Family travel insurance
If you're travelling with your loved ones, family travel insurance can give you the peace of mind knowing that they'll be covered if things don't go to plan.
Whether you’re heading to a beach resort or going on a thrilling safari adventure, family vacations are a great way to spend quality time together away from the everyday routine. Jetting off on your travels with family travel insurance is an important step to make sure you and your loved ones are covered if things go wrong.
What is family travel insurance?
Family travel insurance offers you and your family protection under a single policy in case something goes wrong during your travels. Usually it primarily offers medical cover in case anyone falls ill or gets injured, and requires a doctor or even a hospital stay. Medical treatment can be extremely expensive in many countries if you’re not insured, such as the United States.
What are the benefits of buying family travel insurance?
The benefit of family travel insurance is that one policy covers the whole family, yet it offers the same benefits as an individual policy. Many insurance providers also allow your dependent children to be covered for free.
What does family travel insurance cover?
In addition to medical cover, family travel insurance covers instances such as:
- Delays and cancellations.
- Medical emergencies.
- Loss, damage or theft of belongings.
- Other issues that may ruin your travel experience.
What is not covered?
Any time you take out an insurance policy it’s important that you carefully read the terms and conditions of the policy, and be aware of any exclusions that may apply.
For example, family travel insurance usually doesn’t cover activities like skiing or mountain climbing as they are considered high risk. However, you can always add that as an extra benefit to your policy for an added fee.
Who can use a family travel insurance policy?
The most important aspect of family travel insurance is understanding who qualifies to be covered.
- Understand the definition of family. Family is generally recognised as you, the policyholder, your legal spouse and your dependents. You’ll need to check with each individual provider how many people they include as part of their family travel insurance plan. Some insurers will only cover two children requiring additional children to be added at an extra cost.
- Understand the definition of dependent. It’s important to understand how your insurer will classify dependent children on your policy. Generally, a dependent is a child or grandchild under the age of 21 who is travelling with you on the journey.
- Those covered must travel with the policyholder. You need to be travelling together in order to be covered. For example, if your children leave for a few days to visit some neighboring cities, they would not be covered under the policy.
- Understand benefit limits. Each policy will have benefit limits for each feature. In cases like personal items, the benefit limit will include all items being claimed as lost or stolen. However, for cover like travel delay, there is sometimes a separate benefit limit for each person on the plan.
What about grandparents and grandchildren?
This can be tricky and can vary greatly depending on the provider. Some parents might assume that their children are covered under the family travel insurance even if they are travelling with their grandparents. This is not always the case.
Some insurers stipulate that dependents will only be covered if they travel with the policy holder. In this case grandchildren would have to be added to their grandparents’ policy to be covered. Other insurers are fine as long as dependents are travelling with an adult, such as a grandparent.
What about step-children and extended families?
You would think that with the prevalence of step-families and step-children, insurance providers would have evolved with the times. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.
Though it can vary depending on the insurer most insurers don’t automatically cover step children as part of their family insurance policy. They have to be added separately, often at an extra cost.
This is why it’s important to shop around and compare providers. However, one way to get around this is to have the biological parent take out the policy. That way everyone will be covered as they won’t be considered step-children.
What family travel insurance plan should I choose?
The best family travel insurance plan for you depends on a number of factors such as your family requirements, your travel plans, how often you travel, your budget and any special requirements of the members of your family.
Things to consider:
- Single trip or annual insurance. Single trip policies are advisable if you only take one or two trips a year. If you plan to take more trips, it might be more convenient and cheaper to get an annual policy that covers all your trips.
- Comprehensive vs basic cover. The level of cover varies depending on the type of plan you choose. As the name implies comprehensive cover will insure you for virtually all circumstances, while a basic policy will offer fewer benefits.
- Assess your budget. The cost of family travel insurance can vary based on the level of cover and the provider. Make sure you look at your budget to see what kind of cover you can afford.