photo: Nicole Taionescu/iStock

Don’t Get Tripped Up by a Trip Cancellation

By Craig Moy

It’s the night before you and your best friend are to depart on a dream vacation: a 10-day African safari. She calls you but her voice is quivering on the other end of the phone line. Sadly, her father has had a heart attack; she can’t go on the trip. You understandably want to stay back too: Your friend needs your support, and it wouldn’t be much of a vacation without her.

“A family member’s death or medical emergency is one of the main reasons people cancel travel plans,” says Pam Murray, travel insurance sales manager at AMA. It’s the sort of scenario that trip cancellation and interruption insurance was designed for—whether you buy a policy through a travel agent or use coverage that’s built into your credit card.

But here’s the thing: It wasn’t your family member who had the heart attack. That’s where insurance from AMA Travel goes above and beyond. It covers for the illness, injury or death of a large part of your family tree as well as your travelling companion’s immediate family. Credit card policies, on the other hand, typically have a much more limited scope.

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If you do cancel, AMA covers non-refundable costs up to the amount of insurance coverage you’ve purchased. So if you insured your African trip for $10,000, you’ll be reimbursed up to that amount—minus any refunds from the safari tour operator. Many credit cards set their max payout much lower, often at just $1,000.

Here’s another scenario: You’ve booked a Caribbean cruise with flights from Edmonton to Miami, via Toronto. Your departure from Edmonton is delayed due to a snowstorm in Toronto and you won’t make it to Florida in time to board the ship. But once you do get to Miami, AMA’s insurance will cover the costs of catching up to the ship at its next port, and your missed day of the cruise.

You could also contact your experienced AMA Travel counsellor, who may be able to book you on a new flight and get you to your destination on time. “Our interruption and delay benefits provide up to $2,500 for things like plane tickets, hotel rooms and meals,” Murray says. “That coverage amount opens up more options for travellers. You don’t have to be worried about what you can afford.”

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Family medical emergencies and flight delays are just two of the 30-plus scenarios covered with AMA. Others include government-issued travel advisories, a disaster at your home (like a fire or break-in), loss of employment and even jury duty. The number of situations most credit cards cover? Usually about a dozen—which means you have more than 20 additional reasons for trusting AMA Travel to protect your next trip of a lifetime.

AMA VS. CREDIT CARDS
What you get with AMA over typical credit card policies

Who’s “family”?
Cards: Spouse, dependent children, family members who live in the same household
AMA: From grandparents to grandchildren, out to but not including cousins

Cancellation coverage
Cards: Reimburses non-refundable costs, to a maximum that can be as low as $1,000
AMA: Reimburses non-refundable costs up to the amount your trip is insured for

Interruption/delay coverage
Cards: $250 per day, to a maximum of $500 for delay
AMA: Up to $2,500 to get you home or to catch up with your tour due to a delay

WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED
Get a travel insurance quote in two minutes at AMATravel.ca/TravelInsurance