Over the past few months, I’ve been planning a multi-stop trip through Germany and Italy.
My goal is to keep my costs as low as possible, and I’ve already gotten off to a good start: I’ll be rooming with extended family for part of the trip and relying on budget airlines and accommodations throughout my stay. My hope is that,
by skipping a few luxuries when I’m on the road, I can save up more quickly for my next big adventure!
Passing on non-essential purchases comes second-nature to me — but when it came time to purchase travel insurance, I was left second-guessing. With so many coverage levels
and optional benefits, wouldn’t it be best to choose the cheapest option possible? As it turns out, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as it seems.
Is travel insurance necessary?
First, let’s review the basics: travel insurance is optional coverage that can provide financial support for unexpected disruptions to a trip. From medical emergencies to lost luggage, and from unexpected delays to emergency evacuation, travel insurance
can cover a wide range of expenses that might otherwise derail an international trip.
Insurance providers like Seven Corners offer a variety of plans
with different coverage
levels and price-points. No matter your budget or your degree of risk tolerance, you’ll want to think carefully about your insurance purchase. Reading and understanding different plan details — and talking to an insurance representative,
if needed — are essential steps to take when picking a travel insurance plan.
What about CFAR coverage?
Some travel insurance plans go a step further by offering optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefits. While many basic plans offer cancellation coverage for pre-approved reasons, CFAR allows travelers to cancel their trip for a reason that might not
be otherwise covered. If you’re curious about how CFAR could work for you, the Seven Corners blog has a dedicated article
with information about CFAR coverage and its applications.
So, is CFAR the right fit for a traveler on a budget? Ultimately, purchasing insurance with CFAR benefits comes down to two key questions:
1. What’s your risk tolerance?
2. How much flexibility will you need?
Answers will vary depending on your circumstances, which is why it’s important to understand yourself and the possible risks that come with your destination. If you’re still unsure about whether CFAR is right for you, here are a few scenarios
where CFAR benefits could help:
1. Family emergency
While many travel insurance policies cover costs in the event of sickness and death, a family emergency does not necessarily guarantee coverage. If you’re worried about leaving a loved one behind while you travel — even if that loved one is
a beloved family pet — CFAR can give you the flexibility to cancel your plans on the fly.
2. Car Troubles
You need a reliable set of wheels to get to and from work, and it’s just your luck that the weird creaking noise from your sedan requires a horribly expensive fix. If those auto repairs pose a substantial financial burden, CFAR can take the sting
out of canceling your trip.
3. Current events
The world is an exciting and beautiful place, but current events can leave even the most adventurous travelers with doubts about their upcoming trip. In the event of civil or political unrest in your destination, CFAR can help reduce the costs of cancellation.
4. Disease outbreak
In recent years, infectious diseases like Zika
, Ebola, and MERS have left some travelers second-guessing
their international travel plans. If your destination becomes an epicenter for a scary new outbreak, you may just put your CFAR coverage to use.
5. Work-related limitations
While work-life balance is essential, sometimes you’re required to put your career first. It could be that your department is undergoing major changes. Perhaps you decided to accept a new position or switch careers all together. Or maybe you received
an exciting promotion. In the event that your work circumstances come into conflict with your travel plans, your CFAR benefits will be on your side.
6. A change of heart
Maybe you don’t have a high-stakes reason for canceling your trip. That’s okay, too! CFAR can take the pressure off if you decide that your upcoming trip just isn’t worth the fuss.
In considering whether to add CFAR coverage to my own vacation, I knew that all the added flexibility would come at a cost. CFAR benefits would raise the overall price of any insurance plan, and on top of that, there’s often a requirement that CFAR
coverage must be purchased shortly after the initial trip deposit (in some cases, within the first 15 days).
Despite those limitations, CFAR can make an excellent travel companion. If you’re traveling on a budget, CFAR is just one of many options available to support you — and if you do need to cancel unexpectedly, that added coverage will be money
About the Author
Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.