Travel insurance is one of those things that either you purchase or you don’t. You might be skeptical about buying travel insurance because it’s an added expense, but there are fairly good reasons that you should reconsider just skipping out on insurance.
Travel Insurance Coverage
Travel insurance policies can cover various accidents or mishaps that could cost thousands of dollars depending on the type of vacation you had planned. Travel insurance policies will typically cover the following items:
- Coverage in Most Countries
- Some Electronic Coverage
- Injury & Sudden Illness
- 24-Hr Emergency Services
- Lost, Damaged, or Stolen Possessions
- Cancellations due to Illness, Death in the Family, and Other Emergencies
- State of Emergencies, Strife, etc. in the Country Where the Trip is Planned
- Personal Accident Coverage
- Financial Protection
While you might think that none of these events will ever happen, these are very likely circumstances that most likely have happened. It’s better to be safe than sorry especially with vacations.
Thinking About a Road Trip…8 Things About Rental Car Insurance
Lucas Peterson from The New York Times offers these tips when it comes to Rental Car Insurance:
- It’s not over till it’s over. – Lucas’ experience seemed simple. He fixed the damages, signed off the inspection form, and moved on after paying additional after the damages were originally assessed. Then, he was sent another bill and still hasn’t resolved the issue.
- If something happens you’re responsible. – Lucas says the important thing to know is the loss damage waiver. This special type of insurance that many rental companies offer provides coverage for damage to the vehicle. Typically you need to buy this from the same company you are renting the car from. If you don’t have it, this means you are fully responsible for the damages even if they are not your fault.
- Know what your insurance covers. – Before renting, check with your current agent to see what coverages you currently have and if you need to up your coverage.
- AAA is worth it. – Lucas recommends that having AAA can help in a crisis and save you hundreds compared to the rental car company roadside assistance.
- Call your personal insurance. – Lucas recommends calling your current agent to start the claim process. This will help in the long run if there are any issues with the rental company. If you don’t call, they can deny coverage since you didn’t tell them and they’ll start asking questions on why you didn’t immediately call.
- Get copies of everything. – Lucas recommends that you have these at the ready and immediately request them. Receiving documents can be very hard or can take months.
- Take lots of pictures. – Think of renting a car like you are renting an apartment. Take pictures before you even get into the car. Then take them after you get out. Also, if you’re in an accident take photos of every aspect of the accident and damages.
- TURN DOWN THE ARBITRATION PROVISION – Lucas says that when you rent a car from companies, they normally have you sign what is called an arbitration process that “does not allow for meaningful appeals and is heavily weighted in favor of the corporation.” He also says you typically can opt out of forced arbitration if you email them within 30 days of renting.
Read more about Lucas’ experience here.