May 04, 2017
mountains
Travel Resources

How Travel Insurance Covers Family Members

son hugs mom

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind — or forgotten.”

We love this line from the great (and quirky) Disney movie “Lilo and Stitch.” It means family always comes first, wherever your adventures take you. 

Travel insurance isn’t just to protect you, the traveler. Travel insurance can also be useful in situations in which family members fall ill, get seriously injured or face other crises. When it comes to family, what does travel insurance cover? Here’s an overview.

How does travel insurance define “family”?

When you’re reading your travel insurance plan documents, you’ll notice that some benefits refer to “family members,” and others refer to “immediate family members.” It’s really important to understand the distinction. Allianz Global Assistance uses the following definitions.

Immediate family members are:

  • Spouses and common-law, civil union and domestic partners
  • Parents and step-parents
  • Children and step-children (including adopted or soon to be
  • adopted children)
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents and grandchildren.

Family members include all the immediate family members described above, as well as:

  • The following in-laws: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister
  • Aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews
  • Legal guardians and wards
  • Business partners
  • Paid, live-in caregivers
  • Service animals (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act).

There are a few important things to note. One, as Allianz Global Assistance defines it, a “domestic partner” is a person you’ve lived with in a spousal relationship for at least 12

consecutive months who is 18 years or older. (You must be able to show evidence that you’ve lived together for 12 consecutive months.) A roommate is not a domestic partner.

Two, a pet is not considered a family member. We know our customers love their pets like family. We do, too! But for purposes of travel insurance, we can’t consider pets to be family members — only service animals.

When family members are traveling with you, what does travel insurance cover?

Our most popular plans, the Classic Plan and the Classic Plan with Trip+, cover children 17 and under for free when they’re traveling with a parent or grandparent.

If your family member is also your traveling companion — meaning a person traveling with you whose name appears with yours on the same trip arrangement and who will accompany you on your trip — then other travel insurance benefits may apply. For example:

  • If your traveling companion is seriously sick or injured; dies; is quarantined; gets in a car accident on the way to the airport; gets carjacked; gets divorced; loses their job (through no fault of their own); or is deployed for military service, these may be covered reasons for trip cancellation.
  • If your traveling companion cancels or interrupts their trip for a covered reason, trip interruption benefits may reimburse you for the extra cost of single accommodation.
  • If your traveling companion is hospitalized while you’re on your trip, trip interruption benefits may cover extra accommodation and transportation expenses (maximum of $100 a day for up to five days.)

When family members aren’t traveling with you, what does travel insurance cover?

Even the most carefully planned trips can be derailed by an emergency at home. That’s why it’s so important to have travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. These benefits can reimburse you for nonrefundable trip expenses if you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to the serious illness or injury of a family member (among other covered reasons). The injury, illness or medical condition must be considered life threatening or require hospitalization, or the family member must require your care.

How does this work in real life? Imagine you’re touring Tokyo when you get news that your sister has a sudden accident. Trip interruption benefits can reimburse for your last-minute flight home, as well as reimburse you for the nonrefundable prepaid expenses you lose by cutting your trip short. Or, if you have to cancel an anniversary trip to Paris after your son’s hospitalized with a concussion, trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for nonrefundable prepaid expenses.

On some plans, Allianz Global Assistance also considers the birth of an immediate family member’s child to be a covered reason for trip cancellation, as long as the pregnancy occurred after you purchased travel insurance.

Sometimes, you’re the one who needs help from family. If you’re hospitalized for more than seven days during your trip, your emergency medical transportation benefits can arrange and pay for round-trip transportation for a family member to come and stay with you.

Do travel insurance exclusions apply to family members?

When you’re reading through your travel insurance plan documents, pay attention to the part labeled “Exclusions.” Some named exclusions apply to family members — even if the family member is not traveling with you.

Our plans, like other types of insurance, have exclusions that impact the coverage and benefits. Each plan is different, so be sure to read the documents we send about your plan.

What about existing medical conditions? Losses due to family members’ existing conditions aren’t covered unless you have existing medical condition coverage. Several travel insurance plans from Allianz Global Assistance do include existing medical condition coverage, but certain rules apply. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how travel insurance covers existing medical conditions.

We know travel insurance can get complicated! If you have any questions about what your policy covers, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-866-884-3556. Our travel insurance experts can walk you through the policy documents and explain your benefits.

Related Articles