Travel Insurance,0,33083.story

Above link from the Chicago Tribune is good advice on car rental insurance coverage.

One big mistake car renters make is assuming personal insurance coverage also covers a rental car.  Maybe not. . .

  • If the driver is not listed on the rental contract as an extra driver, his/her or the personal auto insurance coverage of the renter might not cover costs associated with damage to the rental.   (The more economical car insurance companies charge a fee for extra drivers, so sometimes is less expensive to go with a premium car rental company when more than one person will be driving the rental car.)
  • If damage to the rental car due to something prohibited in the rental contract (e.g., driving off-road or even a gravel or dirt road or driveway), personal car rental policies might not cover the damage.

Remember, you are liable for the deductible on your personal car insurance policy for damage to the rental car.

Do consider purchasing the car rental option with travel insurance coverage for your trip offered by companies specializing in trip insurance (TravelEx, Travel Guard, etc.).  It is often less expensive than either the liability coverage offered by the car rental companies or the deductible on your personal car insurance, but you get COMPLETE trip coverage (baggage loss and delays, refund of trip costs for covered cancellation, medical treatment and evacuation, etc.).

I can help you with insurance details for you trip, whether it be complete “cancel-for-any-reason” coverage, or just enough to cover basics, such as a car rental mishap.

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2011
Contact:  Judy Duran, 720 270-5767;

 Centennial, CO. Travel insurance prevented a distressing loss when their camera took a dive in the surf, reports travel planner Judy Duran and Trypp, the Traveling Elephant. The incident occurred during a wet landing at a port-of-call during their recent Wind Star cruise in Costa Rica.

Trypp explained her travel partner was disembarking the Zodiac at Tortuga Island when the camera slipped out of Duran’s beach tote. The Wind Star cruise crew, staff and other passengers quickly gave chase to the drowning camera. “It was recovered in less than five minutes,” says Trypp. “But by then it had been severely tossed in the surf.”

“I was devastated,” says Duran. “Not only was it a brand new camera, but Tortuga was our last port-of-call and almost at the end of our time in Costa Rica. Over 300 pictures were recorded on the memory card.”

The ship’s staff assisting the disembarkation helped Duran open the camera to remove the memory card. Both were immediately rinsed with fresh water to prevent any corrosion from the salt in the sea water. “They saved my pictures,” say Duran. “When I returned home, I downloaded the memory card onto my computer and the pictures came right up.”

The camera was not as fortunate. The Elephant reports that it was determined to be a total loss from water and sand damage. “We were disappointed, but cameras can be replaced. Pictures can’t.”

Trypp with surfing camera

Remembering that she had purchased trip protection insurance for the Costa Rica vacation, Duran checked her policy. She found that coverage for loss of personal effects was one of the policy’s provisions. “So many people take trip insurance for the same reason I did,” says Duran, “To cover any loss that might occur if the trip is cancelled due to illness or injury to themselves or a family member, or from medical costs incurred while traveling.”

“The right travel protection plan can cover so much more.”

Duran’s travel policy not only will reimburse her for the loss of the camera, but also for the cost of replacing her laptop’s AC adapter/power cord damaged by the electrical current at her San Jose hotel. “My policy carried coverage for missed connections, financial default, emergency evacuation and, God forbid, ‘repatriation of remains,’ among other things.” Duran advises that trip protection purchased separately from a dedicated travel insurer rather than the cruise line or tour operator is usually the best value. “An experienced travel professional can determine the policy most suitable for an individual’s needs.”

The travel duo expects to receive reimbursement from the insurance provider in two-to-four weeks. “We’ve been pretty much left whole after what could have been a very dismal situation thanks to travel insurance,” proclaims Trypp. “The loss of the adapter prevented us from daily blogging our trip as we’d hope to do, but if catching up on our blogging now that we’re home is the worst that came out of what could have been totally calamitous, we consider ourselves fortunate, indeed.”

“I’m grateful for the Elephant’s legendary memory to help recreate our journey for our blog,” adds Duran.

“Let the blogging begin. . .”