Victoria Zidwick a RoamRight Blog Author

How Travel Insurance Works With a Death in the Family

When you purchase travel insurance, you are trying to plan for the unexpected. In the unfortunate event that there is a death in the family, you may be eligible for coverage under your travel insurance plan.

Coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, and Trip Interruption

Trip Cancellation is a benefit that can provide coverage for non-refundable trip payments in the event that a trip has to be cancelled for a covered reason. One covered reason for trip cancellation is the death of a family member of yours or your traveling companion.

If you have to cancel your trip due to the death of a family member and meet all the criteria for coverage as detailed by your policy, then your non-refundable, pre-paid expenses such as hotels and airfare are eligible for reimbursement.

This coverage applies to the Trip Interruption and Trip Delay benefits as well. So you may have coverage in the event you have to cut your trip short or start your trip late due to a death of a family member.

Does Your Family Member Need a Travel Insurance Policy to be Eligible for this Coverage?

No, your family member does not need to be a covered traveling companion under your travel insurance policy in order for you to be eligible for this coverage. If you are the traveler and have your own travel insurance policy, death of a family member may be covered.

Who is Considered a Family Member?

Under an Arch RoamRight travel insurance policy, the definition of “family member” is expansive. This may include you or your traveling companion’s:

  • legal spouse (or common-law spouse where legal),
  • legal guardian or ward,
  • son or daughter (adopted, foster, step or in-law),
  • brother or sister (includes step or in-law),
  • grandparent (includes in-law),
  • grandchild,
  • aunt or uncle,
  • niece or nephew,
  • domestic partner,
  • caregiver or child caregiver.

Is a relative different from that above a family member?

For the purpose of coverage under your Arch RoamRight travel insurance policy, only those listed in the definition of a family member are considered in determining your coverage.

When is a Death in the Family Not Covered?

There are some exclusions to the benefits, highlighted below, when it comes to claims related to deaths in the family. For a full details of the coverages, imitations, & exclusions please refer to your policy.


Under an Arch RoamRight travel insurance policy, death of a family member resulting from suicide is not eligible for coverage.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Death of a family member as a result of a pre-existing condition is not covered under an Arch RoamRight policy unless you and your traveling companion(s) – “the travelers” – have a policy that includes a Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion waiver.

A pre-existing condition is defined as:

“An illness, disease, or other conditions during a specified period immediately prior to the effective date of the insured’s coverage for which the insured or insured’s traveling companion, business partner, or family member: 1) received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment; or 2) took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustments or change in the required prescription throughout specified period before your coverage is effective under the policy.”

For most Arch RoamRight plans, the specified time period is 180 days, however there are a few plans that have a shorter, 60-day time period.

In order to have a Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion waiver, you must meet the following criteria at the time of your purchase:

  1. Purchase your travel insurance plan within 21 days of making your first trip payment;
  2. Insure the entire non-refundable cost of your trip;
  3. Must not be disabled† from travel at the time your premium is paid; and
  4. This must be the first and only booking for this same time period and destination.

For definitions, please refer to the travel insurance policy.

The Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion waiver is available with the Arch RoamRight Preferred, Elite, Pro, and Pro Plus plans.

Related Articles

What To Do When The Worst Happens On A Trip: While we do not always want to plan for it, it is always a good idea to know what to do in an extreme emergency when traveling. Read More ->

Non-Refundable Flights & An Emergency: What To Do: These tips on what to do in an event of an emergency as it relates to non-refundable flights can be helpful when you are in a bind. Read More ->

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Victoria Zidwick

Victoria Zidwick, a RoamRight Blog Author RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.

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