Trip Cancellation Coverage

Trip cancellation insurance is designed to protect prepaid, nonrefundable reservations, including flights, hotel reservations, and other bookings if the trip is canceled due to an extraordinary circumstance. Standard policies do not cover "change of mind," as in deciding not to go on a trip or fear of travel due to a pandemic. There are couple of important things worth noting about trip cancellation policies:

If a policy offers "COVID coverage," that means the policy provides cancellation and interruption coverage if the traveler contracts COVID.
COVID policies cover travelers who get COVID before they leave or while traveling.  It is treated like any other illness that could prevent a traveler from going on a trip. Most travel insurance policies now treat COVID-19 in all its variants like any other medical condition.

Most policies do not cover travelers if a foreign destination closes its borders to visitors.
With a few exceptions, border closures due to a pandemic are not covered by trip cancellation policies. The same holds true for a government-issued travel warning to a destination, which is generally not a covered reason to make a claim.

Most policies do not cover travelers who choose to cancel due to fear of a pandemic or sue to news of a pandemic.
It is crucial to note that standard travel insurance does not provide coverage if the policy holder chooses not to travel because of pandemic fears or concerns. CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) coverage is recommended for this.


What is “Cancel for Any Reason” (CFAR) protection?

CFAR protection is distinct from travel insurance but may be offered in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, a travel insurance policy. Unlike trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, a CFAR benefit is not designed to only cover unforeseeable events. As the name implies, a CFAR benefit generally applies to cancellation of a trip for any reason, although certain contracts may contain specific exclusions, such as pandemics or COVID-19.  Accordingly, you will need to read the specific terms of the CFAR benefit. 

A CFAR benefit may therefore apply if you decide to cancel your trip for any reason, including border closures or fear of contracting COVID.  However, you can expect that CFAR benefits will typically cost between 40-60% more than a standard travel insurance policy and that buying a CFAR benefit now may be more expensive than it was prior to COVID-19. Moreover, CFAR benefits may reimburse only between 50-75% of the cost of your trip.


Under the University's Travel Policy, trip cancellation insurance is generally not an allowable expense.