If you’ve read through the cancellation policy in your rental agreement, you will see the following phrase: ‘We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance’. What does this mean?
When you travel, some portions of your trip are prepaid, such as the vacation rental, flights, activities, the car rental. Typically those are the biggest expenses of the trip. When Covid began, we saw many players in the travel industry become more flexible with their cancellation and change policies. However, two years into Covid, some companies are asking travelers to shoulder some of the risk.
We’ve recently revised our cancellation policy (which affects new bookings at our condos only). The cancellation policy stated in your rental agreement takes precedence. I am not retro-actively changing rental agreements, that wouldn’t be fair.
There are different types of trip insurance which will reimburse you for prepaid expenses, give additional medical coverage, cover your rental car etc. From what I have found, the most comprehensive coverage you can get is a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy. Definitely read through the fine print before purchasing any policy so that you know exactly what is covered. It definitely varies.
The world of insurance can be a complicated one. There are however aggregators that compare insurance policies and then direct you to the ones best suited for your needs. In the US two such aggregators are InsureMyTrip and Squaremouth.
My personal experience
On my recent Canada trip I purchased a CFAR policy recommended by InsureMyTrip for $260 to cover $5000 in prepaids. This is the second time in my life that I have purchased insurance. Previously I’ve felt that if something went wrong and I had to cancel, I would just be out the money. But with the continuing uncertainty of Covid, I feel there is more risk. I worry about one of us testing positive before or during a trip and the ensuing travel complications.
Our Cancellation Policy has changed
If you have an existing rental agreement with us, the terms stated in the rental agreement hold. For new bookings as of March 2022 we have changed our cancellation/change terms to a non-refundable deposit. Should you need to change or cancel your booking, the deposit becomes non-refundable. If you’ve booked direct, the deposit is $500. Airbnb and Vrbo have their own deposit schedules. The balance is due 60 days prior to arrival and also becomes non-refundable.
Covid has made travel more unpredictable. We’ve seen many cancellations and change requests over the past two years in large part due to Covid. In some cases guests have held dates for 10 or 11 months only to cancel a month prior to arrival. Those cancellations have been difficult to fill. Changes and cancellations happen, however we hope the new cancellation policy will return some stability to our calendars.
What does this mean for you?
If our condos become unavailable for/during your stay, we will issue a pro-rated refund for your stay. These would typically be disastrous things, such as fire, flooding, or delays in a contractor’s renovation schedule (no current plans). When one of our condos had a flood, we helped our guests find alternative accommodation and issued a refund. On a side note, we do not give refunds for appliance failure, wifi/cable outage etc. If it is something we can control, we will do our best to correct the problem. For example, we have brought in a bar fridge and coolers when a fridge decided to fail short-notice.
You want your insurance to cover problems on your end, such as
- sickness or injury
- death in family
- unwelcome changes to Covid restrictions
- weather problems etc
We always hope that our vacations will go as planned or better. However, it’s always good to be prepared.