Does Travel Insurance Cover Vacation Rentals?

Travel insurance can cover vacation rentals, but you might not get a full reimbursement, depending on your plan.
By Rebecca Lake 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Whether you're booking a weekend getaway or a longer trip, opting for a vacation rental property over a hotel has its perks. Vacation rentals can feel like a home away from home — but what happens if your plans change and you have to cancel unexpectedly?

If you purchased travel insurance for your trip, you might assume your vacation rental is covered and that you'll automatically be reimbursed for deposits, airfare or other prepaid travel expenses. But it's important to understand when you can (and can't) get a refund on canceled vacation rental plans.

Read the fine print on your policy's trip cancellation rules

Travel insurance can cover both trip cancellation if you have to forgo your travel plans altogether and trip interruption if you have to cut your trip short.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits can extend to vacation rentals — but it's not necessarily blanket coverage. For example, some insurance carriers specifically exclude epidemics and pandemics from their coverage for vacationers.

You could have purchased a separate Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) upgrade or rider to supplement an existing travel insurance policy, but if you have to cancel a vacation rental, there may still be coverage limits based on when you purchased it.

Keep in mind that CFAR coverage may not pay you back 100% of what you paid for a vacation rental. Depending on the insurer and the CFAR policy's terms, you may only be able to recoup 50% to 75% of your travel costs. And adding CFAR coverage to an existing travel insurance policy can make it more expensive.

Check your credit card's travel protections

If you've exhausted the limits of your vacation rental insurance, you could look to your credit card for additional coverage.

There are a number of cards that offer trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance for covered events. Again, you have to look at the fine print to see what's covered and what isn't.

For instance, many cards that offer trip cancellation will not cover you if your decision to cancel your vacation rental plan is based on a concern that you might get sick, so you likely wouldn't be able to get reimbursement.

On the other hand, you could be covered if you're quarantined, either by a doctor or a government entity. In those scenarios, your card's trip cancellation benefits may kick in and allow you to get back some or all of what you paid for your trip.

In some cases, coverage may be less clear-cut. For example, say you booked a two-week rental of a beachfront home, but because of weather, local government authorities issued an order closing the beach to short-term renters.

In that scenario, you'd have to call your credit card company to determine whether that qualifies under their coverage rules. You could also try to make a claim for reimbursement if your card's travel protections cover situations in which a rental property is uninhabitable.

Reach out to the rental company

Last but not least, stay in touch with the rental company, such as Airbnb or Vrbo, to find out what rights you have for claiming a refund or reimbursement for canceled vacation rental plans.

If you booked through a local vacation rental property company, you'll have to consult their individual refund policies. Some companies include a disclaimer in the rental agreement stating that refunds are only available if the property can be re-rented.

Some vacation rental companies may opt to rebook you rather than refund your money. If you're able to reschedule your trip, that could be a good last resort for avoiding a total loss.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

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