YOU ASK:

I’m worried that my trip will be cut short, what will happen to my hotel deposits and pre-paid airline tickets?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, even as you are enjoying your holiday, right in the middle of it, you might get a call and you suddenly realize that you have to cut your trip short and hightail it back home to deal with an emergency. It may also happen that you fall ill or get injured during your holiday and have to be transported back home.

Your travel insurance's trip interruption benefit can come in to help you deal with the expenses involved, as well as what you stand to lose by way of forfeited deposits and airfares.

The advantage of trip interruption insurance is that it commonly compensates you regardless of who is at fault - as long as this is covered and stipulated in your policy. That means that regardless of whether it's your travel agency's fault, your health problems or an emergency at home, or circumstances that are entirely unforeseen, the insurance company will compensate you as stated in the policy.

Here are some reasons that are usually covered by trip interruption insurance: you, a traveling companion, or a close relative (back home) dies, is injured or falls ills during the trip, there is a hijacking incident, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tornado or flood hit your home. It may also be that there is an accident while you were en route to one of your destinations or you were suddenly called for jury duty.

For trip interruption insurance, it is important to check what kind of coverage you have. Under some policies, you may not be covered if you cut you trip short because you had a change in plans, there are contractual obligations you left back home, you are hurt because of self-inflicted injuries. Likewise, it may not cover for changes in your financial situation (such as when you lose your job), as well as injury or sickness caused by your use of illegal drugs. You can't also cut your trip short just because you don't like the hotel you're staying.

When you have to cut your trip short, you should immediately notify your travel insurance company so that you can file a claim as soon as possible. You can download the claims form from their website or ask that it be e-mailed or faxed to you.

When filing the claim, you should also include documentation that will support your claim and provide the insurance company with an acceptable reason as to why your trip was interrupted. Your documentation should also include proof of charges that are non-refundable and have been unused because your trip was interrupted.

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