Travel insurance is a necessity, especially if a student is on his or her own, backpacking through continents oceans away from home. It's also travel reassurance, connecting kids to their parents back home. The 24-hour hotline provided with most student travel insurance policies can help kids out of an unfamiliar situation or potentially dangerous spot when parents can't be there. The emergency hotline can serve as an information center, relaying messages to concerned parents, providing referrals to other sources such as embassies, offering legal assistance, help with translations, and even provide cash transfers in emergency situations.
Kids may feel that they are invincible, but parents know that things may not always go as planned. For peace of mind in case of all kinds of emergencies, travel insurance policies that include assistance services should be considered. A lost passport, missing luggage, or a delayed trip may place the young traveler in an uncertain situation with parents far away. Not only will the right travel insurance policy provide a cash benefit to reimburse specified expenses, but the assistance company can connect the student with local agents who can guide the student through unfamiliar territory.
Younger students usually travel on organized group trips. What if something happens on an organized group trip? Possible scenarios are:
- Student A must interrupt his trip and return home because an immediate family member is hospitalized;
- Student B’s flight is delayed and his luggage is missing.
If a family member's medical situation at home means that the student needs to return home early, the rest of the group must continue on with the itinerary while the student waits for flight arrangements. That's where the 24-hour hotline included in many policies steps in to coordinate arrangements for flights and other necessities. If a flight is delayed for a period of time due to weather, these travel insurance policies reimburse up to a set daily amount those extra hotel and meal expenses incurred while the student is delayed. If luggage is delayed or lost, the travel insurance policy may reimburse items purchased while the baggage is delayed and provide a benefit if the bag is not returned.
Parents should inquire about travel insurance for their child, whether he or she is part of an organized group or program, or traveling independently. Student travel insurance policies are available from tour operators, accredited programs, through companies selling travel insurance, and over the Internet. It’s important to carefully read the policy and check to make sure that the coverage meets the needs of the student and the expectations of the parents.