Here’s the travel insurance you need

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Anything can happen in a vacation rental. And sometimes anything Is occur.

Rental nightmares range from small annoyances, like ant infestations, to big ones, like flooding. Like a consumer advocateI have seen everything.

Ants were my unwanted roommates in an apartment in Athens this summer. No sooner had I put a slice of baklava on a plate than they surrounded it, ready to take it down. And by “take it out” I mean like those giant red ants in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There was no escaping them – until the vacation rental manager sent in an exterminator.

I will never forget the cabin in Pennsylvania that was nearly swept away by a flood a few summers ago. After a flash flood, I thought my car would float on the nearby river. Fortunately, that was not the case.

Whenever I think of these disasters, I ask myself: would travel insurance have made a difference?

Sometimes the answer is yes. And it turns out travelers have been thinking the same thing lately.

“With the increase in domestic travel, we’ve seen increased demand from travelers seeking stand-alone vacation rental damage coverage,” said Katie Crowe, spokeswoman for the company. travel insurance. battle face.

But is insurance even necessary for a vacation rental stay? What does it cover and how is it similar and different to regular travel insurance?

Yes, you probably need insurance for your vacation rental

If you’re staying in a vacation rental, travel insurance is a must, says Christina Tunnah, global managing director of Global Nomads Group. After all, you’re probably staying in a house worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Travelers should be 100% sure of their liability if they damage a home,” she says. “What if they accidentally run your car into a fence? Does the homeowner’s home insurance cover them for that?”

The answer is: not always. Fortunately, some individual travel insurance covers third party liability. It’s worth considering when renting a vacation home, she says.

But that’s not the only reason to consider insurance. Angela Borden, Product Marketing Strategist at seven cornersindicates that most travelers who rent a vacation home or apartment are concerned about protecting the money they spent on rental and airfare.

“These expenses typically make up the bulk of the vacation cost for this travel scenario,” she says. “Considering this, travelers should carefully review the travel insurance plan document, focusing on the covered reasons for trip cancellation.”

Two types of insurance coverage for your vacation rental

“It’s important to distinguish between two types of insurance for vacation rentals,” says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of the travel insurance site. AssuranceVoyage.com.

Trip cancellation guarantee

A travel insurance plan with trip cancellation coverage can protect these costs if a policyholder needs to cancel for a covered reason such as unexpected illness, including for COVID, or hurricanes,” says Sandberg.

Rental damage guarantee

If something happens to your rental while you’re there — say, you spill red wine on the white shag carpet — damage coverage can help cover the costs. Note that coverage does not include intentional damage, such as a loud party.

Both are becoming increasingly popular, says Sandberg. “We’ve seen a significant increase in travel insurance purchases to cover prepaid, non-refundable vacation rentals,” he says.

How does travel insurance cover vacation rentals?

Most vacation rental coverage is included in a larger travel insurance policy. Here are some of the types of coverage you can get:

  • Protection against accidents while renting a property, such as spilling wine on carpet, breaking a lamp or window, or damage caused by your pet.
  • Trip cancellation benefits, which cover unscheduled hotel nights if your flight or train is delayed or cancelled.
  • Emergency medical expenses and evacuation. This is especially important for international travel, where your health insurance may not be valid.

According to Joe Cronin, president of International Citizens Insurance.

“You can also make a claim on your home or rental insurance, but making a claim may result in an increase in your premium,” he says. “Therefore, your travel insurance is your first line of defense.”

I have details on how to find insurance coverage – and avoid a vacation rental nightmare – in my complete guide to vacation rentals.

What does travel insurance for vacation rentals not cover?

Unfortunately, travel insurance does not cover everything. Here is a list of items that your insurance will not cover:

  • If you have any doubts about staying in a rental (unless you have a more expensive “cancel for any reason” policy).
  • Any financial scams related to vacation rentals, such as transferring money or stealing your personal information through phishing.
  • Damage caused intentionally, usually as a result of a party.
  • Disputes with a host or platform over missing amenities that result in missing nights. Travel insurance usually doesn’t cover a hotel if you leave early.

This is only a partial list of items not covered by travel insurance. Remember that travel insurance names the perils you are covered for. If it’s not specifically named, there’s no cover for it.

What is the most common type of insurance claim?

Of all the coverages you can get with your travel insurance policy, perhaps the most important is trip cancellation.

“Trip cancellation remains, overall, the number one claim type for any type of vacation — vacation rental included,” says Carol Mueller, vice president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. “In addition to standard trip cancellation coverage, vacation renters also want to ensure that the plans they purchase include security deposit protection, in the event of unexpected property damage.”

According to Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Partners United States.

“If a vacation rental is located where a natural disaster has occurred, it may become uninhabitable due to loss of electricity or water,” he says. “Be sure to document the issues, then file a claim with your travel insurance company for your non-refundable expenses, which may include the cost of rental and travel expenses.”

Travel insurance covers more than vacation rentals

Most travel insurance policies are not specifically designed for vacation renters. But they cover the perils that can affect a guest.

Suppose you have an oceanfront vacation rental and the beach closes. Your travel insurance might cover this.

“Some travel insurance plans offer travel inconvenience benefits that can pay up to a stated maximum amount for situations like beach closures if the traveler’s destination beach is closed by government authorities for 24 hours or more,” says Sherry Sutton, vice president of marketing and communications at International insured trip.

You can sometimes add protection against damage to your vacation rental to your travel insurance policy. For example, starting travel insurance fay has a vacation rental option on one of its base plans. It covers accidental damage to your rental, such as spilled wine, broken dishes and broken appliances. All of its policies also cover foreclosure of rental properties

“That means if your vacation rental keys are lost, stolen, or damaged and you can’t access the property for three hours or more, you can be reimbursed up to $200,” says Doron Samish, vice -president of Faye. produced at Faye.

Who needs vacation rental insurance?

I’ve spoken with several travelers who have purchased travel insurance for their vacation rental. They said that while they were worried about a vacation rental nightmare, they were just as interested in other insurance coverage.

For example, Colleen Carswell, a hotel strategist from Waynesville, North Carolina, just took out a policy with Allianz Travel Insurance for a beach rental. The policy covers the usual risks, such as loss of luggage and trip interruption.

“What we’ve personally found most beneficial in travel insurance is medical coverage,” she told me. “We went on vacation a few years ago when my husband had to go to the ER. And another time my one-year-old son had to go to the ER. Both times we were out of our emergency network. ‘Health Insurance.”

The Allianz police covered them.

Buying tips for vacation rental insurance policies: read carefully

One final note: you will want to read your policy carefully before purchasing.

“The best advice here is to consider the benefits of the plan before you buy,” says Brian Rock, country manager at VacationGuard.com. “Some plans require all people to be named. Other plans automatically extend protections for travel companions.”

True that. I’ve seen far too many “gotchas” during the claims process where someone forgot to name everyone on the policy or overlooked other seemingly insignificant details. Because believe me, if you ever had to make a claim about your vacation rental stay, your travel insurance won’t forget. any detail.

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