Up and down the travel hallways, a similar sentiment echoes: cancel for any reason travel insurance is any traveler’s best bet in 2021 and beyond. The Covid-19 pandemic showed us how fragile travel bookings could be. And no one’s here for it.
No traveler wants to feel like they lack that much control over their travel investment. And that’s when it’s worth it to buy cancel for any reason (CFAR)—when you need to take control over your travel investment with flexibility and certainty.
But you may be wondering if your trip warrants a CFAR policy, and we’re going to break down how you can decide whether or not cancel for any reason travel insurance is worth the cost using expert insight and travel pro trips.
What is cancel for any reason travel insurance, and how does it work?
What it is
Cancel for any reason coverage is similar to traditional trip cancellation insurance, but it has an added layer of protection. Instead of having a list of reasons for cancellations, you can cancel for any reason under the sun.
Travelers get up to 75% percent back on cancel for any reason claims. But they get 100% of their non-refundable costs if they cancel for one of the reasons listed under the trip cancellation benefit.
So, travelers don’t forfeit coverage when they opt for CFAR. They simply add an extra layer of protection for events that aren’t covered, like fear of travel due to pandemics, political threats, or travel advisories. Notice the emphasis on fear. That’s because fear of getting sick or hurt is not covered by any other plan than a CFAR plan.
In addition to coverage for cancellation, travelers have the following benefits:
- 24-hour emergency assistance
- Emergency medical expense coverage
- Emergency evacuation coverage
- Travel benefits for delays, interruptions, and missed connections
How it works
Cancel for any reason(CFAR) travel insurance gives you the most flexibility and control over your trip, because it is the only type of coverage that reimburses you no matter why you cancel.
But it’s important to know how it works so you can take advantage of this powerful benefit when push comes to shove. Check out the table below.
|When you have to buy||Trip cost requirements||When you have to cancel||Reason for cancellation||What you can get back|
|10-21 days after your first deposit on your trip||Most plans require that you cover all non-refundable trip costs||48 hours or more before you scheduled departure||Any reason you think of—ANY||50-75% of your non-refundable trip costs|
How much extra does cancel for any reason travel insurance cost?
Cancel for any reason plans cost roughly 40% more than traditional trip cancellation insurance, give or take a bit. The average cost of standard trip cancellation insurance here at G1G is $235. The average CFAR plan comes in at $410—about $175 more.
We looked through queries regarding trip cancellation policies, and over 66% of questions related to these kinds of plans included expressed interest in cancel for any reason plans. That means that the majority of travelers looking for travel protection are considering CFAR for their upcoming trip.
When is cancel for any reason travel insurance worth the cost?
We all suffer from optimism bias—the mistaken belief that we won’t experience adverse events like illness or financial ruin.  But travel has hundreds, if not thousands of variables we can’t control.
That’s why CFAR is more expensive, because it provides a wider net for the traveler to cast, resulting in a greater opportunity to recoup lost money.
Things to consider
Travel suppliers & tour operators
Travel suppliers were a big part of cancellations during the Covid-19 crisis. There was a lot they had to consider: their safety, the safety of their community, and whether or not travel to their countries was even possible.
Many travel suppliers and tour operators were forced to cancel pre-scheduled trips, but they weren’t able to refund everyone. This left many travelers confused about how they were going to get their money back.
“It’s a hard spot to be in,” says Zubair Jeewanjee, CEO of G1G. “A lot of travel suppliers and tour operators run small businesses in developing countries. Refunding due to cancellations they can’t control can result in them closing their doors forever.”
Cancel for any reason can ensure a 75% refund to travelers when the supplier or tour operator is forced to cancel due to their country’s regulations or unsafe conditions.
When I got my first job in travel insurance, I had no idea what to expect. I worked in marketing, but a part of ongoing training was observing calls with the customer service department—the most common question around coverage and cancellations: travel advisories.
A country’s travel advisory would move from level 1 to 3, and travelers would begin phoning in. They’d want to know which travel insurance plan covers travel warnings. Most do not.
Time and time again, the rep training me on the phones would say, “Cancel for any reason travel insurance is available for purchase. You can buy a CFAR policy if you are worried about a travel warning or advisory affecting your trip.”
CFAR is a great way to guard yourself against travel warnings. If you feel unsafe traveling, you can cancel 48 hours or more before you’re scheduled to leave.
How much you value flexibility
If you’re someone who likes flexible travel plans, CFAR is for you. You can change your mind because of a poor weather forecast a week out from your trip, or you can simply just change your mind for no reason at all.
Cancel for any reason gives you the flexibility to control the outcome of your trip. I’m not sure about you, but I’m someone who likes to know that I’m in control of my finances. Choosing between my safety and losing my hard-earned money isn’t something I want to deal with personally, so I’d much rather have CFAR and the ability to cancel if I want.
Weighing the costs of CFAR
Three factors determine the cost of your travel insurance plan: the traveler’s age, the length of travel, and the total cost of all prepaid, non-refundable expenses. Let’s do a cost analysis for a few different travelers with varying trips.
|Age||Non-refundable trip cost||Trip length||Premium invested||CFAR reimbursement||Money lost||Money recouped (minus investment)|
As you can see, it’s beneficial to purchase CFAR travel insurance under most circumstances. Plans are priced effectively so that the consumer doesn’t lose their entire travel investment. Whether or not the traveler wants to take the risk is entirely up to them.
However, it’s important to remember that you are getting way more than CFAR alone. You’re also getting coverage for medical emergencies, evacuations, and other travel inconveniences.
The key is to not over-insure your trip. Let’s say you pay $2,000 for a trip. But only $1,000 is non-refundable. That means you’ll only cover $1,000 when you buy your policy. Over-insuring your trip will only cost you more in premium and won’t have any added benefit.