With so much to think about when heading overseas, a visa refusal can be a huge setback. But if you’ve already forked out cash for accommodation, flights and all the usual travel expenses, a visa refusal could burn a hole through your holiday savings and leave you feeling rather cheated.
And if you think that travel insurance will cover you for visa refusal cancellations, think again. There are certain instances where travel insurance will pick up the tab and visa refusal isn’t one of them.
It’s worth remembering that cancellation cover usually applied to events that are beyond your control. For instance, if you were forced to cancel your trip due to an illness, injury, strike or natural disaster you would be eligible for cover.
However, a rejected visa application doesn’t quite fall under this category as it is not entirely an unforeseen event. There is always the risk that your visa will not be processed and insurers expect travellers to have confirmed their visa requirements before they book their flights and accommodation.
So although being denied entry to a country might be a horrible unexpected surprise, it’s not an event that is covered as standard. Visit our guide to cancellation cover to learn more.
If possible, it’s always best to apply for, and receive your visa before booking your flights and accommodation. Check your airline’s refund policy- if you’re not confident about your visa application it may be wise to pay a little extra for a refundable ticket.
Some insurers might offer a ‘cancel for any reason’ benefit but you’ll have to pay quite a bit more for this type of cover.
Covermore has a “Cancel For Any Reason” add-on that is available on some of their travel agency partners, such as Flightcentre, Helloworld. Bear in mind that this is not available on Covermore direct policies.
So in the event where you choose to cancel your journey for any reason, you will receive the lesser of:
a) 75% of the non-refundable unused portion of all travel costs prepaid in advance
b) 75% of Your Cancellation Cover sum insured under Section 3: Amendment Or Cancellation Costs
The maximum amount covered under this benefit is $10,000 per policy.
Purchasing restrictions also apply; you must purchase your policy with this add-on within 7 days of making your deposits for your trip, and any additional accommodation and transport bookings you make after the date you paid the initial deposit/payment must have been made more than 14 days before you cancel your journey. If you wish to cancel your journey, this must be done at least 7 days or more before your scheduled travel start date as shown on your Certificate of Insurance.
But of course, always check with the travel insurer directly to confirm your policy coverage details before buying.
Recently announced US visa rules could have grave consequences for travellers with pre-booked plans.
The new rigorous application process includes a screening of all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. Applicants must also supply any account names they may have had over the past five-years in addition to a detailed background check.
The move would affect any travellers intended to travel to the US for work or business and travel experts say that an increase in visa denials may be imminent.
Travellers applying for US visas should speak to their travel providers and consider refundable airfares before booking their trip.
It’s worth remembering that cancellation cover usually applies to events that are beyond your control. For instance, if you were forced to cancel your trip due to an illness, injury, strike or natural disaster you would be eligible for cover. Visa refusals wouldn't be covered as there is always the risk your visa won’t be processed.
If possible, it’s always best to apply for, and receive your visa before booking your flights and accommodation. At least one insurer on the market now offers a ‘cancel for any reason’ benefit but you’ll have to pay a bit more for this type of cover. In any case, make sure you have a back-up plan in the event that your application is denied.
Check your airline’s refund policy- if you’re not confident about your visa application it may be wise to pay a little extra for a refundable ticket. While we would strongly recommend you secure your visa well in advance of your trip, it's worth having a little wiggle room in the event that you are denied.
A visa refusal could sabotage your sunny sojourn faster than a shipwreck. Be sure you are eligible to travel to your dream destination before you get booking. The right travel insurance policy, as well as a good degree of foresight will ensure your trip gets off to a smooth start.
Natali is a former kids magazine writer whose credits include working for the mouse (Mickey that is). An avid traveller, Natali spent part of her childhood in Israel and enjoyed several stints across the globe. Having worked in travel insurance for three years, Natali likes to simplify the fine-print and help Aussies make sense of their insurance policies. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and one-year old son.