Travel is, unquestionably, the greatest gift you can give your family. If your finances allow you to pay for a trip with your children and grandchildren (or sisters, brothers, nieces or nephews), you’re rewarded with memories you’ll forever cherish.
Whether you’re planning to rent a big beach house, take a Caribbean cruise or organize an African safari, travel insurance is a must for multigenerational trips. But how does your travel insurance cover these trips? And does every member of the family need travel insurance? Let’s look at some what-if scenarios.
To celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary, you and your husband are paying for the entire family — your two sons, their wives and your three grandchildren — to go on a cruise to Jamaica. Of course, you buy travel insurance to protect your vacation because you know that most cruise lines have strict no-refund policies for last-minute cancellations. And you’re glad you did! Two days before embarkation, your husband suffers a detached retina and must have emergency surgery. Can your travel insurance cover the cost of the canceled cruise?
Yes. Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for non-refundable trip payments, deposits, cancellation fees, and change fees (up to the maximum limit named in your plan) if you must cancel or reschedule your trip for a covered reason. So, if your husband suffers a covered medical condition that results in his doctor advising you to cancel the trip, you can file a claim for trip cancellation.
What if just one person needs to cancel? Let’s say your husband insists that the family goes on the cruise without him. Trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for the non-refundable portion of the trip that your husband wasn’t able to use. Also, if the cruise line requires you to pay additional accommodation fees (such as a single supplement fee) after your traveling companion cancels for a covered reason, your trip cancellation benefits can cover that, too.
Trip cancellation benefits can only cover the amount that you, the insured person, paid for the trip. If your son paid $1,000 for his family’s onboard meal plan and shore excursions, his expenses would not be covered by your travel insurance plan.
It’s also important to understand that the covered reasons for trip cancellation, as listed in your plan documents, only apply to you, the insured person. For example, if a tree falls on your house before you leave for the cruise, rendering it uninhabitable, that can be a covered reason for trip cancellation. If a tree falls on your son’s house, that would not be a covered reason. That’s why we advise every traveler to purchase their own travel insurance plan.
You’re treating your daughter and her family to the trip of a lifetime: a week-long eco-tour of Costa Rica over the winter holidays. The five of you — you, your daughter and her spouse, and their teenage boys — enjoy all kinds of adventures: snorkeling, surfing, hiking, and horseback riding. But then, while taking an ATV tour of the rainforest, your daughter crashes and sustains a serious head injury. She has to be airlifted to a hospital in San José. Can your travel insurance help?
In this scenario, the emergency medical and emergency transportation benefits in your travel insurance plan are not transferable to your adult daughter. (The OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier plans can cover kids 17 and under — but not adult children — for free when they’re traveling with a parent or grandparent.) If your daughter doesn’t have her own travel insurance policy, she’ll be responsible for the costs of her medical evacuation and medical treatment.
There are, however, a few ways your travel insurance plan may be able to help! Because you’re an Allianz Global Assistance customer, you can call the 24-hour hotline for assistance in a crisis. Our experts can guide you to the nearest qualified medical facility; serve as interpreters if you need help communicating with doctors; and help you obtain emergency cash or get a message home.
Also, your travel insurance plan may consider the serious, covered injury of a traveling companion or family member to be a covered reason for trip interruption. If you must cut your trip short because of your daughter’s injury, your travel insurance may reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses and for reasonable transportation expenses to reach your final destination or to return home.
Your travel insurance may also reimburse you for additional accommodation and transportation expenses if you must remain at your destination longer due to a covered trip interruption. So, in this scenario, your travel insurance may pay for your transportation to San José and your hotel room so you can be with your daughter while she recovers. (A per-day dollar limit and time limit apply.)
You’re traveling to London with your 10-year-old grandson this summer. The two of you have a delightful time seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, taking in the view from the Shard, and savoring afternoon tea at the Savoy. Suddenly, you begin to feel lightheaded and short of breath. The hotel calls an ambulance to take you to a hospital, where you learn you’ve suffered a heart attack. You’ll be OK, but who will look after your grandson?
When you’re traveling with dependents, travel insurance is an absolute must. Emergency transportation benefits can arrange and pay to transport your under-18 traveling companions back to your primary residence or a location of your choice in the U.S. Also, if you’re told you will be hospitalized for a certain length of time (as defined in your plan) during your trip, Allianz Global Assistance may arrange and pay for round-trip transportation for a friend or family member to come and stay with you.
Our most popular travel insurance plans for family trips are the OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier plans. These plans have high trip cost maximums and include substantial benefits. They also cover kids 17 and under for free when they’re traveling with a parent or grandparent.
Other than children who are covered by someone else’s policy, every family member traveling with you should purchase travel insurance. If trip costs are already taken care of, the most affordable travel insurance option may be the OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan. Designed for travelers with few prepaid expenses, this low-cost plan includes emergency medical, emergency transportation and other crucial protections, but not trip cancellation or trip interruption benefits.