Check your insurance before vacations

By on June 10, 2019

Professional Insurance Agents of New York State are reminding consumers to check their insurance before going on vacation. “Vacations represent a significant investment both financially and emotionally,” says PIANY President Jamie Ferris, CIC, CPIA, AAI. “A disastrous getaway can zap your mood and your wallet severely.” Most vacationers forgo purchasing coverage for their trips because they are not familiar with the practice, or think it won’t happen to them, says PIANY.

However, unfortunate events are anything but a rarity. Bags get lost. Flights are canceled. Work or family life can interfere. Serious illnesses can happen.

Most people have a few weeks a year to escape from the everyday stresses of work and home life. To let any of that time slip through your grasp and with nothing for consolation would be a shame. “Travel insurance can dramatically soften the blow of a getaway gone wrong,” says Ferris.

The four main types of travel insurance include: trip cancellation; lost baggage and personal effects; emergency medical aid; and accidental death. The first option is useful when booking trips far in advance. Six months from now, a family member could become seriously ill, the office might be in crisis, or the cruise line or tour operator with whom you booked the trip could fold. Policies usually cost about five to seven percent of the insured value.

As for lost baggage and stolen belongings, some homeowners and renters policies will cover the theft. For those who don’t already have such protection, items can be covered at reasonable rates.

For vacationers who like to stay active and do some adventuring during their trip, emergency medical assistance and accidental death coverage are worth the investment. Skiing, swimming in the ocean, hiking and other common vacation activities can result in serious injury. Some health-care companies offer coverage while abroad, but if it’s not included, an emergency medical assistance policy can pay for time spent in a foreign hospital. The cost of flying home as a sick passenger also can be pricey, as some airlines require the ill person to fly on a stretcher while accompanied by a doctor. Similarly, should the unthinkable occur, an accidental death policy can keep financial concerns from adding to your or your companions’ grief. Again, many life insurance policies will cover such a scenario, but it is not a given.

“Most everyone’s goal on vacation is to forget their worries for a while, to kick back, relax and enjoy themselves,” says Ferris. “However, to be truly carefree one must be prepared.” Contact your insurance agent to discuss available options.

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