isn’t exclusively for college students, even though it’s estimated more than
half of undergraduates travel during this unofficial holiday. Many families
also use this time while school is out to enjoy some vacation time between
winter and summer. If you and your student are planning a getaway, there are
insurance details to address no matter where you’re headed. The National
Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Alabama Department of
Insurance (ALDOI) suggest you review these important tips with traveling
Before any trip,
review your insurance coverages to understand what’s covered if something
happens. If your son or daughter is traveling alone, involve them in the
review process. First, collect all pertinent insurance paperwork and make
copies. When you share this information, explain the importance of keeping
these documents safe and in an accessible location.
lending out a family car, show your child where you keep the insurance
information in that vehicle and review emergency procedures with them. Make a
list of contact numbers and important information for quick reference. Place this
with the insurance identification card in the glove box. Include the name and
phone number of the insurance company or agent, policy number and your
complete contact details.
Print a copy of
this accident checklist and keep it in the glovebox.
Review it with your young traveler before they leave home, so the information
is fresh in their mind in case of an accident. Also check that you have your
insurance ID and registration in the vehicle at all times. Other important
- Following an accident, call 911. Don’t put yourself
in a dangerous situation on a highway or road.
- Make sure to get contact and insurance information
from the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Instruct your child
to give them your contact and insurance information. Make sure you do
not give them personal information such as a Social Security Number.
- Do not admit fault.
- Take pictures of the scene, including pictures of the
vehicles involved, if it is safe to do so.
- Get contact information for the police department
that responded to the accident.
Are you or your
child traveling in someone else’s vehicle as a passenger? The vehicle’s
policy might not provide ample coverage in the case of an accident. If not,
then your auto insurance and/or health insurance policy would kick in to
cover any gaps.
Getting hurt or
sick away from home can be scary. Go over your health insurance information.
Ensure your son or daughter knows the name of the insurance company and has a
list of emergency numbers, including the numbers of your family doctor and
your insurance company, in addition to your cell phone number. Also explain
the meaning of general insurance terms like co-pay and out-of-network.
collecting important information and reviewing the following checklist.
- Keep your health insurance ID card, a list of your
drug allergies, a list of drugs you are currently taking and information
about any of your other medical conditions with you at all times.
- If you need urgent medical treatment or are in an
accident, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- If something happens to your child, advise them to
have someone contact you. Make sure your child can provide the medical
facility with your health insurance ID card.
- If you need to see a doctor and it is not an
emergency, contact the insurance company to find a local physician who
is in your coverage network. The phone number for the insurance company,
your policy number and co-pay information are located on the insurance
- Keep all paperwork, including receipts from the
doctor’s office, the hospital or any pharmacy if you filled any
American auto and health insurance isn’t readily accepted outside of the
United States. If you travel outside the country, your medical insurance is
likely invalid which means you’ll pay for your care out-of-pocket. To find
out more about the extent of your coverage, speak with your insurance agent
or company before you leave home. You can also contact your Alabama
Department of Insurance at www.aldoi.gov.
Travel insurance can be purchased if you are
concerned about accidents or losses during a trip. If you are considering the
purchase of a travel insurance policy, review the policy terms carefully to
make sure you understand all coverages and exclusions before making a
If it applies,
review the travel insurance policy with your child before he/she leaves,
focusing on the process your child would use for getting assistance, if
Group travel is
a popular way for kids to travel away from home without a parent for the
first time. If your child is traveling in a group with sponsors or
chaperones, make sure you provide the group leaders with emergency contacts
and insurance information as well.
If you have
questions or are confused about your insurance coverage, contact your Alabama
Department of Insurance at (334) 269-3550; www.aldoi.gov.
or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at www.naic.org.