Travel Insurance For Theme Park Vacations – Forbes Advisor

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There’s nothing quite like the experience of G-forces flapping your cheeks while you’re plunging 60 miles an hour toward water from hundreds of feet in the air. Which is why roller coasters—and theme parks—are perfect vacations for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies.

Theme park trips have more to offer than just roller coasters. The experience is generally a mix of a variety of rides, entertaining restaurants, encounters with favorite characters and shows.

Another perk of theme parks is that they are typically located among a broad variety of lodging options, restaurants and shopping destinations so that you can round out your trip nicely. You may want to have a family reunion at EPCOT in Orlando, extend history lessons at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia or venture overseas to visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Perhaps you’re planning a bucket-list trip to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

No matter where your theme park travels take you, a comprehensive travel insurance policy offers protection before you go and post-departure. Many travel insurance companies allow you to add children to a travel insurance plan for no cost.

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Trip Cancellation: The Poison Apple of Theme Park Vacations

If you are planning a theme park trip, consider protecting your pre-paid trip deposits with insurance. Tickets and packages for Walt Disney World, for example, are non-refundable. This is where travel insurance can provide a financial safety net: If you have to cancel a Disney trip, no amount of magic pixie dust can help recover your costs without the right insurance.

Trip cancellation benefits can help recoup your pre-paid trip deposits if you cancel your trip, says Don Van Scyoc, compatible with travel insurance provider GeoBlue.

Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you if you cancel because of an illness, injury or death, severe weather, military orders or a serious family emergency, among other unforeseen events. Acceptable reasons for canceling vary by company, so check your policy for a full list of covered scenarios.

Trip cancellation benefits extend to activities and special events you’ll miss, too. For instance, if you paid in advance for tickets to the San Diego Zoo for your trip to SeaWorld, and the cost is non-fundable, you can include that in your claim.

Not all reasons for canceling are covered by a standard trip cancellation insurance. For example, if your 12-year-old got a bad report card and you change your mind about your visit to SeaWorld in San Diego, a basic travel insurance plan would not reimburse you.

If you want the most flexibility to cancel your travel plans and receive some reimbursement, consider adding a “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade to your travel insurance policy. This upgrade will add an average of 50% more to your policy cost but will enable you to cancel for any reason, so long as you cancel at least 48 hours before you’re scheduled to leave.

For instance, you could make a CFAR claim because of a rainy forecast, bad report card, fight with the family or just because you don’t want to go. This extra coverage will generally reimburse 50% or 75% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip deposits.

Trip Travel Insurance: Magic Awaits

There’s nothing enchanting about a flight delay or missed connection when traveling, but trip delay insurance can at least help compensate you for the inconvenience.

Let’s say you’re traveling from New Jersey to Disneyland Paris with your family and opt for a connecting flight in London to save money. A blizzard that even Elsa would admire causes your flight from Newark to take off 18 hours late, so you miss your connecting flight from London to Paris. Travel delay insurance benefits can reimburse you for hotel costs, meals and personal incidentals until you catch up to your itinerary.

Most policies have a waiting period, generally three to 12 hours, before travel delay benefits kick in. So check your policy for the specified length of time required before coverage starts.

Also, if your delay causes you to miss out on prepaid, non-refundable activities or entertainment, you can file a claim for that. For example, trip delay insurance can reimburse you for a one-on-one visit with a princess that you missed and the charge for the first night at your hotel.

Trip Interruption Insurance for Theme Park Vacations

If you need to return home early due to a sickness or injury, or a family emergency at home, you can file a claim for reimbursement under trip interruption insurance.

For example, suppose you’re at Gröna Lund in Sweden, waiting in line to ride the Monster roller coaster, and you’re notified that your mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. You will have to cut your vacation short.

Trip interruption travel insurance benefits can cover the cost of a one-way, economy flight home. It can also reimburse any non-refundable deposits for private tours, prepaid hotel rooms, transportation or special experiences you paid for in advance.

Travel Medical Insurance Can Be a Fairy Godmother

Getting injured or being ill is a bummer, but especially so when you’re far from home. If you get hurt or your health fails while traveling outside of the country, medical expense coverage in a travel insurance plan can compensate you for expenses.

For example, If you’re visiting Knotts Berry Farm in California with your daughter, and she falls and needs stitches, your US health insurance plan will likely cover any medical costs. But it’s a small world, after all, so you might venture to a theme park outside the US

If you journey abroad, buying coverage for medical emergencies becomes even more important. Check whether your US health plan has global medical coverage, and whether it’s considered out-of-network. You may want to buy a generous amount of travel medical insurance to have good coverage abroad.

For example, if your son is running through Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto and trips and breaks his ankle, you’ll want to have health insurance that works in Canada.

Travel medical insurance helps cover the cost, up to your policy limits, of doctor visits, imaging, casting and even an overnight hospital stay. You can find travel medical insurance with ample benefits of $500,000 per person, although many plans offer less if you don’t need that much.

There is also always the risk that a medical evacuation may be needed while traveling. If while visiting Barcelona’s Tibidabo Amusement Park your son suffers a seizure, he may need to be airlifted to a medical center as soon as possible.

The cost for medevac transportation can be tens of thousands of dollars, even more, depending on your location and situation. Generous emergency medical evacuation insurance can provide $1 million per person in emergency evacuation coverage, but you can buy less if you feel you don’t need that much.

Your travel insurance company can arrange for a medevac to transport your son for emergency medical treatment, and can even arrange transportation back to the US if necessary.

Travel Insurance for Baggage Loss

If only the wave of a magic wand could make your luggage show up. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when your baggage is lost. A travel insurance plan’s baggage loss insurance, however, can at least help by compensating you.

Say you had a transatlantic flight to reach Alton Towers Resort in the United Kingdom and you realize your checked bags have taken a detour. Your travel insurance policy can pay you for the value of what you packed.

“One of the worst things to experience is realizing that your entire suitcase has been misplaced,” says Chris Carnicelli, SEO of Generali Global Assistance. “Baggage loss is a more common occurrence than most people realize, which is why having an insurance provider who covers that is so important.”

Beyond luggage, a travel insurance plan protects your personal belongings, too. Theme parks are notorious for being crowded and possessions get stolen. If your iPad gets swiped or your camera gets taken, you can file a claim for reimbursement. Be sure to file a report with the park office, and notify the authorities. You will need this documentation if you file a theft claim.

Your policy may have exclusions regarding very expensive jewelry or have per-item maximum limits. “When looking for a travel insurance provider, it is important to consider all aspects of the policy and read the fine print. Whether you are traveling coverage will differ between internationally, travel insurance each provider,” explains Carnicelli.

The best plan is to leave valuables at home. If you do want to travel with expensive items, secure pricey jewelry or electronics in your hotel safe.

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