Aaaaaah. Vacation. White beach. Blue water. Colorful drinks with little
paper umbrellas. New sights, new sounds, new smells…Maybe you’ll rent a car
and explore. Maybe you won’t.
Of course, that might not be you. You might be thinking…Yeah! Vacation!
Slopes! Powder! Apres-Ski! Maybe try dog-sledding?
Whether you’re heading North or South, East or West, and whether you prefer
action-packed or easy-going, it’s easy to forget that unpleasant things can
still happen on vacation. Even though you are trying to get away from it
Invest an hour in some preparation to set yourself up for true peace of
mind. And know that if something happens, you’ll be protected.
Here are a few thoughts to consider as you plan your trip. If you have any
questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Rental Car? We recommend: Buy the insurance
How your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can cover you even away from home
Going abroad? Your health insurance may not come along.
Rental Car? We recommend: Buy the insurance
There you are, just off the plane, at the rental car counter. From the
plane, you’ve already seen the incredible color of the water… turquoise-blue
and crystal clear. Crowned by little tufts of foam. Framed by white beaches.
As you walk to baggage-claim, you peek out the window and see palm trees
swaying in a gentle breeze. Even at the airport! Palm trees! The only thing
between you and two weeks of careless happiness is one more signature on one
more sheet of paper. And off the grid you’ll be! You can’t wait.
Then, the question comes: “Would you like to purchase the insurance for your rental
car?” Well, no. Or yes? But doesn’t your credit card provide coverage for
rental cars? Plus, you already have Auto Insurance. At home, that is. But from what
you’ve heard, they are all driving fast and furious here. So it may be smart
to buy extra insurance. But you don’t want to start your vacation spending a couple hundred dollars for an unaccounted-for expense. Ah, shucks! Now
Start your vacation off right and don’t let surprise questions catch you
off-guard at your destination. When it comes to rental car insurance, our
answer is easy and straight-forward: Buy the insurance.
You have the option to purchase a “Loss Damage Waiver” (LDW) from the rental
car company. If purchased, this waiver relieves you from financial liability
for the loss of, or damage to the rental car and the parts and accessories that
come with it.
We recommend buying the LDW for a variety of reasons:
If you cause damage to the rental car, the rental car company will likely
require immediate reimbursement for the repairs. They won’t wait until a claim
is submitted and processed. That means, they will charge (and possibly max out)
your credit card to get the car fixed as quickly as possible. They won’t do
that if you purchase the LDW.
Not only that: A rental car company only makes money when they rent out
their cars. If the car is “on hold” because it is in a repair shop due to the
damage you caused, the rental car company may also charge you for “loss of
use”. This is also covered if you buy the LDW.
If you don’t already have collision / comprehensive coverage on your personal auto
policy, there also won’t be collision / comprehensive coverage available for the
rental car. This means you will be responsible if you don’t buy the rental
If you do have collision / comprehensive coverage on your personal auto
insurance, your policy will extend, but you still have to pay the deductible.
Also, you may face a rate increase at your next policy renewal. If you buy the
LDW, there is no deductible, and no potential rate increase for your personal
Keep in mind: Even if you buy the LDW, there are likely to be some
exclusions, such as unlisted drivers, driving while intoxicated, or you may not be covered on certain sections of
road or off-road (such as the infamous road to Hana on Maui). So, take a moment
to read the fine print.
As to your credit card: Some credit cards will, indeed, extend to provide
coverage for a rental car. But contracts vary from card to card, and some cards
may only provide secondary or excess coverage, which requires you to file a
claim with your auto insurance first. Call your credit card company to confirm
coverage before your rely on them
Also, please keep in mind that your personal auto insurance will only extend
protection in the US and Canada. If you travel abroad to Europe, Asia or South
America and plan to rent a car, it's best to purchase maximum liability limits
through the rental company’s coverage.
How your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can cover you even away
Done! Everything is packed! It was sure a chore, but definitely worth the
trouble. You wanted to be sure to not miss a thing. After all, it’s the trip
you’ve been saving up for a year: Two weeks at the sports resort, where you can
ski on the glacier, golf, and lounge by the pool – all in one day! And you get
two weeks of this fun!
Of course you packed your skis or snowboard, the golf clubs, and your
camera gear, along with two weeks worth of clothes. Needless to say, everything is
As you are thinking about what you may be forgetting, the thought that
something could get lost or stolen during your trip doesn’t even cross your
But… what if? This is exactly where a homeowner’s or renter’s policy could
come in handy.
A homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy doesn’t only protect you and your "stuff" while you’re at home. It also protects your belongings away from home.
For example, if your skis were stolen right from the porch of the lodge, while
you were inside, they would be covered.
If your camera slipped out of the bag and tumbled down 75 feet of rocky slope
as you climb up that boulder, It’d be covered.
Even the stuff that you have in your car (on a road trip, or in everyday
life) is covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s policy. And NOT by your auto
policy, as you might expect. (We’d like to take this opportunity to remind
you: Please don’t leave any valuable belongings in your car, and please always
lock your car doors.)
But there’s more. A homeowner’s or renter’s policy not only covers
items, it also provides liability protection. And this is where it really
counts! Because, if you accidentally damaged somebody else’s property or,
worse, hurt somebody, you could be held liable.
And if you are held liable for medical expenses or loss of income, you
could be in debt for the rest of your life.
It can happen quite easily…
Imagine, you decide to give the black diamond a
try. A quarter of the way down, you finally admit it to yourself that you are
in over your head. But now, there aren’t very many options. You’ve got to get
And sure enough, you fall, slide down on your back, and rumble straight into a
woman who is waiting at the edge of the slope for her husband. She falls, too,
and breaks her wrist. Not only that, she’s a surgeon and depends on her wrist
and a steady hand to do her job…a very well-paid job, that she won’t be able to
do for at least a while.
A homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy can help you out. Please give us
a call for more information.
Going abroad? Your health insurance might not come
Aw, that hurts! You haven’t broken a bone since you were 11 years old and
fell off your BMX bike. At least that was worth it, because at the time you
actually made it over that jump and really got some air, and everybody cheered –
and then you crashed. But the cast was kind of cool, with everybody’s graffiti
Right now, it’s not cool. Nobody’s cheering. There isn’t even a bump on the
slope. As far as you can tell, you fell right over your own two legs, which
makes it absolutely not cool. Downright embarrassing, rather. And it really
The fact that you aren’t skiing at home, but in the Swiss Alps doesn’t help.
Oh my, you already see the ski paramedics coming toward you in their bright red
overalls, with the carrier between them. You’re not supposed to go down in that
thing, are you?
Well, evidently, there’s no other way. Your cheeks will be burning brighter
than the guys’ overalls, lighting the way down the slope. You pull your hat a
Before you even reach the bottom where the ambulance is waiting, another
question pops into your mind: Does your health insurance cover this? How much
is it going to cost? Just how much does a Swiss hospital charge to adjust a
You swallow. Atop the pain, this question really makes your heart
Unfortunately, your health insurance plan might not cover you while you are
abroad. And even if it does provide basic coverage for hospital or emergency
costs, it might not cover your medical evacuation back to the United States.
If you are planning a trip abroad, you should call your health care provider
to confirm whether or not your coverage extends to your destination.
Be sure to ask whether the policy covers medical payments abroad, including
high-risk activities that you may wish to pursue (such as skiing,
scuba-diving, paragliding or mountain-climbing), and whether they pay foreign
doctors and hospitals directly (or if the foreign service provider will charge
your credit card first).
Even if you travel within the United States, you may be surprised to find
that you are not covered when traveling out of state, or even outside your
coverage area in your home state! Wherever you go, be sure to contact your
health insurance company before you take off, and set yourself and your family
up with the right coverage.
Depending on the rules and restrictions of your individual plan, it may be
wise to invest in a medical travel insurance policy that covers you for the
extent of your trip.
There are a variety of very affordable medical travel insurance plans
available. Give yourself peace-of-mind as you explore
new corners. For a major trip, you also have the option to purchase a travel
insurance package that includes medical coverage, trip cancellation or
interruption coverage, lost or stolen baggage coverage, or even accidental death
coverage, among others.
This is your well-deserved vacation. Time to enjoy, relax, and re-charge.
Don’t let life’s curve-balls interfere with it.