Skip to main content

Cancellation insurance 'worthwhile' for travel to Middle East: agency

A travel agency is touting the benefits of cancellation insurance as some Canadians say they are unable to get refunds on trips to the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war.

"What's your level of risk that you are willing to take?" Loren Christie, a Canadian travel expert, said in an interview with CTV News Toronto on Tuesday.

Canada issued a travel advisory for Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants.

The Associated Press reports that Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist organization by the Canadian government, killed approximately 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 in the attack, and that thousands have died in subsequent military action as Israel hunts for members of Hamas.

Bordering countries -- Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon -- are also affected by travel advisories.

Marty Firestone, president of the insurance agency Travel Secure Inc., said that cancellation insurance can be a worthwhile investment if you are spending a lot of money on a trip.

"If insurance isn't purchased, you're at the whim of the cruise company (or tour company) to give you back some of the money, a portion of the money, a credit or nothing at all," said Firestone.

Torontonians Bonnie Grossman and Morley Halberstadt said they were at a loss when they cancelled their plans to go to Egypt and Jordan.

Their tour package cost them almost $10,000, and despite not going, they were unable to get a refund.

"We just felt in those circumstances, with the war between Israel and Hamas, we didn't want to take our chances," Halberstadt said about the cancelled trip.

Other travel agencies have altered their trips to remove Israel from the itinerary.

Wendy Fortune said she and her husband planned an anniversary cruise through Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Jordan, with three days in Israel. However, the cruise company cancelled the Israel leg. Fortune said despite some safety concerns she and her husband decided to go ahead with their trip. Top Stories

Stay Connected