So far in 2017, we’ve seen a number of events that have dealt serious damage to many popular vacation spots. Hurricanes in the Gulf and Caribbean, wildfires in California, and earthquakes in Mexico have caused billions of dollars worth of damage and proved to be very serious and life-threatening events. While the main concern following these events is helping places impacted to recover and rebuild, it prompts a serious question within the travel industry—should timeshare owners buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance covers your vacation investment in case you are unable to travel to your destination. For example, those who become sick or hospitalized and cannot travel could have a large portion of their trip, if not all of it, reimbursed to them. In the event of bad weather or natural disasters, travel insurance could come in handy in ensuring you don’t lose your investment on your trip.
For timeshare owners, the case is different. Many innovative points-based systems allow members to more easily book and manage reservations. Some organizations may even feature some kind of internal insurance or reimbursement program that covers members in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstance. However, covering other costs like airfare, ground travel, and reserved local activities or tours may fall to travel insurance.
2017 has thus far seen significant damage from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, two high-intensity earthquakes in southern Mexico, and more recently, sprawling wildfires in California’s wine country. Popular timeshare destinations have been affected in nearly every event, leading to many resort closures due to substantial damage. Timeshare owners at resorts in the following destinations have likely been directly impacted, among others:
The destinations above are home to some of the most popular and most-frequented timeshare resorts in the world, and a few remain closed as of this writing as they repair and rebuild. Many timeshare owners have other options, such as banking points or facilitating timeshare exchanges, but for sudden, last minute events, travel insurance is the only way to ensure you don’t lose the bulk of your vacation expenses.
Costs for travel insurance differ by plan type, provider, and other factors, but a good rule of thumb is to account 4% to 10% of your total trip cost to travel insurance. So, if your vacation at your timeshare resort comes to a total of $3,000, you can expect to pay anywhere from $120 to $300.
While it may seem like an unnecessary addition to your vacation, sufficient travel insurance can help protect your investment against natural disasters like the ones listed above and other unpredictable scenarios. Be it illness, accidents, lost baggage, missed cruise departures, medical assistance while traveling internationally, or auto accidents in foreign countries, your plan could ensure you don’t end up losing money or paying more of it for a subpar vacation experience.
Vacation planning can be exciting and hectic all at once, but don’t forget to plan ahead when thinking of booking your next timeshare stay. Look into services offered by your resort’s affiliated brand, or browse special plans and services offered by licensed providers. If you don’t own a timeshare, you can explore a world of greater vacation freedom by browsing our timeshare resales.
To help with current recovery efforts in some of the locations listed above, you can still donate to charitable causes. Visit the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or GoFundMe to give what you can.