Travel Insurance: A Smart Bet for Your Vacation
The travel season is beginning, with the winter holidays past us we can look forward to having memorable summer vacations. Many people plan trips during the spring and summer; whether it’s to go surfing in Miami or take a cruise through the Bahamas. If you’re thinking of a summer getaway, here is how a travel insurance policy can help you navigate a number of unexpected detours along the way.
• Medical Emergencies & Evacuation – Whether you are traveling domestically or abroad, a sudden medical emergency could end up costing thousands. This part of the policy explains the areas of coverage for emergency evacuation, limits on medical expenses and emergency dental work, and general policy exclusions.
• Trip Cancellation – In life, things happen. If you find that you cannot go on your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or the death of a relative, you may be reimbursed for any non-refundable expenses, depending on your policy terms. Not all policies cover cancellation, and only some provide coverage if your trip is interrupted after you’ve left home, so read the policy wording carefully.
• Baggage & Personal Belongings – Although most policies will cover the replacement cost of your clothing and valuables, there are caveats. Carriers expect you to take ‘reasonable care’ of your possessions, which means a claim can be denied if you leave a camera in your car overnight, or leave your laptop on the table at a café while you order at the bar. Be sure to read your policy carefully for the coverage limits and exclusions, particularly for high-value items, like electronics and sporting equipment.
• Personal Liability – Some policies provide additional coverage if you are involved in an accident or are held accountable for damage that you caused inadvertently. This type of personal liability coverage is not applicable for accidents that happen while you are driving, and you should arrange for separate coverage if you are renting a car during your trip.
Finally, before you purchase travel insurance, confirm that it does not duplicate your current coverage. For example, you may be covered for theft and other losses away from home under your homeowner’s insurance policy, and your medical and auto insurance may be valid in other countries. That said, when you are spending thousands on a special vacation that you’ve been planning for months, the small investment in travel insurance can provide an extra layer of protection for you and your family, and give you added peace of mind for your trip.