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Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance

The ASU Global Education Office (GEO) strongly urges all of our travelers to obtain Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance to safeguard against losses or penalties in case they are unable to travel for any reason (including failure to obtain a visa, travel restrictions related to COVID-19, or any other reason), or in case the Program is cancelled or its dates are changed. GEO assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties for any cancellation or change to the Program.

When should I purchase a Trip Cancellation/CFAR policy?

Many insurers require purchase of a Trip Cancellation/CFAR policy within a short period of time (as little as 10 days) after you make an initial payment for the program.  Some insurance coverage may be available after that time, but it may provide fewer benefits, including not having a CFAR benefit.  

The insurer can define what is an “initial payment,” so read the terms and conditions carefully.  So you should begin looking at coverage as soon as possible and know the deadlines for the specific policy you have selected.

How much does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cost?

If you purchase a basic travel insurance policy that includes trip cancellation coverage, you can expect to pay between 5% and 10% of your trip costs. For instance, if your GEO program has a Program Fee of $10,000, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for Trip Cancellation Insurance (if you insure that full $10,000 amount). Adding a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit to that plan can increase the cost of coverage by an additional 40%-60%.

There are several other factors that can influence the cost of a policy, such as:

  • Trip expenses
  • Destination
  • Trip length
  • Age of travelers

What should I look for in a Trip Cancellation/CFAR policy?

GEO recommends that travelers get quotes from multiple travel insurance companies, so that you can choose a plan that strikes the right balance between cost and value.  Think about what you want in a policy so that you can choose one that meets your individual needs, and keep in mind that you do have certain coverage from the international insurance policy automatically provided to all GEO program participants (view details).  Since policies can vary widely, be sure to carefully review the reasons for cancellation that are covered by the policy before purchasing.

Will a Trip Cancellation policy provide any benefits if I have to leave my GEO program early?

In general, Trip Cancellation benefits only apply if the trip is cancelled more than 48 hours prior to departure. However, if you include a Trip Interruption benefit, you may be eligible for reimbursement of some unused travel arrangements if you are unable to complete your trip due to specific covered reasons. NOTE: The international insurance policy automatically provided to all GEO program participants (view details) does include a trip interruption benefit.

What is the difference between Trip Cancellation and Cancel for Any Reason?

Trip Cancellation

Travel insurance plans commonly cover cancellations for very specific reasons like:

  • The unexpected death, illness, or injury of the traveler
  • The death of a family member
  • Severe weather or strikes (varies by policy)
  • Unforeseen natural disasters
  • A legal obligation (e.g., being called for jury duty)

Coverage details will vary by plan, but typically if you need to cancel for one of the plan’s specific, unforeseen covered reasons, you will be reimbursed 100% of the pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost. But remember, trip cancellation insurance only pays for the specific reasons articulated in the policy. It won’t cover other common reasons for cancellation - for that, you’ll want to consider a Cancel for Any Reason benefit.

Cancel for Any Reason

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) is an optional add-on to many Trip Cancellation plans. With CFAR, it doesn't matter why you have to cancel your trip - this coverage allows you to cancel for any reason - second thoughts, safety concerns, family pressure, etc. - or for no reason at all. As long as you cancel more than 48 hours before your trip, you can file a claim with your CFAR plan.

Unlike a basic Trip Cancellation plan, CFAR benefits have very specific eligibility criteria:

  • Depending on the policy, you may be required to enroll in the policy within 10-21 days of incurring the financial liability.
  • Cancellation with the travel supplier likely must happen more than 48-72 hours before departure, depending on the plan.
  • Benefits may only cover between 50%-75% depending on the policy (in addition to the covered reasons in the Trip Cancellation policy).