Do You Need Travel Insurance For Your Bachelor/Bachelorette Party? – Forbes

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Bachelor and bachelorette parties provide the opportunity to make life-long memories, and all the more so if you turn it into a long weekend getaway to mark the end of your single days.

Whether you’re headed to the night spots in Las Vegas, a spa in Sedona or a beachfront boutique resort in Miami, buying a solid travel insurance policy can save you money if your singles soiree gets sidetracked by delays or emergencies.

“Shipping your posse to Las Vegas for an epic bachelorette party can be filled with challenges. Travel insurance can help reduce the stress on the party planner by providing coverage for lengthy travel delays, baggage delays or losses and more,” says Daniel Duranzo, spokesperson with Allianz Global Assistance.

Get Everyone on the Travel Insurance Dance Floor

There’s safety in numbers, and that’s true for groups traveling together. When traveling with others, the best strategy is that all travelers carry travel insurance, says Duranzo.

“One situation that happens frequently is that an insured customer may cancel their trip due to an illness, injury or other covered reason and will have their non-refundable trip deposits refunded, but then their uninsured roommate may still be on the hook for the cost of the cruise or hotel room,” says Durazo.

If you have 10 or more friends traveling at the same time, consider a group travel insurance policy.

“For those looking to ensure as much of their trip cost as possible is protected, travelers should purchase activities, accommodations and transportation in advance of the trip departure date,” explains Lisa Conway, chief underwriting officer with battleface, a travel insurance company.

Here’s how to find the best travel insurance plan for a destination bachelor or bachelorette party.

Trip Cancellation: It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To

All’s fair in love and war—and travel. That’s to say that even the best plans can be derailed.

The most popular reason to buy travel insurance is to protect your financial investment if you need to cancel the trip. To qualify for reimbursement, you must cancel because of unexpected events listed on the policy—such as a death, illness or injury to you, a traveling companion or a close family member.

For example, suppose your sister is in a serious car accident and is hospitalized three days before your trip to Las Vegas for your bachelor party. You’d want to cancel the trip. Your trip cancellation travel insurance can reimburse you 100% for prepaid, non-refundable deposits you lose by canceling. If you pre-paid for a hotel stay at the Bellagio in Vegas and a limo to whisk you to an exclusive nightclub, along with VIP tickets for access, you can file a claim for those lost deposits.

Not all reasons for canceling a bachelor or bachelorette bash are covered by a standard trip cancellation policy. For example, if two of your friends have a fight because one overtly flirted with the other’s boo right before the trip and you decide to call off the trip, travel insurance would not compensate you.

If you want the highest tier of flexibility regarding your travel plans, consider adding “cancel for any reason” coverage to your insurance policy. This upgrade will add an average of 50% more to your travel insurance plan cost, but the upside is you can cancel for any reason and receive some reimbursement. For example, if you realize no one can afford to go after all, or there’s a rainy forecast, you could make a “cancel for any reason” claim.

You must cancel at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure and you will generally be able to recoup 50% or 75% of your trip’s cost under a “cancel for any reason” claim. The percentage of compensation depends on the travel insurance company.

Travel Delay Insurance When You’re Late to the Party

Travel delay benefits can be like a best friend you can call at 2 a.m. because you need some comfort and support. For example, if unforeseen circumstances leave you waiting for a flight in a cold airport, trip delay insurance can help. If the delay is due to reasons listed on your policy, trip delay insurance can compensate you for the extra costs such as a hotel room, meals and personal care items.

For example, suppose you are on the way to the airport with your bridal party and the highway is shut down due to a train derailment. You miss your flight and need to spend the night at the airport. You can be reimbursed, up to your policy limits, for items you have to buy to get through the night.

And if you miss out on the first night of partying due to a delay that’s covered by the policy—say you paid in advance for non-refundable tickets to see Gwen Stefani at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas—you can file a claim for that as well.

Note that a travel insurance company will pay you back for “reasonable expenses” and only up to your policy limits. For example, the Gold Plan from the John Hancock Travel Insurance Agency provides up to $200 a day, up to $1,000 total, per person after a three-hour delay.

That means if you submit a receipt for several bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne for your layover gals movie night in the connecting suite, you’ll likely have to pay for that yourself.

It’s important to know that most insurance policies have a specified length of time before trip delay benefits are triggered. The waiting period could be three to 12 hours, so read the policy to find out the details.

Trip Interruption Insurance: Isn’t it Ironic?

Being forced to cut short a once-in-a-lifetime trip with your closest friends is like rain on your wedding day, but hopefully buying travel insurance was the good advice that you did just take. Because it can actually give you a free ride home, when you’ve already paid for your flight there and back.

For example, if you need to return home early due to a family emergency, your travel insurance plan’s trip interruption benefits may be able to help. It can cover the cost of a last-minute plane ticket home plus any other transportation costs.

And it can reimburse you for non-refundable fun that you’re not having. For example, if you prepaid for a round of golf at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale or for Cirque du Soleil tickets in Sin City, you can file a claim for reimbursement under trip interruption coverage.

Baggage Protection: Help! My Bridesmaid Tiaras are Lost

The baggage coverage within a comprehensive travel insurance plan covers lost luggage if your suitcase ends up on its own trip.

“If the ‘bride to be’ sash and crown, bridesmaids tiaras, along with your clubbing outfit are mistakenly routed to Los Angeles instead of Vegas, travel insurance can help by covering the purchase of those essential items that you need to keep the party going,” explains Durazo at Allianz.

Baggage loss insurance covers luggage that is lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. Generous travel plans provide $2,500 and higher in coverage for lost baggage. If all you packed is a few casual outfits, you don’t need much coverage, but if you have a stash of pricey cigars and monogrammed money clips for the boys, you may want that much. Assess the value of what you pack, along with the value of your suitcase, to help determine how much lost baggage coverage you need.

A travel insurance plan can also protect your personal belongings. If your phone gets stolen from the pool, you can file a claim for reimbursement. Be aware that baggage compensation is generally based on the depreciated value of the items, not the cost to buy new ones.

Medical Expenses and Evacuation for Party Pitfalls

If you are planning your bacchanal in the U.S., your domestic health plan will generally cover medical treatment if, for instance, you twist your ankle on the dance floor, get stung by a bee while traipsing through a vineyard or get pink eye after lounging in a hot tub with questionable water quality.

If you happen to be out in the desert on an ATV excursion and suffer a more serious injury, your travel insurance company can coordinate an air ambulance to transport you to an appropriate trauma center. The limits for emergency evacuation coverage will be listed in the policy.

If your party plans will take you outside the U.S., travel medical insurance can be especially valuable. Check to see what your U.S.-based health plan covers. It may have limited global coverage. But the medical insurance inside a travel insurance policy can cover you worldwide.

Your Version of ‘The Hangover’

Conway with battleface says injury and illness due to alcohol and drug intoxication are generally not covered by travel insurance.

“When planning a ‘last fling before the ring’ trip, remember that losses from the use of alcohol or drugs are not covered,” says Durazo with Allianz. “Intoxication is considered an exclusion. Policies state that you are not covered for any loss that results directly or indirectly from the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or any related physical complications, and many policies do not cover emergency medical costs if the injury or illness is due to intoxication.”

That means if you wind up overdoing it and lose your phone and glasses while diving into the eight-foot-deep Bellagio Fountain, your friends may have an entertaining photo for social media, but you would not be able to file a claim for what you lost.