What if you can't fly?
A travel cancellation insurance could at least keep the financial damage low.
Photo: Shannon Fagan/Getty Images
The joy of the break, of a rest from everyday life was great.
And then that: an illness, an accident, sudden unemployment or a sick dog - and leaving for the booked holiday becomes impossible.
Most travelers are left with high cancellation fees.
Travel cancellation insurance can prevent this if the relevant reason is insured.
Stiftung Warentest examined 138 tariffs.
These include 52 policies for combined travel cancellation and travel interruption insurance.
The magazine »Finanztest« recommends this combination in its current issue.
Your advantage: being able to cancel and break off trips.
In this way, you not only protect against risks that occur in advance, but also those that only occur in the travel destination.
For example, when a holiday has to be cancelled, interrupted or extended.
All 52 policies are without deductible.
This is also advised, because otherwise 20 percent of the cancellation costs would often be due.
Contracts for individual trips were compared on the one hand, and annual policies on the other – both for individual travelers and for families.
The result: Overall, only two providers with eight tariffs achieved the best grade.
The providers TravelSecure (Würzburg) for individual and annual contracts and Europ Assistance for annual contracts with a total of six tariffs received a »very good«.
But overall, with 27, more than half of the full protection tariffs are rated "good" and 15 others are rated "satisfactory".
more on the subject
Travel planning for 2023: How to get your holiday bargainBy Philipp Laage
Travel cancellation and health insurance abroad: How to secure your vacationBy Lilian Fiala
Vacation in Corona times: Does travel cancellation insurance make sense? An interview by Arno Makowsky
Substitute travel, hotel costs and compensation: This is how you get your rights in the event of flight cancellations - and your money A column by Hermann-Josef Tenhagen
An annual contract covers all travel for one year up to a fixed travel price.
If a trip turns out to be more expensive, it can often be insured afterwards.
All travelers – mostly two adults and two children – are included in the family tariff.
If individual family members are traveling alone, the contract also applies, which is why all participants should be listed in the contract.
The amount is often based on the oldest person and then "usually becomes significantly more expensive" from the age of 65, according to the magazine.
The chronically ill need to examine conditions closely
Securing a 3,000-euro trip very well costs 112 euros for singles up to the age of 65, and they pay from 104 euros for an annual contract for the same amount.
A corresponding policy for families costs 143 euros for a single trip and from 117 euros for an annual contract.
When concluding a contract, you should still pay attention to the details: In order for the providers to intervene in the event of an illness, for example, they often demand that it occur “unexpectedly and severely”.
Chronically ill people and people with previous illnesses must check carefully whether and when their illness is also insured.
Some providers specify this: According to this, an illness is unexpected if it has not been treated by a doctor in the six months before taking out the insurance or booking the trip.
In the event of illness, a doctor usually has to fill out a form provided by the provider.
What and who is also insured varies depending on the contract.
According to “Finanztest”, this can include:
Accidents, intolerance to vaccinations, complications during pregnancy, unemployment due to redundancy, a new job, repeat exams that were not passed the first time.
Even if something happens to fellow travelers or close relatives, cancellation is covered depending on the tariff.
Depending on the tariff, even a sick dog can be considered a legitimate reason if it was registered for the trip.
As a rule, insurance can be taken out up to 30 days before the start of the trip, with last-minute offers this is usually possible up to three days after booking, according to "Finanztest".