Why you need travel insurance for a college student’s spring break – Forbes Advisor

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The pandemic has made it nearly impossible to predict possible travel problems. While much of the world is off-limits to travel, there are still warm, sunny places that welcome visitors. If your college-aged child is going with friends on vacation or spring break, having the right travel insurance in place is essential.

Why Spring Break Travel Insurance Matters

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind while your child is away. It can refund you prepaid, non-refundable money you lose due to trip cancellation or interruption due to illness or injury, for example, says Daniel Durazo, spokesperson for ‘Allianz Travel.

He notes that travel insurance may cover the additional cost of an early return flight if you need to end the trip early (for reasons covered by the policy). Conversely, if the return trip is delayed, a travel plan can reimburse you for the cost of a hotel room, meals, and other essentials.

“These benefits can also cover an ambulance or medical evacuation, if medically necessary, as well as hospital bills and transportation costs safely to your home,” says Durazo.

What coverage should you buy?

While travel cancellation insurance and interruption benefits are important for domestic and international travel, emergency medical and transportation coverage is especially important if your child is traveling outside of the United States.

“Most national health care plans are not accepted outside the country, which means the cost can be paid for by themselves,” says Durazo. “If you are sending your child on a trip, having a plan with emergency medical benefits can cover the cost of your child’s medical treatment, organize care and get them to an appropriate medical facility.

If you want travel insurance to extend to cancellation and medical bills due to Covid, make sure you have a plan that will cover the virus. See Forbes Advisor’s reviews of the best travel insurance in the event of a pandemic.

If you’re accompanying your child on a trip to high school, Allianz’s OneTrip Prime plan can cover children 17 and under for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent.

Scott Adamski, spokesperson for AIG Travel, said: “It is particularly interesting to highlight the coverage of medical expenses: travelers of any age can become ill or injured while traveling, but young travelers are particularly prone to it. do, whether it’s because they’re trying different foods, for example, or engaging in physical activities with which they have no previous experience.

Common travel problems for teenage travel

When your high school or college age child travels, common travel challenges include lost or stolen bags, unforeseen travel delays, illness and injury.

“The most important thing to remember when buying travel insurance is to buy it at the same time you book your trip,” advises Durazo. For example, “If your child becomes ill or injured after booking their trip but before purchasing travel insurance, it will be too late to purchase insurance. “

How to play it safe

Adamski from AIG Travel suggests these safety tips:

Students must always have their health insurance card on them (primarily for domestic travel) and consider carrying a contact card with local hospital numbers, their hotel or other accommodation numbers, and a U.S. Embassy number.

Students with special medical conditions should carry a card that lists these conditions. Likewise, students traveling with medication should always carry a list of all medications they are taking (brand names and possible generic substitutions) with them.

Learn and memorize a few key phrases in the local language in an emergency, such as “I need help”.

Integrate technology

A travel insurance provider’s mobile app can be helpful. For example, Allianz’s free TravelSmart app gives travelers, whether or not they have existing policies, access to app features like its ‘Around Me’ search function, a medical translator with first aid terms and numbers for emergency services like local police, firefighters, and ambulances for different countries.

For Allianz Travel policyholders, the TravelSmart application is the easiest way to access a travel insurance plan, file and manage a complaint, track flights, receive live updates for flight delays, and easily contact 24-hour support and concierge services.

The app also recently introduced an Alert Center, a feature for policyholders that offers location-specific updates on safety, weather and other events that may impact their trips. and provides timely advice and guidance, ”Durazo said.

Don’t expect these issues to be covered by insurance

While travel insurance can certainly protect your financial investment in a trip, it won’t cover all possible issues. Squaremouth offers four scenarios that are not covered by travel insurance.

Loyalty points and miles: Many students or their families pay for these trips with frequent flyer miles or credit card points, but travel insurance policies do not insure the miles or their value. Most policies will not reimburse you for the value of the miles, as this is not a personal expense. Some policies may cover the costs of re-banking.

Long TSA lines: Long security lines or a student’s delay are not covered. Travel insurance does not cover flights missed due to security delays. According to Squaremouth, most policies include benefits for travelers who miss a flight, but the reason must be specifically covered by the policy. Squaremouth notes that these acceptable reasons include airline delays due to mechanical failure, inclement weather, lost or stolen passports, or emergency weather conditions.

Adventure sports: Adventure activities like skydiving, parasailing or bungee jumping, or even activities like kayaking, jet skiing and ziplining, are generally excluded from a travel insurance policy, according to Squaremouth. If your child is an adventurous spring breaker, look for travel insurance with a “Sports and Activities” benefit that includes specific coverage for the activities they will participate in.

Problems related to illegal drug use or alcohol use among minors: If you lose money because of drug or alcohol use, you will not be able to claim damages.

Learn more about the right insurance for spring break.

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