The odds that something will happen to complicate or derail your travel plans with the kids has become the norm rather than the exception. Many travel insurance providers offer free travel insurance to cover kids who are traveling with their parents, guardians, even grandparents. Here’s how travel insurance covers kids.
Travel insurance plans include coverage for kids with these helpful benefits:
Return of minors – this benefit ensures that minors will be cared for and returned home if the adult they are traveling with is hospitalized for a certain number of days
Emergency medical reunion – this benefit ensures that you won’t have to pay for airfare and accommodation to visit your kid if they are hospitalized away from you
Evacuation – an evacuation to escape an oncoming hurricane for 2 is expensive enough, but add in a few kids and it can get downright cost-prohibitive. This benefit covers security evacuations when you have to get out of danger.
Travel assistance – anytime you’re in an unfamiliar place, having a lifeline to support if you need it is a good thing – especially if you don’t know the local language and need to find a hospital in the middle of the night. Travel insurance plans come with 24/7 emergency travel assistance services to help you find medical aid and get helpful translations when you need it.
Other coverage you already have may not be enough
You might think that you have the travel protection you need already with your credit card benefits, but it’s important to note these things:
Cancellation coverage with your credit card is usually limited – often to $1,500 – and the covered reasons for cancellation are usually limited to death and serious illness.
Health insurance coverage is usually limited to a certain area and usually doesn’t extend outside the U.S. A travel insurance plan would cover those out-of-network medical costs.
You’ll need to look at your travel protection plan and your health insurance plan to understand the details, of course.
How travel insurance works when the kids go along
There is usually a one-to-one ratio, that is – you usually have to have at least one insured adult per traveling child to earn the free coverage.
Travel insurance plans usually have a minimum and a maximum age for traveling kids to qualify for the free coverage. The minimum age is usually around 6 months and the maximum varies from 17 to kids in their 20s.
An emergency room visit is expensive everywhere
As parents and guardians, we’ve all been there – the emergency room, worried for our kid and wanting the best possible medical care to make sure they get well. While a recent Washington Post article indicates that the average ER visit costs more than an average month’s rent here in the U.S., it’s clear that an emergency room trip is expensive everywhere you go:
Needing stitches after slip and fall at a Cancun resort – $900.00
Medicine for an allergic reaction after a jeep ride in Costa Rica – $350.00
A broken tooth after a fall off a bike in the Italian countryside – $720.00
Most foreign countries require a visitor to pay for their medical treatment up-front with a credit card or valid travel insurance. Many travel insurance companies will pay the hospital directly, but in some cases you’ll need to pay for the treatment, get copies of your medical records and invoices, and make a claim afterward.
Wherever you go, emergency medical coverage is essential for sudden illnesses and injuries. If you’re traveling outside your family health insurance network, the out-of-network costs can be very high but those can be covered by your travel insurance plan, a fact that can make the minor cost of travel medical coverage a lot more appealing.
More travelers equals more pre-paid trip expenses
More people on the trip means more pre-paid trip expenses: airfare, more hotel rooms, and higher rental car costs for a bigger vehicle, child seats, etc. These days, hotels and even rental car agencies are catching on to the ‘non-refundable’ way of doing business, so it’s not only the airfare you could lose if you have to cancel your trip, you could lose a whole lot more.
Let’s say you, your husband, your parents, and kids are going to visit the Costa Rican rainforests for a week.
- Airfare costs you $455 per person ($2,730)
- Lodging costs you $510 per night for three rooms ($9,180)
- Transportation costs you $75 round trip per person ($450)
Total trip costs: $12,360 and everything so far is non-refundable.
When you have a larger pre-paid investment in your trip, it pays to cover that trip with trip cancellation coverage. A basic plan to cover this trip – even with two travelers over age 60 – would cost around $400.
Your trip is derailed when your father becomes very ill the week before you leave and is hospitalized. It turns out he has lung cancer. You decide to cancel the trip and be with your family. As it turns out, that ‘extra’ cost for travel insurance was worth it.
Covering your kid when they travel without you
These days, lots of kids of all ages will travel on their own – between non-custodial parents and grandparents, for example. Then, there are the trips that your child may take without you, but not necessarily alone: traveling with another family, for example, or with a school group.
See 5 Tips to Protect your Children when They Travel Alone for those times when your kid travels without you.