Claims for trip interruptions are not as common as trip cancellation coverage even though they are very similar coverages.
Trip interruption coverage will protect you if you have to interrupt or curtail your trip due to one of the covered reasons listed in the policy for the non-refundable travel expenses (usually limited to land or sea fees) that you pre-paid to participate on the trip. Like trip cancellation there are complications:
- the reason that you interrupt or curtail your trip has to be due to one of the specific covered reasons (perils and hazards) listed in the policy;
- the reason must not be specifically excluded from coverage, e.g., civil unrest, foreseeable strikes, pre-existing medical conditions(except if you have the waiver), etc.;
- the money that you are claiming has to be money that was specifically pre-paid for the trip that you insured or must be due to increase transportation expenses home or to catch up to the trip. Transportation expenses are usually limited to the same class ticket that you originally traveled on back to your return destination and all loses can not exceed the trip interruption limit listed in your policy. Companies use the trip cost that you originally indicated when buying the insurance to determine the limit for trip interruption coverage - it will either be the same amount or an increased percentage. Some companies increase the limit over your trip cost because in some cases your loss on trip interruption can exceed the original cost of your trip.
What to expect at the time of a claim
- policy holder's statement - this is completed by you and asks you to describe why you are canceling your trip and if it's caused by a "family member" what their relationship is to you and to list the money that you paid for the trip and any refund provided;
- attending physician's statement - since most trip cancellation claims are caused by a medical condition of either the insured person or one of their "family members" the insurance company will need to see from the physician who they treated, when they treated, when the symptoms first appeared, and when they recommended cancellation of the trip; and
- medical information release - the person who was ill will have to sign. It authorizes the insurance to company to obtain information concerning the person's condition and treatment.
- travel agents statement - a listing by the travel agent or travel supplier showing your additional charges.
The insurance company or TPA will also require that you submit to them documentation backing up your payments to prove that you paid the money that you are claiming and documentation that the money is non-refundable. Documents that show the payments as non-refundable would include any tour or cruise document that contains a "cancellation" provision, actual airline tickets and/or electronic documents, copies of refund checks or statements.