Insurance Insights with Brian

Hakuna Matata (It Means No Worries)
Brian McGrail

A popular cliché, from an epic Disney movie, and it’s a feeling you should have when planning travel. No, maybe we can’t eliminate all your travel worries, but we can help reduce them significantly.

It can be—at the same time—the most stressful and the most rewarding part of your year. I’m talking about vacation travel.

Scheduling is difficult, until you realize you’ll be in D.C. for the peak of the cherry blossoms. Hotel booking uncertainty stresses you out, then you arrive to learn the un-mapped pizza joint next door hand-tosses dough daily and makes its own sausage. (Yes, I’d eat pizza every day on vacation.) You regret that you won’t have time for workouts, then you find city-bike rentals with bicycles you’d actually ride! The seemingly small experience gems remain in my travel memory bank as vividly as the planned vacation icons.

We know many of you are travelers. We love to learn about your experiences, whether in-state road trips or international adventures, and we often get to help plan them.

You also share with us the true stories of your unfortunate travel experiences. We know these can be tough to recount, and even tougher to endure. We listen and help as we can. But did you know we can help you avoid travel nightmares too, or at least ease the burden? Let me share a story, one that has a glaring lack of handmade pizza and bicycle riding.

Bob and Nancy Connor, Coloradans and longtime AAA members, were enjoying an Italian vacation with their daughter, a University of Colorado-Boulder student. When her diverticulitis flared up, she was hospitalized in Verona. Her care there extended to eight days, and the Connors missed their scheduled flights back to Colorado. They incurred extra vacation costs for unplanned hotel stays, meals and ground transportation. Add in their re-scheduled airfare from Milan, Italy, to Denver, and the trip had become much more expensive.

First, their daughter received good care and returned to school safely and in good health. Second, their unplanned expenses were all covered—including the medical-insurance deductible—because the Connors had purchased travel-interruption insurance through AAA Colorado.

Travel insurance saved us thousands of dollars,” said Bob Connor. “We buy it every trip.” And they’ve used it on other international vacations, again due to illness. Their daughter also joined AAA Colorado following the experience.

When you, as a AAA member, arrange and purchase travel through your AAA Travel Agency, you automatically receive Travel Accident Insurance coverage up to $100,000. This covers accidental loss of life, limbs, sight, speech or hearing while you’re traveling in a common carrier when the transportation is arranged through your local AAA Travel Agency.

Wait, you ask, “common carrier”? Common Carrier means any land, water, or air conveyance operated by anyone whose business is the transportation of persons without discrimination and for hire.

We also provide protection, for your purchase, in the form of Allianz Global Assistance Travel Assistance. This is the protection enjoyed by the Connors on their trip to Italy. You can purchase this as a single-use option or in an annual plan. It covers you when the unexpected happens—and it does happen.

A number of plan options are available to suit your needs. These plans are especially good for group travelers and those with young children. But the benefits can be enjoyed by any traveler. Just ask the Connors.

Brian McGrail is the vice president of insurance for AAA Colorado.