Unfortunately, a visa being denied is typically not a covered reason for a traveler to cancel their trip under the Trip Cancellation benefit of travel insurance.
International travel plans are often contingent on a traveler being able to obtain a visa to visit the foreign country. If the visa application is denied, or not received in time, the trip might have to be cancelled. While most travel insurance plans include Trip Cancellation coverage, benefits are only available if the trip is cancelled for one of the reasons specifically listed in the policy. Most policies include a variety reasons that can be covered, from jury duty to a death in the family to severe weather, however, a denied or late visa application is not one of those covered reasons.
If a traveler is concerned this situation may keep their trip from happening, they should look for a policy offering Cancel For Any Reason coverage. This benefit allows a trip to be cancelled without any explanation for a reason not listed by the policy, such as a visa being denied or not approved in time for the trip. However, there are some limitations to the Cancel For Any Reason benefit.
- Cancel For Any Reason coverage is only available for a short time from the initial trip deposit date, normally between 14-30 days.
- It usually is an optional upgrade that raises the premium by 40% or more.
- In order to use the coverage, the trip must be cancelled at least 2 days before the trip departure date. There is no coverage for a last minute change of mind.
- Cancel For Any Reason will only partially reimburse travelers, normally around 75% of their trip cost.
- The entire trip cost must be insured in order to qualify for cancel for any reason coverage. This means 100% of prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses have to be insured.
Remember, every policy has a Money Back Guarantee of at least 10 days. This allows the traveler to change their mind cancel their travel insurance policy for a full refund of the premium paid. Some long term travel medical plans offer the money back guarantee until the day before the scheduled departure date. So, if a visa is not received in time, they could be able to cancel their policy and get a refund.
Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.