Can travel insurance help if you cancel a trip…

NEW YORK — Spooked by headlines about Zika, terrorism and mass shootings? Maybe the news is so bad you’re ready to cancel your vacation and stay home. But can you recoup what you paid for flights, lodging, car rentals and tours?

The answer is, it depends. Your best bet for getting a refund no matter what is to buy an expensive type of insurance called “cancel for any reason” insurance when you book your trip. Otherwise, whether you get money back depends on the circumstances and policies of individual airlines, hotels and other vendors.



Standard travel insurance may cover trip cancellations if a terror attack takes place shortly before your arrival, according to Rachael Taft of, a travel insurance comparison site. For example, depending on the policy, insured travelers cancelling trips to Nice, France, may be eligible for refunds for trips scheduled within seven to 30 days of the July 14 truck attack there, she said.

But standard trip insurance won’t cover trips cancelled out of more generalized fears. If you booked a trip to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics and bought standard insurance, “you would unfortunately be out of luck if you want to cancel due to fear of Zika,” Taft said.

So what does standard insurance cover? Typically, illness, injury, death in the family, natural disasters or other

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