COLUMBUS — Vacation season is around the corner and Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor encourages Ohioans to review their insurance protections, including evaluating the need for travel insurance.
“Travel insurance can offer important protections but it needs to be carefully considered because it may not be necessary for everyone,” Taylor said. “People should first read their current insurance policies and work with their agent to determine what insurance they already have that will protect them while traveling.”
The major types of travel insurance can protect against the loss of non-refundable travel costs, such as airfare and hotel expenses. It can also cover losses due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property or even death.
Travel insurance generally covers a specific list of reasons for cancellation: delay or interruption, often including your death or of a family member, a flight delay or cancellation, bad weather, jury duty, and injury or illness. When considering a medical or accidental death travel policy, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits, which can vary by company.
Homeowners or renters insurance may cover baggage or personal property damage when you’re traveling and your auto insurance may extend to a rental car, but check with your agent. You may want to secure certain protections through travel insurance. Before signing an insurance application or writing the premium check, visit www.insurance.ohio.gov to review the company and agent’s license status.
You don’t have to buy travel insurance from the travel agent booking your trip. You may get a better deal if you work directly with the travel insurance company. Make sure the quotes you’re comparing are for the same coverages.
Taylor said you should shop around for travel insurance and ask questions, including:
- Determine the refund policy on prepaid expenses such as how long in advance you have to cancel to get a refund.
- Learn if policy protections only apply to the traveler and if an illness or emergency with a family member also triggers the coverage.
- If you’re planning an adventurous vacation (i.e., skydiving, scuba diving), inquire if those risks are covered.
Finally, cruise and tour operators may offer cancellation waivers. Keep in mind that waivers are not insurance policies and are not regulated by the state. Read all of the restrictions before you buy a cancellation waiver.