When Good Vacations Go Bad: Are You Covered?

The kids are out of school, the days are getting longer, the weather is warm, and you have the car packed and ready to go. It’s summer vacation time!  You’ve been planning and saving for months for that perfect summer vacation with the family, but what happens if not everything goes as planned?  You may be asking yourself, “Does my insurance coverage protect me and my family from mishaps, accidents, and losses while on vacation?”

It’s always a good idea to contact your local independent insurance agent prior to your trip if you have any concerns about how your current insurance coverage may apply to your specific vacation plans and needs.  Things you may want to discuss with your agent include coverage for vacation home rentals, automobile rentals, and personal watercraft rentals to make sure you are fully protected in the event something goes wrong and you experience a loss.

Here’s some examples of potential vacation losses and the coverage you may or may not have:

Misplaced or lost luggage or other items of personal property taken with you on your vacation.  Most homeowners policies will not offer coverage for personal property lost or misplaced whether at home or on vacation.  An exception to this may be items that are scheduled under an inland marine policy which typically provides coverage for mysterious disappearance.

Personal property brought with you on vacation is stolen.  A typical homeowners policy will likely provide coverage for theft of personal property taken with you on vacation unless the theft occurs in a camper or watercraft.

Personal property you have with you on vacation burns in a fire.  Typically, a homeowners policy will provide coverage for this type of loss.

Personal property with you on vacation is lost due to a hurricane.  Most standard homeowners policies will exclude damage to personal property caused by hurricanes under the policy’s water damage exclusion.

The vacation cabin you are renting for a week catches on fire when you forget to turn off the stove burner.  A typical homeowners policy may provide liability coverage for your negligence in causing fire damage to a temporary residence you are renting.

You run into a telephone pole with the rental car while on vacation.  See our blog post “Road Trip Rentals…Are You Covered?” on this one!

You rent a jet ski to cruise around the lake while on vacation and accidentally run the jet ski into another boat causing damage to both the jet ski and the other boat.  Most likely, a standard homeowners policy will not provide coverage for damage to the jet ski.  There may be liability coverage under a standard homeowners policy for damage caused to the other boat.  This coverage depends on the specifics of your homeowners policy but often times liability coverage for watercraft you might rent is based on the size of the watercraft or the type and size of the watercraft’s motors.  It is very important you know the size of the watercraft and it’s motor(s) and the type of motor so you can confirm your  policy will provide liability coverage.

 I hope all of you have wonderful and safe family vacations this year.  I would love to hear what exciting trips you have planned or any past vacation experiences that did not go as planned and resulted in an insurance claim.

The coverages here are described in the most general terms, and are subject to the actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions, and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your agent.

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