Summer is high season for vacations, and whether you are taking an extended break and renting a house on the beach for a month, taking a road trip to visit relatives, or traveling overseas for a bucket-list adventure, it’s important to take a few minutes to review your insurance policies before you head out on vacation. There are a number of ways that your insurance coverage can protect you — even while you are away from home on vacation.
1. A personal property rider protects your valuables
We’ve previously discussed how important valuable personal property riders are for covering things like jewelry. Before you head out on vacation, check your coverage. Most valuable personal property riders extend coverage for certain items worldwide. So, if you lose your engagement ring or have an expensive camera stolen while you are away on vacation, if you’ve included those items in a personal articles floater, you’ll be covered for the loss.
2. Some homeowners insurance policies cover you for stolen items
If you are taking the kids on a long road trip, you’ll likely be bringing a lot of distractions and personal entertainment devices along with you, such as electronics loaded with audiobooks, video games, DVDs, toys and more. If these items are stolen from your vehicle, are you covered by your homeowners policy? Most likely yes, you are. Check your policy for limitations. Sometimes the amount covered while traveling is a percentage of your total policy. And note — household items that are stolen from your car are covered by your homeowners policy, not your auto policy.
3. A homeowners liability policy provides protection for accidents
Accidents happen, even while you are on vacation. Being away from home in unfamiliar surroundings and engaging in activities that aren’t part of your standard routine could actually increase your risk of something going wrong. The rollerblading shown on the pamphlet in the hotel lobby looks like a great way to get some sun and have fun…until you forget how to stop and crash into a hotdog cart on the boardwalk. Learning how to snowboard seemed like a good idea, but your teen knocked over a skier, who now has a broken arm.
If you or another family member damage property or injure another person while you are on vacation, your homeowners liability coverage will kick in. This is probably the most important coverage that you might need if anything happens while you are on vacation, so make certain that you know what your policy coverage limits are.
4. A car insurance policy may extend to your rental car
If you are traveling in the U.S. and will be renting a car at your destination, check what your auto insurance covers before you go. Standing at the rental counter, squinting at a long document full of 8-point font type with a line stretching behind you isn’t the best time to start wondering what your auto policy covers and what it might not. No one wants to pay for coverage they might not need, so understand what your auto policy covers before you go. And, as noted above, know what your homeowners or renters policy covers too — you might be able to waive the personal effects coverage the rental car company offers for items stolen from the car.
Vacations should be a fun and relaxing time to unwind and recharge. Taking the time before you head out to review your insurance policies is a smart way to take one more thing off your mind, so you can enjoy your trip.
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