Trip cancellation insurance in comparison | Stiftung Warentest

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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With trip cancellation insurance, you can protect yourself if you need to cancel your holiday at short notice, for example due to an unexpected serious illness. The insurance company then pays the cancellation fees. If the policy includes trip interruption insurance, it typically also covers costs arising from an early or delayed departure. Stiftung Warentest finds this combination useful. There are contracts for a single trip and contracts that cover all trips in a year. Sometimes they are even cheaper.

Tip: When you open the table for the first time (list view), you will see the price of trips from 1,500 euros. You can find more prices by clicking on the product name or comparing multiple products.

Why the trip cancellation insurance comparison is worth it for you

Our test results

With just a few clicks you can of more than 100 tariffs Filter the individual test winner. We recommend combining trip cancellation insurance and trip interruption insurance and therefore only look at these offers. We also recommend rates without excess.

Which providers we tested

The test includes German-based insurers with whom you can contract rates directly, from ADAC, Allianz, Ergo and Zurich. The more comprehensive your services, the better we rate them. Of the 18 providers, three achieved very good marks in their tariffs. But there are also many good trip cancellation insurance policies. Two fares in the test received just enough ratings. We do not screen brokers or representatives who only purchase trip cancellation insurance.

The best rate for you

Our test results can be filtered according to offers for singles and families. Here’s how to find the right deal for you. You can search according to the criteria “contracts for one trip” or “annual contracts”. The price depends on the price of the trip and age. From the age of 65 it tends to become more expensive.

Model calculation

A very good rate for the whole family for a trip costing 6,000 euros is available from 308 euros, a good rate from 143 euros, each without excess. In this pricing example, the oldest travel companion is 55 years old. An excellent annual contract without excess, which covers all annual trips for the same family up to a price of 6,000 euros, is available from just 235 euros. Caution: You must cancel annual contracts on time, otherwise they will continue automatically.

The maximum insured amount is 50,000 euros

Our product finder presents offers for trips worth 1,500, 3,000, 6,000 and 10,000 euros and the supplier’s maximum insured capital. If the trip costs more, you can request an individual offer there. This doesn’t always work. Only one provider specifies a maximum insurance amount of 50,000 euros as standard.

Trip cancellation insurance comparison
Test results for 124 trip cancellation insurance policies


Trip cancellation insurance comparison shows who it’s worth for

Trip cancellation insurance may be particularly advisable for families with young children and the elderly, as a health problem is more likely to occur. It’s also worth considering expensive holidays such as long-distance trips or cruises. For cheap trips, protection is not worth it, as possible cancellation fees are also lower.

What is insured? The events for which an insurance company pays are indicated in small print. In addition to serious illnesses, accidents and death of family members, insured reasons often include complications during pregnancy, loss or change of job, reduction in working time and material damage, such as theft or fire in one’s home. A car breakdown on the way to the airport or on holiday is also covered by some providers, as is the illness of your dog or cat registered for the trip.

Termination due to court summons or divorce action may also be covered. Or because the destination country refuses the tourist visa. This all depends on the insurance company and the tariff you choose. Depending on the supplier, trip cancellation insurance also covers additional costs arising from a delay in arrival for these reasons. Or because public transport is delayed by more than two hours and you miss your plane or boat.

Who is insured? Insurance usually also pays out if something happens to so-called “at-risk” people. This includes close relatives, traveling companions or people who care for or care for relatives.

What is not insured? War, unrest, natural disasters or epidemics in the country you are traveling to are generally not an accepted reason for insurers to cancel your trip. Not even if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel warning for the target region. However, terrorist attacks near the holiday destination, just before the start of the trip, can be insured.

Why trip interruption insurance? This additional protection includes reimbursement for additional costs if you leave early due to an insured event, such as a death in the family, or are unable to return later due to illness. In the case of an early departure, some unused travel services will be refunded. The scope depends on the provider and the tariff.

When will it be completed? Trip cancellation insurance can generally be purchased up to 30 days before the trip begins and, for last-minute trips, usually up to three days after booking the trip.

Tip: At the Table Before activating it, you can see which providers and rates we’ve checked – and what criteria you can use to filter the results to find the best trip cancellation insurance for your needs.

War, floods, forest fires

Special cancellation rules apply to package tours. If there is a travel warning due to war, unrest, natural disasters or epidemics in the country of travel, you can cancel free of charge with the tour operator. Even if there are disturbances at your destination, for example due to forest fires nearby, contact the tour operator. He can arrange an early trip home. Solo travelers have more difficulties. You have to come to an agreement with the owners and airlines yourself, and you may be stuck with the costs.

What is an unexpected illness?

Illness is often the reason for canceling a trip. Insurance companies require them to be unexpected and severe. It would be good if this were explained in more detail in the insurance conditions. For example, the worsening of a chronic illness or a pre-existing illness may be insured if it has not been treated by a doctor in the six months prior to the start of the trip.

Example: A woman suffered a graze wound to her ankle. After taking out insurance, the wound became infected and a skin transplant was necessary. The family canceled their planned trip to Cuba. The insurance company did not want to pay because the illness already existed when the contract was signed, but they later had to pay. The judge’s reasoning: The abrasion was not treated and the subsequent infection caused unexpected deterioration (Higher Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein, Ref. 16 U 74/23).

These cancellation costs are due at the time of cancellation

Cancellation costs. The closer it is to departure, the larger the bill the organizer will receive if the trip is cancelled. © Stiftung Warentest

Tour operator cancellation rates increase as the departure date approaches. In some cases, organizers charge more than in our chart or have a different scale. If you become ill before a trip and are not sure whether you will be able to travel, contact your insurance company. If a customer doesn’t cancel in time and cancellation costs increase, the insurer may reduce service.

International health insurance covers treatment costs

Even more important than trip cancellation insurance is international health insurance. In case of illness or accidents at the travel destination, it covers the costs of treatment. Most rates also cover illnesses caused by a pandemic. One can Vacation trips (up to 70 days) or Long-term stays (up to five years).

“Vacationers in Germany spent an average of 1,540 euros per person, per trip of at least five days in 2023. A family gets together a lot. If a family member becomes ill shortly before departure and is unable to travel, trip cancellation insurance will at least reimburse the high cancellation costs.”

Project Manager Birgit Brümmel

Trip cancellation insurance comparison
Test results for 124 trip cancellation insurance policies


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