Travel insurance on rental beach house

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FamilyMan
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:09 pm

Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by FamilyMan »

My family and I are interested in renting a beach house for a week next August. We have narrowed it down to a home in Virginia Beach.
When inquiring about the property, the realtor (who list the rental) suggested getting travel insurance. It is bought through their package but insured by an insurance company (Travel Guard). When I asked what is covered, the agent quickly ran through different scenarios including mandatory evacuation from the coast due to a hurricane, hospitalization when visiting and “a death in the family”. COVID related issues are not covered. The cost is about 10% extra of rental price.
I don’t know this area of the country and I worry the most about being evacuated for a hurricane. I’m curious to hear different thoughts on this subject.
bob60014
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by bob60014 »

You really need to review what's covered, what's not. Personally I wouldn't be too concerned about hurricane coverage.

Heres a Rick Steves article about trip insurance. I'm sure there are others.

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/ ... -insurance
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ResearchMed
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by ResearchMed »

FamilyMan wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:26 am My family and I are interested in renting a beach house for a week next August. We have narrowed it down to a home in Virginia Beach.
When inquiring about the property, the realtor (who list the rental) suggested getting travel insurance. It is bought through their package but insured by an insurance company (Travel Guard). When I asked what is covered, the agent quickly ran through different scenarios including mandatory evacuation from the coast due to a hurricane, hospitalization when visiting and “a death in the family”. COVID related issues are not covered. The cost is about 10% extra of rental price.
I don’t know this area of the country and I worry the most about being evacuated for a hurricane. I’m curious to hear different thoughts on this subject.
I'd suggest contacting a travel insurance broker (no extra charge to travelers) about this.

We've used www.TripInsuranceStore.com - and I think they sell policies from Travel Guard, although we purchase, thru TIS, policies from Travel Insured. TIS will help you find which policy works best for your particular needs.

Note that starting the coverage, by at least insuring the initial deposit, within 10-20 days (depending upon your home state) will give you the most choices of types of coverages.

For something like COVID, you might want to consider CFAR coverage (Cancel For Any Reason), which is really "no reason need be given". But most CFAR policies cost extra and don't pay 100% back. Our policies would pay 75% back, but at least it's cash back, and not some sort of credit for a future trip, or with some deadline (as some insurance through travel providers, such as cruises, offer).

CALL them to discuss your specific needs and concerns. The online summaries might be useful for overviews, but the fine print can REALLY matter, no surprise.

We've had several claims with TI, including two large claims, and never had any trouble getting paid, which is what counts in the long run.

I would *strongly* recommend purchasing your insurance, should you decide to do so, completely separately from any of the vendors (owner, agent) handling your trip.

Make sure you discuss with TIS whether you have any non-traveling family members such that an illness/etc., might cause you to want to cancel or return home. That is handled differently by different insurers. So are other things, but this one seems to be a "gotcha" for some people. Mostly, the differences have to do with how pre-existing conditions in the non-traveling family members are handled. But there are other policy differences.

RM
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galving
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by galving »

FamilyMan wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:26 am My family and I are interested in renting a beach house for a week next August. We have narrowed it down to a home in Virginia Beach.
When inquiring about the property, the realtor (who list the rental) suggested getting travel insurance. It is bought through their package but insured by an insurance company (Travel Guard). When I asked what is covered, the agent quickly ran through different scenarios including mandatory evacuation from the coast due to a hurricane, hospitalization when visiting and “a death in the family”. COVID related issues are not covered. The cost is about 10% extra of rental price.
I don’t know this area of the country and I worry the most about being evacuated for a hurricane. I’m curious to hear different thoughts on this subject.
You get what you pay for or maybe less.
Hurricanes are generally not a major concern in Virginia Beach.
My general rule of thumb is not to invest in the insurance based on our generally good experiences travelling across Europe & the US for the last two decades. For us the potential benefits simply don't outweigh the costs. . . and if something did interrupt our trip we'd be comfortable shouldering the financial burden on our own.

Even with a covid cancelled vacation and associated $1000 penalty we're still way ahead avoiding additional insurance costs.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by ResearchMed »

Forgot to mention: Don't forget about costs of travel to get TO that beach house, if that's a factor for any of you.
Chances are that the beach house rental doesn't include that, so the insurance "through them" probably won't, either. But as with all policies, verify what is/is not covered.

The policies we get cover us for all costs, for as soon as we walk out our front door, until we walk back in... the entire trip.

Also, about the comment above that you might get "less than you pay for", that might apply especially to healthier travelers (and ditto with famiy members if appropriate). Most of these policies are cost graded by age, but not by health status. So travelers who are more prone to illness (at all, or just when traveling) may do "better" in the long run than healthier travelers, in terms of "value" of travel insurance costs.
That doesn't mean that the healthier travelers can't/won't get sick and "waste" pricy non-refundable trip costs. But the probabilities do change...

Also, for those traveling/flying long distances, if one needs to return home suddenly, the "return" part of the original ticket may be woefully inadequate for "last minute flight costs". The out of pocket "cancellation costs" might be far more than the original costs. That may not be a worry for many trips, of course.

Note that one must be "fit to travel" on the day the policy is purchased.
If someone has recently been very ill, it might be advisable to get a quick letter from a physician that the person "is fit to travel as of <date>", to avoid any potential difficulty if a claim were to be made.
We faced this situation. With our very first travel insurance (thanks to many at the Travel Insurance section of www.CruiseCritic.com - and much of what is there is not cruise specific), we had our large first claim. But to plan and insure a "replacement trip" had to wait until final treatments were finished, which took a few months. On the day the surgeon gave the "okay", we got such a letter, and *immediately* made plans for another trip, and started the insurance for the deposit :happy

RM
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Topic Author
FamilyMan
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by FamilyMan »

Thank you for the detailed responses. I appreciate it.

I like the idea of getting travel insurance independently of the realtor. I’ll do some research for this trip and future trips.
LifeIsGood
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by LifeIsGood »

Another vote for The Trip Insurance Store. They do a great job and Steve is quite a character to talk to.
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gr7070
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by gr7070 »

What's the rental place's cancellation policy?

That alone could alleviate the extreme majority of risk you're exposed to, and likely remove any "need" for insurance.
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FamilyMan
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by FamilyMan »

As I search various realtor’s websites, most cancellation policies are basically, “pay us in full for the week and we’ll try and find another tenant for the week. If we can, here is your money back minus a cancellation fee (usually $100). If they can’t rent it again, you’re on the hook for full payment”.

I guess it depends on your comfort level. But some of these beach houses in season can easily be more than $5000 for the week. I’ll probably do the independent agent for travel insurance.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by ResearchMed »

FamilyMan wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:04 pm As I search various realtor’s websites, most cancellation policies are basically, “pay us in full for the week and we’ll try and find another tenant for the week. If we can, here is your money back minus a cancellation fee (usually $100). If they can’t rent it again, you’re on the hook for full payment”.

I guess it depends on your comfort level. But some of these beach houses in season can easily be more than $5000 for the week. I’ll probably do the independent agent for travel insurance.
Do at least call TIS to discuss, and also just which policy might meet your needs for the least cost.
Just be careful not to cheap it out without being aware of which potential benefits you would not have.

As for the "try to rent it again", the closer it gets to the rental date, the less likely it is the owner could re-rent it, or at least not for an amount similar to what you paid. And the larger the capacity, the more difficult, too; it would need a family/group who all wanted to go *there*, etc.

Also, consider whether, if one person/couple/etc., couldn't go, would all of you want to cancel and try again for a future date together? If so, include this in discussion with TIS.

If you are paying in stages, e.g., first a deposit, then 50%, then the other 50%, many policies arrange payment so that you only need to insure the non-refundable costs already incurred. One just updates the policy as costs are added. So one isn't paying for the entire vacation cost, if it isn't already paid.

And enjoy your stay together!

RM
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SmileyFace
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Re: Travel insurance on rental beach house

Post by SmileyFace »

FamilyMan wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:04 pm As I search various realtor’s websites, most cancellation policies are basically, “pay us in full for the week and we’ll try and find another tenant for the week. If we can, here is your money back minus a cancellation fee (usually $100). If they can’t rent it again, you’re on the hook for full payment”.

I guess it depends on your comfort level. But some of these beach houses in season can easily be more than $5000 for the week. I’ll probably do the independent agent for travel insurance.
Is the house listed also through AirBnB? I have been renting houses in the $4000 to $5000 range every year (different location) for a number of years now - have considered going directly through an agent or an owner (have phone numbers from prior rental) and some years I have but I do like the fact that AirBnB has a good history of refunds in cases of problems - INCLUDING close downs during COVID. Might be cheaper to pay the extra AirBNB fee rather than to pay for the insurance. I am no expert on the full set of AirBNB guarantees so you would want to research it more - I do know I was refunded for a rental during COVID much to the dismay of the owner (if I had gone direct I would have been stuck).
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