If you’re like many people, buying travel insurance for familyholidaysis something that’s not high on the priority list when making travel plans. If your travel agent adds it on to the ticket and accommodation arrangements, you’ll certainly get it, but if it isn’t included, chances are you won’t think of it. Many people prefer to adopt the thinking of, “it will never happen to us” and “we’ve planned perfectly, what could go wrong?”
Well, a lot of things could go wrong actually. While many airlines include checkout options (when purchasing online) for buying travel insurance, for family holidays you may need more than just the basics. Here are four of the most often asked questions about insurance for families.
Do I really need to take insurance for everyone?
Always check the policy to be sure that everyone is included under it. Individual insurance policies only protect the individual, so buying travel insurance for family groups is almost always the best bet. An exception though is that some policies cover children under 17 when traveling with an insured parent or guardian free of charge, so if it’s just you and your under-17 year old child, you may not need an additional policy.
Remember however that traveling companions and family members count when it comes to reasons for cancelling your trip. If any one of them fall ill and you need to cancel, you may be eligible for reimbursement if you are insured adequately.
What should be included in our policy?
Different policies from different providers may vary, but some of the most common inclusions are:
Emergency Medical Transportation
Emergency Medical / Dental Coverage
Trip Cancellation Protection
Trip Interruption Protection
Lost / Stolen / Delayed Baggage Coverage
Travel Delay Coverage
Missed Connection Coverage
It pays to always check your existing health insurance, credit card policies (especially if you’re paying for your tickets and accommodations with them) and homeowners’ insurance before purchasing, to see if some things are already covered.
Will I need additional coverage?
That really depends on the type of trip you are taking. Are you planning on participating in extreme sports for example and bringing additional equipment such as golf clubs or expensive instruments, or are you traveling to places that are under travel advisories? If so, travel insurance for family groups will probably need to include specific cover for those. Otherwise, you are fine.
On the other hand, here are some extra things you may want to think about opting for:
Any reason cancellation. Normal policies won’t reimburse you for cancelling just because you changed your mind, but this will. Check, however, what percentage of the initial cost is covered.
Car rental collision and damage. It’s only a minimal additional cost, so if you have plans of renting a car, this is probably a very good idea.
Upgraded medical coverage and emergency evacuation. This expands your choice of facilities, amount of coverage and often reduces your excess.
When should I buy travel insurance for family holidays?
A good rule of thumb is to buy within 15 days of your trip, but when buying travel insurance for family holidays, it is best to get it the minute you pay for your holiday, whether as a deposit or the full amount. This ensures eligibility for coverage for trip cancellations as well as some benefits like waivers of the pre-existing conditions clause.