National Park Week: Insuring Your Family Adventure

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Tomorrow, April 19, kicks off National Park Week in the US.  It’s also the beginning of spring break for many schools across the country, which makes this week the perfect time for families to get out and explore together. If you’re planning to be among those taking advantage of the opportunity to take in the sights at one of the country’s parks, these travel insurance tips could come in handy.

If You’re Road-Tripping…

Are you planning to visit any remote places that are off the beaten path?  While most of the national parks are easily accessible, side trips could take you off into areas where the closure of a road or bridge means the end of the line for your adventure.  Selected travel insurance policies offer coverage for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses you may lose if a route closure prevents you from getting to your scheduled destination, so if you’re an off-track kind of explorer, consider whether that benefit would be right for you.

Find out more about travel insurance for road trips.

If You’re Climbing, Hiking, Biking…

Or any other type of physical activity while you take in the wonders of nature, make sure you specifically check the terms of any travel insurance policy you’re thinking of purchasing.  Most family-friendly activities will be covered, but some things — like climbing, especially if it requires ropes and specialized equipment — may be listed as exclusions in your policy.  However, if you do see an activity you’re planning to enjoy listed among the exclusions, you can ask about purchasing a “hazardous sports rider” as part of your travel insurance coverage.  These specialized riders offer expanded coverage for a number of sport and adventure activities, though it’s always important to make sure you fully read and understand the terms of that coverage so you know whether or not there are restrictions on your activity, such as a depth requirement for scuba diving or a requirement that you be accompanied by a guide or expert during your experience.

Read more information about travel insurance for sports and adventure activities.

If You’re Particularly Intrepid…

And feel that your activities will be a bit risky, or you’re concerned about what would happen if you or someone in your family became ill or injured while in the parks, find out what the nearest medical facilities are like.  If you’re not comfortable with the choices in the area and think you’d have greater peace of mind getting intensive medical care at your home hospital, think about purchasing coverage for emergency medical evacuation that would allow you to be transported back home for treatment, if doing so would be medically safe.  These policies are available as long as you’re going to be more than a certain number of miles from home (usually anywhere from 50-150, depending on the plan), but they’re not necessary for everyone; the choice comes down to your basic comfort level with the hospitals in the area where you’ll be spending most of your vacation.

Learn about emergency medical evacuation policies.

If You’re Traveling With Kids…

And you’re budget-conscious, ask potential travel insurance providers if they offer any special deals for minors.  Many allow you to insure kids under the age of 17 for free as long as they’re traveling with an adult family member who’s insured on the same policy.  Usually, “family member” is defined as a parent or grandparent, but some insurance companies also offer the coverage to aunts and uncles who are traveling with their young relatives.

Read more about buying appropriate travel insurance for kids.


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