Why Our Family Never Travels Without Insurance

a lady in a beach chair searching for travel insurance on a laptop

Our family’s lifestyle is a testament to our sense of adventure. We love exploring the world and soaking up new experiences. Unfortunately, travel plans don’t always go according to plan, so we’ve learned that it’s vital to take a cautious approach and put measures in place so that, should something go wrong, our family is covered.

A big part of this is having the right insurance. Travel insurance can be a literal lifesaver and prevent a significant financial loss when our plans go south.

If you’re planning a family trip, whether locally or abroad, and are toying with the idea of forgoing insurance to save a couple of bucks, we strongly advise against it. Here’s why.

This post is part of our Family Travel Advice Series

We’re Covered for Medical Emergencies

Even if you have health insurance in your home country, it will unlikely cover you if you need medical attention while travelling abroad. Also, most hospitals and medical practitioners won’t accept medical insurance from a foreign country, requiring you to settle your bill in cash.

You and your children may be healthy, but there is always a risk of you or your kids getting sick or injured on vacation. Your kid may pick up a bug, have an allergic reaction to something, break a bone, or sprain their ankle while playing. While these things happen and are out of your control, treating them, especially in a foreign country, can be very expensive.

Travel insurance means that your medical bills will be covered if you or your family fall ill or become injured while on vacation. Travel insurance will pay for medical treatment, including hospitalization, outpatient visits, medication, tests, and x-rays.

Your insurance will cover the costs of an ambulance or any other transport you need to get to a medical facility. Suppose you are travelling in a remote area with few transport options and need to leave because of a medical emergency. In that case, travel insurance will pay for you to be evacuated.

Medical evacuation ambulance

We Won’t Lose Money if we’re Forced to Cancel

Some unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel your trip before it begins, or you may need to leave your vacation mid-way. This can be very disheartening – not only are you missing out on the vacation you planned, but most expenses, like flights, accommodation, and tours, are nonrefundable and are paid in advance.

For this reason, we always prefer to have travel insurance so that if we have to cancel, we will be reimbursed for our costs, so we don’t lose out on the money we spend.

It’s important to note, though, that the insurance will only cover you if you cancel for one of the reasons stipulated in your plan, so if you’re planning on cancelling your trip to punish your kids for misbehaving, you won’t be reimbursed.

Typically, most travel insurance will cover you if you have to cancel your trip for one of the following reasons:

  • You fell ill
  • One of your kids fell ill
  • One of your travel companions fell ill
  • A close family member fell sick or died
  • A natural disaster in the destination you planned to travel to
  • Civil unrest
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How to plan multi-generation family travel

If you are on vacation and need to return home in an emergency that is in line with the abovementioned ones, your insurance will also cover these costs.

ladu with packed suitcases sitting on  a couch

Our Personal Items are Protected

We may try to pack light, but we can’t do with many of our personal items, and if they get lost or are stolen, it can put a dampener on the trip.

Travel insurance will pay to compensate you if your checked-in luggage is lost in transit and doesn’t arrive at your destination. You will also be covered for other personal items that may be lost, stolen, or damaged when you’re travelling.

If one or more of your belongings are lost or stolen, your insurance will pay you to replace them based on their value and within the plan’s limits. If your item was damaged, you can either have it replaced or repaired, depending on the extent of the damage.

While most personal items are covered, travel insurance will not cover some things that fall out of the price limit for a single item. These are typically luxury items or expensive equipment like pricey watches or top-of-the-range camera equipment. It’s best not to travel with these things, but if you must, it’s worth buying additional cover.

A family going on vacation sitting int eh abck of their car with luggage

We’re Safe on the Road

Car crashes are more common than we realize, so if you plan on renting a car, you must have the right cover. Before your trip, contact your car insurance company to find out if your policy includes rental cars abroad. If not, you must purchase automobile insurance that provides coverage for a rental car.

In most cases, the rental car company will only rent you a car if you buy their insurance unless you prove that you have insurance covering the rental vehicle.

Rental car companies typically offer collision, but it’s also best to ensure you have liability. This protects you if you are responsible for an accident and have to pay for the damages caused to the other party’s property and their medical bills resulting from injuries they sustained in the crash.

Final Words on Travel Insurance

Thinking about insurance may be the least exciting part of planning a vacation, but avoiding financial setbacks on your travels is necessary. Make sure you and your family have the right coverage so that you won’t be left with a massive financial burden if you have a medical emergency, need to cancel, have lost your belongings, or are involved in a car crash.

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Someone swinging in a hammock holding a phone for travel insurance quotes

References

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