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Travel Insurance For Children: What To Look Out For

Feb 29, 2008
Ask any parent and they'll tell you that their child's safety is their number one priority, and the majority of parent's find they spend a great deal of time worrying over what their kids are up to. As their lives are the parent's responsibilities this is of course, a good thing, but when travelling abroad, the children become just one concern of many. It's strange, but often the family holiday, a break from the stresses of everyday life, is actually more stressful than the life they're trying to escape from!

Having worked in the industry for some time, I like to think I know a thing or two about children's travel insurance. So here are some things to look out for:

Children go free?

Quite a few companies are now offering free child travel insurance when buying a policy for accompanying adults. There's no reason to be suspicious of offers like that (we have such a policy at Insuremore), but it is important to see if the small print matches your requirements. For example, how many additional children are covered by an adult policy? If it covers 2, and you have a family with 3 children you need to contact the company about getting additional cover. Likewise, some companies' family policies have very tight definitions of who would be covered. If you have foster children, or are the legal guardians, make a quick check to ensure you're covered.

How old can a 'child' be?

This is an interesting one, because some companies' definitions of 'child' are pushing it a bit. The majority of companies will provide children's travel insurance for sons and daughters up to the age of 18, but it's not unheard of for 21, or even 23, to be the age gap if the relation is in full time education. Of course, by that age, they may not be enamoured by the idea of a family holiday with the folks, but if for some reason they are, then it's a great little saving if you can find a provider who have such an 'interesting' idea of the word 'child'.

Independent Child's Travel Insurance

One thing to look out for is annual children's travel insurance, as some of these offer children the opportunity to travel independently of their parents or guardians, and still be covered. These usually cost an additional premium, but if your child is likely to be needing to travel on their own regularly (for school trips, for example), then this is a great solution. If independent trips are likely to be few and far between, it may be worth paying for one-off single trip child travel insurance.

Check the Small Print

It should go without saying, but all child travel insurance policies are not born equal. Compare a few policies and ensure that your kid is covered for whatever you may plan on getting up to on holiday - for example, if it's a skiing holiday, you'll very likely have to pay an additional fee to ensure that your child is completely covered for the trip.

Of course on top of this, there's the usual advice of being vigilant. Children can be unpredictable, and while travel insurance should rightly provide you some peace of mind, it does not mean you can completely relax. The usual care for children's safety should be observed even with the child's travel insurance protection: plenty of suncream, all the right vaccinations, a wrist band on toddlers with contact information in case they get lost - that sort of thing.

When travelling, there are hundreds of things that can go wrong, but with the usual vigilance you would observe for your kid at home and some quality child's travel insurance, you can avoid the majority of problems that could arise and enjoy some quality rest and relaxation in your holiday paradise of choice.
About the Author
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey's Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offer cheap child's travel insurance with free cover against acts of terrorism and a quick and easy online claims feature.
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