Travel is becoming more common after over two years of isolation. We can barely stand the excitement when adventure awaits. When we go to different places, whether in this state, across the country, or across an ocean, we expect every aspect of the trip to go exactly as we have imagined. That sometimes happens. Often it does not.
What should you do if you get into an accident while out of the country? Will medical care be paid for? Property damage? What if you get hurt participating in a risky activity?
It is critical to speak with your health insurance representative and auto insurance agent before traveling. Find out what you need to do to make sure you are covered in the case of an accident. Many auto policies cover rental vehicles, but will that apply when you are in another country? Policies differ. You must know what your policies say. Often, you are offered extra coverage when traveling, and my advice is generally, “if more insurance is available, get it.” Whether it covers medical expenses, travel expenses in the case of illness, or other costs, the benefits usually outweigh the burdens.
There are so many opportunities for fun adventures when traveling. Scuba diving? Amazing. Windsurfing? Very exciting. But what does that small print say on the contract you sign when you pick up the equipment for your planned recreational activity? More likely than not, there will be language that limits the liability of everyone related to the activity regardless of whether they are negligent. Some waivers go so far as to release even intentional conduct. Is that waiver/release of liability enforceable? Or can you sue the provider of a scuba air tank that had an inaccurate gauge?
It is critical that you choose reputable organizations for any sports or recreational activities that involve the risk of injury. It is important to know where any dispute would be decided, if the provider carries insurance and if they require a waiver or release of liability to be executed. In California, there are very specific elements that a waiver must include for it to be enforceable in the courts. There is no assurance that these rules will be applicable elsewhere.
As I always say to my kids, “have fun and be careful, but not in that order!”
At OPO, our goal is to get full compensation for our clients injured while traveling or vacationing. We are always here if you need us. Contact us at 888-OPO-WINS or at firstname.lastname@example.org.