Find Out If This Safeguard Measure Is A Must Have
Life happens, and the full gamete of unexpected events could arise during the time frame of your planned vacation: From illness, hospitalization, to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, affecting your timeshare destination. Prime timeshare destinations in warm southern climates are ripe for pending hurricanes in the Gulf and Caribbean, wildfires in sunny southern California and earthquakes in Mexico. You will want to protect your investment and your vacation time.
How does travel insurance work in relationship to your timeshare, what does it cover, and do you need it?
Buying travel insurance for your timeshare is more complex than purchasing normal vacation security. There are several factors to consider before making the decision. We are all familiar with the cost benefit of having insurance in many facets of our life: Ranging from medical, dental, car, home, and large appliances, most of us do not need to be sold on the benefits of having insurance to cover large or important investments. Ultimately, for a relatively low cost travel insurance for your timeshare is a must have, provided you are able to negotiate the particular details involved in the process.
As you plan to safe guard your vacation time consider a few options: Travel insurance for your vacation, insurance on your timeshare investment, and find out about a few companies that will provide an umbrella insurance for both travel expenses and damages incurred to your timeshare.
Travel Insurance: What Does It Cover And How Much Will It Cost You
Different timeshare companies will provide insurance on the physical investment of your unit, while others do not. Find out the details of your timeshare insurance, as there are often small print clauses relieving the company of any damages incurred to the resort as a result of natural disasters. Greg Crist, NTOA’s CEO writes:
“Most major resort developers say the same thing. If it’s an act of God, there’s nothing we can do for owners.”
For the purposes of buying travel insurance for your next vacation let’s assume that the physical property is covered by owner’s insurance. Now, you will want to consider buying traditional travel insurance.
Travel insurance costs anywhere from 4%-10% of the cost of your trip. For example if your trip including airfare, car rental, and any other associated costs, is $4000.00, then you can expect to pay $160.00-$400.00. This insurance will cover unexpected illness for anyone in your family or traveling with you. From flight cancellation due to unexpected weather that bars you from your destination, to medical assistance in foreign countries, or automotive accidents during your vacation in a rental vehicle. Lost baggage and theft are also included in most travel insurance packages.
Considering the wide auspice of coverage that these insurance policies encompass, it is small price to pay for blanket security. The additional $200.00 cost to your vacation is well worth the ease of mind knowing that your belongings, physical health, and dollar investment will be protected given unexpected life events.
If your timeshare unit is already covered by insurance incase of natural disaster, then consider buying a tradition travel insurance package. This however will not include lost time during your vacation week and you may be better off looking into an insurance company that will include your timeshare investment as well.
Be thorough in your investigations to find out if your timeshare company will cover lost time at your vacation destination should a natural disaster arise. Some timeshare companies will provide a travel insurance package to meet the full gamete of unexpected events.
Do Timeshare Developers Offer Travel Insurance To Owners?
Different resorts and developments have different policies surrounding insurance. Certain larger companies provide all inclusive travel insurance for owners while others offer none at all. You will need to be diligent to find out what your development offers.
Here is a list of popular developments that offer travel insurance policies for owners:
Marriott Vacation Club: Through a partner company, Travelex, for the cost of $169.00 USD, offers a full year’s coverage for up to 13 people. This includes trip cancellation, medical, dental, injury, lost luggage, rental car damage, and other losses caused by natural disasters. It also includes reimbursement for maintenance fees on lost weeks.
Diamond Resorts: For the cost of $225.00 annually, you can purchase a points reimbursement plan. This is not the same as insurance, but a points protection plan means that if any unexpected events take place while you are on vacation they will reimburse you fully at a later date. This can be a lengthy process and it may be better to consider their menu of insurance policies: 10 day legal insurance- $19.95, Sky-Med (transportation home for medical reasons)- $34.95, and Healthiest You plan for medical expenses-$19.95.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership: The largest timeshare company in the world does not provide insurance and chooses to evaluate on a case-by-case basis to determine whether owners should be reimbursed for personal damages or damages to the physical unit in the case of a natural disaster. They recommend vacationers obtain travel insurance and state:
“We do have emergency response protocols in place at all resorts to ensure the safe evacuation of owners and guests, and have the ability to modify our cancellation policy and coordinate refunds for stays impacted by natural disasters.”
It is well worth doing some research to find out if the resort where your timeshare is located will provide you with the option of buying travel insurance through their establishment. If your development does not offer travel insurance or if you are dissatisfied with their offer there are other options. You may want to consider a few insurance companies that provide travel insurance specifically catered toward timeshare owners.
Travel Insurance For Timeshares: Consider A Specialty Insurance Company That Will Cover Timeshare Vacation Costs
While specialty travel insurance companies that cover timeshare vacations are few and far between, they do exist and this may be the ideal solution for travel insurance for timeshare owners.
A leader in the specialty insurance field is VacationGuard. They work with timeshare clubs and companies and will cover the full range of potential loss. Their “Timeshare Plus Protection Plan” covers all potential loss associated with timeshare vacationing. For the cost of $299.00, annually, you will be covered for up to eight people for incidents ranging from medical emergencies, trip cancellation (interruption or delay), and rental car damage. They will cover some damage that results from natural disaster but not all. If you have a timeshare in a known region that is regularly swept by hurricanes this may not be the company for you.
Considering the time and financial investment of your vacation this is a small price to pay for peace of mind. VacationGuard will work in conjunction with all timeshare companies and clubs around the world.
A pioneer in the world of specialty travel insurance for timeshare companies is Brown and Brown Insurance. They boast an entire division dedicated to natural disasters and could be considered the world leader in timeshare travel insurance. Senior vice president of this division, Tom Cook says:
“Travelers should consider insurance a small price to protect their investments in family vacations-especially if they own units in areas that are prone to occasional hurricanes or similar weather events.”
Brown and Brown Insurance boasts an incredible array of coverage for natural disasters from property liability issues, including emergency relocation, roof repairs, and wind and water damage. Their insurance policies also include the typical medical, rental car damage, and trip cancellation coverage. Their prices range widely depending on the location of your timeshare. If your vacation destination is located in the hurricane belt then the price of insurance packaging will go up.
Cook, also goes on to say that most travel insurance companies will not cover natural disaster damage incurred to property, if this is not a personal concern then travellers are recommended to use a more generic less expensive travel insurance company.
You will have to decide for yourself based on the location of your timeshare if it is worth purchasing specialty travel insurance. Many timeshare resorts are shut down for several weeks of the year during hurricane season if your vacation timeshare is located in the Caribbean or along the eastern seaboard you may want to consider an insurance company such as Brown and Brown Insurance.
Travel Insurance For Timeshare Owners: Choose The Best Option For You
Should timeshare owners have travel insurance? The short answer: Yes, it is wise to protect your vacation investment with some kind of travel insurance. Depending on the unique circumstance of your timeshare what type you chose to purchase will have to be tailored to the protection of your vacation investment.
You will need to determine if the development where your timeshare is located offers an insurance package that covers both personal loss, as well as damage from natural disaster, such as Marriott Vacation insurance packages. If this is not the case, then perhaps private travellers insurance is a better option. If your timeshare is located in an area where there are known occurrences of natural disasters such as hurricanes then you will want to find a specialty insurance company such as Brown and Brown Insurance that will provide coverage for specific damage incurred from natural disasters. It may be appropriate for you to collaborate on two separate travel insurance packages to safeguard your vacation.
Regardless of your unique circumstances, choose a travel insurance package that suits your needs. All travel insurance packages can be purchased for a nominal fee compared to the cost of your vacation and it is well worth the financial cost to have peace of mind.