Booking your dream vacation should be a moment to celebrate. But since no one knows what disruptions await us around the corner, spending your money on travel that might not happen can also come with a big dose of anxiety.
If you’re hesitant to plan your trip for fear of the unknown ruining your plans, then the “Cancel for any Reason” (CFAR) travel insurance upgrade may be the perfect clause to ease your mind.
What Is CFAR Travel Insurance?
CFAR is usually not automatically included in your selected travel insurance plan. You’ll have to seek it out and add it as an upgrade. Because of the broad coverage provided by CFAR, not every travel insurance company will offer it, either.
As the name implies, you can use your CFAR insurance for absolutely any reason, usually as long as you activate it within a couple of days before your trip departure. Whether you change your mind on a whim or a family emergency comes up, CFAR can reimburse you for a portion of your paid and insured travel costs. So, you won’t have to lose your entire trip and the money you’ve spent on it in one fell swoop.
Differences Between CFAR and Trip Cancellation Insurance
To those new to travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance might seem strikingly similar to CFAR insurance. But be aware, you do not get the same coverage if you only purchase trip cancellation insurance.
While coverage will vary depending on the insurance company, it’s common for trip cancellation insurance to compensate travelers for canceled flights, delayed flights, hotel accommodations, and cruise ship tickets. But you’re only qualified to receive insurance compensation if your trip is interrupted/canceled for a valid reason outlined in your insurance agreement.
According to Travel Insurance Review, typical valid cancellation incidents under trip cancellation insurance include:
- Your death
- A family member’s death,
- Bankruptcy from travel organizations you’ve booked through, and
- Terrorist incidents
Again, it’s critical to check your insurance policy documents to verify exactly how much of your trip is covered and under what circumstances you can tap into the insurance. Expect to pay anywhere from 5% to 10% of the total cost of your trip to add cancellation insurance.
In comparison, you won’t have to worry about so many stipulations when you have CFAR insurance. If you’ve had a nightmare about a plane crash and refuse to test your fate, you can cancel and you’re covered. If you’re worried about COVID-19 in the region you’re traveling to, your canceled trip can be covered. You can toss the whole trip away for any reason or no reason at all, and you’re covered.
However, such comprehensive insurance comes with a hefty price. You’ll have to pay for your cancellation peace of mind by adding around 40% to 60% to the price of your standard travel insurance plan.
Best Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance Plans
|Travel Insurance Company||Best For|
|Travel Guard||More than one CFAR coverage option|
|TravelSafe||longer timeframe to add CFAR coverage (21 days)|
|Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection||fastest claims processing|
|John Hancock Insurance Agency||maximum CFAR disbursement|
|Arch RoamRight||mobile app convenience while traveling with CFAR|
|Generali Global Assistance||CFAR buyer’s remorse (offers a free look period and full refund within 10 days of purchase)|
1. Travel Guard
While Travel Guard’s rating on Trust Pilot has taken a dive due to confusion over how Covid-related cancellations are handled, the travel insurance company’s CFAR policy remains solid.
The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic officially on March 11, 2020. After that date, Travel Guard considered coronavirus a “foreseen” interruption/trip delay, making reimbursement ineligible for many trip cancellation/interruption/delay policyholders.
But, and we can’t stress this enough, CFAR really does mean cancel for any reason — coronavirus or not. With Travel Guard CFAR coverage, your options include:
- 50% reimbursement of your insured trip cost, up to $75,000
- 75% reimbursement of your insured trip cost, up to $112,500
Make sure you don’t change the dates of your insured trip, though, or it could void your CFAR coverage.
With TravelSafe, you can add CFAR coverage on top of the Classic Plan, but it’s not available on the Basic Plan. The Classic Plan insures any trip up to $100,000. Since CFAR covers 75% of your insured trip, that puts the maximum distribution at $75,0000.
Travelers have a comparatively longer time to decide whether they want CFAR coverage or not. The add-on must be purchased within 21 days of the date of the initial trip deposit. To activate the coverage, you must cancel your trip two or more days before the scheduled departure date.
Keep in mind, CFAR coverage is an add-on to the Classic Plan travel insurance, which includes trip cancellation. If your reason for canceling is eligible for the trip cancellation coverage, you’ll receive up to 100% of your paid-for, non-reimbursed trip funds.
According to the TravelSafe insurance plan documents, closed borders due to coronavirus are not covered under trip cancellation or trip interruption policies. However, CFAR would provide reimbursements for this situation.
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection is underwritten by the company Berkshire Hathaway, which is led by famous billionaire CEO Warren Buffet.
All three of BHTP’s most popular plans (Exactcare Value, Exactcare, and Exactcare Extra) offer up to 100% trip reimbursement for trip cancellation, up to $100,000 for the most premium plan — Exactcare Extra.
Assuming you choose Exactcare Extra and add CFAR, your maximum coverage would be a reimbursement of $50,000, since it’s up to 50% of the optional plan coverage. Travelers can only purchase CFAR coverage at the time of the purchase of their base travel insurance plan.
Like the other travel insurance companies, BHTP does not cover trip cancellations due to fear of coronavirus, government prohibition of travel, or Covid-19 sickness under the base trip cancellation plans. But CFAR can save the day and cover any of these situations.
While BHTP does not have the best terms regarding CFAR reimbursement percentage or timeframe to purchase the coverage, it is highly renowned for its customer service. BHTP claims the “fastest claims payments in the industry.” Should something go wrong with your trip, you can be confident that you’ll be promptly and fairly assisted with your specific policy.
The John Hancock Insurance Agency can insure your trip up to $200,000 under its silver plan. You can then add the optional CFAR coverage for a 50% increase in your premium costs.
JHIA CFAR coverage reimburses 75% of your insured trip — meaning a maximum reimbursement of $150,000. To add CFAR coverage, you’ll need to purchase the add-on within 14 days of your initial trip deposit. And for eligible activation, make sure to cancel your trip two days or more before your scheduled departure.
As a reminder, CFAR will only cover unreimbursed funds from a canceled trip. So, if an airline or hotel lodging offers credit for future travel plans, then what you initially paid for this service will not be reimbursed by your CFAR coverage.
Arch RoamRight ranks among the highest-rated travel insurance options for its customer service on Google and Trustpilot. Travelers insured with Arch RoamRight also have the support and convenience of a mobile app, where you can file a claim or check your specific policy right from your phone.
Your CFAR coverage with Arch RoamRight can cover any trip cancellation not covered by your base trip cancellation insurance and can be purchased as additional coverage on top of the Pro and Pro Plus travel insurance plans.
If your travel is canceled two days or more before your departure date, you’ll likely be eligible for up to 75% of the cost of your paid-for and insured trip.
Generali Global Assistance is a highly awarded member of one of the largest insurance companies in the world. Their reputation and backing make travelers confident when leaving their travel insurance plans with this well-established company.
You must meet several criteria when adding CFAR to your Generali Global Assistance travel insurance plans, including:
- Purchasing CFAR within 24 hours
- Using the premium plan as your base insurance
- Insuring all nonrefundable trip costs
If you must activate your CFAR coverage, make sure to cancel your trip at least two days before departure. Generali then covers 60% of your unreimbursed, paid trip cost. One of the perks of purchasing travel insurance through Generali Global Assistance is their “free look” period. Travelers in most states will have up to 10 days after purchasing their travel insurance to decide if it’s the perfect plan for them. If the insurance is canceled within that time period, then you’ll receive full reimbursement.
However, if you’re booking an extravagant trip — this may not be the best CFAR option for you. The Premium Plan from Generali Global Assistance only covers trips that cost a total of $50,000 or less. This puts maximum disbursement for CFAR at $30,000.
Alternatives to CFAR
Since CFAR is an add-on coverage to a base travel insurance plan, you’ll want to make absolutely sure that your cancellation is not covered by the base plan. This is because your base plan’s trip cancellation will usually cover 100% of your unreimbursed and paid-for trip costs, whereas CFAR will only cover a fraction of what you’ve already paid for your trip.
Then, before tapping into CFAR, it can be beneficial to check with the airlines and hotels to see if full reimbursement is possible. Again, since CFAR only covers a portion of your payment, going directly to the hospitality and travel service companies might give you a better chance at getting more of your money back.
Finally, if you’ve paid for your trip with a credit card, then there’s a chance that your card has policies to reimburse you for trip cancellation or interruption that meets certain criteria. For example, Chase Sapphire offers travel reimbursement, up to $10,000 per occurrence, for trip cancellations. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions before putting your entire vacation on a credit card, though.
While you’re searching for credit cards with the best travel reimbursement policies, make sure to check out our comprehensive list of the best travel rewards credit cards as well.
How We Came Up With This List
We scoured thousands of reviews from accredited third-party websites to find the best travel insurance CFAR coverage with distinctive features to benefit the traveler. This list is based on authentic reviews and experiences from real travelers who have used these products.
The global pandemic undoubtedly threw a wrench into everyone’s travel plans in 2020 and into 2021. Many travel insurance plans with basic trip cancellation didn’t reimburse policyholders for interruptions and delays caused by Covid-19. However, CFAR insurance remains the one way to fortify your travel insurance and get reimbursed no matter what the reason for cancellation, Covid-19 included.
Whether you’re a wishy-washy traveler or concerned about the next unforeseen global issue, CFAR coverage is a worthy consideration to insure your travel payments and plans.