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Travel insurance is a must – and not just for frequent travelers!

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Travel cancellation insurance is a good thing to have. A relatively inexpensive premium buys you a lot of benefits you might need – full cancellation costs or charges for rebooking your trip and generally the processing fees as well (up to the contractually agreed maximum).

Buying annual insurance to cover travel cancellation costs (also known as cancellation insurance or trip cancellation insurance depending on the provider) is a good idea – and not just for people who travel a lot. If you take just a couple of vacations and weekend trips a year, the premium costs a whole lot less than paying for individual travel cancellation insurance for each trip, which is usually only valid up until you begin your travels. And an annual policy means you don’t have to worry if you suddenly decide to book and take a trip.

Compare the benefits

Before you buy travel cancellation insurance, you should compare the offers available from different carriers. Pay particular attention to the scope of coverage and any exclusions. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is insured: An individual person, a couple or a family?
  2. Where is the coverage valid: Switzerland, Europe or the entire world?
  3. What benefits are covered: Maximum cancellation or rebooking costs, processing fees?
  4. What exclusions apply?

What you should expect

A serious travel cancellation policy will generally assume – up to the contractually agreed minimum – the full costs of rebooking or canceling due to the following reasons:

  • Accident or illness before or during the trip
  • Accident, illness or death of a family member or person close to you
  • Absence of your deputy at work
  • Accident, illness or death of your pet
  • Loss of your job or starting a new job
  • Damage to or theft of property at home
  • Prevention of travel due to strikes, terrorist acts, warlike events, quarantines, epidemics, pandemics or natural hazards.

But most travel cancellation insurances include the following exclusions:

  • Existing illnesses
  • Foreseeable events or events which have already occurred at the time the policy is taken out
  • Events you cause: e.g. you suddenly quit your job or have an accident while driving without a driver’s license

What you need to know when buying travel insurance

  • Take a look at the General Insurance Conditions (GIC) for the travel insurance so you know what benefits are covered and what exclusions are included in the travel cancellation policy.
  • Find out ahead of time what you need to do to report a cancellation.
  • If you need to cancel your trip, then report it as soon as possible and make sure you have all necessary documentation (booking confirmations, cancellation costs, medical certificates).
  • Report injuries or illnesses right away (and as a precautionary measure if you are in doubt), especially if you are unsure of how long it will take you to recover.

General questions about travel cancellation insurance

What is cancellation insurance?

Purchasing travel cancellation insurance (also known as cancellation insurance or trip cancellation insurance) ensures before you leave on your trip that you will not have to pay any additional costs or cancellation costs that may arise. It goes into effect when you are not able to go on your trip or have to delay it for various reasons. And unused services are provided if the trip must be canceled in advance.

What’s the difference between travel cancellation and trip cancellation insurance?

There is none. It’s the same insurance, just with different names.

Who should have travel cancellation insurance?

Anyone who goes on vacation in Switzerland or abroad. This way not only are you covered for accident and illness, but also for natural disasters and civil unrest. 

Can I take out travel cancellation insurance for a single trip?

This depends on the conditions in your insurer’s policy. AXA’s travel cancellation policy lasts for 3 years (with annual right of termination) and covers any trips you take within that time.

When does travel cancellation insurance not pay out?

This also depends on your policy. Existing illnesses and foreseeable events are usually excluded. This includes military conflicts that are well underway at the time of booking, for example. Accidents you cause yourself are also not covered. 

Can I cancel my trip if I get sick?

Yes, you can. Your insurance covers you if you become sick before or during your trip. The coverage also applies if someone closely related to you or your pet falls ill. Please note that this only applies to unexpected illnesses. If you are suffering from a chronic illness before you begin your trip, and have to make a new booking or rebook, then the cancellation costs are generally covered.

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