Update: If you’re considering travel insurance, be sure to also see this newer post Top 5 Reasons to Insure Your Next Family Vacation
In your life before children, you may have been much more willing to “chance it” that you’d make that flight purchased with a nonrefundable fare, or figure that you’d make that bargain last-minute vacation package come h@!! or high water, and forego the optional trip insurance add-on.
Things change once you have children. Not only do the trip expenses multiply, but the odds that one of you may get sick before or during the trip increase. With a baby or toddler along for the ride, you are also more likely to seek a doctor’s attention during vacation if he should fall sick, and the chance for a subsequent ear infection is always a concern–especially if you’ll be traveling by airplane and may need to postpone a flight until the ears recover. Chances are, these thoughts have crossed your mind.
Rather than stress out before your family vacation (or opt out of traveling with your children altogether), get trip insurance–and get on with the planning! Whether you just want to insure the cost of airplane tickets or you have an entire vacation package lined up, you’ll be able to look forward to the trip and pack your bags with confidence knowing that even if your vacation ends up getting postponed or interrupted for some unforeseen reason, you’ll be able to get the full value of your dollars spent and possibly other benefits, too.
What you can expect…
If you’ve never purchased trip insurance before, you might be surprised how inexpensive it can be–especially when many packages, like the “Essential Expanded” insurance plan offered by Travel Guard Insurance, cover one child 17 years or younger per covered adult for free. When pricing this package for my family of four, based on full-priced tickets for each of us from California to Massachusetts, the cost would be $56 to insure all of us under this plan. That would not only cover us should we need to cancel or delay our flights (a value of $1420 in this case), but would give us added benefits at our destination such as emergency medical treatment or evacuation, lost or damaged baggage coverage, or baggage delay coverage.
Extra benefits and options…
While family life can be unpredictable enough at times, it is also a comfort to know that many of these plans (including the Essential Expanded) also give you protection against financial default of an airline, cruise line or tour operator (see plan details). With Travel Guard’s Gold package, you can even cancel your trip for “work reasons” and get medical evacuation home or to the hospital of your choice should or your child need care. Plans with worldwide medical health insurance and hurricane/weather protection are also available.
Where else to look…
Your credit card may also provide some level of travel protection, but you should call ahead to call to confirm this and get the full details. Certain travel companies make it easy to add-on travel insurance when you purchase a package, though you might want to price out your options yourself to know which is the better deal. Cheap Caribbean, an online travel agency, offers complimentary hurricane/weather insurance with every vacation package they sell–even when they are matching the price of a competitor–and allows you to pay the difference for other insurance upgrades if you like.