What to Do Before Student Travel Goes Awry

05/21/2015  |  By Dan Drennen

Imagine 110 of your students stranded roadside after a bus breakdown. Or nearly 40 arriving in Germany without their luggage because of a volcano. These are real stories. But, thanks to travel insurance, these travel troubles didn’t ruin the trips and didn’t cost students and school districts hundreds to thousands of dollars.

 More school districts are making travel insurance mandatory for all overnight school trips. When you consider the premium cost — student group coverage starts at $7.75 per student for post-departure coverage— travel insurance is extremely affordable. Plus, it’s a smart and responsible step to mitigate the risk of weather, world events, or worse, interfering with student travel.
Consider the expense parents pay in advance for their child’s nonrefundable overseas school trip. Should an unforeseen illness, injury, or death in the family cause the trip to be cancelled, a travel insurance plan would reimburse that expense. With overseas trips averaging $3,000 per student, that could be a substantial hit to a family’sbudget. Trip cancellation coverage should be strongly recommended. Or, better yet, just include insurance in the cost of the trip.
Student travel insurance also includes per person coverage for emergency medical treatment and emergency medical transportation. This benefit should not be overlooked. How many of your students have health insurance? Does it provide coverage for foreign travel? What is the out-of-network co-pay? Does it include coverage for emergency medical transportation? Is there a 24-hour emergency assistance provider? Student travel insurance provides $25,000 of primary (first payer) medical coverage with no deductible, $100,000 emergency evacuation and 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance services.
Student travel insurance also provides coverage for travel delays of six hours or more, lost or stolen baggage, missed connections and baggage delays.
Just take a closer look at the two real-life stories mentioned earlier. When one of three motor coaches carrying 110 marching band students broke down, the motor coach company couldn’t find a repair service or replacement coach. And even if they had, the drivers were approaching their maximum allowed driving time.The band leader, teachers and chaperones faced the challenge of feeding three busloads of hungry teenagers and finding overnight accommodations— not to mention repairing the motor coach. But just one call to the travel insurance emergency assistance service solved the problem. Not only did the travel insurance assistance company find accommodations for the night but travel insurance also covered the group’s dinners and breakfast. Travel insurancereimbursed the entire expense — $7,300. 
In another true story, 39 Massachusetts students were traveling to Germany when an Icelandic volcano eruption disrupted travel worldwide. Although delayed, the students arrived in Germany — but without their luggage. Fortunately, they had student group travel insurance, and it included a baggage delay benefit that reimbursed them for up to $300 per person for purchase of essential items. In this case, they needed underwear! After they returned home, their teacher called Travel Insurance Center to say that the shopping trip was one of the students’ most fun and memorable parts of the trip. Just imagine how badly that story could have ended. 
Insurance is designed to protect your assets. The greatest asset your school has is students.

By Dan Drennen is the director of sales and marketing at the travel insurance center. For more information, call one of their licensed travel insurance experts at 866-979-6753 or call Dan at extension is 3621 or e-mail [email protected]
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