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Thinking of cancelling your trip to Israel? What about refunds?

With the current war (we’re not calling it “unrest” any more) in Israel, most tour companies have postponed their trips to Israel for at least the next few weeks…..while others have cancelled all scheduled trips remaining in 2023.

We do not expect a quick resolution to this conflict, so we certainly agree with those decisions.  Here is what we have been able to find out so far….but you need to check with the tour operator for exact terms and conditions.

Will I get a refund if I cancel my trip to Israel?

If the tour company cancels the tour to Israel, then you should be entitled to a full refund in most cases.  Postponement is something different, you are not likely to  be offered a refund, even if the dates are not convenient for you.  Most of the tour companies we have looked at will offer to transfer the funds you have paid and apply them to a trip to a different destination or to Israel on a different date in the future.

If you cancel, you probably won’t get all your money Back.    The situation there is so volatile that we are not sure how things will develop.  If you do decide to cancel, will you get a refund of what you have paid?

Most tour companies have cancellation policies that go in to effect almost immediately after you make your first payment and get steeper the closer you get to your departure date.  Let’s face it, most people don’t read the fine print regarding cancellation policies.  So, if you decide to cancel, you may get a partial refund depending upon that companies cancellation policy, and whether you have paid a deposit or the full amount.  You will need to check with your tour company for the exact terms and conditions.

This is not because the tour companies are greedy, but they have to put deposits down with various suppliers that are likewise subject to cancellation fees.

What about travel insurance….won’t that cover my cancellation?

Some time ago, we put a page on our website titled “Travel Insurance….don’t leave home without it!”

That is still good advice…..but not all travel insurance policies are the same.  There are various terms and conditions that must be met in order to get a refund, and, (the cost of the insurance itself will not be refunded).

Even if you have travel insurance, you still might not get a full refund if you decide to cancel.

Under most travel insurance policies, war, acts of war, and political unrest are excluded from cancellation coverage, meaning any resulting claims likely will not be paid.  The problem is that most travel insurance policies typically do not have specific definitions for war.  These are very vague terms, and give the insurance companies plenty of latitude to deny a claim.  We’re not beating up on travel insurance companies….just stating our observations.  Certainly what is going on in Israel right now would be considered a war by most people, but that doesn’t mean that the insurance companies will look at it that way.

There is a type of travel insurance that will cover this…..”Cancel for Any Reason“.  But hold on….you have to meet certain conditions and some of you may have already lost the opportunity.

In order for a traveler to be eligible for Cancel For Any Reason, many travel insurance companies require that certain conditions must be met. 

According to Traveldefenders.com, there are typically three conditions that must be met to purchase a Cancel For Any Reason Rider:

  1.   Purchase the policy within 10 – 21 days of First Trip Payment
  2.   Insure ALL prepaid and non-refundable travel expenses prior to departure;
  3.   Trip arrangements must be canceled more than 48 -72 hours prior to the departure date.

If you have already passed that first date, then you will most likely not be eligible to purchase a “Cancel for any Reason” insurance policy.  Again, you should check with your insurance provider, since companies may vary in their terms and conditions.

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