Last Updated: 04/23/2024 02:12PM ET

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest tour operator, ceased operations for financial reasons on September 23, 2019. The company’s collapse stranded more than 600,000 travelers in 18 different countries, and canceled trips for thousands of other travelers who already had their future vacations planned and booked.

The Thomas Cook bankruptcy is a very specific case, and travel insurance coverage varies by policy and provider.

In general, many travel insurance policies include coverage for the Financial Default of a travel provider, which is defined as an airline, cruise line, common carrier, or tour operator. This coverage can reimburse a traveler for their prepaid and non-refundable trip costs if their trip is canceled because their travel provider ceased operations for financial reasons.

However, in this case, Financial Default coverage may not apply, depending on where a traveler bought their travel insurance. This is because some policies do not provide coverage if the company that solicits the travel insurance goes bankrupt.

For example, if a traveler bought their travel insurance either as part of a package deal with their trip, or as a recommendation through their travel agent – Thomas Cook in this case – Financial Default coverage likely does not apply. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the traveler must have purchased directly through a travel insurance provider, an insurance agent, or an aggregator site like Squaremouth.

The Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Travel Insurance Information Center explains coverage related to the situation. This database is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with answers to frequently asked questions, official provider position statements, travel alerts and notices, and other information as the situation develops. Information is subject to change at any time.

Questions? Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts are on hand to answer your questions about coverage for the Thomas Cook bankruptcy. We are available from 8am to 10pm ET daily chat and by phone at 1-800-240-0369.

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest tour operator, ceased operations for financial reasons on September 23, 2019.

More than 600,000 travelers are stranded as a result of the Thomas Cook bankruptcy.

Financial Default coverage may be available for affected travelers who purchased travel insurance before September 23, 2019, however it depends on their policy and where they bought their insurance.

If you are currently traveling and your trip has been affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy, contact your provider's 24-Hour Emergency Assistance for help.