Summer is the season of sun and fun. In the excitement of the season, though, it can be easy to forget to take key precautionary measures that protect you and your family from disaster.
The easiest way to guard against summer vacation concerns? Insurance coverage.
What insurance concerns do you need to consider in order to protect you, your family, and your assets while taking a much-deserved summer vacation?
1. Protect what’s in your suitcase.
You’re packing up your bag to go on vacation. You want to bring your laptop to get work done on the plane, but you’re afraid it might get stolen. You’re not sure if you should leave your wedding ring at home in case you lose it on the beach.
Protecting your belongings is one of the greatest concerns when traveling—but it can also be one of the easiest to handle. In most cases, your homeowners or renters insurance contents coverage will protect your belongings even if they’re not in the house at the time of loss. If the items are listed on the contents list, they’re usually covered no matter where they’re stolen, lost, or damaged.
Talk to your insurance agent to update your contents coverage and make sure your belongings are fully protected while traveling.
Tips to protect items while traveling:
- Keep your wallet in a cross-body bag, so thieves can’t snatch it and run.
- Leave unnecessary credit cards and IDs at home.
- Use the hotel safe with a unique code.
- Don’t bring valuable items in risky situations, like on the beach or by the pool.
- Keep your eyes up and stay aware. Don’t text while walking, which can make you a target in major cities.
2. Defend your home.
What about the items you leave at home while you’re traveling or going to the beach? Or what if you have an open-house BBQ and a party crasher steals or breaks some of your items?
Like while traveling, contents coverage will also cover items that remain in your home.
You should also ensure that your liability insurance is comprehensive enough. If you have parties, you could be liable if anyone gets hurt or injured on property.
This could even include situations not in your home. For example, if someone gets drunk at your party and they cause an accident while driving home, you could be partially liable for over-serving them alcohol. Another example would be if a group of teenagers hop in your pool while you’re on vacation. If one of them gets hurt, you could be liable—even if you weren’t home and didn’t know about the party.
You need to ensure you are fully protected with your homeowners’ liability coverage.
Tips to protect your home:
- Have an alarm system that alerts the police at unusual motion or attempts to get in.
- Don’t put your vacation plans on social media. This can give thieves information on how and when to break into your home.
- Install home safety features, which can also get you a safety discount on your insurance premium.
- Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to housesit while you’re on vacation.
- Check out this resource about insuring your backyard party.
3. Opt for the travel insurance.
Flying is generally one of the safest modes of travel, but it can be pricey. A single airline ticket can be hundreds of dollars one way. Travel insurance is usually only a few bucks, so it’s often worth it to protect your major purchase.
Travel insurance covers issues like flight cancellations, lost or stolen bags, and trip cancellations caused by illness or emergency. In some cases, you can also purchase travel insurance to cover medical emergencies in other states or foreign countries.
The U.S. Travel Insurance Association reported that 17% of Americans use their travel insurance due to medical conditions, natural disasters, or carrier-caused problems. For the $10 or $20 bucks per trip, it’s worth the risk mitigation.
Pro-tip: Some credit cards include travel insurance as a perk if you purchase through the credit card’s travel service.
4. Consider rental car insurance.
Do you plan on renting a car for your vacation getaway?
Although most rental car companies want to sell you additional coverage, it’s often not necessary.
You might be surprised to learn that most standard auto insurance covers rental cars. Make sure you are fully covered with your car insurance, including liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. Talk to your agent before going on vacation to find out if your auto insurance covers rentals.
If you don’t currently have auto insurance, the law requires that you purchase liability insurance when renting a car. This protects you and other drivers on the road. You should also consider collision and comprehensive if you’ll be using the car often or for a long time.
5. Take traffic into account.
Do you plan on driving your car, motorcycle, or RV on your summer vacation? Keep in mind that traffic is usually much worse in the summer months. This leads to higher incidents and severity of accidents on the road.
Summer traffic is generally caused by:
- Vacation time
- More teens on the road (not in school)
- More bikes and motorcycles
- Road construction
- Unexpected weather patterns
Work with an agent to make sure you have enough liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance to cover against the high risks of summer traffic.
6. Insure your summer toys.
Does your summer vacation include a boat, motorcycle, or RV? In most cases, these require supplemental insurance for full protection. Don’t let your toys go unprotected; these are worth more than you might expect.
Check out these resources to fully insure your summer vacation assets:
- The Ultimate Guide For Insuring Your Boat
- Getting Your Motorcycle Back On The Road: Your Insurance To Do List
- The Difference Between Insuring An RV, A Motorhome, And A Camper
- Common Insurance Claims For Your Favorite Toys
7. Protect your classic cars.
Summer is the season for car shows and parades. Vintage, classic, and collector cars are dusted off and displayed in cities across the nation.
Although these cars can be included on your standard auto insurance policy, we usually recommend a separate policy due to their value, age, and restricted use. If on your standard auto policy, the collector’s car would likely raise your premiums drastically. A separate policy would have lower costs with more coverage.
Moreover, you want a separate policy at “agreed value.” When purchasing auto insurance, “actual cash value” is often a cheaper option. This says that your insurer will pay whatever your car is worth at the time it’s lost, stolen, or totaled. Most cars decrease in value over time, so you wouldn’t get the full value of what you paid for the car. However, monthly premiums for “actual cash value” are generally lower.
In the case of an “agreed value,” though, you get paid whatever the amount you, your agent, and the insurance underwriter agree the car is worth at the time of purchasing the policy. Vintage cars maintain or increase in value over time, so you want to ensure that your investment is fully protected with an “agreed value” stipulation.
Learn other ways to lower your auto premium with greater coverage here.
8. Safeguard your pool and trampoline.
What about a stay-cation in your own backyard? Summer is a great time for pool parties and backyard BBQs.
But if you have a pool or trampoline, you’re likely putting your home at risk. These are considered “attractive nuisances,” because they attract risk and liability. If someone (especially a child) gets hurt on your property, especially in a pool or on a trampoline, the homeowner is held responsible.
In most cases, pools and trampolines are covered in part under homeowners’ insurance—but they usually raise premiums drastically. However, you might not have full liability coverage that you might need if hosting pool parties, especially for kids. You’ll want to talk to an insurance agent about a separate umbrella policy for added protection.
Learn more about insuring against summer perils here.
9. Get the umbrella policy.
Anything can happen while you’re vacationing away—whether at home, on the road, or in a foreign country. The best way to protect from any and all liability concerns is with an inclusive umbrella policy.
This will cover just about anything that your homeowners insurance liability won’t cover. Umbrella policies offer the greatest coverage at the most affordable rate. We generally recommend about $1 million worth of umbrella coverage for basic yearly needs.
Don’t let risks and incidents ruin your summer vacation. Protect your family, your home, and your belongings with the right insurance and precautionary measures.
Not sure how to fully protect your summer vacation? No problem!
Contact an InsuraMatch agent now for a defensive summer vacay consult!