Advisory: Get Trip Cancellation for Europe

With Europe and the Middle East enveloped in economic and political disruption, you need to take extra precautions if travelling across the Atlantic, especially if you are heading for any of the Mediterranean countries. We’re not saying “don’t go”—but get trip cancellation insurance to protect your investment.

Clearly, Greece and Spain are on an economic precipice, and if you are travelling to that area you need to stay away from any civil disruptions such as walkouts or demonstrations that might erupt. You also need to keep in touch with any hotels or tour groups you have made, or are thinking of making, arrangements with. If they decide to shut their doors or garage their cars, you may not be the first to know.

Trip cancellation policies are designed to help you cover some of the costs of prepaid, otherwise unrecoverable monetary losses you may encounter. But they don’t cover everything, they have limits, and there are conditions to what you may recover.  So read the fine print on any trip cancellation policy you buy. No matter how comforting the agent who sells you a trip cancellation policy sounds, you need to look at the conditions, exclusions, and pre-existing conditions requirements.

Also, don’t pay anything you don’t have to up front as a deposit. If you can get away without a deposit, do it.  If not, put down as little as you can get away with. Don’t count on a trip cancellation policy covering you 100 percent. It very likely won’t.

And before you put your money down, be sure you check out the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) or U.S. State Department travel advisory websites for warnings about travel to individual countries or regions within countries.  If these sites warn against all but essential travel to certain areas, your travel insurance may not be valid.

And if you’re going to London for the summer Olympics, be on the lookout for pickpockets. Every professional pickpocket in Europe will be descending on London looking for easy marks.  And if they zero in on you, you don’t stand much of a chance.  They’re extremely good at what they do.

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