Insurance Does Not Bail Out Your Mistakes

by Steve Dasseos on May 13, 2015

Here’s a typical request we get more times than we prefer:

“How much would it cost to insure our airplane tickets with the Cancel For Any Reason coverage? We paid $1,137 each and our ages are 42 and 45 (or you can insert any price and age because the answer is the same). We are concerned that we might have to change our travel dates. We want a travel insurance plan that will pay the airline’s change fee if we decide to adjust our travel dates and leave a few days later”.

Questions like this have bothered me for years. They might as well ask, “How can I get someone else to pay the fees I agreed to pay when I bought my plane tickets because I don’t want to pay them?” or “I know that my airline ticket contract says there are change fees, but I don’t think it’s fair I have to pay them.”

The reason questions like this bother me is because there are people who seem to think that insurance companies solely exist to bail them out of every possible fee they might have to pay for not fulfilling their end of their airline ticket contract.

This is true for all insurance products: Life, Health, Dental, Automobile, Homeowners, Renters, Disability, etc. There is no shortage of people who want someone else to pay for their inconveniences. Here’s a typical example: I know someone who filed three collision claims for minor damage on their car in a four month period. One was because they were driving distracted and hit a curb for $550 damage to the front wheels. Another was for a car door ding they received in a parking lot from someone else’s door ($382 damage) and the third was for backing up and damaging the rear bumper ($770 damage). I, myself, wouldn’t have ever filed those claims. Nor would most people.

What do you think happened when they received their Automobile insurance renewal? Do you think they said to themselves, “Yes, I see why my premiums jumped 32%. I deserve it.” If that’s what you thought, you are mistaken. Instead, they said “Why are we getting such a big increase? These were accidents through no fault of our own. Let’s call Steve Dasseos – he must know a way out of this. ” When they called me, they were stunned to hear that I thought the insurance company did the right thing. I told them that when the administrative costs are added in to their claim, it’s likely those three claims cost more than $5,000. The $1,702 they received wasn’t the companies’ only cost. Even with the 32% increase the insurance company will need years to re-coup your losses.

Back to the original request: “We want a travel insurance plan that will pay the airline’s change fee if we decide to adjust our travel dates and leave a few days later. The change fee is in the hundreds of dollars. I don’t want to pay that much money.”

We tell these people “Trip Cancellation insurance doesn’t cover pre-departure date changes. That’s why airlines let you pay a change fee so you can change your travel dates.”

In other words, if you voluntarily change your travel dates after you bought your airfare because you discover you have a scheduling conflict with your original travel dates your airline already has a procedure in place to handle this. You pay them a change fee and they will allow you to change your dates.

Since they tend not to like this answer, they want to know if the Cancel For Any Reason trip cancellation insurance policy will work for them.

We tell them that it won’t because trip cancellation insurance requires you to cancel your trip, not change the dates. If you completely cancel and meet all the requirements of your policy, then, yes, you will be covered.

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

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