Why you should consider travel insurance for your next vacation


For what it’s worth, travel insurance is a relatively inexpensive cost for peace of mind

Planning a beach vacation is fun! We make our list of clothes (and swimsuits) to pack, attractions to visit, restaurants to go for dinner, all while anticipating the relaxing sounds of the ocean and enjoyment to come. You might think the two biggest decisions you need to make when preparing for your beach trip is what time to hit the road and what groceries you’ll need to buy when you arrive. Purchasing travel insurance is generally not at the forefront of your decision making, after all, who wants to think of the things that could go wrong during vacation?

But what if something does go wrong before or during your planned vacation? What if you get sick or hurt? What if a hurricane interrupts your stay? While you're never required to buy travel insurance, it exists to cover unforeseen incidents like these, and more. The last thing you want to see is thousands of dollars in non-refundable purchases evaporate because of an unforeseen event.

According to an AAA Travel phone survey conducted in June of this year, 88 percent of respondents who said they would likely purchase travel insurance for future trips cited trip cancellation protection as the top reason. Other leading factors for buying travel insurance included the cost of the trip (70 percent), personal or family health concerns (69 percent), how far in advance the trip is booked (61 percent) and recommendations made by friends or family (57 percent). Likewise, AAA reported that its domestic and international travel insurance sales increased more than 20 percent year-to-date, with 13 percent more members overall opting to purchase travel insurance last year compared to 2016.

“There are just too many unknowns, like family emergencies and natural disasters, which can throw an unexpected wrench into a planned vacation. Travelers are increasingly not taking chances and they’re choosing to invest in the value and peace of mind that travel insurance can provide, for international as well as domestic and cruise vacations,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing.

Be sure you understand the cancellation policy

Reservation policies generally cover three critical aspects of the rental process: deposits, payment options, and cancellations. Cancellation policies are often influenced by the local market but can include other factors such as; how long is the canceled reservation period (i.e. - Sat-Sat), how likely is the vacation rental company able to fill the canceled booking and within what time frame, and what costs are incurred from canceled bookings (i.e. linens and cleaning service), and if so, how much of those costs can be recovered?

Garden City Realty’s cancellation policy states that if a reservation is canceled, an amount of 80 percent of the reservation payments will be refunded once the property is re-rented for the full amount of the original reservation. If the property is re-rented for a lesser amount, the difference will be withheld from the reservation payment as well as a 20 percent cancellation fee. Likewise, a request to change the reserved property to another property will be treated as a cancellation and subject to the cancellation policy.

Garden City Realty does not have a separate policy for hurricanes. Guests who purchased travel insurance file a claim with the travel insurance company for reimbursement and guests who did not purchase travel insurance are subject to the standard cancellation policy.

What’s covered in the travel insurance policy

While the vacation rental property owner has homeowner’s insurance, that coverage doesn’t help guests with the cost and inconvenience of a doomed or disrupted vacation. And, just as you would purchase homeowner, renter, or car insurance to protect yourself and your belongings at home, you would want a vacation rental insurance plan to cover unforeseen interruptions before and during your trip.

“The relatively small upfront cost of travel insurance can pay back dividends in the event of sudden and unforeseen circumstances before or during a vacation,” continued Sutherland.

Garden City Realty offers guests Red Sky Travel Insurance.  Red Sky’s Sun Trip Preserver protects you before your departure, during your trip, and on your way home from a wide range of unforeseen events that could cancel or interrupt your travel plans. Coverage includes trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, baggage delay, lost or stolen personal items, emergency accident and sickness medical expense and emergency evacuation, and 24-hour assistance services.

But before you do buy travel insurance, don't forget to check your credit cards. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance as a perk. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card offers built-in trip interruption insurance that reimburses up to $10,000 per person if your trip is canceled or cut short because of situations such as an illness or severe weather. The Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards also offer baggage and trip cancellation protection.

Garden City Realty encourages guests to keep in mind these advantages of travel insurance to protect their investment. After all, life is unpredictable, and some trips need to be canceled.

For more information about Red Sky Travel Insurance, click here.

- By Kimberly Raley-Kimes
Communications & Marketing Manager
Garden City Realty, Inc.

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