Travel Insurance For Grandparents Traveling With Grandchildren
With the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, grandparents will again be able to travel with their grandchildren. These multi-generational trips offer bonding and quality time together.
When planning a trip with grandchildren, pre-planning and buying travel insurance can be smart moves, especially if you’re planning to travel outside the U.S.
Having proper paperwork on hand is an important matter if you are leaving the U.S.
“Grandparents should get a parental consent, preferably notarized, to show customs and border authorities that they have the permission to travel with children who aren’t their own,” says Christina Tunnah, a spokesperson for World Nomads. While it’s not a U.S. requirement necessarily, other countries may refuse entry if you can’t present the consent form, she cautions.
Also important to note, says Tunnah, if you’re detained at the border for non-compliance of this recommendation or requirement, expenses associated with the delay won’t be covered by a travel insurance plan.
Additionally, Tunnah recommends that grandparents also get a medical consent form signed by the parents, which would allow them to make health care decisions on behalf of grandchildren in the parents’ or legal guardians’ absence. “This is critical in the case of an emergency,” Tunnah says.
Before traveling, you should also have an emergency plan in place. Know in advance if your grandchild has allergies, takes prescription medicine or experiences other issues like motion sickness. “Be sure to get instructions from parents on how to handle these situations,” says Tunnah.
Finding the Right Travel Insurance
If you’re traveling with grandchildren, you’ll need a travel insurance plan that covers a wide range of benefits. Medicare generally doesn’t cover any health care outside the U.S., nor do U.S. health plans, such as health insurance the children have through their parents.
“With children, anything can happen, and you want to be prepared for any type of scenario that runs across both age groups,” Tunnah says.
Two of the most crucial benefits are ample travel medical insurance and emergency evacuation coverage. Travel medical coverage can pay for physician visits, prescription medicine and ambulance services wherever you are. For example, you can get generous benefits of $500,000 in medical expenses per person from plans such as:
- April’s Choice plan
- Cat 79’s travel plan
- HTH Worldwide’s TripProtector Preferred plan
- Tin Leg’s Gold plan
- USI Affinity’s Diamond plan
Also look specifically at coverage for the return of the children to their home if you become sick on the trip. This falls under the emergency medical evacuation portion of the policy.
For example, Tunnah says World Nomads policies include services provided by an emergency assistance company. “The company will help with the logistics of emergency transportation services of a bedside companion or for the return of dependent children to their home, with an attendant if necessary,” she says.
Family members may also be eligible for trip interruption benefits, says Tunnah, which typically cover return tickets home and reimbursement for the pre-paid, non-refundable portions of the trip that you didn’t get to use because of the unexpected sickness.
If you want to cover coronavirus-related medical problems, make sure you buy travel insurance that covers Covid-19 because not all plans do. Plans that cover Covid will generally cover trip cancellation if you become ill before the trip and medical expenses if you contract the virus while traveling.
Adding Grandchildren to a Travel Insurance Plan
Make sure that you purchase coverage for every traveling member, and not just for the adults, says Tunnah. World Nomads offer family plans for up to two adults and seven dependent children.
“While many travel insurance companies factor in age when pricing policies—the older the traveler, the more expensive—World Nomads plans are the same price across all age bands, which could be a consideration when comparing plans,” she says.
Although World Nomads does not offer free coverage for children, there are providers that do. You can often add children to a travel insurance policy for free.