Travel Insurance With Cancellation

Compare policies with Savvy to help you find the best cancellation cover on the market.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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Even the most well-planned holidays can face cancellations or delays, whether it be due to bad weather or an unexpected illness. If you need to postpone or call off your getaway plans for any reason, having the right travel insurance is essential, which is where Savvy can help you.

Comparing travel insurance policies with us can help you find the right coverage to protect you from any cancellation or delay costs on your trip, so start considering your options right here with Savvy today.

What is cancellation cover on travel insurance?

Cancellation cover on travel insurance is one of the key benefits you receive from taking out a comprehensive policy. This covers you for the cost of calling off or rescheduling a slew of non-refundable bookings, such as flights, hotels and tours, if they’re derailed by an insured event. For example, if you are injured before your holiday and cannot travel, you can claim back the money you would have lost without insurance.

This coverage allows you to get your money back on any deposits you’ve paid and spares you cancellation fees. This can be particularly handy if you’ve spent a lot of money on your holiday on car hire and various tours. In addition, some insurance providers on the market offer policies exclusively covering cancellations, which may be useful if you’re travelling light within Australia or New Zealand.

In most cases, basic travel insurance won’t offer cancellation cover at all. If you opt for mid-level coverage, insurers will generally put a claim limit on your policy, usually in the region of $25,000. However, if you choose top-level coverage, there's no limit on what you can claim. Before you file a claim, it’s a good idea to try and get a refund through your travel agent, tour company, airline or cruise company.

What can I claim under cancellation cover on my travel insurance?

Whether it’s due to bad weather or because you fall ill and can’t travel, cancellation cover has your back when you need to call time on your holiday, sometimes before it’s even underway.

Some of the covered reasons for cancellation can include:

  1. Severe illness: Falling seriously ill and being too unwell to fulfil your travel plans.
  2. Accidents: Suffering a bad fall or being involved in a serious accident which means you’re physically unable to travel.
  3. Family emergencies: A sudden and serious illness affecting a close relative or business partner.
  4. Natural disasters: An earthquake, avalanche, bushfire or related catastrophe forces the closure of your accommodation and cancellation of your flights.
  5. Pregnancy: Falling pregnant before you’re set to go on holiday and/or being advised not to travel.
  6. Cancellation of course: A seminar or course you were intending on travelling to is called off.
  7. Loss of job: You are made redundant or lose your job before your travel.
  8. Annual leave is cancelled: You’re a full-time essential worker, such as a police officer or firefighter, and your annual leave is scrapped to deal with a crisis.

Some of the costs you can claim back due to these and other extreme events include:

Non-refundable deposits

If you’ve part-paid your flights and accommodation, you can get your deposit back if you need to cancel your trip due to a covered event. It’s always handy to book with airlines and hotel chains which offer ‘flexible’ bookings, as you’ll be able to rework your bookings instead of calling the whole thing off. However, you won’t be covered if you turn up late and miss your flight.


Visas can cost you a pretty penny and some countries require them if you wish to travel there, even as a tourist. While this won’t be an issue if you’re travelling to the United Kingdom, America or most other countries, you’ll need to pay for one if you visit Indonesia or India, for example. If something happens and you need to cancel your trip, you can claim back the cost of your visa under cancellation cover.

Pre-paid activities

Have you pre-booked some tours for your next holiday? You can recover the cost of these holiday activities through your insurance company if you need to call off your travel plans.

Lost Frequent Flyer points

If you paid for your flights with Frequent Flyer points, some travel insurance companies would allow you to claim back the frequent flyer or similar reward points you used if you cannot fly due to a covered event. However, you may not be able to get back your points if your flight was purchased at a discount.

Travel agent commission

Booking your flights and accommodation through a travel agent can give you peace of mind. You have someone looking out for you while travelling home or abroad. If your agent charges a commission and you need to cancel your trip at the last minute, most insurers will allow you to claim back the commission you’ve paid and any cancellation fees they charge.


Most comprehensive policies cover you in the event your travel plans are impacted by the pandemic. Many will allow you to claim back about $2,500 if you need to cancel your holiday due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or are required to self-isolate.

However, there are circumstances where travel insurance companies won’t cover these costs, including:

  1. If you change your mind and decide not to travel
  2. You’ve already been compensated by your airline or hotel
  3. You missed your flights
  4. The flights are cancelled due to mechanical faults. It’s up to the airline to refund your booking
  5. If you’re travelling against government advice

How do I compare travel insurance policies with cancellation cover?

The right cancellation coverage can give you peace of mind that if you’re planning to travel around Australia or overseas and need to cancel for any reason, your insurer has your back. When you’re comparing with Savvy, take a look at these factors to help you hunt down the best plan:


When shopping around for the right travel insurance, you’re bound to have one eye on the cost of your premium. If you’re a backpacker on a tight budget but looking to cover yourself for cancellations, you can take out mid-level coverage to insure you for the bare necessities. Get a few travel insurance quotes and compare to sniff out the best policy.

Inclusions and exclusions

While cancellation coverage is stock standard among most comprehensive policies, it’s still important to compare providers to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need. For example, some providers may not cover if you have your pre-arranged leave cancelled and can’t travel, while others will.

Pre-existing conditions

Travel insurance companies cover a few pre-existing conditions if you suffer a medical issue overseas. These typically include common conditions such as asthma or certain types of diabetes. Look around and see which policy covers your illness, which is handy if it’s the reason you need to cancel your trip.


If you need to claim your travel insurance for any reason, your travel insurance will require you to pay an excess. Once you cover the excess, the insurers cover the remainder of the cost up to the pre-agreed limit. Excesses can vary, usually between $100 and $250, so it’s a good idea to compare so you don’t have to pay more than you should. There are even some insurers out there who won’t charge an excess at all in some situations, but the lower your excess, the more you’ll pay for your premium.


Before taking off on your long-awaited trip, ensure your destinations are covered under your chosen provider’s policies. It’s a good idea to choose a policy which offers protection for all destinations on your trip, including those you’re only spending a short stopover in.

Types of travel insurance

Why compare travel insurance with Savvy?

Simple steps to making a cancellation claim on your travel insurance

Frequently asked travel insurance cancellation questions

Can I cancel my travel insurance for free?

Yes – you can cancel your travel insurance free of charge if you cancel inside the cooling-off period. Insurance policies come with cooling-off periods ranging from 14 to 25 days, and when you’re shopping around for travel insurance quotes to find the best deal, it’s a good idea to consider this when making your decision. You may not be able to get a refund if you cancel outside of the cooling-off period, but this also depends on what provider you choose.

Does my travel insurance cover me if I die on holiday?

Yes – your travel insurance covers the cost of repatriation of your body if you die on your holiday, as long as it’s related to a covered accident. If you die on holiday, your insurance will pay out a lump sum of money to your family, usually about $50,000.

Can I cancel my holiday for work-related reasons?

If you’re made redundant from your job or have urgent work pop up, you can cancel your trip and claim your expenses back through your insurer.

If my pet is sick, can I cancel my holiday and get a refund?

While you won’t be covered if your pet is sick and you need to cancel your holiday, some providers offer cover if you need to board your furry family member or they require an urgent trip to the vet while in the care of a relative.

What type of pre-existing conditions are covered under my policy?

Travel insurance companies provide automatic trip protection for a range of pre-existing conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric reflux
  • Glaucoma
  • Incontinence
  • Migraines
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep apnoea

However, more severe illnesses not automatically covered by your policy include:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Heart conditions
  • Lung disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
Will I be covered if I want to take a ski holiday?

Yes – cancellation travel insurance covers ski holiday-related costs such as bad weather forcing your ski resort or the slopes to close and you being unable to carve up the snowfields. If you need to cancel your winter holiday, most comprehensive policies will cover you as long as your reason is among those covered by your policy.

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We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.

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