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I have a vacation booked for next month for which I was intending on buying travel insurance. However I just received news that means that I potentially have to cancel my trip in order to attend a funeral of a close relative.

With that in mind I was looking in detail at the cancellation and interruption causes of various policies (selected via Squaremount Inc. )

Typically I see language like

Accidental Injury, Sickness or death of You, Your Traveling Companion, Your Family Member, or Your Business Partner; which results in medically imposed restrictions as certified by a Physician at the time of loss preventing Your participation or continued participation in the Covered Trip. A Physician must advise cancellation of the Covered Trip on or before the Scheduled Departure Date.

Combined with

“Family Member” means You or Your Traveling Companion’s legal or common law spouse, Domestic Partner, Yours or Your Domestic Partner’s caregiver, parent, legal guardian, step-parent, grandparent, parents-in-law, grandchild, natural or adopted child, foster child, ward, step-child, children-in-law, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

But I am not convinced that this covers cancellation due to the death of a non-traveling family member. Can anyone confirm that my situation would be covered under such clauses or if not point out the type of language I should be looking for?


In looking at more policies I did find one that sort of calls out my situation.

Sickness or Injury of a Family Member not traveling with the Insured must be because their condition is life-threatening, as certified by a Physician or they require the Insured’s immediate care. Such disability must be so disabling as to reasonably cause a Trip to be canceled or interrupted and must be certified by a Physician;

However this does not change my question.

  • If your family member is one of the ones listed it would be covered but you are better off asking the insurer or looking for information on how they handle claims. – Karlson Dec 8 '16 at 21:22
  • Every policy is different, and what they cover will vary depending on where you live— each state within the U.S., for example, has different insurance laws. There are a bunch of travel insurance blogs from insurance agents which seem to cover the topic for the U.S., but I'm having a harder time finding information about other countries. – choster Dec 8 '16 at 22:03
  • That wording you quote will cover curtailment or non-participation in the event of a non-travelling family members untimely death, as its in addition to "travelling companion" and therefor includes non-travelling persons. However it only applies if you are medically incapacitated by said death - merely having to attend the funeral does not count. – Moo Dec 8 '16 at 23:16
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For such specific requirements, your best bet is to work with an insurance broker to tailor an insurance policy with the wording you require - most brokers will work with underwriters to get such bespoke policies underwritten and thus you can be assured that your exact and specific situation is indeed covered.

However, for an insurer to cover a situation which is considered likely, you will be paying a hefty premium - most insurers will exclude claims where the death of a non-travelling family member is due to an existing and known condition. You will have to convince the insurer that it is worth their while to issue cover, and the only way to do that is to pay an increased premium.

  • I'd dispute that situation is requires a premium over the premium and would argue that your argument is only based on the a priori knowledge of what I mentioned own my question. If I had left my particular situation out, then trip cancellation/interruption for unexpected death/illness/accident of a non-traveling family member would still be relevant. – Peter M Dec 9 '16 at 12:23
  • @PeterM it requires a higher premium because the chance of the event causing the claim is all ready higher than random on the actuarial tables. You do realise that insurance companies investigate claims, right? You already state that you have received news, so that excludes all normal policies as they pretty much all don't cover illness or death caused by already known conditions. You need extra cover for that. All this info comes from my background of writing web quote engines for insurance companies. Also, my wife has MS so we are both well versed when it comes to travel insurance. – Moo Dec 9 '16 at 12:38
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I have seen policies that do provide for a return trip when a close enough relative dies. I can't quote the exact language, but if it is English and that's your native language, it was plain enough. The one I purchased cost 4% of the airfare I had paid for the trip.

  • Can you name the exact policy you've purchased? – JonathanReez Dec 8 '16 at 23:10
  • No, but the underwriter was Travelex, and the selling company sent me a message halfway through that in the future they were going to use a different company. – WGroleau Dec 9 '16 at 3:20

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