Planning for a trip is exciting. You get to choose your lodging, your mode of travel, all the great attractions you’ll see, the restaurants you’ll visit, and the insurance policies you’ll activate.
If you don’t think insurance looks at home in that list, you’re not alone. It is not one of the fun things we think about as we plan a trip, and it’s certainly not one of the things we get excited about. But sometimes the things that are most exciting are the ones that prevent a nightmare, and insurance definitely fits the bill in that area.
Most people assume they’ve got the coverage they need already. They just need to hop in the car and go. But the reality is that there are certain considerations you should make to protect you from a costly and inconvenient experience while you’re on the road.
There are several different types of insurance you should consider before you travel.
Yes, you should already have liability on your own vehicle, but you might need to make other provisions for the trip. If you plan to rent a vehicle, review the insurance offerings. Remember that you’ll be driving an unfamiliar car–one that belongs to somebody else. The dents and dings that you would tolerate on your own car are unacceptable to the rental company, and they’re expensive to repair. Take the policy they offer.
What about your own car? The first thing you want to do is make sure that your insurance is paid up until at least after your trip. There’s nothing worse than letting it lapse as you drive the country and then having an accident. You’ll also want to review your policy and see if it might be a good time to buy new car insurance that offers a better plan for your circumstances. You might also want to activate comprehensive coverage for the duration of the trip. It will cover repairs you’ll need to complete the trip if you suffer storm damage, hit a deer, or experience other mishaps.
It is heartbreaking to book that perfect island getaway only to watch a hurricane churn across the ocean straight toward your destination. You cancel your travel plans and lose your deposit.
You may also lose your luggage while in transit, forcing you to pay tourist-trap prices for essentials. Or you could fall ill while overseas, running up medical bills that your domestic medical insurance won’t cover.
While there are very few vacations that actually meet this fate, the financial impact when it does happen can be painful. We often save up our money for months or even years to take a trip, so it is a significant financial blow when something derails the plans or increases the cost. Getting travel insurance will help you protect yourself financially from these and other disasters. Investigate it before traveling.
Coverage For The Home Front
Vacation is all about getting away, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about our homes. After all, we’ll probably feel pretty good when we first walk back inside it after the trip.
Before you leave town, review your homeowner’s insurance. Certainly the prospect of a theft or fire is foremost in your mind, but other issues can emerge as well. Do you have enough liability coverage if the housesitter or dog walker gets hurt coming over? Could seasonal threats like wildfires threaten things while you’re gone? Talk with your agent and make sure that he or she knows your situation. You might be able to increase coverage temporarily to provide extra protection during the time that you’re away.
Stress relief is often one of our goals when traveling. Yet sometimes the trip itself can add more stress to our lives. When we are worried about what might go wrong on our trip or even back home, it’s hard to relax and have fun. Getting the right insurance coverage will prevent that worry and make traveling fun for your family.