Let’s say you’re booking an all-inclusive package to a Sun destination, and the travel wholesaler or tour operator (e.g., Transat, Sunwing) offers you a reimbursement option. It’s affordable, and seems like an attractive offer. However, there are important differences that you should know about between this option and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. To help you make an informed choice, let’s take a look at what each product offers.

Travel insurance: comprehensive and flexible

Travel insurance provides you with all the coverage options you need to leave on your trip with peace of mind. You simply pick and choose the ones you need. Your policy might include the following:

  • Emergency medical care coverage
  • Baggage insurance
  • Coverage in case of accidental death or dismemberment
  • Trip cancellation and/or interruption insurance

The trip cancellation option is what allows you to claim reimbursement of your expenses if something comes up and you are no longer able to leave. It is often paired with trip interruption coverage. In other words, you’re protected both before and during your journey. You’ll be reimbursed—in cash—if you have to cancel or cut short your trip because of an incident that is beyond your control, like an accident, a sudden illness, or serious damage to your home.


The reimbursement option: an affordable extra

The tour operator’s reimbursement option covers the cost of the package in the event of cancellation only—in other words, if something comes up before departure. It is an attractive incentive to book your trip far in advance without having to worry. You don’t need to provide a major reason to claim the reimbursement.

If you must cancel, your reimbursement will most likely take the form of a travel credit. This means you’ll have to choose another package from the same operator. Typically, you’ll have a 12-month period in which to do so.

To sum up: if you want to protect the investment you’ve made in your travel package, the reimbursement offered by the wholesaler is an attractive option. But trip cancellation and interruption insurance offers you a lot more, among other reasons because it also covers you if you need to return home earlier than planned. And since it’s always recommended that you purchase travel insurance to cover emergency medical expenses for any trip that takes you outside Quebec, adding the cancellation option guarantees a very comprehensive range of coverage. You protect the money invested in the travel, AND the travellers!