I got a call from a friend yesterday asking me if she should buy travel insurance for a domestic flight. This question is becoming an increasingly important decision, especially in light of last week’s recent terrorist attacks.
The only time I typically buy travel insurance is when I book a big summer trip to Europe. I do this mainly because I try to pay as much as possible in advance. Airline tickets are an obvious advance purchase item but many hotels will offer discounted rates if you pay in full, in advance with a non-refundable rate.
I recently booked a trip to London and France for this summer and in light of the Paris attacks looked a little more closely at the allowable cancellation reasons. I used a website called Squaremouth. This site allows you to look and compare a variety of competing plans.
Regarding terrorism, most allow you to cancel if a terrorist attack occurs in a city that is on your itinerary within 30 days of your travel date. So if an attack occurs in Brussels and you are going to Paris, you won’t receive your benefits.
Since we are traveling with our kids, I didn’t feel this kind of coverage would cover my irrational, neurotic mom fears if anything happens within 1000 miles of our destination. So I began to look into “cancel for any reason” plans. These plans basically allow you to cancel if you get a hangnail. They cost more and they only typically reimburse you for 75% if you cancel for any reason. They’ll still provide full reimbursement for other allowed cancellation reasons.
After Brussels, I’m glad I made the decision to go with the “cancel for any reason” plan. Whether or not I’ll let my fears get the best of me is still undetermined. In the meantime, my prayers will be with those affected last week.