Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Protecting Your Vacation

By Renee Hanson, Private Wealth Advisor

The time and money you invest in a vacation might just be worth protecting. Travel insurance has been around for a long time and in many forms. It can include everything from recovering your money if the trip is cancelled to paying the cost of a helicopter rescue if you are injured while mountain climbing. The big question – is it worth the investment?

There is no set answer for every person or every travel plan but here are a few guidelines that are worth considering:

     Determine the financial risk – if the cost of a trip is nominal, you are probably better off not spending extra on insurance. But for bigger ticket trips like international vacations, tours and cruises, the expense might be worth it.

     Understand the terms – if you buy trip cancellation insurance, be clear on the accepted reasons for cancellation that will allow for reimbursement from the insurance company. Read the fine print carefully. The same is true of purchasing medical or other types of coverage.

     Deal with a travel insurance company – better to buy coverage through a reputable insurer rather than the operator of a tour or cruise. You want to be sure that if you qualify for a claim, you are repaid in dollars, not vouchers from the operator.

     Consider medical protection – you may need health care coverage if traveling overseas, and this may be particularly important if you are undertaking sports or recreational activities on your trip where the injury risk is higher. Medicare does not pay medical expenses incurred overseas, and your own health insurance policy may have limitations.

Like any form of insurance, there are different types of policies, coverage levels and even riders for specific forms of protection. Check your options carefully (there are good resources on the Internet that can help – type in “travel insurance information” on a search engine). Make sure your much-deserved vacation plans are not hampered by financial worries if something goes wrong before or during your trip.

About the Author:
Renée A. Hanson, CFP®, CEP®, CDFA™, CFS, is a private wealth advisor with Hanson, Ayala & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Her passion is in helping women achieve their dreams and financial goals, regardless of life’s many obstacles. Renée is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI. Please visit: www.reneehanson.com to learn more.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

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