Protecting Your Adventure

In an ever changing world, we understand that unexpected surprises, life changes and accidents occur.  While this has always been true, during the past few years this has become even more evident and we have all learned that not everything works out as you may have hoped, and the best of plans may have to change.  The world is an unpredictable place.

For this reason, ROW highly recommends reviewing travel protection insurance to evaluate how much coverage, if any, you would like to purchase to protect your investment.

People often find the expense of travel insurance to be more than they want to spend, and we certainly sympathize with the fact that it’s not cheap. Most policies range from 7-10% of the trip cost, and for CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) coverage, it can be 10-14%. Premiums generally cost more the older the insured is. For families traveling together, the great news is that kids under the age of 18 are insured a no charge when purchasing the "Worldwide Trip Protector" plan. When considering the decision of whether to buy insurance or not, the real question is: “Can I afford to lose my vacation investment should I have to cancel?”

There are different levels of protection available depending on the level of risk you are willing to take. Some guests like to include airfare, hotels and other non-refundable trip expenses above and beyond the amount due to ROW in their desired level of coverage. Others are willing to hedge their bets and insure less of the value of their trip knowing they will have some coverage in the unfortunate event they are unable to attend.  It's good to remember that the value of most airline tickets can be used within one year of the issue date of the ticket, so if you plan on future travels, including the cost of airfare may not be necessary.

Prior to the pandemic ROW would recommend Travel Insured International's Worldwide Trip Protector plan which covers most reasons you’d likely need to cancel, such as illness (of you or an immediate family member), injury, documented traffic accident, or missed travel connections. People that had elderly parents that they were worried about found this insurance useful in the event that the elderly parent took a turn for the worse just before a trip.  

While this type of travel insurance is very good, a new kind of protection has been available in recent years.  When the pandemic arrived in early 2020 the world changed and we quickly saw many of our guests wanting to cancel for reasons not covered in the Worldwide Trip Protector plan; whether it was feelings about wearing masks, issues relative to rental car agencies and/or airlines, or simply being uncomfortable with traveling due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. 

Helping guests travel through tumultuous seasons over the past few years, we saw time and time again the true value of insuring a trip with CFAR. Electing to include CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) travel insurance, allows you to cancel for any reason, at any time prior to 48 hours of your trip's beginning. With CFAR you can cancel because it is going to be too hot, too cold, snowy, smokey, rainy, or maybe because you got invited to a last-minute wedding. If you elect to cancel under the terms of this insurance, you are eligible for up to 75% of your money back for having a "bad hair day" and not wanting to go, or still covered up to 100% for outlined reasons such as illness or injury.

The most important thing to realize is that trip deposits received by ROW are non-refundable as are all payments made once the final trip balance due date has arrived. Once we sell the spaces to you, we lose the ability to sell them to others and unlike airlines, we do not overbook our trips. In the event you are not able to attend, you are certainly able to transfer your space to someone you know who can take your place (unlike the airlines who don't allow this).  However, when an unforeseen circumstance happens just a few days or even weeks prior to your trip, finding a replacement with a clear calendar who is ready to go off the grid for a week can sometimes be a challenge.  Therefore, to protect yourself and your vacation investment we highly recommend a travel protection plan.  Bear in mind that it is your responsibility to read and understand the insurance policy and all declarations, definitions, exclusions and limitations within.

We have seen many people over the years with all intentions of attending and not predicting an unexpected unfortunate circumstance preventing that.  It gives us no joy to tell people we cannot refund their money even though they broke their leg a week before the trip, are diagnosed with a terminal illness, or get some terrible family news that prevents them from traveling.  In order to keep your vacation investment whole, and prevent difficult, stressful conversations, travel insurance is an excellent solution.

The tendency is to think "this will never happen to me."  Think again.  A wonderful guest of ours booked his entire family of ten, including children and grandchildren on a trip scheduled to take place 8 months later.  About a month before the trip, during a routine doctor visit, he was told he had cancer and needed to start treatment immediately.  Having elected not to buy travel insurance, he decided to send his family on the trip without him.  His treatment was successful and 2 years later, they returned as a family, with grandfather leading the way, this time, with travel insurance. Another guest signed up for a trip just 30 days beforehand and paid in full. He also declined to buy travel insurance.  A week later his daughter fell off a horse at summer camp and broke her leg.

Trip Cancellation due to Force Majeure (epidemics, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, war, labor strikes or other major events adversely affecting travel): Forest fires are becoming more common in the US West and sometimes we are forced to cancel trips due to fires, or landslides that close roads and prevent us from accessing the river or trip.  When government managing agencies close resources due to fire, or a mountain slides down and blocks a road preventing access to your planned vacation, travel insurance provides coverage.  This is another reason to buy travel insurance.  If we cannot operate a trip due to a force majeure or natural disaster that would be covered by travel insurance, there will be no refund provided.

Unlike car rentals where you are required to either buy insurance, or prove that you have insurance to pay for any damages to the car, travel insurance is optional.  We appreciate the additional cost of purchasing travel insurance.  That said, ask yourself if you can afford to lose the money you have spent on your vacation and if the answer is no, then we urge you to buy travel insurance. Our office staff are not insurance agents and only provide you with the service of adding travel insurance along with your trip reservation.  We want to emphasize again that it is your responsibility to read and understand the insurance policy and all declarations, definitions, exclusions and limitations within.

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