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Summertime is a great time for families and friends bonding through the great tradition of "Summer Vacation."  Road trips, airports, beaches, theme parks, and so much more. Summer travel, however, can raise some concerns from an insurance standpoint.  Let's review some tips and tricks to the wonder that is Summer vacationing...










Travel eSharing
We must start here, because this is the number one insurance issue with vacationing (summer or not).  We live online these days: We post about our meals, our children, our jobs, what we have to sell, everything... While instant, by the minute, posting 9 times out of 10 is OK - you're vacation countdown, photos, locations, plans, duration, etc should wait until you get home.  Theft insurance claims rise during the summer months, due to burglars finding temporarily vacated houses.  Don't make their search easier for them by stating you're not home, or not even in the state/country.  This doesn't necessarily have to pertain to an extended vacation - one night or weekend is all it may take for the worst return home ever.




Rental Car Insurance
So you've made it to your destination, and you're standing at the rental car counter, and then the agent asks "Would you like to purchase the rental car insurance?"  The age old question that has two decisive stances in our society: Those who completely oppose, and those who eagerly accept.  The question for both, in the back of their minds, is: Do I actually need it?  
Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer for everyone - some personal auto policies do have coverage for rented cars, other policies do not.  Does your policy have full coverage, or just liability?
We recommend reviewing your policy with one of our agents to verify that you're covered.  If not, the coverage can typically be added by endorsement.  




Personal Property Insurance Away from Home
We all pack light, right? Even if you do, what about some of your more valuable items: Cameras, laptops, jewelry, etc? In most cases, your home owners insurance will cover (to a percentage - typically 10% - of the amount of the policy) your personal items, wherever you may be...
We do caution, that certain items (jewelry, fire arms, furs, paintings, etc) may require to be scheduled on your policy for their full value to be recognized.  Did you just purchase a new piece of jewelry while on vacation? If it is not scheduled, and you have the worst vacation luck in the world - it is only covered to the jewelry value limits of the policy.
Lastly, do not forget about your policy deductible for all of the above.  Losing your $900 DSLR camera may be devastating, but if you have a $1,000 deductible, you will still be out of pocket and unable to be reimbursed.








Auto Insurance - Not in Ohio
While understanding state specific laws when it comes to traffic laws is a must - you should also take time to study the insurance laws for each state.  For example: our neighbor, Pennsylvania, is a No Fault state - generally meaning, if two PA drivers were in an accident, regardless of fault, both drivers would turn in claims and pay their own insurance deductibles.  Understanding who to turn a claim into can save a lot of hassle.  Of course, when in doubt, contact one of our agents and we will submit a claim to your carrier for you.  







Identity Theft
One of the rising claims in our business is identity theft claims, if your coverage includes it. While you're away from home, the possibilities for identity theft increases dramatically: ATM lookie-loos, unsecured WiFi, wallet loss, pick pockets, etc. Here are some suggestions to help prevent identity theft:
  • Only sign onto secured/trusted WiFi - not every restaurant or hotel can always be trusted - would-be thieves sometimes create their own WiFi spots named something similar to your location WiFi (HotelGuest, RestaurantGuest, etc).  Double check with the staff - or to be safest, just use your mobile data.
  • Beware what you leave in your hotel/guest room - even the most secure hotel safes have been proven to be less than impenetrable. 
  • Keep a listing of credit card customer service phone numbers on your phone - if someone steals your wallet, you have precious minutes to report/cancel them.  Keeping a list of the customer service numbers for each card can save you valuable time and disputes later.  We do not recommend keeping the actual credit card number listed, even if you can lock your phone (last 4 digits at most).
  • Stop your mail - think of all the information you receive via mail on a weekly/daily basis - stopping your mail can prevent others from going through your personal information while you're away.


Insurance in a Foreign Land

So you've left the USA - what now?  Property, auto, health - what's covered? Am I better off in Canada vs Mexico? North America vs Europe?
The answer for this, more often than not, is No... Many times, travel insurance can be purchased to cover these types of losses. We highly recommend talking to one of our agents before you leave the country to discuss your current coverage, and any gap coverage options.

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Greenwood Insurance Agency, Inc.
3645 OH-5, Cortland, OH 44410 
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