruises offer cover travelers the same while traveling. The only difference between the two is in the cancellation options available.
The Group Deluxe plan allows you to cancel, for a “covered” and documented reason, such as an illness or work-related restriction, and recoup 100% (less the premium) of your non-refundable costs.
Group Deluxe does not, however, provide provisions for less frequent situations, like volcanic plumes, civil unrest, or Coronavirus. This is where the Cancel for any Reason (CFAR) plan comes into play, because it allows you to cancel FOR ANY REASON, if you do so 48 hours or more before your departure.
Cancel for any Reason (CFAR) travel protection is the BEST way to protect yourself from unexpected life-events that require you to cancel your travel plans.
The CFAR plan will not pay back 100% of your investment but Select International Tours has negotiated a very special 90% payback, which is far better than the 75% industry standard. You can add this travel protection when you enroll in any trip with Select International or within 14 days of registering. Prices are based on the total trip cost. *Please note, that you may still recoup 100% of the non-refundable costs if you are cancelling for a “covered” and documented reason like in the Group Deluxe plan. The 90% payback is for all other cancellation reasons.
But I Didn’t Purchase CFAR
If you have a trip booked and opted to not purchase the CFAR travel protection, you may still have options through third parties. However, we are not licensed insurance agents, so we suggest that you seek their counsel for your specific situation.
You may, however, continue to purchase Group Deluxe protection through Select International up until the 24 hours before the date of departure. Please be aware that it will not cover pre-existing conditions, which is why we suggest that you purchase your travel protection plan at the time of registration.
What Happens if I Have Group Deluxe Coverage and Cancel?
If you decide to cancel your trip AND you are doing so due to a “covered reason” according to THIS DOCUMENT you will need to send your Travel Account Manager (they are listed on your registration form) an email stating that you wish to cancel and that you will be submitting a Group Deluxe claim. Then file a claim with Travel Insured International—or your travel protection insurance company. We will send you an invoice showing all your payments to date, for use in the claim. You will then work directly with the insurance company to recoup your money. Please note that you will need documentation supporting the reason for cancelation.
What Happens if I Have CFAR and Cancel?
When you decide to cancel your trip, you will need to send your Travel Account Manager (they are listed on your registration form) an email stating that you wish to cancel and that you will be submitting a CFAR claim. Then file a claim with Travel Insured International—or your travel protection insurance company. We will send you an invoice showing all your payments to date, for use in the claim. You will then work directly with the insurance company to recoup your money.
Traveling on pilgrimage is a tremendous reward. It opens our eyes to the faith in ways we can hardly imagine. It often requires overseas travel.
Traveling overseas always carries a degree of risk, which is one reason why travel protection is so important. Insurance is something that each traveler needs to consider on their own, but the protection it affords is undeniable. If you would like to learn more about the travel protection plans that Select International Tours and Cruises offers, information may be found HERE.