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Grand holiday planned with the grandkids - but are they covered?

19 May 2014

Spending quality time with the grandkids is one of life’s pleasures for most grandparents – many treat them with a daytrip or even a few days away when the school holidays come around, but how many consider the insurance implications of a fun trip away?

Most children would be covered on travel insurance by their parents’ family policy, but what would happen if they were travelling with their grandparents? Would additional cover be needed?

Gocompare.com has analysed 545* annual travel insurance policies and found that there is no easy answer to this policy puzzle. 337 policies said that both adults and children named on the policy are covered to travel independently, 159 say that this cover only applies to adults and 49 do not provide cover if the policyholder isn’t travelling as well.

Caroline Lloyd, Gocompare.com’s travel insurance spokesperson, said: “Grandparents shouldn’t assume that their grandkids are insured, or can be added, to their travel policy. The kids might also not be covered by their own family’s travel insurance when travelling with grandparents.

“Getting the right level of travel insurance cover in place before you take your grandchildren on holiday will allow you to concentrate on having fun with the peace of mind of knowing you’re financially protected should something happen

“As all insurance policies differ it is important to check the insurers definition of a ‘child’ as the age limits vary as well as the terms on which they are insured to travel, as many state a ‘with responsible adult of a person with a legal duty of care.’

“We found that some insurers cover children if they are travelling independently of the main policy holder, which in this case would be the parent, as long as they are with a responsible adult and have parental consent, while others say that the children would need to be included on the same policy as the grandparents.

“When buying a travel policy and travelling as a family or a couple, some insurers may require that all those named on the policy live at the same address. That is why in this instance, some insurers say that the grandchildren can be added to their policy, despite the fact that they may have different addresses – but this could affect the premium.

Caroline added: “It is important for travel insurance policyholders to check the definition section of their insurance policy to understand who is covered and under what circumstances.

“If you are still in doubt, then pick up the phone and speak to your travel insurance provider before the trip and check what would be the best way to cover your grandchildren.

“If you are going to travel with the grandkids and you are covered on separate policies, consider what the different levels of cover may be on those policies. If your flight is delayed or cancelled – and you, as grandparents, are travelling on one policy and the grandchildren on another one – would you all have the same level of cover? Would the grandchildrens’ policy cover their travel home if one of you fell ill? Also, make sure you take a copy of all relevant policies with you when you travel to make sure you follow all the steps required by each insurer in the event of a claim.

“The key message is to check who and what is covered and make sure that both grandparents and parents are happy with the level of cover before heading off for some family fun.”

-ends-

Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 541 travel insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial research company Defaqto. Correct as of 10/4/2014.