Let’s start by explaining what a trip interruption is, shall we? In travel insurance terms, a trip interruption is any situation that causes a traveler to unexpectedly have to end their trip and return home.
Trip interruption coverage is coverage that reimburses a traveler for up to 150% of their unused pre-paid trip costs when their trip has to be abandoned for a covered reason.
In some situations, a traveler can handle the emergency that caused them to abandon their trip and then re-join their trip. For example, if a business owner had to leave a cruise for a couple of days to handle a work emergency and then wanted to catch up to their cruise at a later port. Many travel insurance plans will also reimburse a traveler for the additional transportation costs necessary to can catch up to their vacation or business trip.
The following are some reasons you may want to have trip interruption coverage with your travel insurance plan:
When a natural disaster such as a hurricane, a raging wildfire, or an impending flood causes authorities to issue mandatory evacuation orders, knowing that you will receive reimbursement for your unused trip costs can ease the pain.
If a terrorist event occurs at your destination and visitors are told to evacuate (as thousands of students were in Egypt last year), trip interruption coverage will can help you recover your expenses and the unexpected transportation costs to get you out of danger.
If, while on your trip, you or a traveling companion or someone back home is suddenly injured or becomes quite ill and you have to return home, trip interruption coverage will step in to reimburse you for the trip you didn’t get to enjoy. It will also help with those unexpected return trip costs.
If you, or a covered traveling companion, are the victim of a vicious attack on your trip, you may well want to end your trip and return home. Trip interruption coverage can help you get your money back and get you back home to recover.
When a travel supplier, such as a cruise line or tour operator, completely ceases all operations due to financial default or bankruptcy, it can leave travelers stranded. Trip interruption coverage can help you recover the money you invested in their business.
If you, or a covered traveling companion, are called back to work, called in for duty, or deployed to help with disaster relief, then trip interruption coverage can recover your unused trip expenses as well as help you pay for tickets back home.
If your travel is disrupted, flights are grounded, or tours are cancelled due to unannounced labor strikes – even airport strikes, then trip interruption coverage can help you recover the money you paid and help get you back home safely.
It’s important to remember that trip interruption coverage is much like trip cancellation coverage – only post departure instead of pre departure. With nearly all travel insurance plans, the covered reasons for cancelling a trip are the same as those for abandoning a trip and returning home. The key is, of course, understanding those covered reasons.
Many travelers make the mistake of thinking they can abandon their trip for any reason at all, but that’s not how travel insurance works. The reason for cancelling your trip or ending your trip must be listed as a covered reason if you are to be entitled to reimbursement.
Read our full review of trip interruption coverage, including the exclusions and a list of companies that offer it.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.