Disney is a unique destination that draws millions of people each year to experience “The Happiest Place on Earth.” The investment in a Disney trip is often substantial and worth protecting from unexpected events. A Disney vacation study done by Hipmunk.com noted that on average in 2016, a family of four spent $3,826 for a Disney World vacation on-property and $3,006 for off-property. If you were visiting Disneyland in California, the same study revealed the average cost was much more, landing at $4,762 for an on-property trip and $3,279 for an off-property trip. For many types of unexpected events, comprehensive travel insurance may help protect your investment. Let’s take a look at some questions to consider that will help you find the right insurance plan!
Are my children or travel companions prone to illness or injury that would keep us from traveling?
A trip to Disney often begins with a flight from home to Orlando for Disney World or LA for Disneyland, depending on which park you are visiting. Germs are unpredictable, and ear infections and sinus infections can prohibit individuals from being able to travel on a plane due to the rapid changes in air pressure. If it’s possible that your children, or other traveling companions, could be diagnosed with an illness or an injury that would keep them from flying, trip cancellation insurance, which is included in many standard comprehensive plans, can reimburse you for the non-refundable, prepaid costs of the trip. To be covered you must provide documentation from a physician that you are unable to fly due to illness or injury, and that the illness or injury is unrelated to any pre-existing medical condition. If your cancellation or interruption reason is listed on your plan, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your unused trip cost that was paid before leaving and nonrefundable. Cancel for Any Reason coverage can be added on to some comprehensive plans to provide you with greater latitude in canceling a trip or returning early.
Expert tip: Don’t forget to think about the people NOT traveling with you. Sometimes, medical emergencies or emergencies at home can keep you and your family from traveling as intended or bring you home early.
Does my primary health insurance fully cover my family and me in emergency situations in Florida or California?
Your out-of-network benefits may be very different when you’re traveling away from your home network.
Once you are clear on your health insurance coverage, you can determine how useful travel medical coverage as either a standalone plan or part of a comprehensive plan might be. With most comprehensive plans, you’ll need to place any medical claim with your health insurance first. Then you can file a claim with the travel insurance company for medical bills your health insurance company would not cover, up to the plan limit.
Travel medical coverage excludes coverage for any illness related to a pre-existing condition unless you purchase a plan with a pre-existing condition waiver. Each travel insurance company uses a particular time frame when considering pre-existing conditions, known as a look-back period, which is typically between 60 and 180 days before purchasing the plan. In the event of a claim, the insurance provider will review your medical records to determine whether the illness was due to a pre-existing condition.
Expert tip: We suggest calling your health insurance provider and asking how your health insurance benefits work when you are traveling out of your home network.
Does my flight include one or more layovers on my way to or on my way back from my trip?
With any air travel, there is some risk of delay due to weather or other factors. Adding more than one flight into the mix increases the odds of a delay and could land you and your family stuck somewhere unfamiliar without any plans for room and board that night. Trip insurance can reduce your stress level when dealing with travel mishaps. Comprehensive travel insurance often includes a concierge service to help you arrange a hotel room for your family, so you aren’t using a jacket as a blanket in Terminal 5. Keep in mind that the travel delay coverage on your plan, unless otherwise stated, is per person. Any delay must exceed time frame set by the plan to be covered. This time frame is often somewhere in the 3-12 hour range.
Expert tip: Save all your receipts for food, lodging, and travel to and from the airport related to the delay. You won't be reimbursed for an otherwise covered expense if you're not able to show documentation.
A note about hurricanes: Disney does allow you to cancel or change the date of your tickets or vacation package in the case of a hurricane affecting the park. That means that if you’re able to reschedule the trip or get a refund, you would not be reimbursed for those costs through comprehensive coverage. Only non-refundable costs are covered. However, your flight or other travel arrangements may not be refundable and would be covered under a comprehensive plan as long as you purchased your plan before the hurricane was a named storm.
Can I purchase coverage for my Disney trip if I haven't made all the arrangements yet?
You may have noticed that some of the benefits of comprehensive trip insurance are dependent on timeframes related to when you purchase the policy and that it often is to your advantage to purchase earlier rather than later. The answer is that you can purchase your policy as soon as you've made any non-refundable payment related to the trip and then add other costs on as you book them. It's as easy as calling our Customer Care team and paying any difference in premium.