When you’re traveling with a significant other, things can get a bit complicated. Besides the issue of who took up too much space in whose carry-on, and the ever-present armrest dilemma, there are more joint considerations you might need to take into account when booking your trip and buying your travel insurance. Of course, since travel insurance is all about taking care of one another, it’s not only worth your while to do just a little extra homework to buy the right policy — it’s practically a romantic gesture in and of itself.
The considerations for already-married couples are fewer than for unmarried partners; as with other insurance and financial transactions, being legally wed means that buying travel insurance for you and your spouse will probably be no more complicated than buying solo travel insurance. However, married travelers in particular — and especially those with children at home — may want to look into travel insurance policies that include Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. Since AD&D works similarly to life insurance, paying out benefits to whomever you’ve designated in the unfortunate case of a tragic accident while you’re traveling, it’s a smart (if depressing) way to show your love.
For those who are unmarried but traveling as a couple, it’s important to understand a few legal complexities before you buy your travel insurance policy. If you live together and can be considered domestic partners, you’ll likely be able to purchase a travel insurance policy together; however, if you have to file a claim, you might have to provide proof of your partnership to the insurance company. Usually something simple like documentation of a joint bank account or shared lease will suffice. However, if you’ve just moved in together, you may not be considered partners in the eyes of your insurance company — ask before you purchase whether the company expects you to have shared a home for a specified length of time. (Many policies will specify 6 months to a year, but it can vary.)
If you’re not living together at all, you may not legally be able to share a travel insurance policy. While living in the same household is a preference, not a requirement, for most insurance companies, if you live across state lines from one another, variations in state insurance laws may prevent you from insuring together. It’s best to ask before making any assumptions. Of course, the other downside to insuring together if you don’t live together is that any documents related to your travel insurance — including claims paperwork — will only be sent to one of you. The person listed as “primary” on the policy will therefore get to be in charge of all the papers, and if things get messy — either during your travels, or in your relationship — that may not be an ideal solution. You can, of course, still get travel insurance for yourselves; to avoid any complex issues, consider purchasing separate policies, but deciding together which coverage to buy. That way, you’ll be secure in the knowledge that should anything happen on your trip, you both have the same benefits available to you through your insurance company, but you’ll also get to be involved in your own claims process and handle the paperwork yourselves.
Traveling with a significant other should be a relaxing and memorable experience. With a good travel insurance policy that properly protects both of you, it can be virtually worry-free. While travel insurance may not seem as romantic as roses or champagne or a long walk on a secluded beach, it’s a true gesture of caring to take the time to fully protect you and your loved one.