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- Cancel for any reason insurance is a type of travel insurance rider.
- It allows you to cancel your trip and get reimbursed for nonrefundable travel costs.
- CFAR insurance generally increases your premium by 40% to 50%.
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Nobody intends to cancel a vacation, business trip, or other travel plans. Unfortunately, life happens as we've all seen. It doesn't matter if it's caused by an unexpected illness, political unrest in your destination country, or something else. If you don't have an effective travel insurance policy, you could lose all your nonrefundable costs. For international or long-trip travelers, this could be thousands of dollars.
Regular travel insurance will cover cancellations as long as the cause falls within guidelines. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of unexpected denials. People assume travel insurance covers everything only to find out that their family emergency, illness, etc. isn't included. This is where cancel for any reason coverage comes in.
What is cancel for any reason travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects you from various losses that can occur while on a trip. Though most standard policies cover trip cancellation, it's typically limited to specific scenarios — like illness or a natural disaster.
If you add on cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage, you can cancel for virtually anything as long as you do it within the required timeframe. You typically need to cancel at least two days before the trip is scheduled to start.
"The cancel for any reason benefit means you can nix your trip for reasons other than those specifically covered in your plan," says Jeff Rolander, director of claims at Faye, a travel insurance provider. "Adding CFAR protection to your travel insurance plan helps give you peace of mind knowing you have the ability to cancel your trip if you simply don't feel like going."
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How much does cancel for any reason travel insurance cost?
The cost of CFAR travel insurance varies by provider and depends on the age of the travelers, the destination, the duration of the trip, and other details. You can generally expect to pay between 40% to 50% more when adding CFAR coverage.
Here's a look at how much CFAR coverage costs at three different travel insurance providers. These quotes are for a $5,000 weeklong trip to Mexico for one person (30 years old).
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Will CFAR guarantee a full refund if your trip is canceled?
CFAR insurance allows you to cancel your trip for any reason. So you don't have to worry about being denied for "non-covered causes." However, buyers won't get a refund on their full travel expenses. Travel insurance, in general, is only meant to cover nonrefundable costs.
Can you use CFAR coverage to cancel because of the coronavirus?
Standard travel insurance may reimburse you if you contracted COVID-19 before the trip, but not if you cancel due to exposure or fears of getting the virus while traveling. Some travel insurance companies have written in coverage exclusions for COVID. Fortunately, CFAR travel insurance does cover these instances.
Why get cancel for any reason insurance?
Life is messy and often unplanned. While many countries are reopening and reducing restrictions, that could change anytime. This is complicated without including family emergencies, illness, and other unexpected complications. Cancel for any reason insurance takes the mystery out of things.
What is the average cost of cancel for any reason travel insurance?
CFAR coverage provides peace of mind and coverage for a much wider range of cancellations. However, it also costs a lot more. Many companies charge 40-60% more to add a cancel for any reason insurance rider. Depending on the total cost of your trip and other factors, it may be worth it.
4 myths about cancel for any reason travel insurance
1. CFAR is worth it for any trip, no matter the cost
CFAR increases the cost of travel insurance quite a bit, so it may not be worth it on shorter, less costly trips or ones you're very unlikely to cancel (like a trip to your own wedding, for example).
If you're taking a particularly long or expensive trip, it might be worth it — especially if there's some concern you may need to cancel. If you want the freedom to cancel due to COVID-related concerns, it can also be smart.
"CFAR is worth the money if a traveler has a very specific concern that can't be covered otherwise," Moncrief says. "CFAR proved popular throughout the pandemic as a way for travelers to prepare for the constantly changing travel landscape."
2. CFAR costs a ton of money
While CFAR coverage does make your travel insurance more expensive, you'll still pay around $100 or less in most cases. As you can see in the chart above, the typical CFAR policy costs about $60 to $130 — in addition to your basic travel insurance premium per person.
3. My credit card offers trip cancellation coverage, so CFAR is never worth it
While many credit cards do come with travel benefits, coverage is often limited in scope. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for example, won't reimburse you for trips canceled due to a "change in plans or financial circumstances." The American Express Platinum card covers cancellations due to injury, sickness, inclement weather, terrorist actions, and other reasons covered by most basic travel insurance plans. Still, in comparison, CFAR offers much wider coverage and protection.
4. You can buy CFAR at any point before your trip begins
You have to purchase CFAR coverage soon after booking your trip. Most companies require you to purchase within 15 to 21 days of putting down an initial deposit. After that point, you will be unable to add CFAR coverage to your policy.
Shop around for your CFAR coverage
If you do opt for cancel for any reason coverage, make sure to shop around for your policy. Every provider offers different plans and fees. Comparing at least a few options can help ensure you get the best rate and coverage for your needs.
Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer, specializing in real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been published in Forbes, Money Magazine, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, The Balance, Money Under 30, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from TCU's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a focus on radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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