Becky Hart | Jan 8, 2024
You might have heard of Cancel for Any Reason coverage, but are you familiar with Interruption for Any Reason? Like CFAR, Interruption for Any Reason, also known as IFAR, offers you more flexibility to adjust your travel plans when the unexpected happens. If you’re looking for more ways to protect your money, IFAR could be the right solution for you.
Before we get too deep into travel insurance, let’s chat quickly about trip interruption. What does it mean to interrupt your trip?
Most often, trip interruption is when you decide to end your trip and come home early. You might also need to interrupt your trip, then rejoin it a bit later. Alternatively, trip interruption can also include starting your trip later than planned.
For example, let’s say you’re vacationing in the Caribbean. Four days into your one-week trip, the NOAA Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for your destination. Your trip interruption insurance coverage would likely reimburse you for insured expenses related to returning home early because of the hurricane.
In these types of scenarios, there’s the potential to lose prepaid trip expenses because you altered your itinerary. With an interruption, you might not have used your airfare or part of a hotel reservation. Your ability to recover some of those expenses could come down to whether you have travel insurance.
In general, trip protection often includes coverage for:
Trip interruption can be helpful if you have to change your travel plans like we mentioned above. To be reimbursed for those prepaid, nonrefundable trip payments you weren’t able to use, the interruption must be triggered by a covered reason stated in your plan document. These covered reasons, or triggers, can vary from one company to the next, and from one plan to the next.
The most common trip interruption triggers include the death of an immediate family member or an injury or illness that occurs while on your trip and that is severe enough that a physician determines you are unable to continue traveling.
There are typically many other triggers as well, such as inclement weather and strikes. It’s worth looking into the details when considering a plan. Knowing what’s covered and what isn’t can make a big difference if you need to make a claim later.
The trip interruption benefit triggers above might be the most common reasons you’d need to interrupt your trip, but they aren’t the only reasons. For example, what if you're in the Bahamas and a big storm moves in? If it’s not a named hurricane, it might not meet the criteria to be a trip interruption trigger. But that doesn’t mean you want to sit around on a rainy island. In a situation like this, Interruption for Any Reason coverage could help.
IFAR is an optional benefit you can add to certain (not all) trip protection plans that allows you to interrupt your trip for any reason not otherwise covered.
Instead of being limited to interrupting your trip for a specific list of triggers, you can now interrupt your trip for any reason you want. In our rainy Caribbean example above, you could use IFAR to be reimbursed for a portion of your insured trip costs that have gone unused because you chose to come home early and avoid the storm. Without IFAR, you’d lose those unused expenses plus be responsible for the cost of new flights or other transportation to return home ahead of schedule.
The unexpected can happen at any time. We all get worried about whether we’ll have to cancel our trip, but unfortunate events can happen after we’ve already left, too. With the IFAR add-on, you can interrupt your trip while saving a portion of your investment.
If you’re concerned an unusual event could make you need or want to come home early, Interruption for Any Reason is a great option to consider. With IFAR, you’ll still be protected even if you don’t meet the requirement of a specific trip interruption trigger.
Let’s say you’re traveling in Europe, and as you’re concluding the part of your trip that took you through Germany, you hear about an outbreak of bed bugs in many Paris hotels. France is the next stop on your itinerary, but now you’re not sure you want to risk it, no matter how romantic the City of Light sounds.
Bed bugs are not a covered reason in most trip protection plans, so if you decided to cut your trip short and return home early, those expenses would not be covered by your travel insurance. But if you have IFAR, you could get a portion of those unused insured trip expenses back.
This is just one hypothetical example. It’s important to remember that each plan can vary. Still, other scenarios where Interruption for Any Reason can help include:
IFAR offers great flexibility, but it’s still important to understand how it works. If you add the benefit but don’t use it correctly, your claim could be denied.
If you choose to add IFAR, you will pay more for your insurance. This additional expense is relatively small, typically increasing the cost of your trip protection plan by 3% to 12%. This increased cost is because your plan now covers a wider range of situations.
You must buy the Interruption for Any Reason travel insurance add-on within a specified time limit. This is generally within the plan’s stated time period from the date you made your first trip payment.
Seven Corners Trip Protection plans require benefits like IFAR and CFAR to be purchased within 20 days of your initial trip deposit. So if you booked a nonrefundable deep-sea fishing excursion on March 1 for your Caribbean vacation, you must add IFAR by March 20. If you add reservations to your trip later and have more expenses you want to insure, you can update your coverage within 15 days of making those new deposits.
Your trip interruption must occur 48 hours or more after your scheduled departure date in order to be covered. Only after those 48 hours can IFAR reimburse you for the unused portions of your insured trip expenses and additional transportation expenses.
For most travel insurance, you will be reimbursed a stated percentage of the amount you insured. The percentage covered by IFAR with Seven Corners Trip Protection plans is 75%, but it can range from 50% to 75% for most plans on the market. You’ll find the percentage stated in your plan document. And don’t confuse Interruption for Any Reason with the Trip Interruption coverage that comes as part of the plan. Those are two separate benefits, and the percentage covered will be different for each.
It can be a bit disappointing to find out that not all the expenses will be reimbursed. However, keep in mind that you’ll still recoup more money with IFAR than you spent to purchase it (and much more than if you decided not to buy it at all).
If you don’t believe us, try getting a quick quote online to see for yourself. For a week-long trip to the Bahamas with a $2,000 trip cost, IFAR costs less than $3 when added to a Trip Protection Basic plan.
When you get a quick quote online, IFAR will be offered to you if it’s available in your state. Adding IFAR will increase the cost of your plan, but remember that you’re getting additional protection for a modest price.