Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
Most travel insurance policies include trip cancellation coverage that reimburses you all or most of your travel expenses if you’re forced to cancel your travel plans.
However, travel insurance will not provide you with a reimbursement for any reason. When you sign onto travel insurance coverage, you’ll be provided with an acceptable list of situations when you can cancel your trip and claim reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses. Some commonly covered cancellation reasons include the following:
- Court-ordered appointments (like bail hearings or jury duty)
- Death of a family member
- Death of a traveling companion
- Military orders
Cancel for any reason insurance (CFAR) extends your travel insurance to provide reimbursement for a broader range of circumstances. With few exceptions, CFAR insurance upgrades allow you to claim a partial reimbursement when you need to cancel your trip, no matter why. CFAR insurance is more expensive than standard travel insurance but can offer more benefits than typical policy inclusions.
Gear Theft Protection
If you’re like most US travelers, you probably bring some valuables with you when you travel. From expensive electronics, such as digital cameras and handheld gaming systems, to invaluable documents like your passport, gear theft protection can help reimburse you for items that are lost or stolen during travel.
While most travel insurance policies include gear theft protection as a standard policy inclusion, check for limitations on coverage. For example, your policy might include a clause stating that only $300 of your gear theft protection can be used to recover jewelry-related losses. You should also review your homeowner’s insurance policy before buying gear theft insurance, as you may already have some theft protection, even when traveling abroad.
Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation
Costa Rica is a developing country, with a large percentage of the population living in poverty. This means that when visiting more rural parts of the country, you may not have immediate access to the quality and level of medical care that you’re accustomed to as a resident of the United States. While your health insurance may cover care at a local hospital in an emergency, some situations might require you to travel long distances to receive appropriate care.
Emergency medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage can help you cover the costs of local medical care and evacuation if you must be transported out of Costa Rica to receive appropriate care. If you’re living with a severe, long-term medical condition, you may want to purchase this coverage to complement your health insurance policy.
Rental Car Protection
If you’re planning to drive a rental car in Costa Rica, you might not be covered by your standard auto insurance. Even if you have the state-minimum required auto insurance back in the States, you may not have collision coverage compensating you for damage to your vehicle. If you’re involved in an accident abroad and don’t buy rental car insurance, you could be left with thousands of dollars in repair bills, not to mention the medical bills of anyone you injured.
Rental car coverage helps you cover the cost of damage you do to your rental car or another person’s property in the event of an accident. While you shouldn’t rent a vehicle without insurance (especially in another country), you might already have this coverage if you own a major credit card. So, review your current coverage before you buy.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable travel expenses if you’re forced to cancel your trip. Some items that might qualify for a refund include flight costs, hotel expenses and any excursion tickets you’ve booked that are non-refundable.
You will need to provide proof of a qualifying reason for canceling your trip if you want to use your benefits. For example, if you need to cancel a vacation due to the death of a family member, you may need to provide a copy of an obituary or funeral pamphlet before you can claim your reimbursement. If you can think of a foreseeable event that might cause you to cancel your trip, your policy will likely not cover it. If you need the freedom to claim a reimbursement for travel expenses no matter the reason, consider investing in canceling for any reason (CFAR) insurance.