Taking a Vacation
Aaaaaah. Vacation. White beach. Blue water. Colorful drinks with little paper umbrellas. New sights, new sounds, new smells... Maybe you'll rent a car and explore. Maybe you won't.
Of course, that might not be you. You might be thinking... Yeah! Vacation! Slopes! Powder! Apres-Ski! Maybe try dog-sledding? Frozen-Waterfall-Climbing?
Whether you're heading North or South, East or West, and whether you prefer action-packed or easy-going, it's easy to forget that unpleasant things can still happen on vacation. Even though you are trying to get away from it all.
Invest an hour in some preparation to set yourself up for true peace of mind. And know that if something happens, you'll be protected.
Here are a few thoughts to consider as you plan your trip. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
Renting a Car? Make sure you have an SEF 27 on your policy.
There you are, just off the plane, at the Rental Car counter. From the plane, you've already seen the incredible color of the water... turquoise-blue, and crystal clear. Crowned by little tufts of foam. Framed by white beaches. As you walk to baggage-claim, you peek out the window and see palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze. At the airport, even! Palm trees! The only thing between you and two weeks of careless happiness is one more signature on one more sheet of paper. And off the grid you'll be! You can't wait.
Then, the question comes: "Would you like to purchase the insurance for your rental car?" Well, no. Or yes? But doesn't your credit card provide coverage for rental cars? Plus you have Auto Insurance. At home, that is.
If you have added the SEF 27 - LEGAL LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO NON-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ENDORSEMENT to your auto policy then the answer in No.
Generally, it costs only about $25 per year to have this endorsement added to your policy, and it can be used at any time through the year
Compare that with the "collision damage waiver" offered by the car-rental agency. This coverage costs about $12-$17 a day -- not exactly a pittance. The SEF 27 endorsement would replace this coverage, and save you a considerable sum of money, depending on how long you need to rent the car.
You may also have a credit card that provides collision damage cover on rental cars. Many "gold" cards offer this feature. However, they may only cover damage to your rental vehicle if you, the cardholder, were driving it. Check with your credit-card company to see if the coverage includes any other drivers. Also ask if there are any limitations in terms of time period, territory in which the car is driven, or anything else that might affect your coverage. Keep in mind, too, that, because you have rejected the offer of insurance from the car-rental firm, you will have to negotiate with the credit-card company for any claims payments. You may even have to pay for any damage yourself up front, and then collect later from your credit-card company. The SEF 27 endorsement, on the other hand, covers your spouse and all drivers listed on the policy
The SEF 27 endorsement covers you only for driving non-owned vehicles valued up to a specified amount (generally $50,000, check with your brokers for your limits) in Canada and the United States, including Hawaii. If you were driving internationally, you would have to purchase coverage elsewhere. Ask your insurance provider or travel agent.
There is usually a limitation of 30 days for this coverage but not all insurance policies are alike.
Note: The preceding information is based on the Insurance Bureau of Canada's guideline wordings. Remember, policies vary, so when in doubt, please contact us.
How your homeowner's or renter's insurance can cover you even away from home
Done! Everything is packed! It was sure a chore, but definitely worth the trouble. You wanted to be sure to not miss a thing. After all, it's the trip you've been saving up for a year: Two weeks at the sports resort, where you can ski on the glacier, golf, and lounge by the pool - all in one day! And you get two weeks of this fun!
So of course, you packed your skis, your snowboard, the golf clubs, and your camera gear. And two weeks worth of clothes. Needless to say, everything is maxed out.
As you are thinking about what you might be forgetting, the thought that something could get lost or stolen during your trip doesn't even cross your mind.
But... what if? This is exactly where a homeowner's or renter's policy could come in handy.
A homeowner's or renter's insurance policy doesn't only protect you and your 'stuff' while you're at home. It also protects your belongings away from home. For example, if your ski gear was stolen right from the porch of the lodge while you were inside? It'd be covered.
If your camera slipped out of the bag and tumbled down 75 feet of rocky slope as you climb up that boulder? It'd be covered.
Remember that any property related to your business or occupation may not be covered under your homeowners or renters policy. If you are a self-employed consultant and you take your laptop along with you on your vacation, it will not be covered as it is considered business property, even if you use it for personal purposes as well. Make sure you have a commercial policy to cover these exposures.
Even the stuff that you have in your car (on a road trip, or in everyday life) is covered by a homeowner's or renter's policy. And NOT by your auto policy, as you might expect. (We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you: Please don't leave any valuable belongings in your car, and please always lock your car doors.)
But there's more. A homeowner's or renter's policy doesn't only cover items. It also provides liability protection. And this is where it really counts! Because, if you accidentally damaged somebody else's property or, worse, hurt somebody, you could be held liable.
And if you are held liable for medical expenses or loss of income, you could be in debt for the rest of your life.
It can happen quite easily...
Imagine, you decide to give the black diamond a try. A quarter of the way down, you finally admit it to yourself that you are in over your head. But now, there aren't very many options. You've got to get down.
And sure enough you fall, slide down on your back, and rumble straight into a woman who is waiting at the edge of the slope for her husband. She falls, too, and breaks her wrist. Not only that. She's a surgeon, and depends on her wrist and a steady hand to do her job... a very well-paid job, that she won't be able to do for at least a while.
A homeowner's or renter's insurance policy can help you out. Please give us a call 709-753-3210 for more information.
This is your well-deserved vacation. Time to enjoy, relax, and re-charge. Don't let life's curve-balls interfere with it.