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Traveling? Are You Covered by Insurance?

My wife and I recently took a trip to Italy, one that we have been dreaming about for a while.  I thought I would use that trip to discuss traveling and property and liability insurance.

Here’s what you’ll need to know to determine whether you’ll be covered while you’re on vacation—whether traveling domestically or in a foreign country.

Your Insurance: What You’ve Already Got Going for You

Your current homeowners or renters insurance policy might already cover you for losses like theft while you’re traveling. If so, you might not need to do anything extra to make sure you and your belongings are protected while you’re out and about.  When you’re traveling, this could lend a lot of relief if your luggage or other valuables are stolen.

Figure Out How Much Is Covered

Usually, when it comes to losses outside of a home that you own, you’re covered for up to the amount of coverage under a section called property away from premises.  There is a limit to this coverage on your homeowners policy, so be sure to check with your own insurance carrier to confirm the amount.

But of course, there are deductibles and limits to consider. Let’s say you have to meet a $500 deductible before your policy will pay out. If your luggage is stolen but it’s only worth $700, it’s probably not worth your time and effort to claim that loss on your policy.

Also note that not all items are covered to the same extent, or even at all. Many policies limit payouts on specific high-value items like cameras and jewelry. Be sure to verify which of your items are covered by your current policy and to what extent while you’re on the go.  You might also want consider buying supplemental valuable items coverage.

Protect Yourself Against Liability

Your homeowners or renters insurance policy will often cover you for liability in case accidents happen while you’re traveling. For example, maybe you inadvertently break the dishwasher in your rental house. Or maybe you’re out golfing and you accidentally hit someone with your golf ball and that person needs to pay for medical care.

You might not be able to replace broken items or pay for medical expenses on your own, but your homeowners or rental policy could cover the damaged parties for your liabilities. If you’re planning to leave the country for vacation, double check with your insurer that your liability coverage works in foreign countries.  Most policies will provide liability insurance only if the claim or lawsuit is brought into the United States.  They generally excluded claims brought against you in foreign countries.  If the claim happens in the U.S. your homeowners policy will respond accordingly.

The main take away from this article, check with your insurance professional before leaving town to make sure you are adequately covered for property or liability claims.

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