HARRISBURG, Pa., May 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the weather warms and countdowns until summer vacations begin, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department reminded consumers today to make sure they are fully informed on their insurance coverage when preparing to leave for vacation.
"Before leaving for a trip, no matter how far, consumers need to make sure they are aware of how this will affect their insurance coverage," said Acting Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller.
Personal property like clothing and electronics are typically covered under a homeowners insurance policy, even when you take them on a vacation. While the extent of coverage varies between policies, this could cover the cost of the belonging(s) in the event that they are lost, stolen, or destroyed during the trip. Be sure to consult your policy to make sure you are aware of the maximum amount the policy will cover when deciding which items to bring on a trip.
Consumers should also consult their health insurance policy and be aware of whether there are in-network healthcare options at their destination. Contact your insurance company's member services hotline, which is often printed on the back of your insurance card, if you have questions regarding your health insurance options when traveling. You may find that coverage ends when you leave the country, in which case a travel insurance policy may help fill network gaps.
Consumers may consider the following travel insurance policies:
- Trip Cancellation, Delay, or Interruption Insurance: These policies can help reimburse costs incurred if a trip is cancelled or delayed due to a medical emergency, a force of nature, or other interruptions beyond your control.
- Medical: Provides expanded network coverage in case you or a family member needs medical attention during the course of your vacation. This may be necessary if traveling abroad.
- Additional Property Insurance: Consumers may want to consider insuring baggage if you must travel with expensive property but make sure you research the policy so you know if loss or damage by an airline is covered and if so, to what extent. Rental car insurance is also available if your trip involves renting a vehicle.
Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, review your existing policies to make sure there are actually gaps that need to be covered, and review all policies to ensure they adequately meet your needs. If you are considering insuring yourself against a cancellation or interruption, check with the airline, hotel(s), cruise line, or other companies you are traveling with. They may offer refunds or credits towards future trips in the event of a cancellation.
"You cannot plan on an accident, but you can go into a situation informed and ready to navigate which option is best for you and your family," said Miller.
Miller also suggested that individuals take caution when posting about their upcoming trips on social media. By alerting audiences on your social media pages of your departure, you risk alerting the wrong people of your absence which raises your chance of becoming a victim of theft or other criminal action against your property.
"Taking the steps to prepare your home, property, and medical coverage options ahead of time will give you peace of mind to enjoy your time away," said Miller.
If you have questions regarding the extent of your insurance policies or your supplemental coverage options, contact your insurance provider. If you are concerned about how your provider is handling a claim, contact the Insurance Department's Bureau of Consumer Services toll-free at 1-877-881-6388, or file a complaint online at www.insurance.pa.gov under the "Services for Consumers" tab.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Fogarty, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance