Don’t Forget the Kids When Planning Holiday Travel

If you’re planning Christmas holiday getaways out of the country with your family—do not forget the kids when getting your travel insurance. Holiday emergency rooms through the United States always report an increased incidence of child trauma and illness during holiday periods.

Whether you’re planning a skiing holiday to France, sunning in Florida, Cuba or the Dominican Republic, your travel insurance coverage should always include your children—they are more vulnerable than you to the unexpected need for emergency care.

Eating different food, exploring new terrain, cutting their foot on the beach, stepping on a stingray, getting bitten by an ocean monster:  all can result in terrifying anxiety for parents when their child is whisked away in an ambulance.  And it happens a lot. Kids tend to get careless, especially when released from the confines of their home and school.

And when they end up in an emergency room, they do not get kids rates. When they get into an emergency room, they are subject to all of the tests procedures that adults normally receive to diagnose, treat, and be stabilized before they can be discharged. You want the best care for your kids as you would want for yourself or your spouse, and that is terribly expensive.  Half a day in an emergency room undergoing an x-ray, scan, or lab tests will normally run into at least four figures, more likely five.

To help keep your costs of travel insurance down, ask you insurers if they have family rates—most do, and they can save you money. You will have to complete forms and usually name the children to be protected. It may require a little more paperwork, but if you do it right, you will bless your wisdom later if your kids do encounter a medical emergency.

Also, if any of your children have pre-existing conditions, or are taking medications for a chronic condition, make sure you list or acknowledge that condition on the application.  If it is a stable condition (according to how the policy defines stable–not how your doctor or you define it) it will possibly be covered.  In such case read the pre-existing exclusions clauses in your policy and discuss them with your agent.

Taking your kids with you on holiday is great: but leaving them behind in your coverage can be financially disastrous. Travel insurance is not just for snowbirds or old people. It’s for anybody who crosses the border out of Canada.

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