A family holiday can be one of the most significant experiences a family can share together. Done right, a family trip, whether abroad or domestic, can be fun, educational, an incredible bonding experience, and create memories you’ll share forever. However, any adventure comes with a certain amount of risks, and prudent parents will, of course, want to take steps in minimising these risks. A great way to protect your family is to get covered with family travel insurance. A good policy provides coverage for loss of luggage and personal items, medical coverage in case of emergencies, accident liability, flight and hotel cancellations, curtailment and evacuations (in worst-case scenarios), lost documents, and other situations that can hinder your peace of mind.
While a good family travel insurance policy is a necessity when you’re planning to travel with your family, it is important to remember that not all policies are created equal. Your policy can work for you, but only if you have the proper coverage. Negotiating and obtaining the right coverage can boil down to knowing the right questions to ask. Doing your research into different policies and providers is imperative. To help you along, here are a few questions you should ask to get the best cover for your needs.
How many and which members of your family are covered?
A typical family travel insurance plan covers two parents and up to four children, which is no longer the typical family structure these days. If your family trip involves more members, especially extended family members (such as grandparents, cousins, etc., and even friends along for the experience), you will need to fine-tune your coverage. Marital status can also have legal implications, as well as the residence addresses of the family members (a typical plan generally requires those covered to have the same registered residence). Age is another factor that needs to be clarified. For example, many plans do not cover people over the age of 65. If you do not examine your policy closely, you may assume that your family travel insurance automatically covers every family member joining the trip, which may not be the case.
What are the policy’s payouts in case of loss?
Although policies provide coverage against lost baggage and property, it is important to acquire a plan that actually reimburses you for the full amount of the loss. For example, if you take an expensive 5,000 GBP digital camera on your trip, you may be very unpleasantly surprised to find that your policy’s maximum payout in case it is lost is only 250 GBP.
What are the policy exceptions and waivers?
While legitimate providers are quite open about what is and is not covered by your policy, a disreputable one may try to hide exceptions in the fine print. For example, be sure to ask about pre-existing medical conditions and to what extent they are covered. Another important aspect that needs to be made clear is which ‘hazardous activities’ are allowed. Of course you and your family are going to want have fun and engage in exciting activities, such as high-octane sports or exploring wilderness areas, some of which your policy may define as dangerous and are therefore not covered.
The key is to read the fine print and you won’t get caught short.