"I've been researching travel insurance, and someone mentioned to me that I needed to get driveway-to-driveway coverage for my trip. I'm not sure I need that. What is it and why should I get it?"
"Driveway-to-driveway" coverage is a term that sometimes gets tossed around in the travel insurance industry. It's really just another way of saying that we always recommend that travelers get insurance to cover them from the moment they leave their home, until the moment they return. In general, this term mainly applies to people who are buying comprehensive plans, which offer coverage for many concerns, including trip cancellation, travel delay, baggage loss, and medical benefits.
Sometimes, it may seem like driveway-to-driveway coverage is more than you need. For example, we often hear from travelers who intend to begin or end their scheduled trips by visiting with family or friends along the way. While it's true that you're more likely to need your travel insurance coverage while you're, say, touring France than while you're relaxing at Aunt Sally's home in Florida on the way back, that doesn't mean that driveway-to-driveway coverage isn't a smart idea. Most travel insurance companies will, in fact, require you to purchase a policy that covers your entire trip; but even if that weren't the case, there are still other good reasons to do so:
Inconveniences like flight delays and cancellations, or lost luggage, can happen at any point in time – even on the way to or from Aunt Sally's house.
The "unforeseen" is just that: Unforeseen. Severe weather, airline strikes, and other disruptions could derail your travel plans whenever you're away from home.
As long as your scheduled trip is less than 30 days in length – that's from the time you leave your house until you arrive back at your front door – a driveway-to-driveway travel insurance policy likely won't be any more expensive than one that covers your trip to France but not the visit to Aunt Sally's. In other words, most travel insurance companies are only concerned with how much your trip costs, not how many stops you're making, or how many days you'll be gone.