When it comes to family travel, some things change and some things stay the same. Online booking and price aggregating services may have reinvented the game when it comes to planning your trip, but many old standards of travel still hold their water. Among them: travel insurance.
While often overlooked by many families, buying insurance for your trip may be one of the most important things you can do. It may help save you money and even a life, by covering you for many worst case as well as common occurrences, depending on the terms of the policy you buy.
When planning a dream family vacation, you may have saved for years to get yourselves to that long dreamed about locale. The fact is, things happen. Travel insurance may provide reimbursement for bookings if you have to cancel (or come home early) because a family member becomes ill, the State Department rules a destination unsafe, or you unexpectedly lose a job. Essentially, if you have invested more in your vacation than you would care to lose, insurance can cover you. Besides specific provisions like the ones mentioned, you may even get “cancel for any reason” coverage, though it is more costly and you’ll see far less of your money back. In any event, travel insurance may be the best, or only, way you see any of your money again if the unexpected forces you to change your travel plans.
While it is every parent’s worst nightmare that something should happen to a family member while on vacation, or any time for that matter, things do happen. While medical expenses can cost a pretty penny back home, when travelling abroad they can be downright astronomical. If you’re in a remote enough area you may need helicopter extraction to get to an appropriately equipped hospital, and air ambulance bills can easily run in the $100,000 range. To avoid very large medical bills, insurance may be your best friend when traveling to places where the nearest hospital is more than a cab ride away.
The How To’s Of Travel Insurance:
There are three main ways to get covered: through certain credit cards, with an annual policy and through package policies purchased for individual trips.
- Credit cards may cover a number of the more standard occurrences like lost bags and rental cars, as well as the most extreme situations like accidental death or dismemberment. This is yet another reason to use your credit card, as opposed to debit, for booking trips.
- Annual policies may cover things like medical care and are especially valuable for covering gaps left by your home health insurance. Before leaving the country, be sure to check if your health insurance policy covers international care or not, and pick up travel insurance to fill in the blanks.
- Packages purchased directly from travel insurers and customized for individual trips are the best bet for the most comprehensive coverage. Besides the advantages of tailor making a policy for your vacation and family, they offer coverage for a greater number of eventualities than the other options. We recommend Allianz Travel Insurance and Travel Guard, with competitive rates and years of experience.
A vacation cancellation or injury abroad is scary enough, protect your investment and your family by getting coverage for your trip. This is one place where it is not worth cutting costs. The latest statistics show only about 29% of travellers who could have used insurance had it. Don’t let your family be in that group. Be sure to read all the terms of the policy, including the fine print, so you understand what is and is not covered by the policy you buy. Policies differ widely in their coverage.
Please note that some of the links included in this piece are affiliate links and in such case, Real Family Trips will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the link.