You wait all year to get away on vacation. It is time to leave the job and the troubles behind you to enjoy a well-earned few days away. Some people take their time and plan these vacations down to the last detail and some just go where the winds take them. Vacations are all about fun and relaxation. No one wants to think about the worst that can happen while traveling. Planning for the worst is probably one of the most important things you can do to protect your vacation, yourself, and your family.
Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a must. There are many things that travel insurance covers starting from even before you leave on your vacation. If you have to cancel your vacation, there is a long list of reasons that your travel insurance will cover, some of which include:
- Injury or illness of insured, travel companion, family member, or business partner
- Hurricane or natural disaster strikes destination
- Bankruptcy or financial default of travel company
- Terrorism or mandatory evacuation at destination
- Death or hospitalization of destination host
- Home or business damaged, vandalized, or burglarized
- Jury duty, a required court appearance, or military redeployment
- Required to work, terminated, or transferred
- Victim of felonious assault prior to trip
It is important to note that as with most insurance coverage, the details vary depending on the policy you buy. Check the details before signing on the dotted line.
You may think that if you have medical insurance, you are covered regardless of where you travel. If you are from the United States and you travel within the United States, most insurance covers you for Emergency Room visits regardless of where you are or if the hospital is in your providers network. If you are traveling internationally, there is a small chance you may have limited coverage, but that coverage is not going to include things like emergency evacuation and repatriation back to the United States. Travel insurance will cover these expenses.
If you are on a cruise, your medical insurance may not cover you if you are traveling on a ship registered under a foreign flag. Most ships are, in fact, registered outside of the United States, so your medical insurance will mostly likely not cover you where Travel Insurance will.
There are other aspects to Travel Insurance, such as lost luggage, delayed flights, and cancelled flights. Again, check the details of your coverage.
Injured While on Vacation
So we covered what happens if you get sick or hurt. However, if you are injured due to the negligence of others while you are traveling, is there anything you can do? Make sure you protect yourself by following these Five Important Travel Tips:
- Get immediate medical care for your injuries
- Call the police/report the accident.
- Obtain names and contact information of potential witnesses
- Photograph the accident scene and surrounding location
- Identify other parties involved—names, company, license plate information, etc….
Depending on the jurisdiction, your options may be limited or even very difficult to exercise. If you are from New York, but you are injured while on vacation to California, most likely, California will have jurisdiction over the case. There are times when New York may still have jurisdiction, such as if you are suing a provider you contracted with in New York and the contract stipulates the jurisdiction. The contract may also require that you agree to arbitration as opposed to going to court. If you are injured while traveling to another country, the issue of jurisdiction is still in play. Just as our example about traveling to California, if you are traveling to London and get hit by a car, you are well within your rights to sue the negligent party, but you may be required to bring such a claim in the foreign country. Depending on the circumstances, an accident occurring in another State or country can sometimes still be brought in New York.
The location of the accident—whether in another State, country or on the seas (cruising) will be critical in determining your rights and what you can do. In the United States, contingency fee arrangements for negligence cases (legal fees only paid if there is a monetary recovery) are commonplace. In other countries it’s not, and you’re required to pay legal fees up front. The laws about negligence in other States and countries may also be very different as compared to New York.
Enjoy your time on vacation—have fun, relax and recharge! If you’re injured, protect yourself by following the Five Important Travel Tips and call us for advice and assistance!