For many, spring break is the light at the end of the tunnel. After enduring months of snow and cold, people can’t wait to get away.
For families travelling somewhere warm, such as Mexico, Jamaica, or the Bahamas, a spring break adventure can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not to mention a big investment.
Not only does a trip cost a good chunk of change, there’s the time and effort put into researching a destination, comparing flight options, or working with a travel agent. In addition, people usually book these trips well in advance, which can cause uncertainty when you don’t know what the future holds.
So what happens if your departure day arrives and a spring snowstorm cancels your flight, or you or a family member become ill?
To protect yourself from the financial after effects of a cancelled trip, you may want to consider travel insurance. While personal insurance may protect you from some causes of loss, travel insurance can provide more protection.
Travel insurance policies provide many types of coverage, including:
1. Trip cancellation provides coverage in case you have to cancel your trip due to illness, bad weather,bankruptcy of your travel supplier, or a death in the family.
Recently, a close family friend was diagnosed with diabetes. This is an example of an illness that could prevent his family from leaving on a spring break vacation outside the country.
2. Medical emergencies provide coverage if you are hurt or become ill while on vacation. Existing health care coverage can help you in the United States, but outside the country, health care is very different and often requires some type of upfront payment.
3. 24/7 worldwide phone assistance provides help in case your flight is cancelled, you have a medical emergency, or your passports are lost or stolen. This assistance may be worth its weight in gold if you booked the trip yourself. For those who use a travel agency, assistance is usually provided if a situation occurs.
Here are some things to consider when determining if travel insurance is right for you.
1. How much does the trip cost? Know what your cancellation penalties are and how much you’ll lose financially if you have to cancel. For a weekend getaway, travel insurance isn’t necessary; however, a seven–ten day trip to Jamaica may be a different story.
2. Does your current homeowner’s or renter’s policy provide coverage? Check with your local independent agent to see if your insurance policy provides coverage for lost or stolen luggage or other personal belongings, and if rental car coverage is provided.
3.Does your credit card offer any protection? Check with your credit card company to see if they offer protection based on the type of cardholder you are. Some companies may provide rental car coverage, coverage for lost or stolen baggage, or even coverage for if your travel provider discontinues service.
4. What’s your activity level going to be? If you’re planning on lying on the beach and catching rays for a week, the likelihood of your being injured isn’t very high. But if you’re going on an adventure-filled vacation that includes scuba diving, zip-lining, or driving off-road vehicles, you may want to consider a travel insurance policy.
Choosing the right insurance company and policy to meet your travel needs can be challenging. Consider talking to your local independent insurance or travel agents to find a policy that’s right for you and your family.
Do you have any tips or stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.