Buyer's Guide to Family Travel Insurance
Young families can be at risk for travel emergencies. We've put together this guide to help you make sense of family travel insurance coverage.
As young families become more active travelers, they are finding that it’s a smart investment to buy travel insurance in order to protect their finances while on vacation trips. There are many risks that younger families need to cover with a comprehensive travel insurance plan. Here's your guide to which features you should look for in a family trip insurance plan.
Do you really need travel insurance on a family vacation
Many trip cancellations or interruptions are due to either a family member getting sick or injured, or to a death in the family. Travelers in their 30's or 40's might have to cancel a trip due to an illness of a young child, an elderly parent, grandparent, or other relative. Job termination, transfer of employment, or a death in the family could force you to cancel your vacation and risk losing your investment in it. This is why you need to buy family travel insurance.
If you are traveling within the USA, and have few or no non-refundable travel expenses, then you probably don't need travel insurance. But, if you are traveling abroad, have any non-refundable deposits on airline tickets, hotels, cruises, or other land transportation, you really should buy travel insurance.
Will travel insurance cover me if my boss will cancels my vacation?
Your career can also get in the way of that vacation you have planned far in advance.
“Some policies on tripinsurance.com include a provision for canceling for work reasons.”
Some policies on tripinsurance.com include a provision for canceling for work reasons. If your boss writes a letter explaining that the company has cancelled your approved vacation because of business reasons, you can cancel your trip and receive a refund of some or all of your non-refundable loss.
Most important features to look for:
- Pre-existing conditions waiver
- 150% trip interruption benefit limit
- $50,000 in medical coverage
- $50,000- 100,000 in medical evacuation coverage
Things to consider:
- Some plans offer cancel for work reasons
How do I allocate trip cost for insurance when traveling with kids?
Allocate the actual airfare costs for each of your children to the cost of their trip. Next, divide the cost of the hotel room(s) by whom is staying in them. In other words, don't allocate the total cost of your rooms to the parents: calculate it properly. When buying travel insurance from a travel agent or a comparison website, the quotes are age-dependent.
“The cost to insure your children is much lower than the costs to insure the adults.”
The cost to insure your children is much lower than the costs to insure the adults. You will potentially save money on your insurance if you allocate the costs properly to the children. But don't over-insure the children and leave yourselves underinsured. That is a bigger problem. Just allocate the costs accurately according to the actual trip expenses.
If you're leaving your kids at home and traveling abroad - get trip insurance
We hope that when we leave our children with a babysitter or family member while we are on vacation, they will be fine while we’re away. But often children get sick or hurt, and parents are the only ones who can really manage and take care of the doctor visits or a hospital stay. Can you afford to lose your travel investment or pay the extra cost to return home if one of your children ends up in the emergency room?
“Travel Insurance will pay the extra cost to get you home (up to the limits of your policy) if you have to return home to tend to a sick child or parent.”
This is why young families are investing in a comprehensive travel insurance plan for every trip. Travel Insurance will pay the extra cost to get you home (up to the limits of your policy) if you have to return home to tend to a sick child or parent.
If I have travel insurance can I cancel my trip for any reason?
Trip Insurance plans have specific covered reasons for trip cancellation that cover 100% of your travel penalty costs, but you need an additional feature called Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) if you need more reasons to cancel than are listed in the policy. Cancel For Any Reason gives the family traveler 100% freedom to cancel a trip 2 days or more before the scheduled departure date for a non-covered reason and to be reimbursed for a percentage of the cancellation penalty amount (such as 75% or 80%).
Of course, if a trip is cancelled for a covered reason, then reimbursement would be at 100% of the cancellation amount under the Trip Cancellation Benefit. Cancel For Any Reason coverage is time-sensitive and must be purchased within a specified period (such as within 15 days of the date of your initial deposit for the trip). Remember: unlike covered reasons such as sickness or injury, you do not receive reimbursement for your entire cancellation penalty amount.
Is there a difference between plans you buy from an airline, your travel agent, or an online source?
Insurance plans you buy from an airline are wholesale plans sold exclusively by the airline. They never cover the possibility of the airline going bankrupt and always leave you exposed to this risk. The cancellation provisions are often customized and limited and may only pay out a portion of your non-refundable airline ticket costs. They can often be purchased for a lower cost, but lower cost often comes with less comprehensive coverage. Often, for example, these plans will cut back on reasons for cancellation and/or coverage limits. Typically, you can get better coverage for a few dollars more.
“These retail policies will typically cover you for default by, or bankruptcy of, a travel supplier.”
Policies from a travel agent or from online comparison sites usually offer broader coverage and will insure additional hotel and travel costs you may not have purchased through the airline. These retail policies will typically cover you for default by, or bankruptcy of, a travel supplier. Policies from a travel agent or from online comparison sites usually offer broader coverage and will insure additional hotel and travel costs you may not have purchased through the airline. These retail policies will typically cover you for default by, or bankruptcy of, a travel supplier.
Online comparison sites usually sell the same plans offered by travel agents at the same commission levels. The difference is that they let you compare the cost and coverage of multiple plans to find the lowest cost plan with the best coverage for you. The main benefit is comparison and not necessarily cost.
One exception among these online comparison sites is TripInsurance.com, which has a unique travel insurance selling model. We have negotiated exclusive plans with several leading insurers that enable you to purchase from these companies directly at consumer-direct prices and save 40% or more on the same or better coverage.
When should you buy it?
Buy your insurance within 14 days of making your initial trip deposit. There are time-sensitive provisions such as pre-existing condition waivers that enhance your coverage if you buy within that window. You can usually purchase insurance up to the day before you depart, but you get better coverage when you buy within 14 days.
What should I look for when I compare plans?
If you are buying within 14 days of your initial deposit, always look for a plan with a pre-existing conditions waiver. For international trips, get at least $100,000 in medical evacuation coverage. If you need serious medical attention and need to return to the US on a private jet with medical escort, the expense can range from about $100,000 to $200,000.
“If an ash cloud covers Europe and you can’t return home, the trip interruption coverage will pay your extra travel expenses.”
Trip interruption benefits are also important to consider. If an ash cloud covers Europe and you can’t return home, the trip interruption coverage will pay your extra travel expenses. Some plans offer cancel-for-work reason provisions that will cover your cancelation penalties if your boss tells you at the last minute that you can’t take your vacation.
Do you have a question we haven't answered here?
Call our toll free number at 877-219-8169, and our licensed travel insurance experts will answer any questions for you. There is no obligation to buy. We're just happy to help.