No matter how hard it is for your family to find time to spend together during the busy school year, there is one annual event that you all manage to be present for: the family vacation. While it seems like a simple holiday, this time spent together can go far in keeping your bond strong and making up for lost time during the hectic fall and winter months. But that makes it even more important that you are able to focus on each other during the trip, rather than waste your energy thinking about how you’ll deal with anything that goes wrong.
If you’re planning on taking your family abroad for your vacation this year, then packing the right clothes and electronics isn’t your only concern; you must also prepare for your trip by securing the right travel insurance.
Priority Number One: Securing Health Coverage
Even if you and your family are covered by a group insurance policy in the states, your domestic coverage will not pay for treatment that you need while abroad. This sometimes surprises people who are traveling to Mexico or Canada, but even in those close locations your policy will be ineffective. Therefore, securing travel insurance that covers medical treatment internationally is vital.
International health insurance policies come in various forms. You can choose policies with very low deductibles and higher limits so that you have very little out-of-pocket cost, or you can help to control premiums by designing a policy with a higher deductible and lower maximum limits. Generally, your policy will cover basic emergency treatment, emergency transportation, and may include coverage for remote transportation and medical repatriation in the event that you need treatment back in the States. Some policies can even provide financial assistance if you and your spouse are both injured and you need a relative or guardian to come for the children.
Priority Number Two: Insurance for Trip Expenses and Risks
While an accident or illness can happen abroad, your health isn’t the only thing you should guard on your family vacation. A trip cancellation due to illness or inclement weather can force you to forfeit any deposits you’ve made; lost stolen luggage on a trip can cost you hundreds in unrecoverable belongings; an unexpected terrorist attack could result in your family’s unexpected and immediate evacuation. These are just a few examples of the many things that could go wrong that are not related to your health. That’s why, in addition to securing insurance for medical expenses while abroad, you must also secure trip insurance to protect against trip cancellation, evacuation, lost or stolen luggage and other risks.
No matter how carefully you schedule your trip, Mother Nature can easily put a crimp in your plans. The expense of a canceled or shortened trip can be extreme and difficult for a family to shoulder on their own. Travel insurance with these additional protections will help alleviate some of your financial risk exposure.
Priority Number Three: Consider Your Unique Risks
A family that is planning a museum tour of Europe might have different risk exposure than one planning an adventure excursion in Costa Rica. That’s why your next insurance planning priority is to consider the details of the trip you’ve planned. Doing so will help you see any specialized insurance needs you might have for hazards that are not covered in your basic policy but that you will be exposed to. Often, this includes adventure sports, but could also require such specialized coverage as war zone insurance, motorcycle rider insurance, or international life insurance.
Balancing Premiums with Your Budget
One of the things you’ll notice when designing your family’s travel insurance policy is that the higher your deductibles are, the lower your policy premiums. It’s important to note that the deductibles are per person so if your whole family is in an accident and everyone needs treatment, your deductible would be multiplied by the number of people receiving treatment. That could be a hefty sum. Often, it’s much safer to adjust your budget so that you can afford a lower deductible policy, thereby reducing the potential risk to your savings.
When preparing for your family’s comfort and safety during your trip abroad, don’t forget to design a trip insurance policy that helps to enhance their safety and security abroad while ensuring that your finances remain secure at home.