Protect Your Next Family Vacation

Tackling The Topic Of Travel Insurance

Protect Your Next Family Vacation

As a travel agent, it's my job to make sure clients get all the facts of their vacation, and that includes the tedious subject of travel insurance. Once flights are booked, cars are hired and resorts finalized, I bring up the tiresome topic.

Let's face it, no one wants to think about something going wrong before or during a vacation, but stuff volcano ash grounding a continent.

Today I was supposed to go over to my friend Cynthia's house to help her set up a Twitter account to promote her new book. That's not going to happen. Cynthia and her brother [and manager] are still in Holland waiting for the volcano dust to settle so she can return home to her family and career. She just emailed me the start of her press release and will do what she can in Holland, but frankly, what a mess this is for her. Her children miss her, her book launch party can't happen without her, and she doesn't know what this is going to end up costing time and money.

Cynthia's email stated: "Our flight with KLM was affected and since he [brother] accidentally printed out the conditions of his insurance in Dutch, we are not sure if it covers this Act of God. As of yesterday KLM was not taking calls and just wanted people to go to their website."

I know it's a dull subject, but NOW can we talk about travel insurance? As your friendly neighbourhood travel agent please read these steps to help you protect your travel:

Check with your credit card company and employee benefits for travel coverage.

Make sure you have medical, trip cancellation and interuption. If you aren't covered, purchase travel insurance through your travel agent.

Read the fine print of your policy.

As professionals, we answer all your questions, however, you need to read everything yourself. An educated traveller is a happy traveller. Know your coverage and claim procedures. Don't assume you are covered for everything. I can tell you this, I've never said to a client, "You'll be covered in case a volcano in Iceland spews ash all over Europe."

Carry your travel agent's telephone number with you.

While on vacation, you might not be able to get through to the airline if an issue arises, so be sure to do this so he/she can assist you.

Book your vacation through a travel agent.

In Ontario, all travel agencies have to be TICO [Travel Industry Council of Ontario] registered. TICO has a contingency fund to protect travellers. The recent closure of Sky Service Airline went fairly smoothly due to TICO and quick acting travel agents.

Balancing business with ecology, Sandra Clarke, teaches without preaches. She walks the talk of conservation awareness while still living in the 21st century.