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To buy or not to buy cancellation insurance?

Travel Forums General Talk To buy or not to buy cancellation insurance?

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1. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

A friend and I are about to book our tickets for Rome, and we have conflicting ideas about purchasing flight cancellation insurance. The flight itself is $889, and the insurance is $79 - that's (if my math is right) over 11% of the ticket cost. I haven't purchased cancellation insurance in years, as the cost of the insurance itself pays for about 3 nights's worth of accommodation, and I'd rather take my chances.

What do most people do, and why (or why not)? We're also paying about $30 to reserve our seats, as my friend insists on an aisle (as she's petrified of flying). I'm not even off the ground and I'm already paying $110 more for my ticket...

2. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 11y

If the flight ticket is $889.00, 10% of that means taking the decimal point one place to the front. So, that's $88.90.

Now, the insurance is $79.00, and it certainly is less than $88.90, which means to say it is not possible to be more than 10%. As a matter of fact, $79.00 is actually 8.89% of $889.00.

Now, back to your question (what was it again? ).
Ah... yes. No, I've never done that before, so I don't know. Sorry, can't help you on that one.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

How long before you leave for Rome? If they are non-refundable tickets and your trip is 6 months from now - it may not be a bad idea. We have never purchased it, but also don't book months in advance for trips. I also try to use our AmEx credit card for airfares since they have (somewhat) of a built-in insurance policy.

I never gave it much thought until recently, when my brother wasn't able to go on a cruise they had booked. It was non-refundable but they took the cancellation insurance. The day before they were to leave for the ship, he suffered a minor stroke (actually 3 strokes over 3 days). Obviously, they had to postpone their plans and cancel this trip. They have gotten 100% of cruise fare returned. (And, my brother is fine too - just pissed he had to postpone their first trip alone since their honeymoon 30+ years ago.)

Can your friend take the insurance if she wishes, and you can decline?

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

D'uy! This is why I stuck to writing and gave up on the math! OK, so it's about 9% - although with the reserved seats it goes up to just over 12%. So - please re-read with the new math!

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting Isadora

How long before you leave for Rome? If they are non-refundable tickets and your trip is 6 months from now - it may not be a bad idea.

We're probably leaving on May 11 - just a few months away. I don't see why I can't skip the insurance if my friend decides to take it...we're paying seperately, anyway. Mostly, it got me thinking about what frequent-ish travellers do... that's a lot of money in cancellation insurance that could be spent elsewhere...

6. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 11y

does regular travel insurance not cover this Tina? I just buy along with other half couples annual travel insurance costs us around £90 for the year including winter sports - for him not me l hate snow and am so unco-ordinated would kill my self and cause a major world disaster if l skied - best to stay away for the sake of mankind

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting Purdy

does regular travel insurance not cover this Tina?

I have health-insurance coverage with work, but it doesn't cover the cost of my ticket if I have to cancel a flight. The airlines tack that on to the ticket price. It's like gambling - although I'm starting to realize it's not the only thing. House prices, mortgage rates, mutual fund investments - everything's a gamble...

8. Posted by nads83 (Budding Member 29 posts) 11y

I tend to normally buy travel insurance, I'm a play it safe kind of person it sucks having to pay a lot of money for something you probably won't even use ( and so far i haven't had to use it) but knowing my luck and murphys law, the one time I don't spend that extra money will be the one time that a catastrophe occurs.
what happens if you don't buy the travel insurance and your flight gets cancelled? i guess for me it normally means that i'm out a lot more money than the cost of the travel insurance so i shell out the insurance money.
it makes sense though that your friend pay for the insurance if she/he wants it and if you don't want it then you shouldn't have to pay for it because it is an individual thing
good luck :)

9. Posted by Peter (Admin 5928 posts) 11y

I've never purchased a specific 'cancellation insurance'. Then again, I think that's kind of a North American phenomena to not have everything wrapped up in one 'travel insurance', which is what I always get. And that of course includes cancellation costs. It's also worth checking the cancellation policy on the ticket. You don't necessarily lose all your money when you cancel.

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Turns out cancellation insurance was $79, and if yo don't take it your ticket is 100% non-refundable, non-changeable, and non-everything else. So - we took a chance and left it at that. If it was a complete vacation package, then I would have bought it. But just the flight? It feels too much like opportunism...

We did, however, reserve our seats (the few 2-together seats on the flight) at a cost of $40 each way. If I was going alone I'd have skipped it, but being 2 it's worth the extra to know we'll get decent seats (plus my friend hates to fly, so better she be comfortable).

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